Blackening seasoning is a popular Cajun spice mixture that can be used on meat and seafood. It's flavorful and potent, so a little goes a long way.
We're going to show you what blackened seasoning is, what you can season with it, how to blacken foods, and the ingredients and steps for making your own homemade blackened seasoning recipe in less than 10 minutes. It's a WHOLE LOTTA YUM!
Best Blackened Seasoning
I've been eating low carb for about 4 years now and cooking with a homemade blackened seasoning is a fantastic way to add a huge punch of flavor without having to add breading or frying your meats and seafood.
We've started making our own homemade seasonings and the great thing about that is you can create your own taste of bold flavors from common ingredients founds in your spice cabinet. Spices like homemade creole seasoning used for cajun cuisine are so much cheaper than buying pricey mixes at the store.
Wondering how to put that homemade blackened seasoning mix into action? Use our blackened recipe to make blackened chicken tenders and blackened cod! Blackening seasoning for fish is our favorite way to use this recipe!
What is Blackened Seasoning?
Blackened seasoning is a spice blend that originates from Louisiana and was created by Paul Prudhommes back in the 1980s in his New Orleans restaurant. The seasoning is a cajun or creole blend that can be used in a wide variety of recipes and basically consists of made of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, and oregano.
The spices are blended together and then used to coat meat or seafood before cooking, which is where the term blackened or blackening comes from. Blackening creates a flavorful crust on the food that is both spicy and savory.
How to Blacken Foods
While our homemade blackened seasoning recipe is just for the spice mix itself, we still want to explain the process of using Cajun blackened seasoning in recipes. The best way to blacken foods is to use a cast iron skillet.
Heat the skillet over medium-high heat until it's smoking hot. Add a mix of olive oil and butter. Coat the food in the blackened seasoning and then place it in a greased hot skillet. Cook for a couple minutes per side or until the spices are blackened and the food is cooked through. Easy peasy!
Why You'll Love This!
- Homemade blackened seasoning creates a powerhouse of flavor just mixing up a handful of common spices that are most likely already in your pantry.
- You'll never by store bought seasonings again once you realize you can make your own in under 10 mins!
- Making your own homemade blackened seasoning recipe means you know what's in the spice mix, there's nothing artificial, no sugar, and it's easy to adjust the seasonings to your liking!
- Our Cajun blackened seasoning is gluten-free, low carb, keto friendly, paleo, Whole30, and sugar free.
What's in Blackening Seasoning
While both Old Bay blackened seasoning or Zatarains blackened seasoning store-bought brands are popular with many home cooks, to be honest, making your own homemade blackened seasoning recipe will taste even BETTER plus you can still cook your favorite blackening recipes without running to the store to grab an expensive container of spices.
Our recipe is a variation of the original Paul Prudhomme's blackened spices recipe, we've simplified the steps for home cooks and tweaked the recipe slightly. Most of the blackened seasoning ingredients are ones most likely already in your cupboard!
- Smoked paprika- sweet paprika (or regular paprika) can also be used, which is what Paul Prudhomme used. We prefer the slightly smokey touch of smoked paprika but both are fantastic!
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Cayenne pepper - we keep the cayenne on the lighter side, but if you LOVE spicy food, turn up the heat even more by adding extra cayenne pepper for an extra spicy kick.
- Black pepper
- Fine sea salt - Morton's table salt can be used instead of fine sea salt, just don't substitute course salt.
- Dried thyme leaves
- Dried Oregano
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact
blackened spice mix quantities **
Recipe Variations- To make a salt-free blackened seasoning recipe, just leave the salt out! It'll still be super tasty and delicious.
Blackening Seasoning Recipe Steps
Making your own homemade blackened seasoning is a piece of cake! Just put the simple flavorful pantry ingredients in a small bowl to combine and that's it! We give tips below on how you can use blackening seasoning rub in your cooking.
Make Spice Mix
In a small bowl, combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, fine sea salt, ground black pepper, dried thyme, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper to make the blackened seasoning.
Basic Cooking Instructions
Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until it's smoking hot.
Add a high heat oil like olive oil to the cast iron pan or add a mix of olive and butter. Turn on your stove fan.
Brush or dip the chicken or fish in oil or melted butter.
Then coat the food in the blackened seasoning on both sides and place it in the hot skillet.
Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until the food is cooked through and done. Enjoy!
- The blackening seasoning recipe makes more than you'll need for one meal. Store the rest for other recipes for up to 6 months at in a dry place at room temperature in a small container like a mason jar.
- Some people like to add a touch of brown sugar to the blackened rub mix, this is entirely optional. It's not a traditional blackened ingredient but of course, the sweet can be added to balance out the spicy.
- The recipe steps for cooking chicken or seafood is just a generalized recipe of the steps. The exact cooking time will vary widely based on what you're cooking.
- Use blackened chicken and fish or shrimp to make a quick and easy main dish or add it to a salad.
- Feel free to make your own blend of big batch blackening seasoning, it'll keep for a long time and is very versatile!
If you're looking for the best easy DIY blackened seasoning, this my friend is it!
You can use the blackened seasoning on just about anything, but it's especially good on chicken, shrimp, and fish. You'll definitely want to try our blackened fish seasoning recipe with cod. It's also great on veggies, so feel free to get creative. Blackening is a cooking method that involves coating the food in the spice blend and then cooking it in a hot pan until the spices are blackened and slightly charred. This gives the food a smoky flavor and a crispy exterior.
The blackened flavor is a combination of smoky and spicy Cajun-inspired spices. The spices in the seasoning blend create a flavorful crust on the food that is slightly charred. This gives the food a smoky flavor and a crispy exterior.
No, they are not the same. Cajun seasoning is a spice blend that originates from Louisiana and typically contains paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and thyme. Blackened seasoning also originates from Louisiana and typically contains all of the same spices as Cajun seasoning but is typically less spicy than Cajun seasoning due to the amount of cayenne pepper that gets used in the recipe. Blackened seasoning also refers to a method of coating meat or seafood with spice and then cooking it at a high temperature until the seasoning darkens and creates a slightly charred crust on the exterior.
The best way to store blackened seasoning is in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. It will last for up to 6-12 months.
More Homemade Spice Blends
- Smoked turkey seasoning rub
- Pork rub no sugar
- Rub for Chicken Wings
- Chili powder substitute
- Poultry seasoning