In this post: This blackening seasoning mix is an easy way to add a deep and rich flavor to your food. It can be used with many types of meat, seafood, and vegetables.


Use this delicious seasoning recipe to create delicious dinners of all kinds. Paprika, cayenne, garlic, onion, and more combine to create not just a gorgeous color, but an amazing flavor!

Blackening seasoning in a square white bowl.

What is Blackening Seasoning?

Blackening seasoning is the seasoning mix that’s often used when blackening foods. It commonly includes cayenne and/or chili pepper, garlic and onion powder, thyme, and black pepper. I like to add paprika and use Italian seasoning instead of just thyme to add more variety to this mix!

Why Homemade Spice Blends Are Better

When you make a spice blend at home, you’re guaranteed a spice mix free from MSG, excessive salt, and preservatives. Plus you can adjust the ingredient amounts to fit your unique taste preferences!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This blackening seasoning recipe:

  • is quick and easy to make
  • keeps well in an airtight container for months
  • doesn’t contain complicated instructions or hard-to-find ingredients
  • can easily be adjusted to suit your individual taste
Paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper in individual white bowls.

Ingredients

  • Paprika: sweet, peppery, and vegetable-like.
  • Cayenne pepper: fruity and spicy.
  • Onion powder: an easy way to add mild onion flavor.
  • Garlic powder: a shelf-stable way to add garlic.
  • Italian seasoning: if you don’t have one, try making this recipe.
  • Sea salt: add as much or as little of this as you like.
  • Black Pepper: smoky, spicy, and sharp.

How to Make Homemade Blackening Seasoning

  1. Add the ingredients to a small dish.
  2. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Store in an airtight jar or container in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months.
Blackening seasoning in a glass jar.

Recipe Tips

  • The great thing about homemade seasonings is you can adjust them to fit your preferences! This means that if you like a stronger flavor of one herb or spice, you can add more of it.
  • You can use smoked paprika in place of normal paprika for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Cheaper spices are usually less flavorful, so using good quality spices will enhance your seasoning mixture. 
  • Use this seasoning in the same amount as you would store-bought. 

How to Use

You can use blackening seasoning for foods you will and won’t be blackening. Here are some ideas:

Paprika, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, and black pepper in a shallow bowl.

FAQs

What does blackened food taste like?

If you use this seasoning, your blackened food will be savory, smokey, mildly spicy, and amazingly crispy!

Is blackening seasoning spicy?

It can be anywhere between very spicy and not spicy at all depending on what spices you use and how much of them you use. This recipe is what I would call perfectly spicy because it isn’t melt-your-mouth spicy but it also isn’t completely flavorless. You can play around with how much spice you want to add based on your personal taste preferences.

How much blackening seasoning should I use?

A general starting amount is 2-3 tablespoons for every two servings. This may seem like a lot, but charred seasoning is an extremely important part of the blackening process! If you find there’s too much seasoning, you can always reduce the amount you use next time.

How do you blacken something?

In the simplest terms, all you have to do is coat the food in butter and seasoning and cook it on very high heat in a cast-iron pan until it gets that brown-black crust. You shouldn’t use a non-stick pan because the high heat required to blacken food will ruin the non-stick coating. You’ll also want to be careful of how smoky this cooking method can be – make sure your kitchen is well-ventilated.

What’s the difference between blackening seasoning, Cajun seasoning, and Creole spice?

They’re all very similar! Cajun seasoning is the spiciest of the three and Creole seasoning has more herbs and mild ingredients mixed in. Blackening seasoning is like the intersection between Cajun seasoning and Creole seasoning.

Is it ‘blackening’ seasoning or ‘blackened’ seasoning?

The grammatically correct term is ‘blackening seasoning’ because it’s a seasoning that helps to blacken food rather than a season that is itself ‘blackened.’

Close up of blackening seasoning in a square white bowl.
A wooden spoonful of blackening seasoning.

Blackening Seasoning Mix

Yield: just under 6 tablespoons
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes

Works on any food you wish to blacken.

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons Paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Instructions

  1. Add the ingredients to a small dish.
  2. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
  3. Store in an airtight jar or container in a dry pantry for up to 6 months.

Notes

  • The great thing about homemade seasonings is you can adjust them to your preferences. This means that if you like a stronger flavor of one herb or spice, you can add more of it!
  • You can use smoked paprika in place of normal paprika for an extra burst of flavor.
  • Using quality spices will enhance your seasoning mixture. Cheaper spices are usually less flavorful.
  • Use this seasoning in the same amount as you would store-bought. 
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 8Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily via Nutrifox.

Did you make this recipe?

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shannon photo and sig oct 2022

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