5 from 11 votes
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Homemade Blackening Seasoning (Cajun Rub Mix)

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Blackening seasoning is so simple to make, and it will elevate your dinners to a whole new level. A mix of spices creates a rich and flavorful Cajun seasoning to spread on fish, chicken, and more. You might also call this a homemade blackened seasoning blend; either name, it is a delicious blend of spices.

Spilled blacking seasoning mixture on a white countertop.

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This Cajun seasoning has cayenne pepper, paprika, onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. A great blend that offers warmth and flavor. You can control the spice with the cayenne pepper to create the flavor you want.

If you are like me, you enjoy making your own seasonings and sauces. Try out my homemade spaghetti seasoning; to enhance your pasta game. Or create this garlic bread seasoning; it is one of our favorites.

Want something a little spicier? Try this simple chili seasoning mix with chicken, beef, or even fish.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You get to control the ingredients used in this blackening spice blend.
  • If you want a spicy blend, add more cayenne pepper for mild use less of it.
  • It is great to season a variety of your favorite meats, including fish and chicken, or mix it into casseroles and other dishes.
  • Stores well in the spice cupboard to have on hand when you want to use it later.

What is Blackening Seasoning?

Blackening seasoning is the perfect blend of spices for Cajun-flavored dishes. It is made with cayenne powder, garlic, onion, Italian seasoning, and more. This seasoning is rubbed on meats or mixed in recipes.

When you sear on high heat, it creates a blackened crust or char, which enhances the flavor even more. This smokey spice blend works perfectly with chicken and fish, but it can also be used on pork or beef.

What’s in This Blackening Seasoning Recipe?

Paprika, Cayenne Pepper, Onion and Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning, Salt, and Black Pepper sitting on a white countertop.
  • Paprika: This spice adds a vibrant red hue to any dish and delivers a sweet, smoky flavor that serves as the base for the blackening seasoning’s characteristic warmth.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Known for its fiery heat, cayenne pepper allows you to customize the spice level of your seasoning blend, turning the heat up or down to suit your taste preferences.
  • Onion Powder: Onion powder brings a subtle, savory depth to the seasoning mix, complementing the other spices with its earthy, slightly sweet notes.
  • Garlic Powder: A quintessential ingredient in many homemade spice blends, garlic powder offers a rich, aromatic quality that enhances the overall complexity and flavor of the seasoning.
  • Italian Seasoning: This blend of dried herbs, typically including oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram, introduces a hint of Mediterranean flair and freshness to the mix.
  • Salt: Salt enhances flavor by magnifying the individual tastes of the other spices. It is crucial to draw out the natural flavors of whatever food the seasoning is applied to.
  • Black Pepper: Freshly ground black pepper adds a slight heat and a punch of flavor, creating a perfect balance with the cayenne pepper’s warmth and the paprika’s sweetness.

The complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions can be found in the printable recipe card below.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Smoked Paprika: If you’re looking to add a deeper smokiness to your dishes, consider using smoked paprika instead of the regular variety. It lends a rich, barbecue-like aroma and extra flavor perfect for grilling seasons.
  • White Pepper instead of Black Pepper: For a slightly different flavor profile and a less pronounced pepper bite, you can use white pepper in place of black pepper. This is especially suited for lighter dishes where you might want the spice without the specks of black.
  • Dried Lemon Zest: Add dried lemon zest to the blend for a zesty kick that complements seafood exceptionally well. It introduces a fresh, citrus note that can brighten up the flavors.
  • Sugar or Brown Sugar: Adding a small amount of sugar or brown sugar can balance the heat with a hint of sweetness, creating a complex flavor profile that works well with meats like pork or when creating barbecue rubs.
  • Thyme or Oregano for Italian Seasoning: If you don’t have Italian seasoning on hand or prefer a simpler herb profile, use dried thyme or oregano as a substitute. Either choice will still impart a Mediterranean essence to your dishes.

How to Make Cajun Blackening Seasoning (step-by-step directions)

Collage of mixing ingredients for blackening seasoning.
  1. Add all the spices and seasonings into a small dish.
  2. Mix well to ensure even distribution of all ingredients. (Photos 1, 2 & 3)
Collage of jarring blackening seasoning ingredients.
  1. Use the seasoning immediately to enjoy its freshest flavor, or store it in a sealed jar in your pantry.
  2. Properly stored, this seasoning mix can last up to 6 months, ready to enhance your dishes whenever needed. (Photo 4)
Jar spilling seasoning mixture onto a white countertop.

