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blackened salmon on sheet pan with citrus slices
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5 from 8 votes

Blackened Salmon with Citrus Salsa Verde

Dry spices and a bright, fresh salsa verde complement each other to make this sheet pan salmon a flavorful dish that you'll be just as happy to serve to your family as to guests.
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Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Course: Seafood
Keyword: blackened, citrus, easy dinner, easy salmon recipe
Servings: 4
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $10.00


  • Food Processor
  • Half Sheet Pan


Blackened Salmon:

  • 1 Tbsp packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 tsp Smoked Paprika (regular paprika will work)
  • 1 tsp Dried Thyme
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper (use more or less, depending on how much spice you like)
  • 1 1/2 lb Salmon Filets (one large piece of salmon or small center-cut salmon filets will work)
  • 3 Tbsp Cooking Oil, divided
  • Orange and Lemon Slices (optional), for garnish

Citrus Salsa Verde:

  • 1 small Orange, zest and juice
  • 1 small Lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed Flat-Leaf Parsley (use mostly leaves, but some tender stems are okay)
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed Cilantro (use mostly leaves, but some tender stems are okay)
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Shallots, chopped into large pieces
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt


  • Preheat the oven’s broiler. Place an oven rack about 6 to 8 inches beneath the broiler.
  • Line a sheet pan with foil first and brush with 1 Tbsp of cooking oil.
  • Make spice blend: While oven is heating combine brown sugar, smoked paprika, thyme, salt, garlic powder, dried oregano, black pepper, and cayenne. Set aside.
  • Make salsa verde: Make the salsa verde by combining all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend until evenly combined and only small flakes of the herbs remain. You can also finely chop everything by hand.
  • Score and season salmon. Place salmon on prepared sheet pan, skin-side down. Use a sharp knife to cut / score the salmon a few times. (Note: Focus the slices on the thickest part of the salmon and slice to a depth that is about halfway through the salmon filet. This step will help the salmon to cook more quickly in the thick spots and will allow some of the flavor to reach the center of the fish.)
  • Brush or rub salmon with remaining 2 Tbsp of cooking oil and then rub the spice blend into the top of the fish, including getting some of the spices down into the slices you made.
  • Broil salmon: Broil until salmon is golden brown on top and flakes easily with a fork, 8 to 15 minutes, depending on thickness. (Keep an eye on your oven. Oil from the salmon can sputter up as it cooks and will occasionally cause smoking. I turn on the kitchen fan before I begin just to get ahead of any smoke that may form.)
  • Serve salmon immediately with salsa verde on top.


Orange - Use an orange that is smaller than a tennis ball. Navel oranges can get really big - as large as a softball - so if using a big orange, just use half or your salsa will be too watery from all that juice.
Make Ahead - The spice blend and the salsa verde can both be made ahead to make this meal very easy to prepare at mealtime. Salsa verde can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.


Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 94mg | Sodium: 820mg | Potassium: 1129mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2988IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 4mg