Cajun Salmon

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Cajun Salmon with an easy homemade seasoning made with spices you already have in your pantry that can be baked, broiled, pan seared, or grilled. This healthy dinner is ready in less than fifteen minutes and as good as any restaurant version.

350 CAL 1g CARBS 24g FAT 31g PROTEIN 1
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Cajun Salmon that's spicy, smoky, and ready in no time makes for an easy and healthy dinner that can be cooked inside or outside on the grill. Serve it warm or cold for a protein-packed dinner that's delicious.

We also make this  Blackened Salmon and Brown Sugar Salmon regularly, so add these to your go to salmon recipes.

This healthy Cajun Salmon is getting me in the mood to get outside and grill now that the weather is finally warm.

It's the perfect warm weather meal in my opinion, especially served with corn on the cob and a nice watermelon salad.

Plus since it tastes great warm or cold, it's an easy recipe for barbecues since it doesn't need to be eaten immediately. 

Personally, I love having a fish option at barbecues since it's a break from the typical beef and chicken dishes.

I buy mine in bulk at Costco and find that the fish is really good quality and the price can't be beaten when you are buying large quantities.

Cajun Salmon with brown rice and grilled asparagus on a black plate.

The star of this recipe is the salmon and the simple homemade Cajun seasoning.

Cajun seasoning can be made all different ways but I like to make it with a combination of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, thyme, and a pinch of cayenne pepper for heat.

Some people also include oregano, red pepper flakes, or brown sugar if they like a touch of sweetness in their seasoning.

The recipe below makes a larger batch of Cajun seasoning you can store with your spices. For most recipes, you need about one tablespoon of seasoning for every pound of protein.

How to Make Cajun Seasoning

This Cajun seasoning tastes delicious in so many dishes including this easy salmon recipe and these Cajun Shrimp Tacos.

  • 4 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper
  • 1.5 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (adjust to preference)

What to serve with Cajun Salmon?

This is such a versatile dish so there are tons of options for side dishes. During the hot summer months, I love to serve this with a big green salad and corn on the cob.

It's also delicious with coleslaw, a creamy potato salad to balance the heat or grilled veggies.

When I am making this for a quick dinner, I usually serve it with brown rice and a grilled vegetable, like the asparagus in the photo.

You can also serve this with a creamy pasta dish, polenta, or roasted potatoes in colder months. 

Can I turn this recipe into a Cajun Pasta?

It's actually really easy to turn this salmon recipe into a creamy cajun salmon pasta dish.  Make the salmon as the recipe states, but make twice the amount of seasoning you would normally need.

Then just make this simple One Pot Mushroom Pasta, adding in the Cajun seasoning in place of the grill seasoning.

Add sliced red and green bell peppers with the mushrooms. Finish the pasta and top it with the Cajun salmon.

This is so good. If you are a pasta fan, you have to try it.

How can I make this a New Orleans Shrimp and Salmon dish?

If you are looking to make a Cajun dish with shrimp and salmon, it is fairly easy to add the shrimp.

Just make some extra cajun seasoning and toss them with the shrimp and some olive oil. Cook the shrimp the same way as you do the salmon, remembering that they cook very quickly so you will need to cook them separately so they don't overcook.

Then to make it into a classic New Orleans Shrimp and Salmon recipe, melt together some butter and honey and drizzle it over the top. 

Broiled Cajun Salmon on a black plate with rice and asparagus on a white linen napkin.How to Choose Salmon?

Whenever I post a salmon recipe, I get lots of questions about how to choose salmon in the grocery store.

Here are some general tips to pick out a good piece of salmon. Looking for more info about salmon? Check out this comprehensive salmon guide.

  • Color: You want to look for salmon that is vibrant in color. This could be deep red, pink, or a coral color depending on the salmon variety. Just make sure to look for something bright versus a fish that is pale in color.
  • Smell: The salmon shouldn't have much of a smell at all. Avoid salmon that smells fishy.
  • Appearance: Make sure to choose salmon that doesn't have any brown spots, discoloration, or peeling by the skin. It should also look slightly moist.
  • Frozen: Don't be scared of buying high quality frozen salmon. Many times it is frozen on the spot and has great flavor. This is especially true when salmon isn't in season. Salmon season in May-October.
The Recipe
Cajun salmon on a bed of quinoa with asparagus.

Cajun Salmon

350 CAL 1g CARBS 24g FAT 31g PROTEIN 1
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  • 1.33 lbs salmon (wild if possible)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne (adjust to preference)

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Mix together the spices to create the Cajun seasoning. Brush the salmon with the olive oil and coat the flesh side in the seasoning.


Broiler: Preheat the broiler with an oven rack about 6 inches away from the heat. Place the salmon on a baking sheet, lined with foil for easier clean up. Broil for 6-8 minutes until is just cooked through and flaky.


Grill: Place the salmon skin side down on to a hot grill. Cook for 3-4 minutes until almost cooked through. Flip and cook for 1-3 minutes until cooked to your liking.


Pan Seared: Heat a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pan over medium high heat. Add the fish, skin side down, and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the fish is almost cooked through. Flip and cook for 1-2 minutes until fish is cooked to your liking.


Baked: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bake for 10-12 minutes until cooked to your liking.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 350
Calories from Fat 214
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g
Saturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 83mg
Sodium 385mg
Total Carbohydrate 1g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 0g
Protein 31g

* 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
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