This Blackened Salmon with Tahini Sauce, Chickpeas and Boy Choy is the perfect EASY meal that isn’t your run-of-the-mill chicken and veggies. Perfect for busy weeknights.
I don’t live for healthy meals. I live for DELICIOUS meals.
So it makes sense that I’d never eat a healthy meal that wasn’t delicious, therefore I think it’s implied that this Blackened Salmon with Tahini Sauce, which is obviously healthy, is also delicious.
In fact, a variation of this has become my one of my new go-to weeknight dinners because not only is it healthy and delicious (Are you tired of me repeating healthy and delicious?), but it’s also super quick and easy to throw together— I’m talking 25 minutes or under and basically fool-proof.
We are big salmon eaters in our household; it’s by far the fish we consume the most since it’s always available, relatively affordable and easy to prepare. Unlike a lot of flakier white fish varieties, salmon is extremely difficult to overcook, and with its higher fat content, it crisps up much better as well. Plus, it’s so much tastier than most of the other white fish options out there.
While I love baking salmon since it’s by far the easiest (and cleanest) method (this sweet and sour baked salmon and this tomato butter roasted salmon are my favs), I can’t resist that extra crispy exterior searing it results in, so most of the time, that’s what we go with.
I always dust the flesh plenty of kosher salt, but the spice blend varies with each preparation, this time I mimicked a blackened version we had in Palm Springs (at this restaurant) with a blend of ground paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder and ground mustard. Each filet is seared in a screaming hot cast iron skillet until super crispy on the outside and medium-well on the inside, about four minutes per side.
The remaining preparation is also loosely based off that same menu item from Palm Springs with plenty of sautéed baby bok choy and seasoned chickpeas. Their version came with a rich lemon buerre blanc, but to keep things a little bit healthier I went with a really easy homemade tahini sauce to smother over the entire dish.
I’ve actually become quite obsessed with tahini sauce in the last six months or so, I’ve drizzled it over these Greek meatball farro bowls, used it as an easy salad dressing, and dunked whatever veggies I have on hand in it. Here I spooned a little bit on each plate before nestling the crispy salmon filets on top, then drizzled even more on top and over the cooked veggies.
As is, I’d say this is a complete meal, but if you’re one of those people that needs a starch, a little bit of cooked farro or brown rice would be the perfect compliment.
Blackened Salmon with Tahini Sauce
- 2 tsp paprika, divided
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp salt, divided
- 3 tsp sesame oil, divided
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 bunch bok choy, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed
- 1 tbsp tahini
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
- salt to taste
In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, ground mustard and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Sprinkle evenly over salmon.
Heat a large cast iron skillet to a medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Sear salmon, skin-side up, until blackened and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Flip over and cook another 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
While the salmon cooks, heat a small skillet to a medium-high heat. Add remaining sesame oil. Once the oil is hot, add boy choy and chickpeas. Use a wooden spoon to frequently stir the bok choy and chickpeas. When bok choy is slightly wilted (you still want it crisp) and chickpeas are starting to crisp, lower the heat to medium and add garlic, paprika and remaining salt. Toss until garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat off and set aside.
For the tahini sauce: Whisk yogurt, tahini and lemon juice together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve salmon over bok choy and chickpeas. Dollop sauce on top.