This simple, flavorful blackening seasoning recipe is fantastic on fish, chicken, steak, and even roasted veggies!
Whenever I order salmon in a restaurant, I always ask to have it blackened.
This seems to mean different things at different restaurants – sometimes they simply throw it on the grill grates (which still adds yummy flavor) but what I’m always hoping for is that they rub it with a good blackening seasoning.
Blackening seasoning has an amazing amount of flavor and typically a lot of spice – a combination that is difficult for me to resist.
What is blackened seasoning?
Blackening seasoning is a mix of spices and herbs and is usually spicy. It’s most commonly used as a rub for chicken, fish or steak. It’s widely available for purchase but it’s often cheaper to make your own, plus you can control how spicy it is as well as the sodium levels.
If you do choose to purchase it, this one called “Black Magic” comes highly recommended. They used it to smoke a whole turkey, and I’m definitely on board for that!
What is blackening seasoning made of?
A mix of dried herbs such as thyme and oregano, plus ground powders such as garlic and onion. Paprika is almost always used, as well as varying amounts of cayenne pepper which adds heat.
This recipe also uses smoked paprika, which adds a wonderful smoky flavor!
Is blackening seasoning the same as Cajun seasoning?
They’re very similar and can often be used interchangeably. Cajun seasoning tends to be spicier than blackened, although much of that depends on the recipe and how much cayenne is added.
How to Make Blackened Seasoning
It only takes a few minutes to make your own homemade blackened seasoning and it’s much better (and cheaper) than what you could buy at the store. To make your own, you’ll mix the following spices together then store it in a small glass jar. Save empty spice jars so you’ll always have an easy container on hand.
- smoked paprika
- cayenne pepper
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- black pepper
It’s also wonderful tossed with roasted vegetables. If I’m blackening my main course, I’ll leave the side dishes without it so there’s a good overall flavor balance to the meal. I’ve even gone so far as mixing into mashed potatoes, stirring it into soups for a boost of flavor and as a popcorn seasoning!
The point is, it’s a versatile seasoning that can be tailored to your own tastes and used in any number of dishes.
To use it, simply rub it over the surface of your meat, then prepare it as desired. For vegetables, toss them with a little oil and seasoning, then either grill or roast them. It makes for a flavorful, healthy meal without much effort.
This simple blackening seasoning recipe makes a great gift, too. I’ve been known to mass-produce small jars of it for Christmas and birthday gifts; I’ll even grab one to take as an extra hostess gift at a party. Another idea is to make two jars of complimentary spices and give them as a set. Lemon Pepper Seasoning is one that I use often.
Many of my friends make sure to let me know when they’re out so that they never have to go too long without some (I’ve started referring them to the blackening seasoning recipe so they can make it themselves in a pinch).
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, cut in half if you prefer less spicy
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Mix all ingredients together and store in a cool, dry place. Will stay fresh for three months if sealed well.
- To use: coat whatever meat or fish you’re using with extra-virgin olive oil, just enough to coat, then coat liberally with spice mix. Grill, broil, roast or saute as desired.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 27 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 534mg Carbohydrates: 6g Net Carbohydrates: 3g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g