This blackened salmon with pineapple avocado salsa is an easy, healthy weeknight winner made with spiced, pan-seared salmon fillets that are topped with a sweet and spicy, pineapple, avocado, and jalapeño salsa.

Whether you’re a lifelong adorer of fish or still on the fence, this blackened salmon with pineapple salsa will easily snag a spot in your regular dinner-for-two rotation. A cayenne rub lends the pan-seared salmon flavor aplenty without overwhelming it and is balanced with a sweet and tangy pineapple, lime, and avocado salsa. Healthy never tasted so good.Angie Zoobkoff

Two pieces of blackened salmon topped with pineapple salsa on an oval serving plate.

Blackened Salmon with Pineapple Avocado Salsa

5 / 3 votes
This blackened salmon with pineapple avocado salsa is an easy, healthy weeknight winner made with spiced, pan-seared salmon fillets that are topped with a sweet and spicy, pineapple, avocado, and jalapeño salsa.
Servings2 servings
Calories401 kcal
Prep Time35 minutes
Cook Time5 minutes
Total Time40 minutes


For the pineapple salsa

  • 1 ripe medium avocado pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 1 small jalapeño finely chopped
  • 1/2 small (about 3 oz) red onion finely chopped
  • 1 cup (about 5 oz) diced pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil or other mild oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the blackened salmon

  • 1/2 lime
  • Two (4-ounce) wild-caught salmon fillets pin bones removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter or ghee


Make the pineapple salsa

  • In a large bowl, toss together all salsa ingredients. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

    ☞ TESTER TIP: This makes more salsa than you’ll need for the fish, but it’s also delicious alongside chicken or other fish as well as tucked into fish tacos.

Make the salmon

  • Squeeze the lime half over the salmon fillets.
  • In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, sea salt, and cayenne. Rub the seasonings onto the non-skin side of the salmon fillets.
  • Heat a medium cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the butter or ghee and let it melt. Then place the salmon, skin-side down, in the skillet and cook until blackened on 1 side, 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Flip and cook the other side for about 2 minutes. You’ll know the fish is done when it’s just a little pink and flakes easily with a fork.
  • Serve the salmon fillets with the salsa.


Blackened Salmon Tacos

Like so many things—most things, actually—this blackened salmon with pineapple salsa is even better tucked inside soft tortillas as a taco. Simply remove the skin from the salmon after cooking, gently flake the fish into warm corn tortillas, and top with the pineapple avocado salsa.

Adapted From

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Serving: 1 portionCalories: 401 kcalCarbohydrates: 27 gProtein: 3 gFat: 34 gSaturated Fat: 12 gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3 gMonounsaturated Fat: 17 gCholesterol: 38 mgSodium: 890 mgPotassium: 678 mgFiber: 9 gSugar: 13 gVitamin A: 672 IUVitamin C: 81 mgCalcium: 38 mgIron: 1 mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe?Mention @leitesculinaria or tag #leitesculinaria!
Recipe © 2019 Brittany Williams. Photo © 2019 Ghazalle Badiozamani. All rights reserved.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This spice-rubbed salmon recipe is a new staple in my kitchen! Salmon is delicious and nutritious on its own, but the heat from the seasoning really kicks it up to a new level. The pineapple avocado salsa adds the perfect sweet and mild touch to balance the flavor profile of the whole dish.

Cooking time was perfect for the salmon, it came out very flaky! also tried the blackened seasoning on trout and chicken. It worked extremely well with the trout especially! The salsa also paired very well with the trout.

The serving size was perfect for the salmon, however, the salsa could’ve served 5 or 6 people.

I think the recipe is also greatly improved with the taco variation. It helps keep all the flavors in each bite, which significantly impacts the enjoyment of this dish.

I was initially worried about the amount of cayenne in the recipe, but the seasoning was delicious and in no way too spicy. The salsa provided a nice flavor and textual counterpoint to the salmon and overall the dish is very delicious, fresh, and healthy.

I’m not a huge pineapple fan and next time I’ll definitely use the salsa recipe as a base, but maybe trade out the pineapple and jalapeno for mango and habanero. The opportunities to customize the salsa to your liking are endless, which is just the kind of recipe we love in my house!

A piece of blackened salmon topped with pineapple salsa on an oval serving plate.

Super easy to prepare and full of healthy ingredients, this dish should be on everyone’s dinner table, at least once or twice a month. If you use fresh, high-quality salmon, you won’t experience that strong fishy taste that’s present in some farmed salmon.

I suggest making the salsa a few hours before cooking the salmon and holding it in the refrigerator. This will allow the flavors to meld. The salsa recipe makes enough for 4 normal appetites. You could serve the salmon fillets to 2 people with hearty appetites or to 4 with lighter appetites.

We didn’t try the dish with tortillas but I’m sure it would be equally wonderful.

Originally published February 05, 2020

About David Leite

David Leite has received three James Beard Awards for his writing as well as for Leite’s Culinaria. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur, Bon Appétit, Gourmet, Food & Wine, Yankee, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, and more.

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