This new 15 Minute Blackened Cod Fish recipe is going to become a staple in your weeknight dinner rotation. It’s a super-fast recipe that packs a tasty punch and can be paired with pretty much any side dish. The key flavor in this cod is the smoky blackened Cajun spice, but don’t worry if you don’t have any, I’ll help you make your own! This fish is a healthy and low-calorie seafood dish that’s bursting with bold flavors, and I know your family is going to love it!
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Why We Love This Blackened Cod Fish Recipe
Regular readers know that I can really wax poetic about fish. I even broke down the specific nutritional benefits of having fish in your diet when I shared my Pan Fried Fish post – how could I not? The world should know the importance of Omega-3s, and I’m willing to be the harbinger of this news!
Cod specifically has a special place in my heart, as evidenced by the number of times I’ve made my 20 Minute Cod Fish Tacos (I’ll keep the exact number to myself to maintain an air of mystery). But today’s Blackened Cod recipe might surpass fish tacos for the number one cod recipe in my family!
It’s made with a few simple ingredients, and it only takes 15 minutes! The Cajun seasoning pairs beautifully on your palate with firm and flaky cod fish fillets. You can serve it with sauteed zucchini, summer succotash, okra, or red beans and rice.
The simplicity of this recipe is really where it shines, in my opinion. It can be whipped up quickly for a weeknight family dinner, a cookout, or as the main dish at a dinner party. You’ll get to spend less time cooking and more time making memories with the people around you, but believe me, it’ll taste as if you slaved over this fish for hours!
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
Cod is an incredibly mild fish, so it’s something almost everyone can enjoy! Kids and non-seafood lovers alike have been known to enjoy cod. Another choice, if you don’t want to go the cod route, is Mahi-Mahi! Keep in mind that once you purchase your fish you should store it in the refrigerator away from ready-to-eat foods, preferably below them. Check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood website and app to find which type of cod (or other seafood) is the best choice for you and your community.
For this recipe, you’re going to season with coarse kosher salt and Cajun seasoning. Some storebought Cajun seasonings do not contain salt or sodium, and in that case, you should increase the amount of added salt to ¾ teaspoon. If you can’t find store-bought Cajun seasoning, you can make your own homemade Cajun seasoning.
Lemon pairs so well with fish! The citrus and acidity really emphasize and balance the flavors. Although it seems minor, you don’t want to skip this ingredient!
I don’t often use a lot of butter in my recipes, but this is a special case because butter is a significant part of the traditional blackening method. I know it seems like a lot, but using butter in this recipe will enhance the flavor and prevent the delicate fish from sticking to the pan. Cod is extremely lean and when it’s paired with butter it makes the flavors really pop! You also won’t end up ingesting all of the butter because so much of it remains in the pan after the blackening process.
Step By Step Instructions To Make Blackened Fish
Find full details and measurements in the printable recipe card below.
Step 1: Pat dry and season
Before seasoning, you’ll want to pat the fish dry with paper towels so the Cajun spices adhere properly. Once it’s dry, sprinkle both sides with your Cajun seasoning and salt.
Step 2: Blacken the cod
Melt the butter in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat, and add the seasoned fish. Let it cook undisturbed until the bottom is blackened; It should take 1 to 3 minutes, but cook time depends on the thickness of the fish. You’ll be able to tell it’s ready to flip when the sides along the bottom edge start looking opaque.
Step 3: Flip cod fish and serve
Carefully flip the fish over and continue cooking for another 1-3 minutes. If your fillets are especially thick, use an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the fish until it reaches 145 degrees. When it’s fully cooked, you’ll be able to press a fork on top and see it start to flake. Serve with lemon wedges and parsley if desired.
FAQs and Expert tips
You can serve just about anything you want with your blackened cod! I think it pairs nicely with summer succotash, sauteed zucchini, okra, or red beans and rice. You could also serve it over a bed of rice with pico de gayo on top, or alongside Simple Skillet Green Beans.
