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What Is Blackening Seasoning?

Slofoodgroup Team julio 12, 2023

Blackening seasoning seems to be a summer staple for backyard barbecues across the globe, and a year-round blend utilized in restaurants and home kitchens employing Louisianan cooking stylings. While it started as flavorful blend to uplift a less desirable species of fish for culinary purposes, it has become an extremely popular way for adding a delicious “kick” to just about every type of meat, seafood, or vegetable.

This seasoning blend didn’t get it’s name based on the way in which it alone alters the color of the food it is applied to. Instead, blackening referred to the process in which something was prepared and cooked—dipped or slathered in butter, dredged in classic cajun and creole seasonings, and cooked over high heat in a cast-iron skillet. The seasoning blend just sort of came along for the ride and the name stuck.

What Is Blackening Seasoning Made Of?

Blackening seasoning is comprised of a blend of common dried herbs and spices that most folks keep on hand in their spice cabinet, including paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper. Just as is the case with any seasoning blend made popular though, recipes do vary. Proportions will differ from recipe to recipe, as will ingredient lists, with some featuring dried basil, smoked paprika, garlic salt, celery salt, and more.

Is blackening seasoning spicy?

Blackening seasoning is only as spicy as the chef wants it to be. While most blackening seasoning calls for cayenne pepper, it can be used sparingly or not at all. For our blackening seasoning, we omitted the ground cayenne pepper and used the more mild and flavorful, ground pasilla chile. We also wanted a bit of smokiness without adding smoked paprika, so we added a smoked sea salt.

Is Cajun seasoning the same as blackening seasoning?

Cajun seasoning, creole seasoning, and blackening seasoning are all frequently used interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. Cajun seasoning blends tend to be more pepper forward, while creole blends come across as more herbal. Blackening seasoning falls somewhere in the middle, with peppers at the forefront but also herbaceous and smoky notes.

How To Make Homemade Blackening Seasoning



  1. Place all ingredients that have not already been ground into a mortar and pestle or electric spice grinder and grind them into a powder.
  2. Mix together your preground spices and fresh-ground spices.
  3. Liberally sprinkle the blackening seasoning on it’s intended target and massage it in for best results or finish dishes like fried potatoes, rice, and roasted vegetables.