Cajun cod is a must when it comes to tasty, stress-free, and well-seasoned fish recipes. However, if you’re craving other simple seafood meals, there are tons of other easy fish dinners to try on this website! My zesty Baked Sockeye Salmon uses only a handful of pantry-ready ingredients to fill your table with brilliant color and buttery taste. Or, try out my Baked Breaded Fish for a crispy, garlicky meal guaranteed to satisfy the whole family.
This blackened cod recipe only needs a few simple, all-natural ingredients to get its mouthwateringly smoky, bold taste—no trip to the grocery store is necessary!
- Cod: The best codfish recipe begins with quality white fish fillets. This recipe will work with a range of cod varieties, including Alaskan cod, Pacific cod, and black cod (also known as sablefish)—all of which have a deliciously mild, sweet taste. Furthermore, I also tested this recipe using both fresh and frozen cod. Though I recommend preparing this recipe with fresh fish for maximum flavor, you may use frozen fillets. Just be sure to thaw them in the fridge overnight.
- Olive oil: I used olive oil in this recipe to ensure my cod developed a rich, seared exterior without burning. However, any oil with a high smoke point—such as avocado oil, canola oil, and clarified butter—will also work.
- Unsalted butter: Salted butter would also work, but if use salted butter, be sure to adjust the seasoning.
- Lemon: Lemon makes a perfect pair with this healthy cod dinner. Serve a few wedges as garnish alongside your blackened cod, and your tastebuds will light up with zesty flavors.
- Fresh parsley: Though optional, fresh and colorful parsley makes the ultimate garnish for these cod fish fillets.
How to Make Blackened Cod?
It takes less than half an hour to prepare this healthy cod recipe. With just a handful of ingredients and minimal cooking time, you can make a recipe for blackened cod that will impress even the biggest seafood fans.
- Prepare the cod seasoning: In a small bowl or mason jar, mix the paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, pepper, and Kosher salt. Break up any clumps of seasoning that form, and set the mixture aside.
- Dry the cod: Use a paper towel to pat dry the cod filets on all sides.
- Brush fish with olive oil: Brush all the sides of the cod with olive oil.
- Season the cod fillets: Evenly sprinkle the blackened seasoning on all the cod’s sides. Gently press the seasoning onto the fish’s flesh to keep it from falling off during the cooking process.
- Add the fish to the skillet: Set the stove to medium-high heat and melt the butter in a large skillet. Once the butter melts and the skillet is hot, gently add the seasoned cod. If the skillet isn’t large enough to accommodate all of your filets, sear the fish in two batches, using one tablespoon of butter for every two pieces of cod.
- Flip the cod: Cook the cod for 2-3 minutes without moving the fillets. Then, use a thin spatula to flip the fish and cook for another two minutes. When finished cooking, the cod should flake easily. If they don’t, continue sealing the blackened fish in 30-second intervals until a meat thermometer registers an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
- Serve: Garnish the seared blackened cod with chopped parsley and serve it with lemon wedges on the side.
Other Ways to Cook Blackened Cod
Don’t want to cook your blackened cod fillets in a skillet? Below, you’ll find three other simple ways to cook cod, giving you tender, flavorful seafood every time.
- In the oven: To make baked blackened cod, begin by preheating the oven to 400 degrees F. and lining a baking sheet with parchment paper—no butter needed. Then, lay your seasoned fillets on top of the baking tray and bake without flipping them for 10 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. Alternatively, you can increase air circulation and add extra citrusy flavor by baking your cod fish on top of two slices of lemon.
- On the grill: To grill your blackened cod filets, first preheat your gas grill to medium heat. Once hot, clean the grates and oil them generously with a wad of oil-soaked paper towels. Finally, add your seasoned fish to the grill and cook the fillets for 2-3 minutes on each side—until their internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. (For more in-depth tips on grilling seafood, my recipe for Grilled Mahi Mahi has everything you need to prepare exquisitely seasoned, smoky fish.)
- In the air fryer: To make blackened cod in the air fryer, first preheat your air fryer to 400 degrees F. Then, cook your fish for 8-10 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F. I also recommend checking your cod halfway through the air frying process, as this total time may vary depending on the thickness of your filets. For example, if your filets are thinner, too much time in the air fryer may dry out the meat, resulting in rubbery, tough flesh.
How to Store and Reheat?
Once you make this easy cod fish recipe, you won’t want a single bite to go to waste. With these expert storage tips, you can enjoy your leftovers as a tasty dinner, a light lunch, or even a protein-packed snack.
- Storage: Though this healthy cod fish recipe tastes best on the day you prepare it, you may store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Just be sure to let the fillets reach room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container.
- To reheat: When reheating your blackened cod, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, place the fish on a sheet of precut parchment paper or aluminum foil, sprinkle it with a few drops of water, and loosely wrap it. Place the blackened cod in the oven for ten minutes or until heated through.
If you’re at a loss for what to make with cod fish, these expert serving tips will give you a five-star meal without any extra hassle. This light seafood dish will be your new go-to with these gourmet pairings.
- Cod and rice: My favorite way to serve this rich cod recipe is with a side of tender brown jasmine rice and savory caramelized Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts. Not only is this pair expertly balanced, but it also gives every plate an immaculate presentation.
