This easy blackened cod is a flavorful seafood dinner that combines tender cod fillets with blackened seasoning for a true delight! It is uniquely appealing to everyone, from seafood lovers to picky eaters that may not be enthused about eating fish at all!
Perfectly flaky, intensely flavorful blackened cod in under 15 minutes!
Cod is the go-to for crispy fish and chips, but have you tried it blackened? Paprika, garlic, and onion powder blend beautifully with thyme, basil, and oregano.
Throw in some black pepper and cayenne, and you’ve got a delightfully seasoned piece of fish that is FULL of flavor!
Blackened cod is the perfect recipe for dinner guests or family members who aren’t usually excited about fish. Cod is a buttery, mild fish that lends itself to any flavor combo. And the flaky texture is divine!
If you’re making the Feast of the Seven Fishes this holiday, this is a great option to consider. The sear on this dish is outstanding, adds both color and complex flavor to the meal. But don’t take my word for it. Try it out for yourself!
❤️ Why You'll Love This Recipe!
Incredible Flavor! The spice blend on this hits all the right spots: spicy, sweet, and umami!
It’s unique! Blackening fish is a one-of-a-kind way to cook and a fun way to add some excitement to your diet.
It's Fast! From the time you lay out the ingredients, to the time it’s ready to eat, in about 15 minutes (or less)!
There are loads of spices in this dish, so I hope you’re stocked up! Try your local seafood shop for the freshest fish.
*Be sure to see the recipe card below for ingredients, amounts & instructions!*
- 1 pound Cod Fillets (2 8-ounce fillets) - Frozen cod is also great; just be sure to thaw it completely before continuing with the recipe.
- ¼ cup Butter - Divide this into 2 portions of 2 tablespoons each.
- Sea Salt - To taste.
Blackened Seasoning Ingredients
- 1 ½ teaspoon Paprika - This is a universal favorite of many that adds a sweet peppery taste to a variety of dishes.
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder - There aren’t many cuisines that don’t use garlic in their recipes.
- 1 teaspoon Onion Powder - The rich flavor of onion powder helps tie everything together.
- 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme - Thyme is a unique, earthy herb that also goes equally as well with chicken as it does with fish.
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Black Pepper - Black pepper is a classic part of blackening.
- ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper - Just the right amount for great flavor that doesn't overwhelm the tender fish.
- ¼ teaspoon Dried Basil - Basil balances out the cayenne pepper with a sweet taste.
- ¼ teaspoon Dried Oregano - A great earthy flavor to round out the herbs and spices.
If you have a favorite brand of Cajun seasoning, that can be used in place of the herbs & spices listed here.
If you’re into strong, smoky tastes, try smoked paprika in place of the regular paprika. Yum!
🔪 Step-by-Step Instructions
Mixing up the spices and dredging the cod is the easy part. Searing is a skill that can take a few tries to get perfect. You’ll do great!
- To begin, dry the fish. Use paper towels to pat 1 pound of cod fillets dry. Put them to the side for now.
- Next, mix the spices. Add 1 ½ teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon dried basil, and ¼ teaspoon dried oregano to a small bowl and combine. If you’d like your spice mix to be a finer consistency, use a spice grinder to break them down further.
- Then, melt the butter. Put 2 tablespoons of butter in a bowl big enough to fit the cod fillets and melt it. You can do this in the microwave on defrost, or heat it in a skillet before transferring it back to the bowl.
- Now dredge the cod. Coat the fish in melted butter first, followed by the blackening seasoning. Be liberal with it. This is what makes it delicious.
- Prepare the pan. Melt 1 tablespoons of butter per piece of cod in a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium heat. Lay the seasoned cod into the butter.
- Finally, cook it. Leave the fish fillets in the pan without moving them for 4 minutes. Then, flip them over and cook for another 4 minutes. When it’s finished, the cod will be flakey and have an internal temperature of 145℉ (63℃).
- Serve. Plate it as soon as you take it out of the pan. It will lose heat quickly.
💭 Tips & Recipe Notes
- You can also make this on the grill. Place cod in a fish basket if you opt to use the grill. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side and check the internal temperature. Throw on some fresh vegetables for a nutritious side dish, too!
- To get the crust associated with blackened cod or other fish, there are two rules to follow. First, make sure you pat it dry really well. Water steams when it’s hot enough and will prevent the crust from solidifying into more than mush. Second, when the cod is cooking, it’s important that you don’t jostle it around or flip it over more than once. Pan-searing can be a fickle thing, but follow these rules, and it should come out great every time!
- Be certain the cod is cooked. The easiest way to do it is to stick a fork in the thickest part of the fillet and twist carefully. If it’s cooked, it will flake apart easily and will no longer be translucent. If it’s not finished yet, the pieces will stick together. If you’re concerned about it, use a probe thermometer to check the temperature. Stick it in the same part you would the fork, the thickest area. It should be at least 145℉ (63℃). It’s a very forgiving fish even if slightly overcooked, so don’t worry too much.
🥡 Storing & Reheating
While blackened cod is best eaten fresh from the skillet, it will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days if you have leftovers. Wrap in foil or put in an airtight container.
While it will be safe to eat indefinitely, frozen leftovers will lose flavor and change texture after 3 months. Be sure to wrap it tightly in foil and put it in either freezer storage bags or an airtight container.
Thaw frozen cooked fish in the fridge overnight. Then, put the fish in a greased baking dish with a tablespoon or two of water to keep it from drying out.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil and cook at 275℉ (135℃) for 10 to 15 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145℉ (63℃).
🐟 Other Great Fish Recipes
Yes, that is definitely an option! Grocery stores commonly carry this type of blend. And you can use it to blacken a variety of different fish: salmon, mahi mahi, catfish, etc. If you do decide to make your own, keep in mind that all of these spices are commonly used in recipes both on and off my blog. You’ll definitely be reaching for them again soon!
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- 1 lb cod fillet (2 8-ounce cod fillets)
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ cup butter (divided - 2 portions of 2 tablespoons each)
- Pat your cod fillets dry using paper towels and set them aside.1 lb cod fillet
- In a small bowl combine the blackening seasoning ingredients (paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, dried basil, and dried oregano). If desired, you can use a spice grinder to break the herbs down into a finer consistency.1 ½ teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon dried basil, ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- In a bowl big enough to place the cod fillets, melt the first 2 tablespoon portion of butter.¼ cup butter
- Dredge the cod fillets in the melted butter then season both sides liberally with the blackened seasoning mix.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottomed frying pan to medium heat. Place one tablespoon of butter per cod fillet into the skillet and melt, placing the seasoned cod directly into the melted butter.¼ cup butter
- Cook undisturbed (do not move the cod fillets) for 4 minutes, flip and cook the second side for an additional 4 minutes. The cod is done when white and flaky, and the fish has an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
- Remove from the pan and serve immediately.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!