Blackened Salmon Pasta
Blackened Salmon Pasta is New Orleans to the bite. A perfectly seared salmon filet served over a bed of pasta in an easy homemade alfredo sauce. Ready in just 30 minutes, this quick and delicious recipe makes for the ultimate drool-worthy weeknight dinner.
Creamy. Flavorful. Mouthwatering. Irresistible. These are just a few of the buzz words I’ve heard from tasters of this incredible Blackened Salmon Pasta. There’s parmesan cheese, pasta, heavy cream, and butter. What’s not to love? This dish is rich and comforting without being so heavy that you feel groggy afterward unless you have no self-control like me and devour 2 plates in under 10 minutes. Then, all bets are off.
One of the things I love most about this salmon recipe is that it’s incredibly versatile. If you want to make the dish a little lighter but still want to indulge, you can easily swap out the pasta for rice, zucchini spirals, or spaghetti squash noodles. You could also leave out the alfredo sauce altogether and serve the blackened salmon over a bed of rice or salad. The options are endless, so feel free to switch it up depending on your mood.
I’m convinced that heavy cream is real-life magic for home cooks because any recipe you add it to is instantly elevated to the next level. Take this blackened salmon recipe, for example. It goes from a pile of ingredients to a restaurant-quality dish in just 30 minutes. If that’s not magic, then I don’t know what is. Sound off in the comments and let me know what your favorite “magic” ingredient is to cook with.
To bring this flavorful Cajun recipe to life, you will need the following key ingredients:
● Salmon. I prefer to use fresh salmon fillets here to get the best flavor. However, you can use frozen salmon fillets if needed, as long as you thaw them out first and dry them properly. Access water will make your salmon steam when we want the spices to fry slightly.
● Unsalted Butter. Not only is this an essential ingredient in getting a really nice color on our blackened salmon, but it also adds a ton of rich flavor to our pasta sauce.
● Cajun-Creole seasoning. This flavorful blend of herbs and spices like cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper, to name a few. Is the third most important part of this blackened salmon and any blackened dish. If you’ve never tried it, you have been seriously missing out!
● Angel hair pasta. You can use any pasta you want, but I always recommend using a long pasta shape for this dish. Linguine, fettucini, and spaghetti noodles also work.
● Heavy cream. This is the magic ingredient that makes our alfredo sauce absolutely shine. For a lighter version, you can swap this out for half-and-half.
● Lemon. This is loaded with acidity, which is essential for cutting some of the richness from our heavier ingredients like heavy cream and butter.
What's the difference between Cajun and Creole cuisine?
Cajun and Creole cuisine are cut from the same cloth, but they have some differences. But Cajun cuisine is more rustic and contains more game proteins. Cajuns are the reason why we have gator on menus. French Acadians inspire the food.
Creole cuisine is more refined. This is due to the aristocratic that made up the city. Creole cuisine is also influenced by French, Spanish, and West African cuisines.
Both cultures use onion, bell pepper, and celery religiously in nearly every entree. Both are firm believers in one pot, well-seasoned dishes.
How to make a homemade Cajun Seasoning
For the best Cajun-style seasoning to use on your blackened salmon or any other type of dish, try this recipe made from items that are likely in your kitchen already.
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon granulated onion
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Keep in an air-tight container for 6 months.
How to Make Blackened Salmon Pasta
This blackened salmon recipe comes together in a two-part process. You will need to cook the salmon fillets and also make the easy alfredo sauce for the pasta. To do both, follow these 5 steps:
- Melt the butter and rub it over both sides of your salmon filets, then season them evenly on both sides with Cajun-Creole seasoning and rosemary.
- Heat a nonstick skillet over high heat. Once it’s hot, add butter and place your salmon fillets skin side down on the skillet. Cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook the other side for 1 minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium, then add shallots to the skillet and cook for 1 minute before stirring in the garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest, chicken stock, and capers.
- Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken; add the salmon fillets and baste them with the sauce. Turn off the heat and set the skillet aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the heavy cream, butter, shredded parmesan, salt, and white pepper; then bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir the cooked pasta into the sauce to evenly coat, then place your blackened salmon filet on top. Garnish with shredded parmesan and fresh parsley, then enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this blackened salmon dish:
What is blackening?
The late great Chef Paul Prudhomme created the technique of blackening in the 1980s. Chef Paul created this dish when people considered redfish a poor man’s fish. He dipped a piece of redfish in melted butter, seasoned it with his magic seasoning blend, and cooked it in a hot skillet. That was the day the blackened redfish recipe was born.
