Super flavorful blackened salmon tacos are a healthy dinner idea for any time of year (they can be made on the stovetop or on the grill)! They’re topped with mango habanero salsa for a bit of sweet heat and shredded red cabbage for added crunch. So refreshing and delicious!
The blackened seasoning adds a great “crust” to the salmon for a super unique texture, and the flavors pair so well with the sweetness and spice from the mango salsa.
I love fish tacos – hope you’ll enjoy these, too!
Blackened Fish Tacos with Salmon
This salmon taco recipe is so bright and fresh and satisfying. The salmon is simple, yet amazingly flavorful and tender. And the mango salsa works perfectly with it – a great blend of sweet and spicy!
The mango salsa is a game changer, but you can definitely switch up the toppings here if you prefer, or if you want to use a store-bought salsa to save time.
Avocado lime crema would be delicious in these tacos, too, and I’m sharing some additional taco topping ideas further down in this post.
This is a perfect summer grilling recipe, but you can easily make this recipe on the stovetop in a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan. You can also use store-bought blackened seasoning to make this even quicker.
To make these salmon tacos, you’ll need:
- salmon filets (You’ll want 6 oz center-cut filets with the skin on.)
- blackened seasoning (Store-bought or homemade both work! See section below for homemade blackened seasoning ingredients.)
- tortillas (Taco-size tortillas or best. You can use corn tortillas or flour tortillas – whatever you prefer.)
- avocado (Optional topping. Check for ripeness by squeezing lightly on the avocado. If it’s somewhat firm with a small amount of give, it’s ripe.)
- shredded red cabbage (Optional topping, but adds a nice crunch.)
- lime wedges (Optional topping.)
- fresh cilantro (Optional topping.)
Plus, optional mango habanero salsa pairs so deliciously with this salmon! See further down in this post for ingredients and details for making it.
Homemade Blackened Salmon Seasoning
If you’re using homemade blackened seasoning, here’s what you’ll need (the full recipe with the measurements is in the recipe card at the end of this post):
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- dried thyme
- dried oregano
- cayenne pepper
- salt & ground black pepper
It’s super easy to make – just combine everything in a bowl or jar and mix together or shake!
How to Cook Blackened Salmon on the Stove
To make these salmon fish tacos, start by cooking the salmon.
Mix together the blackened seasoning (if making your own – store-bought works too). Rub salmon filets with the seasoning, making sure to coat them fully on both sides and pressing down to adhere.
Next, heat a heavy-bottomed skillet or cast iron pan to medium heat. Once hot, place the salmon filets flesh-side down. Let cook for 3-4 minutes and a blackened crust should form.
Then, using tongs, turn the salmon skin-side down and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the salmon is fully cooked. It should reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Remove the salmon from the pan, then flake the salmon into large pieces with a fork (it should flake easily if it’s fully cooked).
Fill tortillas with flaked salmon, then top with sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, and optional mango salsa (see details further down in this post).
Add lime wedges and fresh cilantro on the side if desired, then enjoy!
How to Cook Blackened Salmon on the Grill
You can cook this salmon on the grill, too! Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the salmon 3-4 minutes on the first side, then flip it over and cook another 5-6 minutes on the skin side.
(I wouldn’t recommend using the oven for this recipe. The hot surface of a pan or grill is key to getting the seasonings to blacken and get crisp.)
Homemade Mango Salsa for Tacos
To make the mango habanero salsa, combine chopped mango, red onion, bell pepper, and cilantro in a bowl. Add fresh lime juice, finely chopped habanero pepper, and salt, then toss until well-mixed.
The amount of habanero pepper (and the amount of seeds, as the seeds contain some of the spice) you use will determine how spicy the salsa is.
If you like a spicier salsa, use the full pepper without seeds, and if you like it extra hot, include the seeds too. If you prefer a more mild zing, use half the pepper and leave out the seeds.
Spoon over the salmon tacos and enjoy!
What type of salmon should I use?
I recommend using center-cut salmon filets here, because they cook evenly, and they’re thick enough to stay intact while blackening. (Tail-end filets tend to be thinner, so they cook more quickly and can overcook during the blackening process.)
Can I use frozen salmon?
Yes! Frozen salmon filets will work great here. But be sure to thaw the filets fully before using them.
More Fish Taco Topping Ideas
Looking for some more taco topping inspiration? Here are some more tasty ideas:
- slaw with yogurt or vinegar-based dressing (like this creamy cabbage slaw)
- avocado crema with lime
- black beans
- pickled / fermented veggies (including sliced jalapenos!)
- apple cabbage slaw with white beans
- sliced radishes
I hope you love these blackened salmon tacos as much as we do! You’ll find the full recipes for the tacos, salsa, and homemade blackened seasoning at the end of this post. Enjoy!
More taco recipes to try:
- Seared Ahi Tuna Tacos with Slaw
- Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos (vegan)
- Healthy Breakfast Tacos with Avocado Crema
- Grilled Pork Tenderloin Tacos with Homemade Salsa Verde
For mango habanero salsa (yields about 3 cups):
- 2 medium mangos, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 to 1 habanero pepper, finely chopped (with or without seeds, depending on how spicy you want the salsa)*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For tacos & assembly:
- 4 6-oz center cut skin-on salmon filets**
- 2 tablespoons blackened seasoning, store-bought or homemade (see recipe in notes)
- 8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
- 1 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
- lime wedges and chopped cilantro for serving, optional
- Make the mango habanero salsa: combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Taste and season with more salt or lime juice as needed.
- For the salmon: sprinkle the blackened seasoning over the salmon filets and pat gently to press the seasoning into all sides of the salmon.
- Heat a large cast iron or similar heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the salmon filets, flesh-side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes without disturbing, until the seasonings start to blacken and form a crust.
- Carefully turn the salmon over and cook skin-side down for 5-6 minutes, until the salmon is cooked through - you should be able to flake it easily with a fork and the internal temperature should reach 145 degrees F in the thickest part.
- Use a fork to flake the salmon into large chunks. Divide the salmon between the tortillas and top with the sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, and mango salsa. Serve with lime wedges and cilantro on the side.