Cajun Honey Butter Salmon

Easy Cajun honey butter salmon has a sweet and spicy honey butter glaze over perfectly cooked salmon. Cajun seasoning coated salmon with seared crispy outside and a tender flaky inside. This easy recipe is ready in under 15 minutes, and is absolutely delicious!
Pieces of Cajun honey butter salmon on a plate.

Pan seared Cajun honey butter salmon has a sweet and spicy melt-in-your-mouth honey butter glaze over salmon coated in cajun spices. This seared salmon has a perfectly crispy outside, with a tender flaky inside. This easy recipe is ready in under 15 minutes, and is absolutely delicious!

Up close cajun honey butter salmon on a plate.

The best Cajun salmon

Growing up in New Orleans, using Cajun seasoning for pretty much every meal was a part of life. It’s my favorite spice blend for seasoning salmon, like in Cajun Salmon Alfredo and Cajun Crab Stuffed Salmon

I love Cajun seasoning in this recipe since the spicy flavors balance out the sweetness of the honey. If you love this Cajun Honey Butter Salmon recipe, check out all of my Cajun recipes

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Winner, winner, fast and easy dinner. This quick dinner option only takes 15 minutes to put together!
  • Simple ingredients. You only need 5 ingredients for this cajun salmon. 
  • Cajun flavors. Delicious Cajun seasoning makes any dish better! A little spicy and a whole lot of flavor. 
  • Sweet and spicy. Sweet honey and cajun seasoning are the perfect balance of sweet and spicy.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients needed to make cajun honey butter salmon.

See the recipe card below for the complete list of ingredients and measurements.

This perfectly pan seared salmon recipe only needs 5 ingredients!

  • Unsalted butter – I recommend using a European style butter for the best flavor. Use unsalted butter since Cajun seasoning already contains salt. 
  • Cajun seasoning – You can use a store-bought blend, but it’s easy to make your own homemade Cajun seasoning!
  • Salmon – Ask your butcher to cut salmon fillets for you to size. Look for salmon that is bright in color and free from overly fishy odors.
  • Avocado oil – If I’m searing anything on high heat, I prefer to use avocado oil. It has a neutral flavor, and a high smoke point making it great for high heat cooking. 

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.

How to make your own Cajun seasoning

Cajun seasoning is a great way to spice up any dish! It’s also really easy to make your own batch so you can always have it on hand. 

You can make your own homemade cajun seasoning with this recipe!

Of course cajun seasoning has cayenne pepper for a spicy kick, but it’s not just spicy! It also has dried herbs and other seasonings for the perfect blend of Cajun flavor. 

There are tons of cajun seasoning recipes out there, and each has slightly different ingredients. Most Cajun seasoning blends have paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and dried herbs. 

I find that store bought cajun seasonings are often too salty, so I formulated my homemade cajun seasoning recipe for one tablespoon to be the perfect amount of salt for one pound of protein like chicken, pork, or fish. 

Use one tablespoon of my Cajun seasoning recipe for every one pound of protein like chicken, fish, or pork.

Equipment needed

How to make Cajun honey butter salmon

Cajun honey butter in a bowl.

STEP ONE: WHIP

Combine ingredients for Cajun honey butter until well mixed and set aside. 

Salmon fillets with cajun seasoning on parchment paper.

STEP TWO: PREP

Pat salmon dry and remove any bones. Season each fillet with Cajun seasoning. 

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.

Cajun seasoned salmon in a skillet.

STEP THREE: SEAR

Add salmon to a preheated pan skin side down. Cook for a few minutes until the skin is crispy and salmon is cooked about ⅓ of the way through the side. 

Searing salmon in a pan.

STEP FOUR: FINISH

Flip over and sear the other side. Once the salmon releases easily from the pan, remove top with a generous amount of Cajun honey butter mixture. 

To serve, top with some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice.

PRO TIP: Drizzle any extra honey butter over your veggies, like broccoli or a baked sweet potato for extra deliciousness.

Tips for perfectly cooked salmon

  1. Check for pin bones. Salmon often have small needle-like bones called pin bones. Run your finger along the fillet to feel for any bones, then remove them with fish bone tweezers
  2. Remove the scales. Usually most scales are removed if you buy your fish from the grocery store, but check the skin side for any remaining scales. Use the back of a knife to run along the scales and they will pop off. 
  3. Dry it. Always pat the salmon dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. A dry surface wil sear much better. 
  4. Leave the skin on. Even if you remove the skin before serving, cook the salmon skin on. This helps insulate the fish from overcooking. 
  5. Preheat the pan. Whenever searing anything, you want your pan to be fully pre-heated! First heat the pan, then heat the oil, and finally add the fish. If it doesn’t sizzle when you place the salmon down, it’s not hot enough. 
  6. Do not disturb. Once you place the fish down, don’t move it around! The fish will naturally release from the pan when it’s ready. 
  7. Don’t overcook it! Although the FDA recommends salmon be cooked to an internal temp of 145°F (63°C), salmon cooked to that temperature will be dry and overcooked. If you are using good quality sushi grade salmon from a reputable source, you can cook the salmon to a lower temperature. 

Want to skip the skillet altogether? If you have a Blackstone grill, try salmon on Blackstone instead!

Seared salmon in a skillet.

