This blackening seasoning is a bold spice rub featuring everyday spices. Prepare it ahead of time and add to your favorite meats or fish for a quick, easy, and healthy dinner.
Skip the store-bought blackened seasoning rub and make your own homemade blackened seasoning with different spices you likely have in your spice cabinet right now. It's a must-try with some of our favorite quick and easy recipes, easy blackened chicken and easy blackened salmon.
Why We Love This Blackening Seasoning Recipe
Versatile seasoning: Add this mixture of spices to various dishes, like grilled meats, roasted vegetables, pasta, or soups.
Easy: You can make it in five minutes or less with key ingredients you have right at home.
Amazing flavor: The combination of spices adds so much flavor to your favorite proteins for extra bold flavors and a kick of heat.
Customizable: One of the best things about cooking with your own seasoning blend is that you can customize it to your own preferences.
Grab These Ingredients
Here are the simple ingredients for this amazing blackened seasoning mix. Most ingredients are a pantry staple and easy (and affordable) to find in grocery stores. Jump down to the recipe card for exact measurements.
- Smoked paprika: Gives a distinct smokiness to the dish.
- Ground cumin: Adds a slightly nutty flavor.
- Garlic powder: Robust and savory.
- Dried oregano: Adds earthiness and a citrus flavor.
- Onion powder: Has a mildly sweet and savory onion flavor.
- Kosher salt: The kosher salt is key to making all of the flavors pop.
- Black pepper: Adds a spicy kick.
- Cayenne pepper: Takes the spiciness to the next level. You may want to adjust the amount of cayenne pepper depending on how much spicy flavor you prefer.
Pro tip: You can vary the ingredient amounts for your own seasoning mixes based on your own tastes or the level of spice your taste buds prefer.
How to Make Blackening Seasoning
The full printable recipe is below, but let’s walk through the steps with some photos and a video so you have a clear idea of what to expect. This blackened seasoning recipe is really easy and these step-by-step instructions will make sure it turns out every time.
Mix together: Place the smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
Season or store: Use as needed in your favorite blackened recipes like blackened salmon or blackened chicken tenders. Store at room temperature in a sealed jar for up to 3 months.
How Do You Blacken Food?
Blackening is a cooking process in which fish or chicken is brushed with fat (typically melted butter), and coated liberally in a blend of spices. It's then seared in a cast iron skillet to toast the spices and create a crusty, blackened finish, giving it it's characteristic look. Although the crust has a deep color, the protein is not burnt. The taste is bold, but not too spicy.
Blackening is a method used in cajun cooking, but it isn't the same as cajun seasoning. Cajun seasoning tends to be spicier. You can purchase cajun seasoning as well.
Grilling salmon is a cooking technique where the salmon is cooked over an open flame whereas blackening is a cooking method where the salmon is coated in spices and pan-seared at a high temperature to create a blackened, dark crust.
Butter is the traditional ingredient used for blackening because the milk fats help turn it a dark color. However, you can use ghee or oil if you prefer. I love using avocado oil because it has the highest smoke point so your kitchen won't get as smokey over high heat.
What to Cook with Blackening Seasoning
We love using homemade seasonings to add depth and flavor to our meals. Add this good blackening seasoning to some of our favorite recipes for extra flavor:
- Take it to the grill during the summer months and use it as a seasoning on grilled hamburgers, ribeye, or chicken thighs. Add a side of grilled zucchini salad to make a complete meal.
- Have blackened salmon or blackened chicken over a bed of lettuce with your favorite veggies and dressing like the cilantro lime dressing in this BBQ chicken salad.
- Serve the blackened fish or blackened chicken breast next to a side of air fryer asparagus, Easy Italian Pasta Salad, or Kale and Goat Cheese Salad.
- Add the seasoning to similar dishes with a Cajun flare like one pot creamy Cajun chicken pasta and one pot creamy Cajun shrimp pasta.
Make Ahead and Storage Tips
Feel free to make this recipe ahead and use it when you're ready to season. We like to prepare small batches of this spice mixture at a time and bring
Store at room temperature in an airtight container or sealed small glass jar like a mason jar for up to 3 months. Be sure to store it in a cool dry place.
If you make this recipe, I’d love for you to give it a star rating ★ below. You can also tag me on Instagram so I can see it!
More Cajun-Inspired Recipes
These crispy air fryer shrimp are so flavorful and make a great app or addition to dinners like shrimp tacos.
- 2 teaspoons EACH: smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon EACH: dried oregano, onion powder, kosher salt and black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Small bowl
- Small jar or plastic bag for storing
- Place the smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, onion powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper in a small bowl and mix well to combine.
- Store at room temperature in a sealed jar for up to 3 months. Use as needed in your favorite blackened recipes like blackened salmon or blackened chicken tenders.