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Blackened fish recipes to add some Cajun spice to your life

There’s nothing quite like Cajun cuisine. It’s so incredibly flavorful, with just the right amount of spice and sweetness. When I’m feeling drab, sad or blue, I always add some Cajun spice to whatever I’m eating for a quick zest and mood boost. That’s why these blackened fish recipes are almost always on the menu. They’re easy, full of flavor and take me back to New Orleans with each and every bite.

Many people think the blackening method means the fish is burned, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, all you get is a deeper flavor from the butter and seasoning, as well as an amazing crust. It pairs well with salad, creamy pasta and just about everything, really.

1. Blackened Cajun salmon with creamy pasta recipe

Blackened cajun salmon with creamy pasta

Serves 4-6


  • 4 fillets skin-on salmon
  • 1-1/3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For the pasta and sauce

  • 1/2 pound bow tie pasta
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup 2 percent milk
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons mozzarella cheese
  • Juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cherry tomatoes, sliced (about 1 cup)


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, and add salt. Add the pasta, and boil until fully cooked, about 8 minutes. Rinse in cold water, and set it aside.
  2. Mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Divide the seasoning into 4 Ziploc bags. Add 1 salmon fillet to each bag, and shake the bags to evenly coat the fillets.
  3. Preheat a grill to high, and spray it with nonstick cooking spray. Add the salmon fillets skin side down, and grill until fully cooked, about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high. Stir in the flour until a thick paste forms. Whisk in the vegetable broth, cream and milk. Reduce the heat to low, and stir to combine until the sauce is creamy. Remove from the heat, and stir in the mozzarella, Parmesan, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  5. Add the pasta to the sauce, and toss to combine. Add in the slices of cherry tomatoes.
  6. Divide the pasta into 4 bowls, and top with the blackened salmon.

2. Blackened flounder with quinoa recipe

Blackened flounder with quinoa

Serves 4


  • 4 founder fillets, patted dry
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1-1/3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil


  1. Mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, paprika, brown sugar, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Pour the seasoning into 4 bags, and add a flounder fillet to each one. Toss to fully coat the fillets with the seasoning.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over high heat. Once hot, add the fillets to the pan, and drizzle with melted butter. Cook on high for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until blackened.
  3. Mix the cooked quinoa with the cheese, olive oil and some salt and pepper.
  4. Divide the quinoa equally onto 4 plates, and top with the blackened flounder fillets. Serve with chopped tomatoes and fresh herbs.

3. Blackened shrimp tacos recipe

Blackened shrimp tacos

Serves 4


  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 28 medium shrimps
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 2 cups spinach leaves
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese
  • Cracked pepper and salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Mix together the ingredients for the seasoning, and place in a large Ziploc bag. Add the shrimp to the bag, and shake to evenly coat. Add cracked pepper and salt.
  3. Place the shrimp into an oven-safe skillet, and drizzle with the olive oil. Bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until sizzling and blackened.
  4. To make the tacos, layer 1/2 cup of spinach onto each tortilla. Top with shrimp, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese and more cracked pepper and salt.

4. Blackened scallops recipe

Blackened scallops

Serves 4


  • 1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1-1/4 pounds scallops
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cups greens or spinach
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Cracked black pepper


  1. In a large bag, mix together the first 6 ingredients. Add the scallops to the bag, and liberally shake to coat.
  2. Heat a stainless steel skillet over high heat. Add the scallops, and drizzle with the olive oil. Cook on high until browned on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Place the skillet into the oven, and bake the scallops for 5 to 6 minutes or until darkened. (This will create a bit of smoke, so open your windows or turn on your vent.)
  4. Divide the greens or spinach into 4 bowls or plates. Top with equal amounts of scallops, 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar and some cracked black pepper.

More fish recipes

Salt-crusted baked whole fish
Tuna, salmon and swordfish skewers
Baked whole fish and potatoes with rosemary and paprika

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