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Blackening Seasoning

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This blackening seasoning blend is easy to make and incredibly versatile. It 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 vibrant flavor!

Blackening seasoning, or blackened seasoning, is similar to Cajun or Creole seasoning and has a little spicy kick to it (although you can change this according to your tastes).

Spices for blackening seasoning in an off-white bowl.

Uses for Blackening Seasoning

Here are some of our favorite recipes that use blackening seasoning - it's really versatile and adds a punch of flavor to lots of 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 it pairs perfectly with a variety of side dishes.
  • One-Skillet Mahi Mahi and Orzo - a delicious one-pan wonder that is 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. 

Ingredients for Blackening Seasoning

The base of blackening seasoning is a hearty portion of smoked paprika. Most blackening seasonings also contain some mixture of onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, cayenne, dried thyme, and dried oregano.

The amount of cayenne you use should be proportional to how spicy you like your seasoning. I used ½ a teaspoon of cayenne because the cayenne powder I have is quite pungent and I like medium spice.

If you would like a milder flavor, decrease it to ¼ teaspoon and if you love heat, add 1 teaspoon of cayenne.

Blackening Seasoning FAQs

What is blackening seasoning?

Blackening seasoning is a blend of spices and herbs that are used to blacken fish or meat in a preparation method that involves a hot pan, some oil or butter, and cooking the protein till it develops a blackened crust. It's a popular style of cooking in Cajun cuisine.

Is blackening seasoning Cajun seasoning?

Blackening seasoning is similar to Cajun seasoning, but Cajun seasoning is usually spicier. Creole seasoning is also similar but it usually 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.

More Spice Blends to Try

If you're looking for some other fun spice blends, bookmark these - they're great too!

Tips for Making this Recipe

Storing Tips - You can store this blend for up to 3 months in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Spice Tips - Before making this recipe, give your spices a sniff 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.

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Yield: about ¼ cup

Blackening Seasoning

A homemade blackening seasoning in an off-white bowl.

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 granulated garlic
  • 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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