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Spanish-Style Spicy Salmon with Cayenne, Paprika, and Orange

Written By: Byron | February 20, 2024
A large Spanish-style Spicy salmon fillet cooked next to slices of orange and fresh parsley.

Spanish-style spicy salmon with cayenne, paprika, and orange is a fantastic dish when you want to impress. It’s loaded with fresh and tangy flavors with salmon fillets cooked to perfection on a bed of oranges. Cayenne helps bring some heat, while the sweet paprika adds a delicious warmth, and the cilantro helps round off the flavors with plenty of freshness

Of course, aside from the flavor combinations, this recipe is great because it is very easy to make requiring only 5 minutes of prep and is ready in under 30 minutes!

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Serving:

Main for 4

Ready in:

Around 30 minutes

Skill level:

Easy

Serve with:

Salad, veg, rice, or grains. 

Watch step-by-step recipe video

If you’re looking for this recipe’s video and many other great recipe ideas, why not check out our Spanish Radish YouTube Channel? We’ve got everything from quick and easy tapas recipes to delicious main meals, to incredible Spanish dessert options too.

How to Make Spanish-Style Spicy Salmon with Cayenne, Paprika, and Orange

Ingredients

    • 1kg/35oz. salmon fillet with skin on
    • 2 large oranges, 1 cut into rounds (1/8th inch, 5mm thick)
    • 1-2 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
    • 1 tablespoon sweet Spanish paprika
    • ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper
    • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
    • Salt to taste
    • Handful of cilantro (garnish for serving)

Equipment needed

  • Large baking sheet or casserole dish
  • Oven
    large raw salmon fillets sit beside some orange slices, spices, and fresh herbs.

    Method

    Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F

    Step 1 – Make the Spice Rub

    • In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne pepper (or ground chili), and white pepper. 

    Step 2 – Add Spice Rub to Salmon and Bake

    • Add a splash of oil to a casserole dish or baking tray. 
    • Lay around half of the orange rounds onto the bottom of the dish or tray.
    • Lay fillets skin side down on top of the orange rounds. Drizzle a little oil on top of the fillets and gently rub in.
    • Sprinkle spice rub over the salmon fillet (optional, you can rub it in with your hands).
    • Sprinkle Brown sugar onto the salmon fillet. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt. 
    • Bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven. (note: if you want a slightly blackened top, add it to the top shelf for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking). 

    Step 3 – Serve

    • Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. 
    • Garnish with a squeeze of orange and a sprinkle of cilantro. 

    Cooking Tip

    Substitute cayenne pepper for a more spicy pepper or chili if you prefer a more intense heat.

      A large fillet of Spanish-style spicy salmon beside some orange rounds and fresh herbs.

      Why This Spicy Salmon Recipe is Soooo Awesome!

      • Tangy citrus infusion of flavors
      • Super easy to make with just 5 minutes of prep
      • Ready in 25 minutes
      • Minimum mess, made in one dish or baking sheet
      • Can be made super spicy, or just mildly hot (up to you!) 
      • Healthy and loaded with nutrients

      What to Serve With Spicy Salmon

      This recipe makes enough for a main meal serving for 4 people. You’ll want to add some grains or salad as a side dish. Here are a few side suggestions.

      How Spicy Is This Recipe

      This recipe is very mild and only uses a small amount of cayenne pepper and smoked paprika to give it some heat. Cayenne pepper is typically between 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units, which is around 12x hotter than a jalapeno pepper. We only used 1 tablespoon worth of cayenne pepper, which gives this recipe a mild heat that gives the rest of the flavors plenty of opportunity to shine! 

      If you’re looking to read more about cayenne pepper, or would like to discover peppers that are hotter, check out this cayenne pepper article.

      Large fillets of Spanish-style spicy salmon beside some orange rounds and fresh herbs.

      Is Salmon Popular in Spain?

