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Cajun honey butter salmon has a sweet and spicy melt-in-your-mouth honey butter glaze over salmon coated in cajun spices. The salmon has a perfectly seared crispy outside, with a tender flaky inside. This easy recipe is ready in under 15 minutes, and is absolutely delicious!
I’m back with another Cajun recipe! This time it’s two of my favorite things: seared tender flaky salmon and delicious Cajun seasoning. Not to mention the sweet and spicy butter melted on the top. This dish will make your spicy seafood meal dreams come true!
Why you'll love this recipe
- Very simple, only 5 ingredients!
- Ready in only 15 minutes - perfect for dinner tonight!
- You can easily halve this recipe if you only want 2 portions.
Ingredients & Substitutions
I can’t believe this spicy salmon recipe only needs 5 ingredients, but is so flavorful. Here’s what you will need.
Butter - I recommend using unsalted European style butter (Like Kerry Gold brand). European butter tastes so much better than the regular stuff, and the butter is the star of this dish, so use a high quality brand. Make sure your butter is completely softened at room temperature for this recipe.
Cajun seasoning - You can buy Cajun seasoning at the grocery store, but it’s easy to make your own blend! See this recipe for homemade Cajun seasoning to make your own.
Salmon - This recipe calls for four 6 ounce filets. You can ask your butcher to portion them out for you. If you only want two portions, you can easily halve this recipe. Look for salmon that is bright in color and free from fishy odors.
PRO TIP: I like to buy fresh salmon in bulk when it's on sale, then use a vacuum sealer to portion and freeze. This works really well for preserving the flavor and texture in the freezer.
Oil - Normally when searing meat at high temperatures, I don’t like to use extra virgin olive oil because of its lower smoke point. For this recipe though, you will only be searing for a few minutes so it is fine to use. An alternative would be a neutral high heat oil like avocado oil.
See the recipe card below for full list of ingredients and measurements.
Step By Step Instructions
First make the cajun honey butter. Combine butter, honey, and 1 tablespoon of the cajun seasoning in a small bowl and whip with a fork until combined and ingredients are well incorporated.
PRO TIP: Different Cajun seasoning blends have different levels of saltiness, so start with a little, then add more as you need it.
You can also whip with an electric hand mixer if you want a more whipped texture, but I find this isn't necessary if your butter is completely softened and at room temperature.
Next, pat the salmon filets dry with a paper towel. Run your finger along the top and sides to check for pin bones and remove them. I like leaving the skin side intact, but you can remove it if you want to. It is easier to remove after cooking though. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of cajun seasoning over the top of each filet.
PRO TIP: Make a big batch of Cajun seasoning so you have some ready to go for next time!
Sear the salmon in hot olive oil in a well heated skillet over medium-high heat. Put the skin side down first. Sear salmon for about 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the filets, and how much you like your salmon cooked.
I prefer somewhere in the middle of medium and medium well for salmon. I like a slightly pink warm center.
PRO TIP: Cooking time for the salmon will depend on the thickness and size of the salmon. Thinner pieces will take less time to cook. Look at the side of the salmon to monitor how much has cooked.
Once cooked, gently transfer the salmon to your serving plate. Add a heaping tablespoon of the cajun honey butter on top of each filet. It will melt down over the salmon and create a delicious spicy glaze.
You can also top with fresh herbs if you wish. A squeeze of lemon juice is great too since the acidity helps balance the rich butter.
Serve hot with your favorite vegetables. I love to pair this recipe with pan roasted broccoli and wild rice.
PRO TIP: Drizzle any extra honey butter over your veggies, like broccoli or a baked sweet potato for extra deliciousness.
Looking for more Cajun salmon recipes? Try Cajun Crab Stuffed Salmon or Cajun Salmon Alfredo Pasta.
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This is a rich buttery dish, so I like to serve it with lots of greens. My favorite way to serve this salmon is with pan roasted broccoli and wild rice. Sautéed green beans or Roasted Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts are also a great options.
