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Blackened Salmon & Quick Cheddar Grits

The combination of salmon and grits is something I didn’t discover until I was well into my 20’s, and I am all the better for it. I tried it off of a friend’s plate a wedding reception and I don’t even remember what my own meal that night was anymore. Delicious!

This Blackened Salmon & Quick Cheddar Grits recipe is my favorite way to enjoy the classic pairing.

I don’t cook seafood often, and when I do it’s usually either fried fish or salmon cakes (patties, croquettes, whatever), using canned salmon. Working with fresh salmon a bit trickier, so here are some tips:

  • To prevent sticking, bring your salmon to room temp before cooking and preheat your pan, but not the oil. Drizzle in your oil just before you add the salmon.
  • I cook my salmon filets skin side down first because I like to eat it, so I want it to get that nice sear and get it super crispy at the beginning. If you’re going to remove the skin I don’t think it really matters.
  • Flip your salmon as soon as you see a white line form across the center of the filet (between the cooked flesh and raw side). It will only take a few more minutes on the opposite side. It should feel firm to the touch.

I filmed a quick tutorial for this Blackened Salmon & Quick Cheddar Grits recipe and it’s live on IGTV.

If you’re looking for a recipe for Cajun seasoning, I’ve included one in the recipe for my Cajun Chicken Pasta on YouTube.

If you like this recipe you might also enjoy my Shrimp & Grits, or the Harrisa Lamb Tips and Roasted Garlic Cheddar Grits in my first cookbook “As Seen On IG”.

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Blackened Salmon & Quick Cheddar Grits

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  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x


Salmon filets seasoned in cajun blackening spices, pan seared and served over creamy cheddar grits. 



Blackened Salmon

  • 2 tbsp olive oil (divided)
  • 2 4-5 oz boneless skinless salmon filets
  • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp lemon juice

Quick Cheddar Grits

  • 1/2 C quick-cooking (5-minute) grits
  • 2 C water
  • 1/2 C whole milk (or half & half)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/2 tsp cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 C New York extra sharp white cheddar cheese


Quick Cheddar Grits

  1. Add your water, milk, butter, and seasonings to a saucepan with a lid. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then whisk in grits.
  2. Cover with lid and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow grits to cook until tender to your liking, stirring occasionally. You may need to add more liquid. Cook your salmon while the grits are doing their thing. 
  3. When they’re tender and have reached your desired consistency, remove from heat and whisk in the cheese. Cover again until ready to serve. If that’s more than just a couple of minutes, whisk again before serving.

Blackened Salmon

  1. Rub one tablespoon of olive oil all over the salmon. Sprinkle generously with cajun seasoning, followed by smoked paprika. 
  2. Preheat a skillet over medium-high (pretty much just high) heat. 
  3. Drizzle in the remaining olive oil and immediately add salmon, skin side down if you plan to eat the skin. Cook about 5-7 minutes, or until a white line forms in the center, then flip with a spatula.
  4. Allow the salmon to cook on the other side for a few more minutes until the fish is firm and the sides are opaque, no longer the bright coral pink they were before. 
  5. Dassit. 


5-minute grits never take 5 minutes to cook in my kitchen — more like 10-15. 

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
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  • […] recipe; feel free to substitute quick grits if you’re short on time. I have a recipe for them with Blackened Salmon here. You can use whatever cheeses you want, really, but I think aged Asiago and extra sharp white […]

  • […] you’re a fan of this flavor combination I recommend trying out my Blackened Salmon & Quick Cheddar Grits. There’s a YouTube tutorial up on my channel if you’d like to see that, and you can […]

  • How To Make Quick Grits • deepfriedhoney
    October 29, 2021 at 3:44 pm

    […] family that I am a master of making grits, and my family (save for my oldest daughter) loves them. Grits Bowls are a very frequent breakfast in our house. It’s usually on a whim, so about 70% of the time […]


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