      The ingredients in this dish are popular in the Mediterranean diet and you’ll find salmon served in many restaurants around Spain. In fact, according to fish consumption data from 2021, Salmon is the second most consumed fish in Spain (only surpassed by hake/whiting) with Spanish households consuming around 68,000 tonnes in 2021

      Spain is the third largest fishing country in Europe, the largest consumer of fish in their diet in Europe, and also the second largest fish consumer globally (surpassed only by Japan). With over 6,000 kilometers of coastline, seafood and fish are plentiful all over Spain, and of the highest quality.

      Guide to Buying Fresh Salmon Fillets

      The best place to source your salmon fillets is at a local fishmonger. If you are buying salmon in the USA, it is likely to be the Pacific salmon variety (Sockeye, Pink, Coho, or Chinook). Due to fishing restrictions, Atlantic salmon will be farmed salmon in the USA. 

      Salmon fillets should be a vibrant pink color and smell fresh. Your local fishmonger will be able to offer you the freshest catch available. Avoid fillets that have been left out if they smell too ‘fishy’ or look pale and dry. 

      Wild salmon will be more flavorsome and will have a deeper hue compared to farmed salmon. Wild salmon also comes with a higher price tag in most cases, mainly due to import costs.

      Supermarket chains (Walmart, Costco, Tesco, Coles) with fish counters will also sell good quality salmon. Be sure to ask that the fillets are as fresh as possible. Don’t be put off if you only see salmon (whole or halves), many fishmongers and supermarkets can fillet the salmon for you and remove any bones from the fillets.

      A large fillet of Spanish-style spicy salmon beside some orange rounds and fresh herbs.

      How to Bake Salmon in the Oven

      Salmon is easy to bake in the oven and does not require much effort or attention. Salmon will be tender and flake easily with a fork or knife when cooked properly.

      Cooking tip: Salmon fillet will continue to cook for a few minutes after removing it from the oven so be cautious not to overcook it. 

      There’s no need to wrap salmon in foil for this recipe. Salmon fillets 1-inch thick (2.5cm) will cook in around 20 minutes at 200°C/400°F. Be sure to preheat your oven before putting the salmon in. If your salmon fillets are thicker than an inch, allow a little extra time. 

      Undercooked salmon will be pale in color and slightly translucent. Perfectly cooked salmon fillets will be opaque. Overcooked salmon will tend to dry out on top and form a crust.

      Use a spatula when plating your salmon. It will allow you to get a good-sized fillet piece safely to a plate without it flaking to pieces.

      Salmon Health Benefits

      Salmon is widely recognized for having many health benefits. In the Mediterranean diet, fish is consumed at least 2 times per week alongside a balanced diet. 

      Salmon is considered an oily fish (like sardines, mackerel, etc) and is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which help to lower cholesterol. Farmed salmon typically contains more omega-3 compared to wild salmon. Salmon is also one of the best sources of vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin D, potassium, and other nutrients like iron, potassium, and phosphorus.

      Here are just a few notable health benefits from consuming salmon: 

      • Reduces inflammation and fluid retention.
      • Lowers cholesterol levels (due to omega-3 fatty acids).
      • Stabilizes blood pressure.
      • Reduces the risk of heart attack, stroke, and high blood pressure.
      • Helps grow and maintain healthy hair and skin.

      Salmon Nutrition Facts 

      This depends on the type of salmon fillet you choose, as the fat content and nutrient value changes depending on weather the fish is farmed or grown in the wild. 

      • A 200g serving of Wild Pacific Silver Coho Salmon contains 235 calories, 11g of fat, and 1.6g of saturated fat.
      • A 200g farmed pink salmon fillet has 277 calories, 8.2g of fat, and 1.3g of saturated fat. 
      • A 200g Chinook salmon fillet has 445 calories, 25.8g of fat, and 6.2g of saturated fat.

