Blackened Grouper with Peach Jalapeño Salsa

This blackened grouper (or your favorite firm white fish) is coated in chili powder, paprika, and cumin and then pan seared to create a smoky crust. A sweet and spicy peach jalapeño salsa on top is the perfect counterpoint to the tender, spiced fish.

A person sitting in front of a plate of blackened grouper with peach jalapeño salsa.

Fans of blackened fish, no longer must you be saddened by the relative demise in popularity of this once-trendy approach to cooking fish. Dry your tears. Pull out your spices. Pan sear some fish. And accept accolades. It boasts the perfect amount of heat that’s counterbalanced by sweetly tart salsa. We dare say it’s the only recipe you’ll ever need to satisfy your blackened fish craving—witnessed by the number of kids and fish-averse husbands who’ve asked that it be added to the regular dinner rotation.–Renee Schettler

Blackened Grouper with Peach Jalapeño Salsa

  • Quick Glance
  • (1)
  • 30 M
  • 45 M
  • Serves 4
5/5 - 1 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Dude Diet Dinnertime cookbook

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  • For the peach salsa
  • For the fish


Make the peach salsa

Preheat the oven to 400°F (204°C).

In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the salsa. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the blackened grouper

In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, cumin, garlic powder, and salt.

Pat the fish fillets dry with paper towels. Brush the fillets all over with 2 teaspoons of the oil and season with the spice mixture.

Heat a large ovenproof skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high heat. When the skillet is piping hot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Place the fillets in the skillet, skinned side up, and cook until deep reddish-brown on their undersides, 60 to 90 seconds.

Tester tip: The spices and oil will smoke! That’s part of the “blackening” process— crack open a window or turn on the vent fan, don’t panic, and don’t inhale too deeply.

Carefully flip the fillets and cook until equally blackened on the other side, about 1 minute more.

Drizzle the lime juice over the fish and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the fish is just opaque in the center and flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 8 minutes.

Serve your blackened fish topped with peach salsa aplenty.

Print RecipeBuy the The Dude Diet Dinnertime cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers' Reviews

There were a few elements of this recipe that I was nervous about—the peach salsa and the extensive spice list as I still wanted to taste the fish and not have it be overwhelmed with smoked paprika and cumin! Despite my reservations, I carried on and I am THRILLED that I did! I would say I have a new fish recipe in the rotation.

I halved the recipe since it's just my hubs and me. I minced my jalapeño to better disperse the heat versus getting hits with slices and I used the entire pepper despite cutting the recipe in half. I swapped grouper for mahi mahi as my local fishmonger didn't have grouper and didn't anticipate getting any in. I didn't use anywhere near the full amount of seasoning—about 2 teaspoons gave me plenty to generously coat my fish.

It needs something alongside it or you may leave hungry. We did a big green salad and roast potatoes. (The roast potatoes might seem a little odd with this. My hubs LOVES roast potatoes so it was my backup in case he didn't like the fish—he typically isn't into sweet and savory! Don't worry, he loved it!)

This whole thing came together so fast. In 20 minutes, we were at the table.

I lived in Louisiana back in the 80s, where I first experienced the wonderful taste of blackened fish. It’s gone out of style and I was happy to see it come back.

I have a season subscription to Sitka Salmon Shares, from Sitka Alaska, and as I just received my May shipment, which included Alaskan black bass (a grouper fish), I decided to give this recipe a tryout. It didn’t hurt that blackened redfish is one of my wife’s favorite dishes, so I had to make this one for her.

Peaches are just coming into season so it’s a great time to try this recipe. I got a pair of fresh, not-too-ripe ones to use for the recipe. If the peach is too ripe, its mushy so you lose some texture. But if one cannot get peaches, I bet this would also work quite well with mangos, strawberries (any berry really), or apples.

It’s best to use a very sharp knife when cutting the fruit, onion, and pepper into the small dice. Plus, take care when dicing the jalapeno. Make sure you remove all the seeds and pith if you don’t like it too hot. Oh, and be sure to wash your hands well after dicing, as it can burn any cuts you may have, or your eyes should you touch your face, so please be careful!

I made the salsa a few hours beforehand to allow time for the lime to break down the pepper and onion a bit for a better meld of flavor and tenderize it a bit. I used the measures as shown in the recipe and it’s not too spicy. If you want a bit more spice, I would add 1/4 to 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper to the spice blend.

I used a mix of EVOO and ghee for the fish frying as olive can burn on heat that’s too high. The fish crisped up quickly in the pan and then a final roast for about 5 minutes in the oven was a breeze. I roasted some vegetables, and tossed them in the same pan once the fish were removed to get some of the spice mixture on them as well.

The end result? My wife loved it. We both thought the peach salsa was a fantastic accompaniment to the spice blend on the fish. In fact, as there are just two of us, I only used half of the spice mix, salsa, etc. Tomorrow night I’m going to give it a try on some chicken, and I’ll be kicking up the heat a bit! Enjoy!


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  1. I already had some homemade salsa in my fridge so I skipped that part (although it looks and sounds delicious). The grouper turned out fantastic. Excellent seasoning combo. I’ve never tried cooking fish blackened before and they aren’t joking about the smoke!! I’m glad I listed and prophylactically had my sliding door open for air.

    1. Yes, that smoke can be quite something, Lily! Thanks so much for taking the time to let us know how much you loved this recipe. Can’t wait to hear what you try next.

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