The perfect 15-minute healthy and delicious dinner-in-a-hurry. Bonus: it tastes complex enough to serve for your next date night or dinner party! Don’t forget the crispy grit cakes and creamy cajun sauce – this blackened cod’s very best friends.
Are you as obsessed with finding easy fish recipes as I am? Good. Then we’re both about to get pretty excited about this 15-minute main dish recipe.
You probably already have butter in your fridge and a bottle of cajun seasoning blend in the spice drawer. If you’re looking to make your own spice blend, this homemade blackening seasoning for fish will be the perfect solution.
I have found the best way to get the perfect char on the blackened fillet while retaining the flaky texture of the cod is to use a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. But if your best option is a non-stick skillet, no worries! You’ll still get a lovely fish dinner with super-savory topping.
This easy recipe has a prep time of 5 minutes and a cooking time of less than 10 minutes. In no time at all, you’ll be transported to a fish shack on the bayou of Louisiana sipping a sweet tea and listening to cool jazz classics. The perfect respite in the middle of your busy weeknight.
What you’ll need to make blackened cod recipe:
- Cod fillets
- Cajun seasoning
- Brown sugar
Step by step instructions for blackened cod fish recipe:
To begin, melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. Combine store-bought or homemade cajun seasoning and sugar on a small plate. If using store-bought seasoning, I always taste a bit of the spice mixture to determine if it needs a pinch more salt to balance the flavor.
Use paper towels or a tea towel to dry your fillets well, removing any excess moisture. Then dip the top of each of your fresh cod fillets into the melted butter, then dredge in cajun blackening seasoning on one side. (Alternately, you can use a pastry brush to apply the butter to the top of your fillets, then sprinkle liberally with blackening seasoning.)
Note: you can use avocado oil or another neutral, high-heat oil instead of butter. But the blackened fish cooking technique uses butter and the milk the solids in the butter accelerate the “blackening” process. If you’ve never tried this method, give it a shot! It’s a winner.
Preheat cast iron skillet over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, gently add in your cod fillets, seasoning side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until the fillets are about 70% cooked through and the seasoning is deeply browned. Flip fillets gently and sear for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fully cooked.
FAQ’s and Serving Suggestions for this Delicious Recipe:
Buttery cod is widely available and the perfect match for the mix of spices in blackening seasoning. But it is by no means your only option! Any flaky white fish will work, including halibut, hake, haddock, catfish and tilapia.
Grilling the fish will taste delicious, but it won’t achieve the same blackening effect that using a cast-iron skillet or other solid surface pan. But if you try it on the grill, let me know how you like it!
My favorite combination is to serve the blackened fillets over crispy grit cakes with creamy cajun sauce over the top. Delicious and fancy but also quite easy. If you’re in a hurry and need quick side dishes, steam some green beans and serve with a baked potato or Mediterranean basmati with lemon and dill.
For simple preparations like blackened fish, I prefer to use fresh fish, if I can find it. If frozen is your best or only option, thaw your fish in the refrigerator overnight, I like to thaw fillets on a rack over a baking sheet, to allow as much water as possible to drain from the fillets. Then take an extra minute to dry the fillets out with paper towels before buttering and seasoning the top of the fish.
To store, transfer leftover fish fillets with blackened crust to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
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