      Why this Dish is Healthy

      • Olive oil is healthy and nutritious, so a staple in the Mediterranean diet. It can prevent and help treat many illnesses. 
      • Fish and seafood benefit your health and play a large role in Mediterranean cooking.
      • Salmon is a great source of protein and is low in saturated fat. 
      • The different types of paprikas (including sweet) boost eye health and help protect against various diseases. 
      • Garlic offers multiple health benefits from reducing inflammation to lowering cholesterol. 
      • Oranges and citrus fruit are good sources of vitamin C and antioxidants.

      Nutrition Facts

      Serving size: 250g

      Servings: 4

      Amount per serving

       

      Calories

      490

      % Daily Value*

      Total Fat 22.4g

      29%

      Saturated Fat 3.4g

      17%

      Cholesterol 164mg

      55%

      Sodium 175mg

      8%

      Total Carbohydrate 9.7g

      4%

      Dietary Fiber 1.9g

      7%

      Total Sugars 7.5g

       

      Protein 59.7g

       

      Vitamin D 0mcg

      0%

      Calcium 72mg

      6%

      Iron 3mg

      15%

      Potassium 1645mg

      35%

      *The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.

      A large Spanish-style Spicy salmon fillet cooked next to slices of orange and fresh parsley.

      Spanish-Style Spicy Salmon with Cayenne, Paprika, and Orange

      Byron
      Spanish-style spicy salmon with cayenne, paprika, and orange is a super easy meal when you’re looking for something hot and spicy. Ready in 25 minutes with only 5 mins prep!
      5 from 1 vote
      Prep Time 5 minutes
      Cook Time 20 minutes
      Total Time 25 minutes
      Course dinner, Main Course
      Cuisine Authentic Spanish recipe, fish, Mediterranean, Seafood, Spain
      Servings 4 main
      Calories 490 kcal

      Equipment

      • Large baking sheet or casserole dish
      • Oven

      Ingredients

      • 1 kg/35oz. salmon fillet with skin on
      • 2 large oranges 1 cut into rounds (1/8th inch, 5mm thick)
      • 1-2 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
      • 1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper
      • 1 tablespoon sweet Spanish paprika
      • ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper
      • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
      • Salt to taste
      • Handful of cilantro garnish for serving

      Instructions
       

      Step 1 - Make the Spice Rub

      • Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F
      • In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne pepper (or ground chili), and white pepper.
        1 tablespoon sweet Spanish paprika, ½ teaspoon of ground white pepper, 1 tablespoon Cayenne pepper

      Step 2 - Add Spice Rub to Salmon and Bake

      • Add a splash of oil to a casserole dish or baking tray.
        1-2 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
      • Lay around half of the orange rounds onto the bottom of the dish or tray.
        2 large oranges
      • Lay fillets skin side down on top of the orange rounds. Drizzle a little oil on top of the fillets and gently rub in.
        1 kg/35oz. salmon fillet with skin on
      • Sprinkle spice rub over the salmon fillet (optional, you can rub it in with your hands).
      • Sprinkle Brown sugar onto the salmon fillet. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt.
        1 teaspoon of brown sugar, Salt to taste
      • Bake for 20 minutes on the middle shelf of the oven. (note: if you want a slightly blackened top, add it to the top shelf for the last 3-4 minutes of cooking).

      Step 3 - Serve

      • Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
      • Garnish with a squeeze of orange and a sprinkle of cilantro.
        Handful of cilantro

      Video

      Notes

      Cooking tip:

      Substitute cayenne pepper for a more spicy pepper or chili if you prefer a more intense heat.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 250gCalories: 490kcalCarbohydrates: 9.7gProtein: 59.7gFat: 22.4gSaturated Fat: 3.4gCholesterol: 164mgSodium: 175mgPotassium: 1645mgFiber: 1.9gSugar: 7.5gCalcium: 72mgIron: 3mg
      Keyword 30 minute recipe, cayenne pepper, fish, orange, paprika, Salmon, spicy, Spicy salmon

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