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Blackened Seasoning is a bold, smoky, and aromatic blend that instantly enhances the flavor profile of any dish it touches. This classic Southern spice mix combines the warmth of smoked paprika with the earthy tones of garlic and onion, while a hint of cayenne pepper adds that perfect kick. It’s a versatile seasoning that works wonders on everything from grilled meats to roasted vegetables.

Homemade Blackened Seasoning in a black bowl with a silver spoon photographed from the side.

Making this seasoning at home gives you full control over its intensity and freshness. In just 5 minutes, you can whisk together these pantry staples, creating a blend that’s superior to any store-bought version. Once prepared, simply store it in an airtight container and watch it become your go-to seasoning for countless meals.

Ingredients You Need to Make Blackened Seasoning

Blackened Seasoning Ingredients on a granite surface.
  • Smoked Paprika: Look for a rich, deep red color. A good smoked paprika should have a strong smoky aroma when you open the container.
  • Onion Powder: Choose one that is finely ground with a light, fluffy texture to be sure it will blend seamlessly into the seasoning mix.
  • Garlic Powder: Look for garlic powder that is pale yellowish in color and has a strong garlic scent. Avoid those with clumps; it’s a sign of potential moisture.
  • Cayenne Pepper: Check the color — a brighter red is a good indicator of freshness and robust flavor.
  • Dried Thyme: Opt for leaves that are still greenish-gray. If they’ve turned brown, they’ve likely lost their flavor.
  • Dried Oregano: Look for vibrant green leaves. They should have a strong aroma, hinting at its freshness and flavor potency.
  • Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Blackened Seasoning in a black bowl with a silver spoon photographed from the top.

4 Important Tips

  1. Always use dry measuring spoons for your spices to prevent any moisture from getting into the mix.
  2. Whisk the spices together to remove any lumps and create a uniform blend.
  3. If your spices have been sitting in the pantry for a while, check for freshness. Fresh spices make a world of difference in flavor. To test, rub a bit between your fingers and sniff. If the aroma is weak, it’s time to replace.
  4. Before using the seasoning on seafood, fish, chicken, or beef, pat the meat dry to make sure the spices adhere well and give a nice crust when cooked.

Recipe Options

  • If the heat from cayenne pepper is too much, switch it out for a milder chili powder to retain warmth without the strong kick.
  • Add ground white pepper if you’re looking for a different kind of spicy heat.
  • For a slightly sweeter touch without straying too far from tradition, add a generous pinch of brown sugar to the mix. This balances out the spiciness and adds a depth of flavor.
A close up of Blackened Seasoning in a black bowl with a silver spoon photographed from the top.

Perfect Pairings

How to Store Homemade Blackened Seasoning

Once you’ve whisked the spices together, transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources. For the best flavor, use within 6 months.

Blackened Seasoning spices whisked together in a bowl.

Blackened Seasoning Recipe

Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Course: Seasoning
Cuisine: American, Southern
Calories: 6
Servings: 17 teaspoons
Robust flavor with mild to medium heat. Add another 1/2 teaspoon or more of cayenne pepper for a spicier version.


  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more for a spicier seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl until well combined. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 6 months. Use as desired.


Calories: 6kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 0.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.02g | Sodium: 275mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 459IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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