Add this Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa to your weeknight rotation for an easy, flavor-filled dinner! Delicious, well-seasoned salmon seared to perfection in a hot cast-iron skillet and paired with refreshing, sweet mango salsa. This dish is so fresh, vibrant, and incredibly good…it’s a meal everyone will go crazy for!

blackened salmon with mango salsa on top of pewter oval platter

Salmon and chicken are probably the two most frequently made meals in the BBR home, ha! It’s true, they’re the preferred choice when it involves weeknight-friendly dishes. Thus, I’m always looking for new ways to make these proteins shine whenever I’m developing a recipe. Enter this blackened salmon with mango salsa, y’all. It’s a favorite and will soon be one of yours as well!

Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa 😍

The salmon is coated in flavor-forward, tasty seasonings and then seared to blacken. It’s topped with a super refreshing mango salsa: the savory salmon is complimented so well with that bright and juicy mango goodness! You’ll love how buttery/tender the salmon is and it’s scrumptious to the max, gahh.

⇢ More BBR meals: crispy parmesan chicken, family-favorite red beans and rice, delish shrimp and grits, chicken stunners like curry chicken, filipino-style chicken adobo, these chicken po’ boys, or lemon herb ravioli– yum! ♡

blackened salmon with mango salsa and mashed potatoes and greens beans on speckled plate

Ingredients You’ll Need For This Dish

(Note: the full ingredients list, including measurements, is provided in the recipe card directly below.)

  • For the mango salsa: You’ll need chopped mango, chopped red onion, fresh cilantro, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and salt/pepper– to taste.
  • Salmon: Grab four (5-6 ounce) salmon fillets. I usually buy skin-off salmon, but you can remove the skin from the salmon yourself. We want to blacken both sides of the salmon, so the salmon essentially needs to be skinless.
  • Blackening spices: The blackening spices include packed brown sugar, smoked paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt/pepper– to taste. A variety of spices that pack a punch and provide a powerhouse of flavor that coats the salmon. Well-rounded flavor with a touch of sugar and a slight kick of heat…a chef’s kiss trifecta! Y’all, I love it.
  • Olive oil: Used in marinating the blackening spices on the salmon.
  • Butter: The best fat for blackening anything, #butterbeready 🧈 🙌🏾

⇢ This Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa recipe is super straightforward and wildly easy to make, woot woot. It’s what I call low-effort/high-reward!

How To Make This Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa Recipe (easy as 1, 2, 3!)

(Note: please see the recipe card directly below for the complete written instructions.)

  1. Step one. First, let’s prep the mango salsa. Add all the ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Step two. Next, prep the blackening spices. In a small bowl, combine all the seasonings together, stirring well to fully combine- set aside.
  3. Step three. Drizzle the olive oil over the salmon and sprinkle the blackening spices onto the salmon, massaging well to coat all surfaces.
  4. Step four. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is sizzling, add the salmon into the skillet. Let the salmon cook, undisturbed, until a deep crust appears. Then flip the salmon and cook on the other side to achieve a nice crust here, too.
  5. Step five. Serve the blackened salmon immediately with generous spoonfuls of the prepped mango salsa on top and alongside your favorite sides.
blackened salmon in white cast iron skillet

What Does “Blackened” Mean Exactly?

Like many (really) good things, the blackening process was brought to us by way of Cajun-Creole food, a fusion of French and Southern cuisine 🖤.

⇢ To make something “blackened” is to dredge a piece of food in spices, coat it in butter, and then sear the food over high heat. The skillet is traditionally a *cast-iron skillet* to ensure a deeply brown to black crust on the outside.

The charred outer surface of blackened food brings out heaps of flavor as the spices are toasted as a result of cooking over high heat. That crust is comprised of the spices perfectly seared until black-ity black, ha! When done right, the burnt-like appearance on the salmon comes from the butter charring the spices in the hot, cast-iron skillet. You can “blacken” an abundance of things.

Blackening fish (redfish, snapper, mahi, salmon, etc.) is the most common, but other proteins such as chicken and even steak can be blackened.

blackened salmon with mango salsa on top of pewter platter

Let’s Talk Blackening Spices

My holy grail blackening seasonings include packed brown sugar, smoked paprika, dried oregano, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt/pepper– to taste. These are flavor-forward seasonings among proper blackening spices! We’ve got some clutch staples, herb-y goodness, more bold spices, a bit of heat, and brown sugar to balance it all. Seasoning if LIFE!

All the different spices make this blackened salmon holla with a nice depth of flavor! And that brown sugar caramelizes on the salmon with the butter in the hot skillet, swoon. Everything melds and blankets the salmon in a rich crust.

