Blackened Salmon with Avocado Ranch and coconut rice is the ultimate 30 minute meal. Enjoy as a nutritious and flavorful lunch or weeknight dinner the whole family will love. This post is sponsored by Wallaby Organic and Sprouts Farmers Market. I was compensated for my time, however all opinions are my own.
Blackened Salmon with Avocado Ranch Dressing
Crispy, superbly spiced salmon fillets with creamy avocado ranch makes for the ultimate weekday-friendly meal. Serve over creamy coconut rice and fresh greens for a guaranteed family favorite.
Now that we have officially entered spring, I’m thinking of all the ways to incorporate more fresh produce. Whether it be in a salad, grain bowl, or homemade sauce, the warmer weather fruits and veggies offer endless possibilities. I love that this recipe allows the flexibility to include any produce you fancy: fresh greens, roasted broccoli, juicy cherry tomatoes, or asparagus.
As long as you include the creamy Avocado Ranch, you’re in a total flavor fiesta.
What Goes in Blackened Fish Seasoning?
While most blackening seasoning mixes vary slightly, the core ingredients are pretty standard. Here are my favorites to create a bold, versatile spice mix:
- Smoked paprika: this bright red spice brings deep, smoky aroma and flavor to everything it touches.
- Cayenne pepper: A must in blackening spice, this zesty ground chile pepper adds moderately hot spice to the mix.
- Garlic powder: A staple in most pantries, feel free to add as much or as little garlic powder as you wish. Or, if you can find, it, roasted garlic powder is a total game changer.
- Dried oregano: Sub for dried thyme, if desired, but some form of dried herb adds an earthy backbone to the mix.
And of course, salt and pepper are a must! This recipe calls for 1/2 tsp. of black pepper, but if you prefer the salmon spicy, feel free to use up to 1 full teaspoon.
This recipe is easy to double or triple if you want to keep extra on hand. It’s also delicious on steak, chicken, cauliflower steak, or roasted potatoes.
What is the Difference Between Grilled and Blackened Salmon?
While both methods use dry heat to impart flavor and quintessential char, blackening always includes a signature spice mix. Blackening also suggest the food veers on the side of slightly burnt (or charred), while grilling takes a more lax approach.
Another difference is that blackening doesn’t actually require a grill. In fact, I prefer to use a super hot cast-iron pan to do the job. Just be sure you’re cooking over really high heat to get the best results.
How to Make Avocado Ranch Dressing:
The beauty of this sauce is that it’s made entirely in the blender (or food processor!). The quintessential Ranch flavor comes from a mix of onion powder, parsley, lemon, and garlic. It’s gloriously aromatic and endlessly versatile, too. Thin it out and use it as a salad dressing, or enjoy as a dip with fresh crudités or pita. Here’s what you need:
- Fresh avocado: Not only does avocado amp up the creaminess, but it also adds good-for-you nutrients like potassium and fiber.
- Wallaby Organic Yogurt: Made in small batches with premium organic whole milk from family farms, Wallaby Aussie Yogurt is lusciously rich with full-bodied flavor. It also offers a great source of protein and calcium, plus live and active cultures to support gut health.
- Lemon juice: All Ranch dips and dressings need some acidity, and lemon juice does double duty by adding brightness, too.
- Fresh parsley: I suggest flat-leaf parsley over curly because its flavor is stronger and more peppery, which is a lovely compliment to the avocado.
- Fresh garlic: Feel free to swap for granulated, if desired!
- Onion powder: A must in all Ranch dips and dressings, onion powder adds concentrated aromatic goodness.
Once all of your ingredients are measured out, add them to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. I use my mini Ninja blender, which I highly recommend for sauces and dressings. If this sauce is too thick, thin it out with 1 to 2 Tablespoons of water until you reach your desired consistency.
Is Avocado Ranch Healthy?
This homemade Ranch is miles ahead of most bottled dressings in terms of flavor and nutrition. It’s rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, and dietary fiber. Additionally, it’s a great source of vitamin C and potassium from the avocado. The Wallaby Yogurt adds gut-friendly probiotics, too, which most other dressings don’t offer.If you give this recipe a try, be sure to snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!
More Healthy Salmon Recipes to Try:
Blackened Salmon with Avocado Ranch
- Large skillet
- Food processor or blender
- Small saucepan with lid
- 4 (6-oz.) salmon fillets
- 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. dried oregano (sub dried thyme or Italian seasoning)
- 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper
- 1 cup canned coconut milk (full-fat or light)
- 1 cup white basmati or Jasmine rice, rinsed
Avocado Ranch Sauce
- 1/2 small to medium avocado
- 1/2 cup Wallaby Organic Plain Whole Milk Yogurt
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 fresh garlic clove
- 3/4 tsp. onion powder
- Pinch of kosher salt and black pepper
- Pat salmon dry with a paper towel, and rub all over with 1 Tbsp. of the olive oil. In a small bowl, combine paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, oregano, 1/2 tsp. of the salt, and black pepper. Rub spice mixture all over flesh of salmon fillets. Let rest 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat coconut milk, 1 cup of water, and remaining 1/2 tsp. salt in a small saucepan over high. Bring to a boil, stir in rice, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is creamy and all liquid is absorbed.
- While rice cooks, prepare Avocado Ranch by combining avocado, yogurt, parsley, lemon juice, onion powder, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small blender or food processor; blend until smooth. (If mixture is too thick, add 1 Tbsp. water.)
- Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over medium-high. Once hot, add salmon fillets, flesh side-down, and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the salmon to the other side. Cook until the skin becomes crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness. Serve salmon with coconut rice and Avocado Ranch.