This easy Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe uses pantry ingredients. Use it to blacken fish, seafood, chicken, and more to add spicy flavor to your life.
Adjust it to your tastes and needs; there is no need to buy an expensive mix.
Paprika-sweet or smoked
Onion and garlic powder
Pepper—black or white pepper
Featured Comment from Vonnie:
"Great flavor!! I added more heat and less salt, but dang this was yummy! Thank you for this recipe!!"
Made with pantry staples, this is an excellent basic blend of spices that will add tons of flavor to your delicious meals.
This homemade blackened seasoning blend is perfect with fish, shrimp, chicken, or any place you want a great spicy taste.
Based on an Aaron MaCorgo Jr (Food Networks “Big Daddy”) recipe.
The main variable is the cayenne pepper. I offer a suggested range of ¼ to 1 teaspoon. My estimate is ¼ teaspoon is about 2/10. While ½ teaspoon will be about 5/10. And a full teaspoon will be 7-8/10. I generally use ½ teaspoon.
By doing this yourself, you get to make the adjustments you want. Use smoked paprika, more garlic, more pepper, or white pepper; increase the heat with more cayenne. Don't like oregano or thyme—take them out.
I put mine in a shaker from Penzeys Spices. Be sure to seal tight.
The most common uses are blackened chicken, fish like tilapia and salmon, shrimp, and vegetables. But it can also be used on beef, like steak.
📖Other Homemade Spice Mixes
I love homemade seasoning blends. We use All Purpose Seasoning every day. Chipotle Seasoning is a versatile season for chicken, salad, and more. Marlowe's Black Magic Seasoning is a classic Southern seasoning. We also use homemade dry rubs, like 8:3:1:1 Dry Rub and Memphis Dry Rub.
These are a bit confusing and have a lot of overlap in the usage of the terms. Here are a few generalities.
Cajan is usually the spiciest of the three. To make this seasoning Cajan, crank up the cayenne to the upper end of the range.
Creole is usually the mildest and may have various herbs mixed in, like oregano, basil, and thyme.
And blackening seasoning is in the middle. So, a very spicy blackening seasoning can properly be called Cajan, and a mild spiced one will cross over into Creole territory, especially if it has more herbs.
Storage of spice blends
Store homemade spice blends in an airtight container, like an old glass spice bottle with a shaker for convent use. Other airtight containers, like plastic containers, will also work.
- Using a smaller container will have less air, and your spices will stay vibrant longer.
- Cool, dark spaces like pantries are good storage areas. Light and heat can affect the spices.
- The spices will store well for 2 months but then slowly lose flavor and, by 6-12 months, should be replaced.
- Refrigerating and freezing are NOT good ideas. Moisture will condense and affect the seasoning and rub.
Homemade Blackened Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 ⅓ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ¼-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Mix two tablespoons paprika, two teaspoon onion powder, 1 ½ teaspoons of kosher salt, and one teaspoon each of garlic powder, thyme, oregano, and black pepper. The range for cayenne pepper is ¼ to 1 teaspoon.
- Store in an airtight container.
Your Own Private Notes
- Great for fish, chicken, or vegetables. Can be used any place you want an nice spicy taste.
- By doing this yourself, you get to make the adjustments you want. Use smoked paprika, more garlic, or white pepper. Don't like oregano or thyme, take them out.
- The main variable is the cayenne pepper. I offer a suggested range of ¼ to 1 teaspoon. My estimate is ¼ teaspoon is about 2/10 heat. While ½ teaspoon will be about 4-5/10. A full teaspoon will be 7-8/10. I generally use ½ teaspoon.
- I put mine in an airtight shaker from Penzeys Spices. Be sure to seal tight.
- It should be good if sealed well for months like normal spices.
To adjust the recipe size:
You may adjust the number of servings in this recipe card under servings. This does the math for the ingredients for you. BUT it does NOT adjust the text of the instructions. So you need to do that yourself.
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Editor's Note: Originally Published May 18, 2016. Updated with expanded options, refreshed photos, and a table of contents to help navigation.