Blackening is a cooking technique that involves dipping a food (usually chicken, fish, or shrimp) into melted butter or oil, coating it in Cajun seasoning on all sides, then searing it in a piping hot cast-iron skillet. The blackening process is quick, simple, and produces an incredibly flavorful crust outside the food.
What's the best skillet for Blackening?
The best skillet for blackening is the cast-iron. Cast-iron skillets distribute heat evenly and retain heat better than any other type of pan on the market. It’s no surprise that these skillets have stood the test of time – they’re generationally a family favorite! If you do not have access to a cast-iron skillet, a regular skillet will work.
What can I use instead of salmon?
If you don’t have salmon or want to try this dish with a different protein source, you can easily swap it out with another type of fish like catfish, cod or halibut, shrimp, chicken, steak, or even vegetables. Feel free to get creative; I have yet to find a food that didn’t taste good after being blackened.
Can you freeze cooked blackened salmon?
Absolutely! The first step is to give your cooked blackened salmon time to cool down to room temperature. Once it’s cooled, you will need to either wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or secure it in an airtight storage bag. After you’ve properly stored your blackened salmon, you can safely store it in the freezer for up to 4-6 months.
Can I make It ahead?
Fridge: Blackened Salmon: After it cools off, place in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days max.
Alfredo Sauce: After it cools off, place in an airtight container in the fridge for 7 days max.
Reheating: Blackened Salmon: Bake in a 350-degree oven for 6-10 minutes.
Alfredo Sauce: Bring a small amount of water or milk to a boil and stir in pasta, cook until hot. *A 1/4 cup of liquid will be enough for 2 servings.
Cooking Tips and Recipe Variations
Here are some of my favorite tips and variations of this recipe:
● When cooking the alfredo sauce, keep a close eye on the pot to make sure it doesn’t boil over. This could potentially cause a fire.
● If you’re looking for a way to lighten up this dish, try serving it over rice, zucchini spirals, or spaghetti squash noodles instead of pasta.
● Want to add some veggies? Feel free to stir a handful of spinach and/or 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes into the pasta sauce.
● You can make your alfredo sauce into a creamy cajun sauce by adding 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning to your alfredo sauce when you add the parmesan cheese to the pot.
● If you wind up with leftovers, you can store the alfredo sauce or creamy cajun sauce and salmon separately in airtight containers and keep them in the fridge for up to 7 days.
what to serve with Blackened Salmon Pasta?
Not sure what to serve with this dish? While it can be served as a stand-alone dish, I love to serve it alongside bread to soak up that delicious sauce or salad so I can balance out the richness with some light, fresh flavors. Refreshing drinks like my famous sweet tea are also fantastic for cutting some of the heaviness of this dish.
To give you some ideas, here are some of my favorite drinks and dishes to serve with blackened salmon pasta:
More Cajun-Creole Recipes:
Cooking blackened salmon pasta is a great weeknight dinner recipe that will leave your family feeling satisfied and content.
Blackened Salmon Pasta
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 4 salmon filets 6-8 oz.
- 2 tablespoons Savory seasoning or Creole seasoning 1 ½ teaspoons per filet
- 1 tablespoon rosemary chopped
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 zest of lemon
- 1 juice of lemon
- 1 cup unsalted chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons capers drained
- ½ cup Italian parsley chopped
- 1 lb. angel hair pasta cooked
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan plus more for garnish
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and lightly and rub over both sides of salmon. Season salmon evenly on both sides with creole seasoning, sprinkle rosemary evenly on all fish.
- Heat a non-stick skillet over high heat, once skillet is hot place 2 tablespoons of butter in skillet add salmon add salmon skin side down and cook for 2 minutes, flip and cook for 1 minute. Remove and sit to the side. (If you have a small skillet repeat this step and sit salmon to the side.)
- Reduce heat to medium add shallots to skillet and cook for 1 minute, stir in garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, chicken stock and capers. Cook for 1-2 minutes until sauce begins to thicken, add salmon back to skillet and baste with sauce. Cut off heat and let rest while you make alfredo.
- In a sauce pot over medium heat add all ingredients to pot, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium heat, mixture should coat the back of a spoon. Reheat pasta over medium heat for 1 minute then stir in pasta sauce, coat evenly and serve garnish with parsley, parmesan and enjoy!
- You can serve this dish over rice, zucchini pasta or a side salad.
Made this recipe? Take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@kennethtemple_) or Facebook (@ChefKennethTemple)!