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November 4, 2022

Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa and Avocado

Healthy, fresh, vibrant and so-satisfying, this blackened salmon recipe is here to transform your dinnertime rut blues into vibrant, glittery rainbows of excitement.


blackened salmon topped with homemade mango salsa and avocado on a serving plate with a serving fork
Photography by Gayle McLeod

The Best Blackened Salmon, For All Your Summer Get-Togethers

Actually, this slightly spicy blackened salmon is a great dinner any time of the year! Baked in the oven and topped with a vibrant mango salsa, our easy blackened salmon recipe will win raves whether you serve it as part of an elaborate menu at your next dinner party or completely without fanfare on a busy Tuesday night. Loaded with heart-healthy fats, salmon is always a healthy choice, but it can occasionally be hard to convince the whole family that it’s an exciting one. However, when you coat it generously in blackened seasoning and pair it with plenty of (also super healthy) avocado and fresh mango salsa, it becomes an easy favorite for just about anyone!

salmon filet, mango salsa, sliced avocado, olive oil and spices in bowls for blackened salmon with mango salsa and avocado
Brown sugar, Paprika, Garlic powder, Onion powder, oregano, thyme,  ginger, salt and Cayenne mixed in a bowl for salmon rub

Cajun Blackened Seasoning Ingredients

Blackening traditionally comes from a combination of a spice rub and pan-frying in a cast iron skillet. However, baking salmon in the oven is a whole lot less messy, and most of the flavor comes from the blackened seasoning mixture anyway. So that’s the way we’re going with this super simple, healthy salmon recipe. Blackened seasoning is something that you can mix up way ahead of time—and in big batches, if you plan to make blackened fish often—so that whipping up this recipe takes almost no time at all. Here’s what’s in our classic blackened seasoning:

  • Brown sugar

  • Paprika

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • Dried oregano

  • Dried thyme

  • Ground ginger

  • Sea salt

  • Cayenne pepper

a salmon filet on a parchment paper lined baking sheet next to a bowl of olive oil
a salmon filet drizzled with olive oil on a parchment paper lined baking sheet next to a bowl of olive oil
a salmon filet drizzled with olive oil on a parchment paper lined baking sheet being sprinkled with a spice rub
a salmon filet drizzled with olive oil and covered in spice rub on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for blackened salmon

How to Cook our Blackened Salmon Recipe

One of the terrific things about this rather fancy (if we do say so ourselves) meal is that you can do a lot of the prep work ahead of time. If you’ve made your blackened seasoning and your mango salsa already, this recipe is seriously a 15 minute recipe. It takes only as long as salmon takes to cook—which is to say, not long at all. Here’s how to cook blackened salmon in the oven:

  1. Mix together all the spices for the blackening seasoning. You can do this months ahead of time, if you’d like!

  2. Whip up the mango salsa. You can do this up to a week ahead of time, if need be.

  3. Prep the salmon. Rub it all over with oil, then the blackened seasoning. Get it really nice and coated!

  4. Bake the salmon!

  5. Eat the salmon!

blackened salmon with homemade mango salsa and avocado on a serving plate next to bowls of mango salsa and avocado
blackened salmon topped with homemade mango salsa and avocado on a serving plate

Our Best Tips for Buying Salmon

Buying fish can be intimidating and even if you feel like you kinda know what you want—for example, in this case you know you want salmon—it can still feel weirdly tricky. There’s not just one kind of salmon—there are quite a few! And they often have different price points. The easiest, no-brainer way to be certain that you’re buying the best salmon you can is simply to visit the best fishmonger in your area, and buy whatever kind of salmon filet they recommend! One and done. But here, we’ll tackle a few of the most common salmon buying issues so that you can feel a little smarter at the fish counter:

  • Why is salmon so expensive? Wild salmon can be a bit pricey, though usually not as expensive as say, halibut. Salmon is extremely popular and overfishing means that some salmon populations are becoming endangered, so the supply of wild salmon struggles to meet the demand. When that’s the case, prices go up. However, there are deals to be found!

