Easy Blackened Cod Recipe

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This Easy Blackened Cod Recipe is an excellent option for a busy weeknight! The buttery cod and slightly spicy blackened crust provide the ultimate flavor and texture. The cod is cooked to perfection in a cast iron skillet with olive oil and butter to give extra flavor. Ready in 20 minutes!

If you love easy fish recipes, this is one for you! Serve with green beans and roasted potatoes or rice and a fresh salad. For dessert, pair it with strawberry tiramisu recipe! Or you can check this What to Serve with Cod (50+ Best Side Dish Recipes) post!

platted blackened cod with white rice and green salad with tomatoes.  Bite of flaky fish on fork.
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Easy Blackened Cod Recipe – A Quick Dinner

This healthy meal is ready in 20 minutes, and the whole family will love it. For this recipe, I make my cajun spice blend. It only takes a few minutes to whip up, and it is worth it. If you prefer, you can use your favorite creole or cajun seasoning blend from the grocery store. 

The spice rub adds a smokey, slightly spicy kick to anything you use it with, and it won’t overpower the recipe’s flavors. 

More easy fish recipes: Crispy Baked Cod with Panko Recipe, Best Baked Salmon with Pesto Recipe (Easy)BEST Seared Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce, and Orzo Pasta with Shrimp, Sun-dried Tomatoes, and Artichokes.

Also, Pan Seared Chilean Sea Bass With Lemon Butter Herb Sauce and
Squid Ink Pasta Recipe with Shrimp and Cherry Tomato Sauce.

platted blackened cod with white rice and green salad with tomatoes.

Simple Ingredients

Made with only a few simple ingredients, this seasoned cod is an easy recipe that you will make repeatedly.

ingredient shot for recipe

COD

  • Fresh or Frozen Cod fillets
  • Butter
  • Olive oil

SPICE BLEND

  • Sweet or smoked paprika
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Dried thyme

See the recipe card for quantities.

ingredient shot for recipe

What is Blackened Cod?

Don’t be fooled- “blackened” does not mean burned fish! Blackened fish is a Cajun cuisine cooking technique where the fish is coated in a spice mixture and seared quickly on a hot cast iron pan. It is sometimes grilled or made in the oven.

The seasoning crust turns a very deep brown, even black, color, which is where it gets its name. The fish looks dark when finished. This doesn’t mean it is burned and doesn’t taste burned in any way.

The delicious spice blend from the homemade cajun seasoning is one of the easiest ways to flavor a flaky cod filet. You can also try this Baked Cod with Lemon and Herbs!

If you love this flavor combo, try Crispy Brussels Sprouts Recipe.

finished cod in cast iron pan finished cooking- sprinkle of parsley.

How to Make Easy Blackened Cod Recipe

This recipe comes together quickly and is packed with delicious flavors! It makes a quick and easy go-to fish recipe.

Process for making blackened cod- spice rub.

In a small bowl, mix all of the blackening spices until combined. Make sure they are blended evenly.


Process for making blackened cod- patting fish dry.

Thoroughly pat the fish dry with a paper towel.

Process for making blackened cod- putting oil on fish.

Add oil to the cod fish.

Process for making blackened cod fish- putting oil on fish.

Rub each side with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Process for making blackened cod- putting spice rub on fish.

Coat both sides of the fish fillets with the blackened seasoning mix, shaking off any excess spices.

Process for making blackened cod- putting spice rub on fish.
Process for making blackened cod- cooking cod fish

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large heavy-bottomed or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. 
Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the rub turns black. Add butter to the pan (butter can burn at high heat, which is why we add it later in cooking).

finished cod in cast iron pan finished cooking

Flip the fish fillet and cook another 1-2 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flaky.
Serve warm with a side of rice and a simple green salad. 

Easy Blackened Cod Recipe on a white platter with pan juices.

Substitutions for Cod

What fish can I use instead of cod?

Cod is a delicate, flaky, mild white fish. Cod works well in this recipe, but you can use other white fish varieties:

  • Haddock, Pollack, Black Cod, Stripped Bass, Hake, Mahi Mahi, Grouper. You can even use salmon if that is the easiest to find!
platted blackened cod with white rice and green salad with tomatoes.

Is cod healthy?

Cod is a nutritious and flavorful fish with lean protein, vitamins, and minerals. It’s high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates.

It is a great source of vitamins B6 and B12. It’s also low in mercury, and this baked cod fish is only 115 calories per serving.

Cod is a healthy fish option to enjoy year around.

Variations

  • Sweet – Add a little honey to the fish before adding the seasoning for sweetness. Add a bit of brown sugar to the blackened seasoning mix if preferred.
  • Extra spicy – Add red chili flakes to the spice mix for added heat.

