Flavorful, easy, and healthy blackened salmon with fresh mango salsa that takes under 15 minutes to make! These salmon fillets are coated in a blend of spices, are flakey, and pan seared or air fried to crispy perfection.
Best salmon with mango salsa
Quick and easy dinners are my thing! I simply cannot imagine being in the kitchen cooking dinner for more than 20 minutes after a long day of work. I do love easy recipes like these turkey meatballs or crispy tofu, but when I am craving fish, this blackened salmon hits the spot!
This salmon recipe is 5-star restaurant quality! It tastes incredible but only takes 12 minutes to make. So don’t worry if you’re a busy mom, working professional, or athlete; this dinner recipe is for you!
Salmon is such a simple source of high protein. It is rich in Omega 3, vitamin B12, healthy fats. One serving of this blackened salmon with mango salsa has a whopping 37 grams of protein! As an athlete, I love incorporating salmon into my diet at least once a week. It’s so delicious and good for you at the same time.
What are “blackening” spices?
Blackening seasoning is a blend spices similar to Cajun seasoning. Some blends are milder in heat, while others can pack a punch! This blackened salmon recipe calls for paprika, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
The term “blackening” also refers to how the salmon is cooked. Once you rub the salmon fillets with the flavorful spices, you’ll pan-sear the filets to crispy perfection, and the spices will blacken under the high heat. Trust me, the salmon isn’t burned, it is supposed to look this way!
This deliciously light and fresh salmon recipe calls for a handful of simple, good-for-you ingredients. In fact, this dinner recipe has two easy parts: cooking the salmon fillets and making the fresh mango salsa. To make this blackened salmon with mango salsa you’ll need:
- Salmon fillets: For the protein portion of this recipe, you’ll be needing 4 salmon fillets that are about 6 oz each. You can use frozen salmon if needed!
- Blackening spices: We season the salmon with cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. These traditional “blackening” spices are super flavorful.
- Salt & pepper: Just a dash of salt and pepper is needed.
- Olive oil or avocado oil: 1 to 2 Tablespoons of olive oil are needed to help pan fry the salmon and make the filets super crispy on the outside and flakey on the inside.
Simple mango Salsa:
- Mangos: As the base of this super simple and fresh mango salsa, grab two ripe and sweet mangos.
- Red bell pepper: You’ll only need 1 cup of chopped red bell pepper for this recipe; it adds the best crunch.
- Red onion: Next up, chop your red onion really fine to make 1/3 cups worth.
- Fresh cilantro: This salsa recipe calls for 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro. Just cut off the thick stems and brought chop the leaves.
- Jalapeño: For a spicier mango salsa, feel free to chop up and add 1 jalapeno.
- Lime: The juice of one lime adds the perfect tang to this mango salsa.
- Salt & pepper: Taste the salsa and then add salt and pepper to your taste.
How to make blackened salmon & mango salsa
This healthy salmon recipe is so easy to make! You’ll only need two mixing bowls, a knife to cut the vegetables, and a cutting board. So don’t worry, clean-up is going to be super easy. We’ll start by preparing and cooking the salmon, followed by finely dicing the veggies and mango, and, finally, plate everything with some brown rice!
Step 1: To start, combine the paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Step 2: Then, gently pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel and place them on a large plate, flesh-side up. Using your fingers, pat the seasoning mixture on each piece of salmon.
Step 3: Now, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, place salmon, flesh-side down into the pan. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes, until crisp, and then flip salmon with a spatula and cook for another 5 – 6 minutes until the skin becomes crispy and salmon is desired doneness.
Alternatively, you can air fry this blackened salmon at 380°F for 8 – 10 minutes. Just place the seasoned salmon fillets in the air fryer basket skin side down and press start!
Step 5: Meanwhile, make the mango salsa by mixing all the mango salsa ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
Top your pan-seared salmon with fresh mango salsa and serve immediately with a side of roasted vegetables and on a bed of rice. Enjoy your deliciously flakey healthy blackened salmon!
Tips for crispy and flakey salmon
Here are my pro tips for making the BEST flakey and crispy blackened salmon:
- Make sure to pat the salmon dry. This step is super important. Gently pat your salmon fillets dry, so the blackening seasoning sticks to the salmon and doesn’t cook off in the pan.
- Use your fingers to press the blackening spices into the salmon fillets. To ensure that the seasoning adheres to the salmon, use your fingers to gently rub them in. I highly recommend doing this; it makes such a big difference!
- Make sure the olive oil is hot before placing the salmon into the pan. I like to test if the oil is hot by adding a tiny drop of water into the pan; if it crackles, then the oil is ready! Hot oil will make sure the salmon is crispy and not soggy!
- If air frying salmon, make sure the air fryer is preheated! This will maximize crispiness.
Fequently Asked Questions
Can I air fry salmon?
Yes!! You can skip the pan and air fry this blacked salmon recipe. To make air fried blackened salmon, simply preheat your basket to 380°F, place the seasoned salmon fillets skin side down, and air fry for 8 – 10 minutes or until the salmon is done to your liking. It is that simple!
How to tell if salmon is fully cooked?
There are two ways to tell if salmon is fully cooked. First, you can use a thermometer to see if the thickest part of the salmon fillet reaches the internal temperature of 145°F. Second, you can test it with a fork; the salmon is fully cooked if it flakes apart easily. If you want super well-done salmon, I recommend adding 1 or 2 minutes to the cook times in this recipe.
Can I use frozen salmon?
Yes, you can use frozen salmon in this recipe. Simply let it thaw in the fridge for 6+ hours, at room temperature for 1 – 2 hours, or in a luke warm water bath for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
How to store and reheat leftovers
Storing: Simply store leftover healthy blackened salmon fillets in one large airtight container or individual airtight containers in the fridge for 3 – 4 days. Store the mango salsa in a separate container to maximize freshness. Do not freeze cooked salmon.
Reheating: For the best results, reheat your salmon fillets in a pan on the stove top to make sure the salmon stays crispy. You can also air fry the salmon for 3 – 4 minutes at 350°F or microwave the salmon alone and then add the mango salsa on afterward.
More healthy dinner recipes to check out!
Did you make this recipe?
If you make this recipe, be sure to comment and rate it down below. Also, don’t forget to tag me @healthfulblondie on Instagram and use the hashtag #healthfulblondie so I can see your delicious creation and share it with my followers!
Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa
- 4 6 oz salmon fillets, skin-on
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 ripe mangos, peeled and diced
- 1 cup red bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
- ⅓ cup red onion, finely diced
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, thick stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 jalapeño, optional, seeded and minced
- 1 large lime, juiced (about 3 Tbsp lime juice)
- ¼ tsp salt, or to taste
- In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Gently pat the salmon fillets dry with a paper towel. Then place them on a large plate, flesh-side up, and use your fingers to pat the seasoning mixture on each piece of salmon.
- PAN-SEAR: In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once heated, place salmon, flesh-side down into the pan. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, until crisp, and then flip salmon with a spatula and cook for another 5 - 6 minutes until the skin becomes crispy and salmon is desired doneness.
- AIR FRY: Preheat air frier to 380°F, place seasoned salmon fillets skin side down, and air fry for 8 - 10 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness.
- Meanwhile, mix all the mango salsa ingredients together. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
- Top salmon with fresh mango salsa and serve immediately with a side of roasted vegetables and on a bed of rice and enjoy!
Recipe by Tati Chermayeff / Healthful Blondie + Photos by The Travel Palate
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