Check out 36 Healthy Side Dishes For Salmon for some more ideas!
If you want to double up on protein (and Cajun flavor), pair this salmon with Easy Cajun Blackened Shrimp.
Cajun Shrimp Cocktail would make an excellent appetizer for this salmon dinner.
Serve any leftover salmon cold and flaked apart on a spinach or mixed greens salad.
Expert Tips for perfectly cooked salmon
- Always pat the salmon dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Let the salmon sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes before searing.
- Make sure your pan is well heated before adding the salmon. If it doesn’t sizzle when you place the salmon down, it’s not hot enough.
- Don't overcrowd the pan. If cooking more than 2 pieces at a time, it is best to do in batches.
- Don’t overcook! Watch the salmon change from more translucent to opaque on the side of the filet as it cooks.
Salmon is undercooked: This is an easy fix. Add it back to a hot pan and cook a few minutes more.
Salmon is overcooked: Unfortunately there is no fix for this. BUT, if you do overcook it, don’t worry! It can take cooking a few pieces of salmon before you get the hang of it. Add some more butter and lemon juice to the top to add some moisture back to it.
Storage & Reheating
How to store leftovers: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. This dish is best served fresh and hot though.
How to freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe after it has been cooked. You can however buy fresh salmon in bulk and freeze portions in vacuum sealed bags. This is a great way to stock up when it’s on sale.
How to reheat: The best way to reheat salmon is in the oven at a low temperature. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Place the salmon on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and add cajun honey butter if you have some leftover, or olive oil to the top of the salmon to keep it moist. Reheat for about 15 minutes until heated throughout.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can prepare the cajun honey butter a day in advance. Allow it to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using. I don’t recommend cooking the salmon ahead of time, but it cooks very quickly so there really is no need.
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Cajun Honey Butter Salmon
- Large skillet
- Electric mixer (optional)
Cajun Honey Butter
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened (1 stick)
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 2 pounds salmon cut into four 6 ounce filets, bones removed
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 2 tablespoon olive oil or neutral high heat oil like avocado oil
- Fresh herbs optional
- Lemon wedges optional
- WHIP: Combine butter, honey, and 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning in a small bowl and whip with a fork until combined and ingredients are well incorporated. Set aside. (You can also whip with a hand mixer if you want a more whipped texture.)
- PREP: Pat salmon filets dry with paper towels. Run your finger along the top and sides to check for pin bones and remove them. I like leaving the skin side intact. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of cajun seasoning over the top of each filet. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
- SEAR: Add in olive oil to the hot pan to heat, then place filets in the hot oil, skin side down first. Sear for about 2-3 minutes on each side until cooked to your liking. (For me, perfectly cooked salmon is medium to medium well, with a slight pink center.) Do in batches so you don't overcrowd the pan.
- FINISH: Once cooked, transfer salmon to a plate, and top with a heaping tablespoon of cajun honey butter. Option to top with fresh chopped herbs and a squeeze of lemon.
- PRO TIP: Cooking time for the salmon will depend on the thickness and size of the salmon. Thinner pieces will take less time to cook.
- How to store leftovers: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. This dish is best served fresh and hot though.
- How to freeze: I don’t recommend freezing this recipe after it has been cooked. You can however buy fresh salmon in bulk and freeze portions in vacuum sealed bags. This is a great way to stock up when it’s on sale.
- How to reheat: The best way to reheat salmon is in the oven at a low temperature. Preheat the oven to 275°F. Place the salmon on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and add cajun honey butter if you have some leftover, or olive oil to the top of the salmon to keep it moist. Reheat for about 15 minutes until heated throughout.
Hey good lookin', what ya got cookin'? I'm Lauren and I love to teach you how to make the good stuff, from scratch! I use fresh quality ingredients to create impressive but approachable restaurant worthy recipes.
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