Salmon temperature cooking guide

Perfectly cooked seared salmon should be crisp on the outside and buttery, flakey, and melt-in-your-mouth on the inside. 

See this chart for the internal temperature of salmon doneness.

DonenessFahrenheit (°F)Celsius (°C)
Rare120°F49°C
Medium Rare125°F51°C
Medium130°F54°C
Medium Well135°F57°C
Well140°F60°C
Salmon doneness temperatures

Storage & make ahead

How to store leftovers: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. 

How to freeze: I do not recommend freezing this recipe once it has been cooked. 

How to reheat salmon: Reheat salmon in the oven at 275°F (135°C). Place salmon on an aluminum foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Add cajun honey butter or olive oil to the top of the salmon to keep it moist. Reheat for about 15 minutes until heated throughout. Be careful not to overcook. 

Make ahead instructions: You can make the cajun seasoning way in advance and store in your spice cabinet. Make cajun honey butter one day in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Flaking a piece of cajun honey butter salmon with a fork.

What to serve with pan seared salmon

This Cajun salmon recipe is a rich buttery dish, so I like to serve it with lots of greens or a fresh salad. 

My favorite way to serve this salmon is with pan roasted broccoli or green beans and wild rice. Sautéed Sweet Potatoes or Roasted Asparagus and Brussel Sprouts are also great options. 

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. 

Check out 36 Healthy Side Dishes For Salmon for some more ideas on what to serve with salmon!

Here are some other ideas to serve with this delicious dish. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I bake this salmon instead?

Yes, you can bake this cajun honey butter salmon instead of pan searing it. Bake salmon on a baking sheet at 400°F (204°C) for about 10-15 minutes until it reaches your preferred level of doneness. You can use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature. 

Is it better to pan sear or bake salmon?

I prefer pan seared salmon the best for its crispy exterior and soft and flakey inside. Pan searing salmon is also quicker than baking it in the oven, plus you don’t have to heat up your kitchen by turning on the oven. Try salmon both ways to see which you like best!

What’s the secret to making the best salmon?

There are a few things you can do to make the very best salmon. Pat the salmon dry before searing. Make sure your pan is fully preheated before adding the fish. Do not move the salmon once you place it into the pan. It will naturally release when it is ready. Finally, do not overcook it! 

How to reheat salmon?

Reheat salmon in the oven at 275°F (135°C). Place salmon on an aluminum foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Add cajun honey butter or olive oil to the top of the salmon to keep it moist. Reheat for about 15 minutes until heated throughout. Be careful not to overcook. 

More Cajun recipes

See all of the Cajun recipes here.

Lauren sitting on the kitchen counter.

Meet Lauren

I’m the blogger, recipe developer, food photographer, and otherwise food obsessed gal behind Lauren From Scratch. I was born and raised in New Orleans and lived in South Louisiana most of my life. Growing up around Cajun country has instilled a love of food that runs deep in my bones. I am passionate about food and teaching you how to make mouth-watering Louisiana inspired dishes in your own kitchen!


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Pieces of Cajun honey butter salmon on a plate.

Pan Seared Cajun Honey Butter Salmon

Easy Cajun honey butter salmon has a sweet and spicy honey butter glaze over perfectly cooked salmon. Cajun seasoning coated salmon with seared crispy outside and a tender flaky inside. This easy recipe is ready in under 15 minutes, and is absolutely delicious!
4.98 from 41 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Cajun
Servings 4 servings
Calories 528 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Cajun Honey Butter

Salmon

Instructions
 

  • 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.)
    8 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • PREP: Pat salmon filets dry with paper towels. Run your finger along the top and sides to check for pin bones and remove them. Leave the skin side on for more even cooking. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon of cajun seasoning over the top of each filet. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
    1 ½ pounds salmon, 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • SEAR: Add oil to the hot pan to heat, then place filets in the hot oil, skin side down first. Sear for about 2-3 minutes then flip. Turn down heat to medium, and sear on the other side for another 2-3 minutes until cooked to your liking.
    2 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 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.
    Fresh herbs, Lemon wedges

Notes

  • Cooking time for the salmon will depend on the thickness and size of the salmon. Thinner pieces will take less time to cook. 
  • For me, perfectly cooked salmon is medium to medium well, with a slight pink center.
  • Drizzle any extra honey butter over your veggies, like broccoli.
  • To make a large batch of this salmon, it is better to bake the fillets in the oven.
  • Different Cajun seasoning blends have different levels of saltiness, so start with a little, then add more as you need it.
  • How to store leftovers: Store leftover salmon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
  • How to freeze: I do not recommend freezing this recipe once it has been cooked.
  • How to reheat salmon: For best results, reheat salmon in the oven at 275°F (135°C). Place salmon on an aluminum foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet. Add cajun honey butter or olive oil to the top of the salmon to keep it moist. Reheat for about 15 minutes until heated throughout. Be careful not to overcook.
  • Make ahead instructions: You can make the cajun seasoning way in advance and store in your spice cabinet. Make cajun honey butter one day in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge.
  • Baking instructions: You can bake the salmon instead on a baking sheet at 400°F (204°C) for about 10-15 minutes until it reaches your preferred level of doneness.

Equipment

Nutrition

Calories: 528kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 34gFat: 41gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 80mgPotassium: 906mgFiber: 1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 2122IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 2mg
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4.98 from 41 votes (41 ratings without comment)

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