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Blackening Seasoning Recipe

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This blackening seasoning blend is easy to make and tastes great! It's an incredibly versatile seasoning that can be used on fish, chicken, steak, corn, and more.

It takes just a couple of minutes to pull together, and you'll love the bold flavor that comes together with the different spices!

Blackening seasoning on a small metal plate with a silver spoon.
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What is Blackening Seasoning?

Blackening seasoning, or blackened seasoning, is similar to Cajun or Creole seasoning and has a little spicy kick (although you can change this according to your tastes). There are different variations to the seasoning, but we love this one!

Blackening seasoning is a blend of spices and herbs used to blacken fish, meat, or your favorite proteins. The cooking technique involves a hot pan, like a cast iron skillet, oil, like melted butter or olive oil, and cooking on high heat until the meat develops a blackened crust. It's a popular style of cooking in Cajun cuisine. 

Ingredients for blackening seasoning on a small metal plate.

Ingredients for Blackening Seasoning

The base of blackening seasoning is a hearty portion of smoked paprika. The combination of spices also contains a mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, black or white pepper, salt, cayenne, dried thyme, and dried oregano. Some blackening seasonings contain chili powder or brown sugar. 

We prefer this simple recipe because it tastes delicious and comes together with only eight simple ingredients. Here are the key ingredients you'll need:

  • Smoked paprika
  • Kosher salt
  • Onion powder
  • Granulated garlic
  • Ground black pepper
  • Dried thyme
  • Dried oregano
  • Cayenne pepper

The amount of cayenne pepper you use will depend on your preferences for spice levels. I used ½ a teaspoon of cayenne because my cayenne powder is quite pungent, and I like a medium spicy flavor. 

If you want a milder flavor, decrease it to ¼ teaspoon; if you love heat, add one teaspoon of cayenne. See the recipe card below for the full ingredient amounts, and adjust the cayenne powder to your preference. 

An overhead shot of a plate with tilapia, rice, limes, and a fork.

How to use Blackening Seasoning

Here are some of our favorite recipes that use blackening seasoning - it's versatile and adds a punch of flavor to many types of dishes.

  • Blackened Tilapia - this spicy blackened tilapia recipe is ready in minutes! The seasoning and sautéing of this dish combine to make a delicious, tender fish.
  • Blackened Cod - pan-fried cod fish coated with plenty of seasoning. Made in less than 10 minutes, it's perfect for a healthy and flavorful weeknight dinner and pairs perfectly with various side dishes.
  • One-Skillet Mahi Mahi and Orzo - a delicious one-pan wonder bursting with bright flavor. Made with fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, blackening seasoning, and white wine, it's the perfect light summer meal!
  • Blackened Shrimp Fajita Tacos - the perfect no-fuss recipe that the entire family will devour. In addition to tasting amazing, they are quick and easy to make, so you can prepare them when you are low on time.
  • Blackened Harissa Halibut Burgers - a delicious Blackened Harissa Halibut Burger on a brioche bun with garlic lemon yogurt. It’s got the perfect amount of seasoned heat from the harissa and yogurt to cool things off. 
Blackening seasoning being mixed on a small metal plate with a silver spoon.

Blackening Seasoning FAQs

Is blackening seasoning Cajun seasoning?

Blackening seasoning is similar to Cajun seasoning, but Cajun seasoning is usually spicier. Creole seasoning is also similar but has more herbs.

Does blackened mean spicy?

Blackening seasoning doesn't necessarily mean something is spicy, although it will have a strong flavor. It might be mildly spicy depending on the seasoning blend used, but it just means it was cooked with a crust of herbs and spices.

How do you store blackening seasoning?

You can store this blend for up to 3 months in an airtight jar in a cool, dry place. A small glass jar or a Mason jar works great.

How to know when your spices are bad?

Before making this recipe, sniff your spices and see if they still smell strong. If your spices don't have much smell, they may need to be replaced. I try to replace my most used spices once a year. 

This homemade blackened seasoning will become your favorite spice mix in your cabinet! Having homemade spice blends on hand will make your cooking process much smoother, and you'll be able to put together meals quickly. 

More Spice Blends to Try

We have more delicious homemade seasoning mixes if you're looking for more delicious homemade seasoning mixes! Check out these yummy homemade seasonings. Making your own seasoning mixes and having a variety on hand allows for easier cooking. It's one of the best ways to meal prep. 

  • Lemon Pepper Seasoning - a kicky blend of dried lemon peels, pepper, and more.
  • Fajita Seasoning - a lightly spicy blend that's great on meat and doubles as a homemade taco seasoning! 
  • Italian Seasoning - a herby blend that's wonderful in soup, on bread, and on chicken.
  • Chicken Seasoning - made with a few pantry staple ingredients- is great on any of your favorite meats!
  • Creole Seasoning - with a little heat and a blend of spices and herbs, this seasoning tastes wonderful on many dishes.  

If you try this recipe for blackening spices, let us know! Connect with us on Instagram and share your photos, or leave us a rating.

Yield: about ¼ cup

Blackening Seasoning

Blackening seasoning on a small metal plate with a silver spoon.

This easy blackening seasoning can be used in a multitude of ways - on fish, vegetables, chicken, and more!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne


  1. Combine the paprika, salt, onion, garlic, pepper, thyme, oregano, and cayenne in a small bowl. Stir to combine.
  2. Use immediately or store for up to 3 months in an airtight container in a cool, dry cabinet.

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