Recipe Tips

  • A great way to make a spicy spice rub, add an extra amount of Cayenne pepper or a few extra red pepper flakes.
  • For a milder flavor, use less Cayenne pepper in the mixture.
  • Feel free to adjust this versatile seasoning to fit your flavor preference.
  • For the best results use fresh spices so you get the best flavor of your spice rub.
  • Use a little or a lot on your meat or dishes. You can control the amount of flavor you need.
  • Place the spice mix in a sealed mason jar or another container and store it in the cabinet for up to 6 months.

Storing Tips 

Store the homemade seasoning in an airtight container in the cabinet or pantry. Glass best preserves the bold flavors of the seasonings.

When stored properly, your spice mixture can be stored for up to 6 months. The next time you want to use it, add a little or a lot of seasoning to the dish you are preparing.

Seasoning mixture in a white bowl with a wooden spoon.

Serving Suggestions

Consider using this seasoning when you make shrimp tacos; spread it on salmon for searing in a pan or grilling. Or you can whip up some baked chicken Parmesan when you’re in a rush.

Recipe FAQs

What is the origin of blackening seasoning?

The origin is Cajun cuisine. This seasoning in New Orleans and other towns or states that love the Cajun flare.n flare.

Can blackening seasoning be used on vegetables?

Go ahead and spread this seasoning on vegetables and then sear in a skillet, roast in the oven, or grill.

Is blackened food burnt?

Blackened food is not burnt; it is just the color of the seasoning. Once you cook on a high sear, you will get a nice spicy crust, but if you overcook the food, it will go from blackened to burned.

Need More Easy Spice Blend Recipes? Try These:

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Spilled seasoning mixture on a white countertop with wooden spoons in the background.
5 from 11 votes

Homemade Blackening Seasoning (Cajun Rub Mix)


Author: Kim Schob
Course: Seasonings
Cuisine: Cajun
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 2 minutes
Blackening Seasoning is a smoky and Cajun flavored spice blend that is great to rub on chicken, fish, or even season your favorite veggies. A simple spice blend that creates that perfect seared crust on your favorite dishes.

Equipment

Ingredients 

Instructions

  • Add all the spices and seasonings into a small dish.
    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
  • Mix well to ensure even distribution of all ingredients.
  • Use the seasoning immediately to enjoy its freshest flavor, or store it in a sealed jar in your pantry.
  • Properly stored, this seasoning mix can last up to 6 months, ready to enhance your dishes whenever needed.

Notes

  • A great way to make a spicy spice rub, add an extra amount of Cayenne pepper or a few extra red pepper flakes.
  • For a milder flavor, use less Cayenne pepper in the mixture.
  • Feel free to adjust this versatile seasoning to fit your flavor preference.
  • For the best results use fresh spices so you get the best flavor of your spice rub.
  • Use a little or a lot on your meat or dishes. You can control the amount of flavor you need.
  • Place the spice mix in a sealed mason jar or another container and store it in the cabinet for up to 6 months.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 4kcal Carbohydrates: 1g Protein: 0.2g Fat: 0.1g Saturated Fat: 0.02g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.04g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 194mg (8%) Potassium: 22mg (1%) Fiber: 0.3g (1%) Sugar: 0.2g Vitamin A: 250IU (5%) Vitamin C: 3mg (4%) Calcium: 5mg (1%) Iron: 0.1mg (1%)

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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was such a quick and easy recipe that does not disappoint! Added so much flavor to an otherwise boring dinner; definitely, a new favorite seasoning!

  2. 5 stars
    I love this blend so much. It’s so nice to make my own and not have to worry about all the insane amount of salt in storebought rubs.

  3. 5 stars
    I love this blackening season, so easy to put together and a great way to add lots of easy instant flavor to lots of dishes. I used it to season some chicken for a quick and yummy dinner!

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe and so simple. Used it on some blackened redfish over the weekend and it was so much better than the store bought seasonings.

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