Blackened Seasoning Recipe

Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe

When it comes to spicing up your meals, a homemade Blackened Seasoning blend can be a game-changer. By combining simple ingredients  you can create a spice mix that adds depth, heat, and excitement to your dishes. Whether you’re cooking for a family dinner or hosting a gathering, this seasoning blend will impress your guests and have them asking for your secret recipe.

What is “Blackened”

The term “blackened” refers to the darkened appearance of the spices and herbs as they cook and create a smoky, aromatic flavor. It is a classic Cajun cooking technique which involves coating a piece of seafood or meat with butter  or oil, coating with blackened spices and searing in a hot skillet so the rub turns black. Blackened Shrimp and Grits is one of our favorite ways to use this spice blend! No, this does not mean burnt. The unique blend of spices, combined with the butter at a high heat creates a dark brown, almost black crust. This is typically used on seafood and chicken. Using a cast iron skillet is the best way to get a perfectly blackened piece of protein.

Why make your own Blackened Blend?

While you can easily purchase pre-made blackened spice mixes from the store, there’s something truly special about crafting your own homemade blackened seasoning. Not only do you have control over the ingredients, but you can also customize the heat level to suit your preferences. We prefer using less salt in our food, so this recipe calls for less salt. You can even leave the salt out completely, and add salt when you use the spice.

What is the history of blackened seasoning?

Blackened seasoning, as a culinary technique and flavor profile, is often attributed to the famous Louisiana chef Paul Prudhomme. He is known for popularizing the blackening method and creating the signature blackened seasoning blend. Prudhomme introduced this technique in the 1980s.

Paul Prudhomme was a chef and restaurateur who played a significant role in promoting Cajun and Creole cuisine and bringing it to a broader audience. He owned the K-Paul’s Louisiana Kitchen restaurant in New Orleans, where he developed and showcased his innovative cooking techniques and spice blends, including the blackened seasoning.

While the exact date of the invention of blackened seasoning might not be pinpointed, it gained popularity and recognition in the 1980s through Prudhomme’s efforts. The technique involves coating fish or other proteins with a flavorful spice blend and cooking it in a hot skillet to create a charred, flavorful crust. It’s important to note that while Paul Prudhomme is often credited with popularizing blackened seasoning, the flavors and techniques associated with blackening draw from the rich culinary traditions of Cajun and Creole cooking in Louisiana.

Blackened Seasoning Ingredients we use:

Granulated Garlic: Granulated Garlic provides a concentrated garlic flavor that adds depth and richness to the seasoning. We prefer to use Granulated Garlic, rather than Garlic Powder. It does not clump up, and has a more mild garlic flavor. Either will work in this recipe.

Granulated Onion: Like garlic, onion is a foundational ingredient in cooking. Granulated onion brings a slightly sweet and earthy flavor to the blackened seasoning blend. Using onion powder instead of onion granules is perfectly fine. You will still get that onion flavor.

Smoked Paprika: Smoked paprika is a key component that imparts a smoky undertone to blackened seasoning. This smokiness adds a layer of depth and complexity to the blend. The bright red color gives your dishes a gorgeous color peeking out from behind the blackened char. Although you can use regular paprika, the flavor will not be as smoky.

Ground Black Pepper: Ground black pepper adds a subtle heat and warmth to the seasoning. Its sharp, pungent flavor complements the other spices while also enhancing the overall spiciness of the blend.  We use a course ground pepper in our blend, but you can use regular black pepper.

Cayenne Pepper: Cayenne pepper is the spice responsible for the level of heat in this blend. Its fiery and intense flavor profile gives dishes a kick. The amount of cayenne pepper used in the seasoning can be adjusted to achieve the desired level of spiciness. So basically, the amount this calls for is not too spicy for me. If you love flavor, but can not handle the heat, leave this ingredient out.

Oregano: Oregano contributes an herbaceous and slightly floral note to the blackened seasoning blend. While not as dominant as some other spices, oregano adds depth and complexity to the overall flavor profile. Its earthy and aromatic qualities provide a rounded finish to the seasoning.

Thyme: Thyme is another herb that brings an aromatic dimension to this seasoning. Its slightly minty and earthy flavor complements the other spices and herbs in the blend, enhancing the overall taste experience. Thyme’s contribution helps create a well-rounded and cohesive flavor profile.

Ancho Chili Powder: Ancho chili powder is made from dried, ground ancho chilies, which are dried poblano peppers. It adds a mild, fruity, and slightly smoky flavor to the blackened seasoning. Ancho chili powder is not traditionally in blackened seasoning, but we like the slightly sweet, almost raisin like flavor it adds.

Salt: Salt is a universal flavor enhancer that brings out the natural flavors of the other ingredients in the blackened seasoning blend. We only use a small amount, to keep this low in sodium. We prefer to add salt as needed while cooking. If you want to increase the salt in this seasoning, feel free.

Bringing Heat to Your Dishes

One of the beauties of this homemade blackened seasoning recipe is its versatility. Whether you’re cooking up a batch of grilled chicken, sautéed vegetables, or even experimenting with Cajun-inspired air fryer recipes, this seasoning blend will be your go-to spice mix. Sprinkle it generously on chicken, fish, shrimp, or even tofu to infuse your dish with the bold Cajun flavors. And don’t forget how good it is on freshly popped pop-corn! Yes, I said it. Popcorn. No, it won’t be blackened, as you are not frying it, but man is it tasty!