Equipment

The skillet to use: I love cooking in a cast iron skillet. It distributes the heat evenly throughout the bottom of the pan and up to the sides. It’s naturally nonstick and super durable. You can also use a dutch oven-type pot.

Any large skillet will work for sausage and peppers if you don’t have or want to purchase a cast iron.

Can I make blackened cod on the grill or in the oven?

You can make blackened cod on the grill or in the oven. Oven-baked cod won’t produce the same blackened color, but it will still taste delicious! Bake in the oven: turn the broiler high and place the oven rack on the top shelf. Broil the fish for 3-4 minutes. Flip the fish and broil for 3-4 minutes or until tender and flaky. Grill the fish for several minutes over high heat, flipping halfway through.

And if you’re into grilling, you might love this Homemade Taco with Grilled Pork.

platted blackened cod with white rice and green salad with tomatoes. Bite of flaky fish on fork.

Storage

Leftovers.

As with all fish recipes, it is best eaten fresh on the day it is cooked. Leftover cod will keep well in the fridge for a couple of days when stored correctly in airtight containers.

Reheating leftover cod.

For best results, reheat the cod in the oven for about 10 minutes at 350ºF. I don’t recommend microwaving as it tends to overcook the fish and dry out the topping.

TIP: to avoid dry fish, add a splash of water on top of the filet before putting it in the oven

Freezing leftover fish

Generally, cooked fish can be frozen for up to one month. I don’t particularly like freezing leftover cooked fish since it changes the consistency when reheated.

platted blackened cod with white rice and green salad with tomatoes. Bite of flaky fish on fork.

What to Serve with this Easy Blackened Cod Recipe

This delicate cod recipe is the perfect main dish for several side options! Make Shredded Zucchini and Cheese Pasta (easy), Green Beans Recipe (Easy), or Best Italian Oven Roasted Potatoes and Easy Soft Italian No Knead Bread with a side of Italian Fennel, Citrus, Pomegranate, and Salad.

This recipe also works well with fish tacos and a side of rice.

Make a surf and turf dinner with these recipes- How to Cook Steak in a Pan (Perfect Recipe) and How to Cook a Small Prime Rib Roast Recipe.

Top Tips

  • Make sure to dry your cod fillets. This will help the fish sear and not steam in the pan.

FAQs

Does blackened fish taste burnt?

Blackened fish can sometimes look burnt, but it doesn’t taste burnt. Blackening is a cooking technique that yields significant char on the surface of the food. From the appearance, it may look “burnt.” The spice combination and cooking in a hot pan give the food an intense and deliciously unique flavor.

How can you tell when blackened cod is cooked?

Cooked cod should be an even opaque white color throughout when cooked. The white flesh should flake easily when you twist a fork in the thickest part of the fish. The internal temperature reaches 145°F when a thermometer is inserted into the thickest part for the perfect flaky white fish.

More delicious recipes you will love

Try these …

Squid Ink Pasta Recipe with Shrimp and Cherry Tomato Sauce
Easy Blackened Cod Recipe
Italian Stuffed Calamari Recipe in Tomato Sauce
Classic Lobster Bisque Recipe (Easy)

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Blackened Cod Recipe- Cod on plate with a bite taken out

Easy Blackened Cod Recipe

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5 from 2 reviews

This Easy Blackened Cod Recipe is an excellent option for a busy weeknight! The buttery cod and slightly spicy blackened crust provide the ultimate flavor and texture. The cod is cooked in a cast iron skillet with olive oil and butter to give extra flavor. Ready in 20 minutes!

  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 46 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale

COD 

  • 4 cod fish fillets, 5-6 oz each
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for rubbing on fish
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Blackening seasoning (homemade or store-bought)

SEASONING MIX

  • 1 tablespoon paprika (smoked or sweet)
  • 1/2 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix all of the blackening spices until combined. Make sure they are blended evenly.
  2. Thoroughly pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Rub each side with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.
  3. Coat both sides of the fish fillets with the blackened seasoning mix, shaking off any excess spices.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. 
  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until the rub turns black. Add butter to the pan (butter can burn at high heat, which is why we add it later in cooking).
  6. Flip the fish fillet and cook another 1-2 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and flaky. Serve warm with a side of rice and a simple green salad. Enjoy!

Notes

Top Tips

  • Make sure to dry your cod fillets. This will help the fish sear and not steam in the pan.

When is cod done cooking?

The internal temperature of the cod is 145 F when tested with a digital meat thermometer in the thickest part of the fish.

  • Author: Elena
  • Prep Time: 5 min
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Savory
  • Method: American
  • Cuisine: American

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About Elena

My dream is to share delicious wholesome recipes that you will share around the table with all your loved ones. The memories surrounded by food are the heart and soul of CucinaByElena.

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