Blackened fish is not burnt, it just takes on a dark-colored coating because of the way the Cajun seasoning reacts to heat. So don’t worry, you’re not serving charred food to your family or friends – it’s just the flavor!
A cast-iron skillet is best for making Blackened Cod but you can use another pan as long as it can handle high heat and is not non-stick.
I recommend using butter because it’s the traditional method of blackening and it helps the fish stay better intact while cooking on the skillet. However, I wouldn’t object if you feel passionate about olive oil.
Fish can fall apart easily while cooking if you touch it too much or try to flip it before it’s ready. Be sure to look for the opaque edges before flipping.
You can cook blackened cod ahead of time, and then use the cold leftovers to top off salads or roll into a wrap. If you’d like to eat it hot, rewarm it in a microwave covered with parchment at 50% power for 1 to 2 minutes per piece of fish.
Homemade Cajun Seasoning
Can’t find Cajun seasoning at the store? No worries, you can easily make your own by combining the spices below!
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dry thyme
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon celery seed
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste)
Additional Recipes To Try
- Looking for an even more flavorful version of french fries? Try these Cajun Oven Fries that only require 4 ingredients!
- This juicy Cajun Flank Steak takes 20 minutes to cook to perfection and pairs perfectly with Chickpea and Grilled Corn Salad.
- Cod but with a zesty twist! Ginger Lime Black Cod is more buttery and silky in texture than you could imagine.
- Save time and energy with Slow Cooker Chicken Gumbo so dinner is ready as soon as you and your family get home.
- There’s only one dish to clean! This Sheet Pan Shrimp and Sausage recipe has traditional Creole flavors because it is made with the Holy Trinity of vegetables (celery, peppers and onions) and seasonings, but it’s also a quick sheet pan dinner with easy cleanup!
Thanks so much for reading. If you are new here, you may want to sign up for my free weekly email newsletter where I share weeknight meal plans delivered right to your inbox. Or follow me on Instagram. If you make this recipe, please come back and leave a star rating and review! It is very appreciated. Happy Cooking! ~Katie
This new 15 Minute Blackened Cod Fish recipe is going to become a staple in your weeknight dinner rotation, especially for the summer season. It’s a super-fast recipe that packs a tasty punch and can be paired with pretty much any side dish. The key flavor in this cod is the smoky blackened Cajun spice, but don’t worry if you don’t have any, I’ll help you make your own! This fish is a healthy and low-calorie seafood dish that’s bursting with bold flavors, and I know your family is going to love it!
- 1 to 1 ¼ pounds cod filet, cut into 4 portions
- 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon coarse kosher salt (*see note)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- ½ lemon, cut into wedges
- Parsley for serving, optional
- Pat fish dry with paper towels. Sprinkle both sides with Cajun seasoning and salt.
- Melt butter in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the seasoned fish, and let cook, undisturbed until the bottom is blackened and the fish is turning opaque up the sides along the bottom edge, 1 to 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish filets.
- Carefully flip the fish over and continue cooking until the fish lightly flakes, 1 to 3 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish filets. For thicker pieces, an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the fillets should reach 145 degrees.
- Serve with lemon wedges and parsley if desired.
If you cannot find store-bought Cajun seasoning, you can make your own by mixing 1 ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon dry thyme, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon celery seed, ¼ teaspoon cayenne (or more to taste.) Check the label of your Cajun seasoning. Some do not contain salt or sodium and in that case, increase the amount of added salt to ¾ teaspoon.
To prevent the fish from flaking apart, do not move it around in the skillet. Once you flip it over, it is best to leave it so that it doesn’t start to break apart.
Cold leftover blackened cod can be used to top off salads or to be rolled into a wrap. Rewarm in a microwave covered with parchment at 50% power for 1 to 2 minutes per piece of fish.
- Serving Size: 4 ounces
- Calories: 171
- Sugar: 0 g
- Fat: 9 g
- Carbohydrates: 0 g
- Fiber: 0 g
- Protein: 20 g