How to Store your Blackened Seasoning:

Transfer the spice blend to an airtight container, and store it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. This will help maintain the flavors and keep the seasoning fresh for your next culinary adventure.

blackened seasoning on white fish with 2 lemons on a plate, a hand holding it

Blackened Seasoning Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Course: Spice Blend
Cuisine: Cajun
Keyword: Cajun, Spice Blend
Servings: 62
Calories: 3kcal


  • 1 bowl
  • Spice Jar
  • Paper plate


  • 2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic or Garlic Powder
  • 2 tablespoons Ancho chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon Course Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Oregano
  • 1 tablespoon Thyme
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Granules or onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper adjust according to desired spiciness
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt adjust to taste


  • In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients
    2 tablespoons Granulated Garlic, 2 tablespoons Ancho chili powder, 2 tablespoons Smoked Paprika, 1 tablespoon Course Ground Black Pepper, 1 tablespoon Oregano, 1 tablespoon Thyme, 1 tablespoon Onion Granules, 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • Stir well to ensure all the spices are evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
  • Taste the seasoning blend and adjust the salt and cayenne pepper according to your preference for saltiness and spiciness.
  • Once satisfied with the flavor, transfer the Cajun seasoning to an airtight container or spice jar for storage. To make this easy, put spices on a paper plate and fold plate in half, and the seasoning will slide in without making a mess.
  • Store the Cajun seasoning in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.


Calories: 3kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.1g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.02g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 202IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 0.2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

Hi, we are Bruce and Dina Miller. We love to cook every night. We enjoy making a few healthy dishes, and also comfort food. We love crafting cocktails too! Come take a look, we would love to share our recipes with you.


  1. Gianne Reply

    5 stars
    The combination of spices was just the right amount of heat and flavor. It added an amazing kick to my grilled chicken. Definitely a new favorite!

  2. Tayler Reply

    5 stars
    I much prefer to make my own seasoning blends, and this one is perfect! I added it to chicken last night and it’s delicious!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      Bet that was a great meal! We love using it on grilled chicken for sandwiches!

      Dina and Bruce

  3. Chenee Reply

    5 stars
    This was so good. I loved that I can adjust the heat level a bit. I made two batches. One for the kids who like the smoky flavor but a little less spice, and one for the adults!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      That is genius. I don’t like it as spicy as Bruce, so next time I am gonna make him a spicy batch!

      Dina and Bruce

  4. Casey Reply

    5 stars
    I used this to season some shrimp and it was so good! My new favorite seasoning blend.

  5. Dana Reply

    5 stars
    Love this blackened seasoning! It works so well and is perfect with salmon and shrimp. We’ve had it with both!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      We used on salmon this week. We are so glad you love it!

      Dina and Bruce

  6. Harriet Young Reply

    5 stars
    This seasoning is so good! I used it on shrimp and the flavour was off the charts. Will definitely be making again!

  7. Kathleen Reply

    5 stars
    This blackened seasoning is a fabulous addition to my spice rack. I’m already thinking of how I’m going to use it.

  8. Michelle Reply

    5 stars
    Homemade seasonings really are better than store-bought. This is a great addition to my spice rack, I’ve used it a few times now and loved it!

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      That makes us so happy. We started making our own blends a few years ago and really notice a difference in freshness!

      Dina and Bruce

  9. Carrie Robinson Reply

    5 stars
    I just love making my own seasoning blends! 🙂 I will have to try this one soon.

  10. Renae Reply

    5 stars
    The blend of spices gave the perfect amount of heat and flavor to my dish. It was easy to make and added a delicious kick to my meal.

  11. Tara Reply

    5 stars
    Oooh, such an easy and delicious homemade seasoning blend! It looks so good paired with the shrimp.

  12. Dana Reply

    5 stars
    Saw the video for this on your Instagram feed and knew I had to try it! It did not disappoint. SO delish!! Thanks for the amazing recipe!

  13. Sonia Reply

    5 stars
    What a delightful recipe! Thank you so much for sharing!

  14. Saif Reply

    5 stars
    This spices look good. Can’t wait to use this for my roasted chicken.

  15. Donalyn Reply

    5 stars
    This was really good on chicken – I’m glad it made enough for more meals, because I’m looking forward to trying it on shrimp next. 😊

    • Dina and Bruce at the Golden Gate Bridge

      Bruce and Dina Miller Reply


      So glad you enjoyed it. Shrimp is the perfect pairing!

      Dina and Bruce

  16. Tayler Reply

    5 stars
    I love making my own seasonings, and this one is incredible! I used it to make chicken last night and it came out perfectly!

  17. Holley Reply

    5 stars
    So easy to make and the perfect combination of spices! I use this seasoning on just about everything!

  18. DK Reply

    5 stars
    Nice – love this blackened seasoning! It’s definitely going in my tool bag of homemade spices!

  19. [email protected] Reply

    5 stars
    Homemade seasoning is always the best. Thanks for the recipe.

  20. Charla Reply

    5 stars
    Thank you for defining what blackened seasoning is, this is how household staple since discovering your recipe.

  21. Helen Reply

    5 stars
    Ooh I love a homemade seasoning mix and this one looks terrific! Aromatic and with just a kick of spice – perfect.

  22. Sonia Reply

    5 stars
    What a delightful combination – absolutely love the flavor combo!

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