Jazz up your dishes with blackening seasoning – a potent mix of smoked paprika, garlic, and other herbs and spices that adds depth and heat to chicken, fish, and vegetables.
Blackened seasoning has its roots deeply embedded in the culinary history of the American South, particularly in New Orleans, Louisiana. The technique of blackening food is often credited to the renowned chef Paul Prudhomme, who popularized it in the 1980s.
The story goes that Prudhomme was looking for a way to infuse his dishes with bold flavors and smokiness while keeping the interior tender and juicy. He found the answer in a sizzling-hot cast-iron skillet and a mixture of spices that ultimately became known as blackening seasoning.
Blackening seasoning quickly became a staple in Creole and Cajun cuisine, reflecting the rich cultural heritage of the region. From restaurants to home kitchens, blackened fish (try my Blackened Tuna), shrimp, chicken, and even alligator can be found on menus, offering a taste of the South's bold and soulful flavors.
💙 What's to love about blackened seasoning
If you're a fan of bold flavors with a hint of smokiness, then blackening seasoning is your new best friend in the kitchen. This magical blend combines the richness of smoked paprika, the savory punch of garlic and onion powder, the fiery kick of cayenne pepper, and the earthy aroma of dried oregano and thyme. A touch of salt and pepper ties it all together, creating a seasoning that can transform ordinary ingredients into a flavor explosion!
Plus, it makes a thoughtful homemade gift for fellow food lovers. Divide it into individual spice jars, like I did with Flavored Salts, add a label or recipe card and give it to friends and families as holiday or hostess gifts.
How to use it
The possibilities are endless! Use the blackening seasoning as a dry rub for chicken, shrimp, tofu or fish before grilling, pan-searing, or baking. It adds a delicious crust and flavor to your protein of choice.
You can also sprinkle it over roasted vegetables, potatoes, or even popcorn for an extra zing. Blackened seasoning adds a wonderful flavor to roasted, grilled, or sautéed vegetables. Just toss your favorite veggies with a drizzle of oil and a generous sprinkling of blackening seasoning before cooking for a delicious and spicy twist.
See recipe card below for full ingredients list & recipe directions.
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Tips for making this recipe
▪️ Making your own blackened seasoning is super easy and worth the effort. Just grab a bowl, mix all the ingredients together, and voilà! You've got a homemade seasoning that beats any store-bought blend.
▪️ Adjust the cayenne pepper amount to your taste preference – more if you like it hot, less if you prefer a milder kick.
▪️ Store it in airtight containers in a cool place.
Turn it into a marinade
While blackened seasoning is primarily designed as a dry rub, you can transform it into a marinade by mixing it with oil, vinegar, or citrus juice. Marinate your protein of choice in the mixture for a few hours before cooking.
To keep the flavors fresh and potent, store your homemade seasoning in a cool, dark place like your pantry. A tightly sealed glass jar or airtight container works perfectly. When stored properly, it should stay fresh and potent for several months.
Frequently Asked Questions:
The level of spiciness can be adjusted to your liking by controlling the amount of cayenne pepper you use. If you prefer a milder version, just use a smaller quantity of cayenne. That way, you can enjoy the flavor without feeling overwhelmed by the heat.
Absolutely! While blackening seasoning is traditionally used with chicken, shrimp, and fish (like my Blackened Tuna), there's no reason why you can't experiment with other meats. It works wonderfully with beef, pork, or even tofu!
Not at all! The term "blackening" refers to the dark, crusty appearance the seasoning creates on the outside of the food. It's not burnt but rather a result of the flavorful spices coming together to form a delicious coating. Just be sure not to overcook your food, and you'll have a perfectly blackened dish!
Other Kitchen Basics
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ and comment underneath the recipe card below. Thank you!
Blackened Seasoning Recipe
- In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Mix to combine.
- Store in an airtight container in a cool place.
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