My Homemade Blackened Seasoning recipe is zesty, flavorful, and has just the right amount of spice. This spice blend features smoked paprika, onion, garlic, cayenne, and oregano making it the perfect way to blacken any dish. Use it to bring life to fish, shrimp, chicken, and more.
Homemade Blackened Seasoning recipe
This Homemade Blackened Seasoning recipe is so simple to make and tastes better than anything you'll find at the store. I love making my own spice blends because they use ingredients you already have in the pantry, taste fresher, have fewer preservatives, and are customizable to your own taste.
Over the years I've shared lot's of my homemade seasoning mixes including my Everything But the Bagel Seasoning, Homemade Cajun Seasoning, Taco Spice Mix, Homemade Italian Spice Mix, DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice, and DIY Herbs de Provence, but today we're sharing one of my all-time favorite ways to liven up fish or shrimp - a delightfully rich and flavorful Blackened Seasoning recipe!
This Blackening Seasoning is great because it takes less than 5 minutes to make and once you make it you can store it in your pantry for up to a year. The rich flavors of this seasoning are a surprising addition to so many dishes and can help bring any weekday dinner to life. You can use this on anything from fish (mahi mahi, salmon, tilapia,) seafood, chicken, steak, potatoes, and even oven roasted vegetables!
This recipe happens to be naturally vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, gluten free, low carb, paleo, and keto.
What is Blackened Seasoning?
If you aren't familiar with Blackened Seasoning, it actually originated from Cajun cuisine in New Orleans. What's in the seasoning varies, but it's often a blend of smoked paprika, onion, garlic, cayenne, and oregano. Some versions also have thyme and basil. The paprika and cayenne give the seasoning a darker coloring. It's similar to a Cajun Spice Mix or Creole Seasonings but my version is heavier on the smoked paprika without the thyme.
There are lots of popular versions of Blackened Seasoning available in the stores these days. A few favorites are Zatarains Blackened Seasoning, Emeril's Blackened Seasoning Blend, and Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends - Blackened Redfish Magic.
Store-Bought Blackened Seasonings
- Zatarains Blackened Seasoning
- Emeril's Blackened Seasoning Blend
- Chef Paul Prudhomme's Magic Seasoning Blends - Blackened Redfish Magic
Those are some great options, but making your own homemade blackening spices means you ensure yours has no additives. It's also super budget-friendly, easy and you can adjust the spice level to your own taste. If you want more or less cayenne - do it! You can also adjust the salt level and even make a salt-free version if you'd like. Most store-bought versions contain lots of sodium and salt.
How do you blacken foods?
The technical way to blacken foods actually involves more than just the seasoning though. To officially backend a dish you dip your protein (fish, chicken, seafood) in melted butter, add Blackened Seasoning, and then sear it over high heat. Traditionally you'd cook it in a cast iron skillet. That combination of the seasoning AND the high heat from the skillet gives the dish that dark blackened flavor and color.
However, I often use this spice blend when I'm simply baking or roasting my fish, seafood, or vegetables and still call it blackened. Just call me a rebel! 🙂
Here's what you'll need to make my Homemade Blackened Seasoning.
- Smoked Paprika: Smoked Paprika gives the seasoning that classic dark orange or black color. It has a rich smokey flavor that really pops.
- Onion Powder: Onion Powder adds some robust flavor to the spice blend.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic Powder gives this spice mix a potent and distinct flavor. You need both the onion and garlic powder to balance out the flavors in this.
- Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne Pepper is ground red pepper and also gives the spice blend that dark color. This is where the spice or heat comes from, so feel free to adjust it. You could do anything from ½ teaspoon to 2 teaspoons in this recipe.
- Dried Oregano: Oregano adds some light herby earthiness to the mix. Oregano is peppery and slightly minty balancing out the heat in the seasoning.
- Salt: For best results use freshly ground sea salt. You can adjust the amount of salt in this to your taste.
- Pepper: I also love to use freshly ground black pepper for the best flavor.
- Get out a small herb jar.
- Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Mix well.
- Use immediately or pour into an airtight and store in the dark pantry or dry place.
Ways to Use Blackened Seasoning
This Homemade Blackened Seasoning recipe is super versatile and there are so many ways to use it. Here are some ideas.
- Fish: Generously coat your fish (Mahi Mahi, Salmon, Tilapia, Swordfish, Snapper, Trout, etc.) with the seasoning.
- Seafood: Dip shrimp in this seasoning and pan-fry them in a touch of butter.
- Meat: Season steak, pork chops, chicken, or pork tenderloin with the mix. You can also use it as a spice rub.
- Vegetables: Sprinkle almost any vegetable (Broccoli, Green Beans, Mushrooms, Asparagus, or Zucchini) in this seasoning and roast until tender.
- Potatoes: Drizzle your favorite potato with olive oil and sprinkle of this seasoning. Roast on high heat until tender.
- Pasta: Add it to your favorite creamy pasta sauces to kick up the flavor.
I love this Homemade Blackened Seasoning as written, but here are some ideas to adapt it to your own taste.
- Make it Spicier: Add more Cayenne Pepper or even Ghost Pepper
- Make it more Herb Forward: Add thyme and/or basil.
- Make it Salt-Free or Low Sodium: Leave out the salt.
- Make it Double: You can easily double or triple this recipe to make a big batch.
How long can your store this spice blend?
As long as the spices you use are fresh you can store this Homemade Blackened Seasoning in an airtight container in your pantry for up to a year.
Do spice mixes ever go bad?
They don't really go bad but they will lose their flavor. Spices past their expiration will not necessarily hurt you, but they may taste less potent or eventually like nothing. For that reason, I recommend going through your spice cabinet once a year or two to update what's inside.
More Homemade Spice Mixes to Try:
- Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
- Homemade Cajun Seasoning
- Taco Spice Mix
- Homemade Italian Spice Mix
- DIY Pumpkin Pie Spice
- DIY Herbs de Provence
- Homemade Ranch Seasoning Mix
- Homemade Chili Seasoning Mix
Homemade Blackened Seasoning recipe
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Combine the smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Use immediately or pour into an airtight and store in the dark pantry.
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