  • Is it better to buy fresh or frozen salmon? Wild or farmed? In general, wild salmon tastes better than farmed. However, it is more expensive and it is not always necessarily more sustainable! Like we said, this stuff can be genuinely confusing. If sustainability is your primary concern, look for certifications like those given out by the Marine Stewardship Council, or check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s excellent “Seafood Watch” site for more detailed info about what you see in the fish case.

blackened salmon topped with homemade mango salsa and avocado on a serving plate with a serving fork

What to Serve With Blackened Salmon

In terms of sides, this salmon goes with so many things! You could pair it with your favorite salad and keep things really light and healthy. Or if you’ve got hungrier hoards to feed, maybe think about a starchy side! Here are a few different ideas for what to serve with this blackened salmon recipe:

blackened salmon with homemade mango salsa and avocado on a serving plate next to bowls of mango salsa and avocado

Tools You’ll Need

More Salmon Recipes to Try

blackened salmon topped with homemade mango salsa and avocado on a serving plate with a serving fork

Blackened Seasoning—Not Just For Salmon!

This delicious, spicy, herby blackened seasoning mixture is not only for salmon. Blackened seasoning is wonderful on most any kind of fish that you love (or that’s on sale!). And, like many other DIY spice blends, it makes a nice gift! If you’re looking for a budget-friendly DIY gift, whip up a big batch of this blackened seasoning, pour it into cute jars, and viola! You’ve got yourself a nice little holiday gift. When you make this recipe, we hope you love it (of course) and we hope you snap a photo and send it our way! Share a photo and tag us on Instagram using @themodernproper and #themodernproper so that we can see your stuff! Happy eating!

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Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa and Avocado

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time:  20 min
  • Cook Time:  15 min
  • Calories: 310


  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika (not smoked)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper cayenne
  • 1 ½ pounds skin-on salmon filet
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups mango salsa
  • 1 avocado, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.

  3. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, ginger, salt, and cayenne. Stir to mix well.

  4. Place the salmon skin side down on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle the oil over the top. Sprinkle the seasoning all over the fish, rubbing it in with your hand to coat completely.

  5. Bake until the salmon easily flakes with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness of the filet.

  6. Serve the salmon topped with mango salsa and sliced avocado.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories310
  • Protein25 g
  • Carbohydrates16 g
  • Total Fat18 g
  • Dietary Fiber3 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium414 mg
  • Total Sugars12 g

Blackened Salmon with Mango Salsa and Avocado

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

  • Florence

    Hello! Having a dinner party for eight on Wednesday night . What would be be served with this recipe? Thank you!

    Simple Butter Lettuce Salad, Lemon Rice, Cilantro-Lime Rice, The Kale Salad, Broccolini or Crispy Smashed Potatoes would all be good.

  • Kitty

    Hi! I would love to make this salmon, but am not eating sugar right now. Would it be horrible to omit the brown sugar? Thanks so much for everything you all do!

    Hi Kitty, that should taste fine! Hope you enjoy!

  • Yelena

    Salmon was so easy and delicious! Saw the Instagram post and was immediately inspired. The pairing of mango salsa was delicious. I also made this with cilantro lime rice and it was the perfect dinner.

    We are so glad you loved it! Thanks Yelena!

  • Susan

    This salmon dish comes together very quickly, and is delicious. I’ll be making this again.

    Thanks Susan! We are so happy you loved it!

  • Lorna

    This rub is PERFECT for salmon, not too sweet or too salty and full of flavor but lets the salmon shine. We grilled the fish which was so yummy! We prefer simple mango flavors so instead of your delicious mango salsa I sliced up mango and avocado, served it on coconut rice, and topped the avocado with scallion salsa from Bon appetit which I happened to have in the fridge. Best dinner so far this summer!!

    Thanks so much Lorna, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Athalia

    This is absolutely delicious and so easy! My go to dinner party recipe now and has replaced all my other salmon dishes.

    Thanks Athalia, so happy you loved it!

  • Elizabeth

    Excellent dish! It was easy to make and the rub was so good. I had only cod, did as you listed but grilled it huge hit! My side was yours as well,,sweet potatoes black bean kale ! Thank you my family is in love with your receipts! Restaurant quality !

    Thank you Elizabeth, so happy you are loving this recipe and our other recipes!