This Cajun grilled salmon recipe is a sweet-and-spicy seafood meal that’s ready in just 15 minutes. The salmon is moist and flaky and topped with a melt-in-your-mouth honey butter that is bursting with flavor!
When it’s warm, I want to try to eat outside as much as possible, in an effort to try to soak up all that summer down deep in my skin to hopefully last all fall and winter long. And being outside means cooking outside.
So, we fired up the grill for some spicy salmon fillets with a delicious Cajun seasoning, butter, honey, and a few other odds and ends.
The great thing about this grilled salmon recipe is it grills up so fast and it’s really easy to season, plus, the Cajun spices are easy to pull together, and you probably wouldn’t be upset with yourself if you made extra and kept on-hand for future recipes (hint, hint).
Why This Recipe Works
Cajun seasoning – I love making my own spice blends. (For another spice blend recipe, try my Simple Grilled Chicken Dry Rub.) It’s a good way to use up some of those dry spices you have laying around (who needs that much paprika, anyway?), and, once it’s made, cuts down on seasoning time in the future. Plus, this grilled salmon seasoning will keep in your pantry just as long as the individual spices themselves, so you can use them again and again to season poultry, beef, seafood, potatoes, veggies — you name it.
Honey butter – Mixed together with butter and honey, the spices take on another dimension of flavor, both a little hot and a little sweet, and so creamy and delicious when melted on the Cajun salmon. I think you’ll agree this recipe is a keeper!
Quick dinner option – Just grill the salmon and slather it with the Cajun seasonings mixed into the honey butter. Devour. That’s it! Done in 15 minutes. It might seem impossible but it’s true. You can have this delicious honey salmon from fridge to table in a flash.
Healthy – Did you know that a grilled salmon recipe is very good for you? Salmon is a great source of heart-healthy fats and Omega-3s! If the butter is too much for you, simply cut it in half or just sprinkle the Cajun seasoning on the salmon before grilling. Just as spicy and delicious!
Here’s How You Make It
- Make the Cajun seasoning by stirring the listed spices together.
- Using an electric mixer, whip the butter for 2 minutes or til it’s light and fluffy, then add the honey and cream together until it’s all smooth. Add in 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning to the butter mixture.
- Pat the salmon fillets dry on both sides with a paper towel and rub them all over with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Arrange the seasoned Cajun salmon fillets on a preheated grill or grill pan and let cook for about 6-8 minutes on each side. It should look opaque and flaky when it’s done.
- Now turn off the grill or stove and top with each salmon fillet with a generous dollop of Cajun honey butter.
- Let the honey salmon glaze melt for about 30 seconds, then using the back of a spoon, spread the butter all over the top of each salmon filet. Flip, then repeat with the butter on the other side.
- To serve, garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley if desired.
How Do You Make Cajun Seasoning?
I love making my own spice blends. It’s a good way to use up some of those dry spices you have laying around (who needs that much paprika, anyway?), and, once it’s made, cuts down on seasoning time in the future. Plus, spice blends will keep in your pantry just as long as the individual spices themselves, so you can use them again and again to season poultry, beef, seafood, potatoes, veggies — you name it.
First, what I do is gather up all the dry spices that I’ll need as well as my measuring spoons. Then, I grab a small bowl and get to adding each spice on top of the next. It doesn’t matter the order — they are all going to be mixed together anyway. I’ll stir the spices together with a whisk or a fork and then take out what I need for the honey butter (in this case, I needed 1 tablespoon) and put the rest in a little spice jar or airtight container. A small funnel or a rolled-up piece of paper works well when trying to get the spices back in the jar.
What Kind of Food Is Cajun?
So, once upon a time a group of French-speaking people were booted out of the Acadian region of Canada and moved to Louisiana. They named their new home “Acadiana” of course. As these new transplants brought and introduced their style of cooking to the region, it became known as Cajun.
Generally, its ingredients are locally sourced, simple, and consist of some sort of protein, rice, seafood, sausage, and beans and tends to be spicier and contain more peppers than most foods of the region.
Salted Vs. Unsalted Butter — What’s the Difference?
In this recipe (as in a lot of recipes, especially in baked goods, like my Best Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles), I prefer to use unsalted butter. The reason? Well, mostly it’s because if you put in something unsalted then you’re free to add salt as you see fit. It’s impossible to take out the salt if it’s oversalted and too much salt can also mask flavors in the foods you’re making. If you want to taste the spices, then you’re not going to want to overpower your foods with salt.
And, because the amount of salt used in each brand of salted butter can vary, I never know what I’ll get from package to package. The ingredients lists don’t really give away any kind of official amount. So, while one salted brand might be great, if you switch, you may be unknowingly adding more salt than you originally intended.
Another reason to use unsalted is because unsalted butter will be fresher. Salt is a preservative, so if you put butter in salt, well, you can keep it there on the shelf for quite a while, as opposed to fresh, unsalted butter, which has a shorter shelf life.
- If you’re making extra Cajun seasoning to have some on hand for next time (or another dish), simply store the rest in a little spice jar or airtight container. A small funnel or a rolled-up piece of paper works well when trying to get the spices back in the jar.
- If using salted butter, do not salt the salmon in step three.
More Cajun-Inspired Recipes
- One Pot Spicy Cajun Chicken and Rice
- Homemade Cajun Seasoning
- Cajun Shrimp and Rice Skillet
- Shrimp Boil Foil Packs
More Grilling Recipes
- Grilled Chicken Margherita
- Best Quick Steak Marinade
- Marinated Flank Steak with Corn Salsa
- Extra Juicy Grilled BBQ Pork Chops
- Best Ever Grilled Pork Tenderloin
- Grilled Salmon with Lemon Garlic Butter
Did you make this easy breezy, sweet and spicy Cajun grilled salmon recipe? YAY! Please rate the recipe below!
Cajun Honey Butter Grilled Salmon
- 4 salmon fillets
- salt and pepper to taste
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter - at room temperature, see note 1
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 2 teaspoons paprika - smoked paprika, if you have it
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper - or 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- In a small bowl stir together cajun seasoning ingredients.
- Use an electric hand mixer to whip butter for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add honey and cream together until smooth. Mix in 1 tablespoon of the cajun seasoning. (remaining seasoning can be stored in airtight container up to 3 months)
- Pat salmon fillets dry on both sides with a paper towel. Rub all over with oil, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook salmon on a preheated grill or grill pan for 6-8 minutes on each side until opaque and flaky.
- Turn off the grill (or stove if using a grill pan) and place a generous dollop of cajun honey butter on top of each fillet.
- Allow to melt for about 30 seconds, then use the back of a spoon to spread the butter all over the the top of the salmon. Flip, and repeat on the other side.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley if desired and serve immediately.