- Make it into tacos: Cod fish tacos are a tasty way to transform simple fish recipes into a fun weeknight meal. This bold Cajun fish recipe tastes out of this world when served with corn tortillas and topped with tasty, fan-favorite sides. Guacamole, pickled onions, and cherry tomato salsa (or your favorite pico de gallo!) are just a few of my go-to’s. However, you can even top your spread with cilantro and a squeeze of zesty lime juice for even brighter flavors.
- Fruit salsa: No one can resist the sweet-and-spicy blend of blackened cod topped with mango salsa. My Pineapple Mango Salsa offers fruity, tropical overtones, while Mango Habañero Salsa has a delicious kick of spice perfect for spice lovers. Or, if you want to add a few juicy tomatoes to your sauce, my Peach Salsa strikes a delightful balance between tangy and fresh flavors.
- With a big salad on the side: Looking for a lighter way to enjoy your blackened cod? Any of my hearty salads make a great option to round out your menu with garden-fresh tastes. Creamy and crisp, my No-Mayo Coleslaw and Mexican Corn Salad are excellent choices for those who love a salad with a little tang. Or, if you’re looking for a recipe filled with classic superfoods and full-bodied flavors, my Kale Avocado Salad and Brussels Sprout Kale Salad will disappear in minutes.
- Starches: A great way to enjoy a filling, delicious meal is to whip up a hearty starch to pair with your blackened cod. My Rosemary Mashed Potatoes are the ultimate crowd-pleaser, with a creamy, decadent taste the whole family will love. Or, for something lighter, you can also balance your table with zesty, earthy undertones with delectable sides like my Lemon Quinoa and Wild Rice Pilaf.
- Vegetable Side Dishes: You don’t need hours of prep time to enjoy a rich, savory dish loaded with nutrition. My Buttery Garlic Breen Beans and Sautéed Asparagus take less than 15 minutes to make, and will pack each bite with bold garlic, tender greens, and expert seasoning.
Want to know more about this delectable cod dinner? This simple guide will answer all your remaining questions, from what to season cod fish with to must-know kitchen terms.
Though these terms often go hand-in-hand, their meanings are a little different. Grilling refers to a specific cooking process, while blackening refers to a particular spice mixture and coating method. Blackening seasoning is a smoky, savory Cajun blend that flavors various foods, including fish, chicken, and veggies.
Absolutely! Cod’s naturally sweet, mild flavor expertly balances the smoky, spicy taste of blackened seasoning, resulting in a rich and bold seafood meal.
Other Seafood Recipes You Might Also Like
If you love this recipe for a perfectly seasoned cod dinner, you won’t believe how many other tasty seafood dishes there are to try. These other fresh fish recipes will satisfy your cravings for flavorful coastal eats.
If you try this seasoned cod recipe, please take a minute to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It is a great help to others who are thinking of making the recipe. And if you took some pictures, be sure to share them on Instagram using #foolproofeats so I can share them on my stories.
Blackened Cod Recipe
For Homemade Blackened Seasoning:
- 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
For The Cod:
- 4 cod fillets fresh or frozen & thawed 4 ounces each
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley optional
- Start by making the blackened seasoning. In a mason jar or bowl, mix together the smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, pepper, and Kosher salt, breaking up any possible “clumps.” Set aside.
- Pat dry the cod filets on all sides with a paper towel.
- Brush the cod filets on all sides with the olive oil.
- Sprinkle the blackening season evenly on all sides of the cod filets. Gently press the seasoning on the cod filets to ensure the coating adheres.
- Melt the butter in a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick skillet on medium-high heat. Once the skillet is hot, gently add the cod filets. If your skillet is not big enough, it is best to cook them in two batches. If that is the case, we recommend using one tablespoon of butter per two pieces of cod.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes without moving the filets. Using a spatula, flip the filets and cook for an additional 2 minutes. They should flake easily. If not, continue to cook in 30-second intervals until done or the internal temperature of the thickest part of the fish reaches 145 degrees F. when inserted with a meat thermometer.
- If preferred, garnish with chopped parsley and serve with a wedge of lemon on the side.
- Yields: This recipe makes 4 cod fillets, which is ideal for 4 servings. The nutritional values below are per serving.
- Drying & seasoning the fish fillets: Do not skip the pat drying of the cod fillets, as it is an important step to reduce moisture and assist with the coating of the blackening season. Also, it is best to sprinkle the blackening season on all sides evenly and press down so the seasoning will stick.
- Skillet: If you are using a cast iron skillet, make sure that it is well seasoned. Otherwise, the fish might stick to the pan. Using a cast iron skillet will help the fish cook fast and produce a nice “crust.” If you do not have one, you can use a non-stick skillet as well.
- Fresh or Frozen Cod: We tested this recipe using both fresh and frozen cod. Both worked beautifully. However, it is imperative that you thaw the fish fully before cooking.
- Time of Cooking: Cooking times will vary based on the thickness of the filets. It is best to start with shorter times until you see the flakiness or the internal temperature to avoid overcooking.
- Make it dairy-free: If you do not want to use butter, you can substitute with additional olive oil.
- Storage: Though this dish tastes best on the day you prepare it, you may store it in the refrigerator for up to two days. Just be sure to let the fillets reach room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container.
- To reheat: When reheating it, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Then, place the fish on a sheet of precut parchment paper or aluminum foil, sprinkle it with a few drops of water, and loosely wrap it. Place the blackened cod in the oven for ten minutes or until heated through.