Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles

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Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles is a tasty low carb, Paleo, and Whole30 friendly meal that's ready in under 30 minutes.

331 CAL 10g CARBS 17g FAT 36g PROTEIN

Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles with a quick, homemade spice rub comes together in no time and is a delicious, healthy meal that works for paleo, Whole30, low carb, and gluten free diets. It's a spin on this Blackened Salmon recipe we love and make all the time.

After all the heavy food the last couple of weeks, I am seriously ready for something light, healthy, and green. I don't know about you, but I can feel the difference in my energy level when I have even a couple of days of unhealthy eating.  So between all the sugar and carbs last week, I am ready for something good for me. This Blackened Salmon with zucchini noodles is the perfect thing. It's easy to prepare, packs in plenty of veggies, and has tons of flavor so you won't miss the carbs promise.

The thing I love most about this dish is that there is so much flavor, you honestly won't miss the carbs. The salmon is coated with a quick homemade blackening season that has just the right amount of spice. The zucchini noodles are cooked with lots of garlic, burst cherry tomatoes, and finished with fresh lemon juice. And if you take a shortcut and buy zucchini noodles that are already made, it is easy and quick.

Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles on a plate with tomatoes.

The key to this recipe is the homemade blackening spice for the salmon. It truly packs a punch and is something I use all the time for all kinds of protein. It tastes better than the store bought spice rubs and you don't have to worry about added sugar or preservatives that may be hiding in the packaged options. Plus you can make it with spices you probably already have at home. The salmon is covered in this simple rub and then seared in a hot pan until it is nice and crispy. 

Next up is the zucchini noodles. You can either use a spiralizer, sharp knife, or vegetable peeler to make your noodles. You can also buy packaged zucchini noodles in many grocery stores these days. If you have time, I highly recommend salting your zucchini noodles and letting them drain before cooking them. It only takes about 5 extra minutes and will result in a much firmer noodle.

If you have ever complained about soggy zucchini noodles, this will solve that problem. The salt draws out the moisture and makes for a better texture. Also, make sure not to overcook the noodles. You want them al dente.

Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles on a white plate and wooden background.

Tips for Making this Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles

  • One of the questions I hear most often when it comes to salmon is which one to buy. There are so many options and it can be hard to know what to choose. Whenever possible, I try to buy wild salmon since I find it is more flavorful and it is leaner than farmed salmon. However due to cost and availability, I also sometimes buy farmed salmon. Generally, I try to buy sustainably farmed salmon that has been flash-frozen and has no added color. This tends to be the most flavorful and closest to natural salmon.
  • Feel free to adjust the spice level of the blackening spice by adding more or less chili powder. The recipe is just mildly spicy if prepared how it is written.
  • Although salmon is my first choice for this recipe, it also works with shrimp, a firm white fish like cod, chicken, or steak.

Looking for more healthy salmon recipes?

Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles with an antique fork.

The Recipe
Blackened Salmon over a bed of zucchini noodles with cherry tomatoes.

Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles

331 CAL 10g CARBS 17g FAT 36g PROTEIN
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  • 1.33 lbs wild salmon fillets (skinless if possible)
  • 2 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder (more to taste)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 2 zucchini, cut into noodles
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lemon

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Mix together the smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder, pepper, onion powder, oregano, and chili powder. Pat the salmon dry using a paper towel and press the spice mixture onto the salmon on both sides. (If you salmon has skin, just coat one side of the fish.)


Prepare your zucchini noodles using a spiralizer, sharp knife, or vegetable peeler. If time permits, sprinkle the zucchini noodles with salt and place in a colander. This will remove some of the moisture and result in a firmer noodle.


Heat half the olive oil over medium high heat in a heavy skillet. Cook the salmon for 3-4 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Tent with foil to keep warm.


Add the remaining olive oil to the pan along with the garlic. Cook for 1 minute. Add the zucchini noodles and tomatoes. Cook for 3-5 minutes until al dente. Season with salt and pepper.


Serve salmon over the zucchini noodles with lemon.


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Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz. salmon and 1 cup noodles
Amount Per Serving
Calories 331
Calories from Fat 67
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 68mg
Sodium 387mg
Total Carbohydrate 10g
Dietary Fiber 3g
Sugars 6g
Protein 36g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Blackened Salmon with Garlic Zucchini Noodles
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Laura D.
September 19, 2023 - 01:23
Add a Rating:
Thank you for this beautiful recipe! It was so easy and SO delicious!! I had to make 2 changes due to (1) discovering I was out of chili/cayenne powder, and (2) not having cherry tomatoes on hand. In place of the chili powder in the rub, I massaged a small amount of siracha sauce into the salmon before adding the blackening spices. In place of the cherry tomatoes, I added several dollops of chunky homemade marinara sauce I had in the fridge (about 1/3-1/2 cup in total). I will make this again and again. YUM.
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October 13, 2018 - 15:53
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This was delicious and so easy! I thought the blistered tomatoes really added a lot too. Thanks!
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Diane Kelly
July 1, 2018 - 18:56
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I just used the zucchini recipe and threw some baked chicken on top. The zucchini noodles are amazing and so easy. Thank you!
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