Why you’ll love this blackened salmon: Buttery, tender, and flaky salmon blackened with a variety of spices; finished with juicy mango salsa…the best! 😛

Helpful Equipment For Blackened Salmon

  • Cast-iron skillet: There is nothing like it, I consider it an absolute must for every home cook. I love this one and also this enameled one– I own both!
  • Fish spatula: This utensil is designed for cooking with delicate fish.
  • Small baking sheets: One of my most used items are small baking sheets to either work on or to have on hand when removing foods out of the pan.
  • Glass bowls: Mixing bowls, prep bowls, batter/baking bowls, whatever you call them…this set is my favorite and gets used almost every day.
close up of blackened salmon with mango salsa on top of speckled plate with mashed potatoes and green beans

Tips + Tricks, & Additional Info For The Best Blackened Salmon You Will Ever Have

  1. Prep the mango salsa ahead of time: Combine all the mango salsa ingredients together and let sit while you make the blackened salmon. You want all the mango salsa flavors to meld and sort of macerate together.
  2. Room temperature salmon: Let the salmon fillets sit on the counter to come up to room temperature, about 15-20 minutes. Room temperature fish will cook more evenly as opposed to cold fish straight from the fridge.
  3. Use cast-iron: Ain’t a single thing at all like cast-iron, peeps. This will ensure a fantastic sear on the salmon which is beyond crucial for blackening.
  4. Don’t disturb the salmon: When you place the salmon into the skillet, let it cook, undisturbed. The salmon will sear over high heat for about 3-4 minutes before flipping to the other side. In that time, you don’t want to mess with it prematurely as it will disrupt the blackening process.

What To Serve With Blackened Salmon

This Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa is a perfect pairing on its own, friends. However, you can serve up this dish with some of your favorite side items, too! We love serving this recipe right alongside mashed potatoes, regular green beans or my southern green beans (>> yum!), and even a side salad.

Ways To Use (Repurpose) Your Leftover Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa

Another thing I love about this recipe is the leftovers! Keep the mango salsa, covered, and stored in the fridge. You can reheat leftover blackened salmon in a skillet with a pat of butter or reheat in the microwave until warmed through.

Enjoy the leftovers as-is or repurpose to make blackened salmon tacos, burrito bowls, or make a salad! Both the blackened salmon and mango salsa will be perfect for serving in any one of those ways. Woohoo, #noleftoversleftbehind.

black hand holding the side of speckled plate with blackened salmon and mango salsa with mashed potatoes and green beans on the side

Such a winner is this Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa dish, peeps. I mean, who doesn’t love them a good salmon meal?! Be sure to tag @butterbeready in your BBR recipe creations, I sure love to see it when you do. Until next time! 🤟🏾

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blackened salmon with mango salsa on top of pewter oval platter

Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Quin Liburd
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Main Entree
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American, Southern
Save Recipe

Description

Add this Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa to your weeknight rotation for an easy, flavor-filled dinner! Delicious, well-seasoned salmon seared to perfection in a hot cast-iron skillet and paired with refreshing, sweet mango salsa. This dish is so fresh, vibrant, and incredibly good…it’s a meal everyone will go crazy for!


Ingredients

Scale

For the mango salsa:

  • 2 cups freshly chopped mango
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the blackened salmon:

  • 4 (5-6 ounce) fresh salmon fillets, preferably skin-off
  • 1 tablespoon packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • lemon or lime wedges, for serving- optional

Instructions

For the mango salsa:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the chopped mango, red onion, cilantro, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and salt/pepper- to taste. Toss everything together to fully combine. Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

For the blackened salmon:

  1. First, take the salmon fillets out of the refrigerator. Let them sit on the counter for 20 minutes to come to room temperature before proceeding with the recipe. This will help the salmon to cook more evenly.
  2. Meanwhile, prep the blackening seasoning. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and salt/pepper- to taste. Stir the spices together to fully combine and then set aside.
  3. Once the salmon is at room temperature, pat them dry with a paper towel. Place the salmon onto a small baking sheet or platter. Drizzle the oil over the fillets and use your hands to coat them completely.
  4. Then sprinkle the prepared blackening seasoning over the fillets, massaging the spices into the salmon on all surfaces to fully coat. Set the seasoned salmon aside for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Place a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add in the butter. Once the butter melts and starts to sizzle, gently swirl the skillet to evenly coat the bottom. Place the salmon into the pan. Don’t overcrowd the skillet, cook the salmon in batches, if needed.
  6. Allow the salmon to sear, undisturbed, until a deep crust appears, about 3-4 minutes. Then use a fish spatula or slotted utensil to carefully flip the salmon over to achieve a sear on the other side; about 1-2 minutes, or until the salmon is firm yet tender to the touch. Transfer the blackened salmon to a clean plate. Repeat the process with any remaining salmon fillets, as needed.
  7. Spoon the prepped mango salsa over the salmon fillets. Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon/lime wedge, and alongside your favorite sides (mashed potatoes, green beans, salad, rice, etc). Enjoy!

Notes

  1. Please read the blog post in its entirety for more tips + tricks.