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Blackened Chili Salmon with Avocado Crema

Blackened Chili Salmon with Avocado Crema
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The recipe and photography for this post was provided by Carolyn Hodges of The Dinner Shift.

A smoky-sweet spice rub and bright avocado-lime sauce add big, fast flavor to this weeknight friendly fish dish. Searing salmon in a very hot cast-iron skillet creates a flavorful, crispy crust while sealing in moisture to keep the fish tender and delicious. Finishing the fish in the oven helps it to cook evenly in 10 minutes or less.

Blackened Chili Salmon with Avocado Crema

To keep things simple, I suggest cooking the salmon fillet whole to serve family-style. You can certainly use four 6-7 oz. fillets if that is your preference.

Enjoy this salmon with a simple green salad and a side of seasoned black beans or rice. It’s also perfect for fish tacos!

Interested in making this recipe? Order the ingredients online for Curbside Grocery Pickup or Delivery.

Blackened Chili Salmon with Avocado Crema

Blackened Chili Salmon with Avocado Crema


For the Salmon

  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 24-28 oz. Verlasso salmon fillet
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

For the Avocado Crema

  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • ½ cup full-fat (2-5%) plain Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup packed cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • Salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. Mix together the chili powder, brown sugar, cumin and paprika. Season the salmon to taste with salt and pepper, then use your hands to coat the fish with the spice mixture.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large cast-iron pan (or oven-safe skillet) over medium-high heat. Once hot (the oil should shimmer), add the salmon, seasoning side down. Sear for 2 minutes, then carefully flip.
  4. Turn off the heat and transfer the pan to the oven to finish baking until cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  5. While the salmon bakes, combine the avocado, yogurt, cilantro, green onion, lime juice, water and salt to taste in a blender. Blend on high until very smooth.
  6. Serve the salmon topped with the crema.

Blackened Chili Salmon with Avocado Crema

Carolyn Hodges

By Carolyn Hodges

Carolyn is a mom of boys and culinary dietitian in Cleveland, Ohio. The Dinner Shift is dedicated to helping busy moms get dinner on the table after the weekday grind, however that is defined for you and yours.

Recent Reviews

  1. This is absolutely delicious and easy to make. It is also suitable for entertaining. It has great texture in that the salmon is crispy and the crema is silky smooth. I cooked the salmon in a skillet quickly on high heat skin side down first and then flipped it and cooked just a longer. I like my salmon medium rare so I didn’t place it in the oven. Served with black bean, lime, cilantro quinoa. This would also be great with pork tenderloin and chicken thighs!! The crema will keep in the refrigerator for a few days with plastic wrap contacting and covering the top.

    1. Hi Debra, we are excited that you liked this recipe! Serving it alongside black bean, lime, cilantro quinoa sounds amazing!

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