Homemade spice mixes, like this blackening seasoning recipe, are the staple of all home chefs. This Cajun-inspired recipe is made with dried herbs and spices you already have in your pantry. This blackened seasoning mix is delicious on fish, chicken, steaks, and more!
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Yes, you can buy premade blends but I prefer to make my own. Especially any type of BBQ rub or Cajun spice which can be overly salty and usually lacks the depth of flavor you need to create mouthwatering meals.
This is the exact spicy blend I use when making blackened fish, my spicy blackened chicken, and my new favorite Cajun butter sauce.
📖Why This Recipe Works
Not Too Salty- Salt creates a lovely crust. This recipe uses just the right amount, and you always add more when finishing your dish.
Spice Level- I prefer extra pepper in mine, but you can adjust the heat to your own preferences. Making it mild for everyday use and increasing the pepper when you want a spicy kick.
Shelf Life- This recipe will keep up to 6 to 12 months when properly stored so go ahead and make a double batch.
Starting with fresh high-quality spices is key to any seasoning mix. I tend to buy in bulk and freeze spices until I need them.
Our homemade seasoning starts with the basics, garlic and onion powder.
Next comes the kick- peppers and salt. Followed by our secret ingredient and then finishes by rounding out with a trio of dried herbs.
Smoked Paprika- Yes you can regular if you can't find smoked. But smoked paprika adds a depth of flavor and helps give your food that slow-cooked taste without having to overcook the meal.
If you have visited my site before you probably know smoked paprika is just about my favorite thing. It makes everything taste better.
Do not use chili powder in blackened seasoning.
Kosher Salt- Always use kosher salt, table salt will be too salty. if that is all you have, reduce the quantity of salt.
Ground White Pepper- White pepper is usually ground finer and is spicier than black pepper. This ingredient is often found in Cajun cuisine in place of ground black pepper.
Cayenne Pepper- Optional, increase or decrease based on your preferred spice level. I prefer cayenne over crushed red pepper flakes in this recipe because the fine texture of the cayenne powder ensures each bite will have even spice.
Ground Mustard- Not typically found in blackening seasoning, this is my secret ingredient!
While ground mustard isn't detectable on its own but when I don't use it the seasoning tastes flat to me. I even add ground mustard to store-bought seasonings
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
🌡️Instructions and Storage
Usually, I go into detail on how to make a recipe. But like all homemade dry spice blends, this is easy peasy.
Simply combine all the spices in a jar with a tight-fitting lid or other airtight container, and stir or shake to combine.
Assuming you are using fresh spices, the blackening seasoning can be stored in a cool dry place for up to a year. Given that most of us have half-used jars of spices laying around I suggest using it within 6 months.
The spices may separate over time. Be sure to give your jar a shake before using it.
🥗How to Use Blackened Seasoning
Make a compound butter for slathering on steaks, rub on fish and shrimp, add a big helping to your seafood boil, or add to your dredge when making fried chicken.
In addition to using on meats, I think roasted vegetables are one of the best ways to use this spice mix. Why not give your veggies bold flavor?
I sprinkle it on roasted eggplant, slow-roasted tomatoes, and sauteed green beans along with a little olive oil or melted butter.
Try stirring a tablespoon into your favorite cream sauce for cajun pasta or even mac and cheese. Or make these delectable Cajun shrimp deviled eggs!
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
Sprinkle a little of the blackened seasoning blend on your butter toast in the morning for an early morning pick me-up!
More Spicy Recipes
💬Frequently Asked Questions
These words are typically used interchangeably. Blackening refers to the cooking method where a piece of meat is coated with a thick and spicy dry rub before searing it in a cast iron skillet on high heat.
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Homemade Blackened Seasoning
- 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl.
- Seal in an airtight container until use.
- Adjust the level of heat by increasing or decreasing the cayenne pepper.
- The blackening seasoning can be stored at room temperature for up to a year.
- The spices may separate over time. Be sure to give your jar a shake before using it.
Super simple to make using everyday spices. I used it as a wing rub and stirred some into a cream sauce for a spicy chicken alfredo.
Thanks for the review!