Blackened seasoning or blackening seasoning is a popular and flavor-packed spice blend used to elevate the taste of various protein dishes. This seasoning typically includes ingredients like paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, oregano, and other herbs and spices, resulting in a robust and spicy flavor profile.
For those who enjoy experimenting with spicy foods, it is a pantry staple that can be used to add flavor to chicken, fish, salmon, shrimp, and other proteins. The cooking process for blackened seasoning typically involves dredging or brushing the protein in melted butter and then seasoning it heavily with the blend before cooking in a hot cast-iron pan until a dark, crusty char develops on both sides of the protein.
The amount of seasoning used varies based on the protein being cooked, with suggested measurements ranging from 2 ½ teaspoons per chicken breast for Blackening Chicken to 1 generous tablespoon per pound of shrimp for Blackened Shrimp. Overall, blackening seasoning is a versatile and flavorful addition to any kitchen that enjoys spicy and bold flavors.
Ingredients in Blackened Seasoning
- Paprika 1 ½ tsp
- Garlic powder 1 tsp
- Onion powder 1 tsp
- Ground dried thyme
- Ground black pepper 1 tsp
- Cayenne pepper 1 tsp
- Dried basil 1 tsp
- Dried oregano 1 tsp
- To make the seasoning mix, Simply stir together all eight ingredients, including paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, and oregano in a bowl until evenly mixed.
- Afterward, keep it in a sealed container in a cool and dry location.
Tips for Using Blackened Seasoning
Below are a few recommendations for utilizing blackening seasoning:
- Versatile blackening seasoning can enhance the flavor of a variety of proteins, such as burgers, steaks, salmon, and shrimp, whether you grill, pan-sear, or bake them.
- To use blackening seasoning, pat the protein dry with a paper towel so that the seasoning will stick. Then, drizzle the protein with the oil of your choice, sprinkle over the indicated amount of seasoning, and rub to adhere.
- You can keep your blackening seasoning fresh for up to a year, or six months at a minimum, by storing it in a cool and dry place in an airtight container.
Blackened Seasoning Recipes
There are a few different recipes available:
- The first recipe recommends seasoning the protein with blackening seasoning after brushing or dredging it in melted butter, then cooking in a cast iron pan on medium-high to high heat until dark and crusty.
- The second recipe suggests patting the protein dry, drizzling it with oil, and then sprinkling the appropriate amount of blackening seasoning (2 ½ teaspoons per chicken breast, 1 generous tablespoon per 1 lb of shrimp, or 1 ½ teaspoons per filet of fish) before rubbing to adhere.
- Finally, the third recipe provides a homemade recipe for blackened seasoning using eight ingredients, including paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, basil, and oregano. You can use this recipe to make a Cajun seasoning mix without salt.
Overall, there are many options for making blackened seasoning depending on personal preferences and dietary needs.
Blackened Seasoning vs. Cajun Seasoning
People commonly use Blackened seasoning and Cajun seasoning in Louisiana cuisine. While these two spice blends share some similarities, they have distinct differences in terms of flavor profile and usage.
Blackening seasoning, a blend of ground powders, spices, and herbs, is frequently utilized by individuals to blacken their foods. Common ingredients in most blackening seasoning mixes include cayenne pepper, garlic, and onion powder. The culinary technique that produces a dark crust on seasoned food is called “blackening.” Typically, “blackening” seasoning has a mild to medium level of spiciness and one can apply it to different types of protein such as chicken, fish, and steak.
You can adjust Cajun seasoning to make it less spicy than blackened seasoning by using less cayenne pepper when making your own blend. Cajun seasoning tends to be spicier than blackened seasoning. Like blackened seasoning, Cajun seasoning contains a mixture of base ingredients like paprika, pepper, garlic, and onion powder. However, it also has a variety of herbs mixed in, such as thyme and oregano, which give it a more complex flavor profile. People commonly use Cajun seasoning in dishes such as gumbo, jambalaya, and étouffée.
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Typically, blackened seasoning contains a variety of herbs and spices that people generally consider to have health benefits. For example, garlic and onion powder may have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effects. While paprika contains antioxidants that may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the body.
There are several healthy seasonings to add flavor to your meals, including garlic, herbs such as basil and oregano, and spices like cinnamon, cumin, and turmeric.
There are several seasonings that can be used as a healthier alternative to salt. Lemon and lime juice, vinegar, all types of herbs and spices, bone broth, and fermented foods are some examples of salt substitutes that can help reduce someone’s sodium intake. Using low-sodium seasonings or blends that contain less than 140mg of sodium per serving is another option.