Blackened Fish

Blackened fish prepared according to this top-rated recipe is juicy, flaky, and full of spicy and smoky flavor. 

How to Make Blackened Fish 

You'll find a detailed ingredient list and step-by-step instructions in the recipe below, but let's go over the basics:

Best Fish for Blackening

This recipe calls for trout because it’s firm and flaky. Other great options include haddock, cod, mahi-mahi, tilapia, and halibut.  

Blackening Seasoning Ingredients

This spicy, smoky blackened fish seasoning blend includes the following ingredients: 

  • Paprika
  • Dry mustard
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Cumin
  • Black pepper
  • White pepper
  • Dried thyme
  • Salt

If you make and enjoy this recipe, we recommend making a large batch of the blend to keep on hand for quick dinner prep. Store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

How to Blacken Fish

Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this blackened fish recipe: 

  1. Make the seasoning blend. 
  2. Coat the fish in butter and season liberally. 
  3. Cook each fish over high heat in melted butter until charred on both sides. 
blackened trout on a plate with rice and a side salad

Allrecipes Video

Test Kitchen Tips

“If a restaurant asks me how I’d like my fish, I almost always choose blackened,” says culinary developer and test kitchen expert . “I love the spicy, crispy coating it gives fish.” Here are a few of her best tips for making blackened fish at home: 

  • You can leave the skin on or off. If you want the seasoning blend on both sides, go ahead and take the skin off. 
  • “When it comes to seasoning, you’re not just lightly sprinkling like you would something else,” says Nicole. “You want to really coat it fully and then kind of pack it in.” 
  • It’s important to make sure the pan is “screaming hot,” according to Nicole. You can’t achieve perfect blackened fish unless your stove is set to high heat. 

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise 

“Great recipe for introducing the kids to blackened fish,” says one Allrecipes community member. “I used red snapper. Served with white rice and broccoli.”

“The seasoning mixture is just delicious,” raves . “So much depth of flavor without obscuring the flavor of the fish. And considering the amount of cayenne and cumin, it's not as hot as one might expect, so it would be easy to ramp up the heat by adding a little more of either (or both). This is a keeper.”

“Really good recipe, easy to put together, but definitely vent your kitchen well or cook outside,” advises . “Grilled mine and it turned out great.”

Editorial contributions by

Blackened Fish

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard

  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, melted, divided

  • 6 (4 ounce) fillets trout


Blackened Fish
  1. Mix together paprika, dry mustard, cayenne pepper, cumin, black pepper, white pepper, thyme, and salt in a small bowl.

  2. Heat a heavy cast iron pan on high heat until extremely hot, about 10 minutes.

  3. While the pan is heating, pour 3/4 cup melted butter into a shallow dish. Dip each fillet into butter, turning once to coat both sides. Sprinkle both sides of fillets with spice mixture; gently pat mixture onto fish.

  4. Working in batches, place fillets into the hot pan without crowding. Carefully pour about 1 teaspoon melted butter over each fillet. Cook until fish has a charred bottom, about 2 minutes. Turn fillets and spoon about 1 teaspoon melted butter over each. Continue cooking until bottoms are charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining fish.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

498 Calories
41g Fat
2g Carbs
31g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 498
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 41g 52%
Saturated Fat 21g 104%
Cholesterol 165mg 55%
Sodium 434mg 19%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 31g 62%
Vitamin C 1mg 1%
Calcium 86mg 7%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 584mg 12%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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