Cajun Blackened Fish Seasoning

Cajun Blackened Fish Seasoning

The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 10 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
50 Calories
2g Fat
10g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 50
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1066mg 46%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 5g 19%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 96mg 7%
Iron 5mg 28%
Potassium 285mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Blackening is a classic Cajun cooking technique that adds complex flavor and dark color to fish. By generously coating the fish fillets in the dry rub seasoning and then frying them in a very hot cast-iron skillet, the spices blacken, making a crusty exterior filled with flavor. This same technique is appropriate for chicken and other seafood like shrimp or scallops. Easy to make, with spices you might already have at hand, this Cajun seasoning is a great ingredient to have as it makes fish fillets delicious. It's also a great addition to other recipes like roasted potatoes or vegetables, creamy salad dressings, dips, or cold pasta salads.

If you're making blackened Cajun fish, any fish will work, from tuna steaks to trout. Although catfish is the most popular, many types of fish can be blackened. Tilapia, salmon, sea bream, red snapper, sea bass, halibut, and cod are also great for this seasoning, and the flavor is so deep that it can also make really delicious fillets of more fishy species like mackerel, sardines, or herring. Thicker, sturdier fish can be grilled, while more delicate varieties should be pan-fried; oven roasting is also a possibility, it all depends on your time frame and taste.

As the spice is very bold in flavor, when using it, side dishes that are cold, creamy, refreshing, and light in flavor make a great counterbalance to the spices in the rub. Coleslaw, fresh corn fritters, cheese grits, and sweet potato fries are great choices. Serve your fish with plenty of lemons wedges for squeezing.


  • 2 tablespoons paprika

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme

  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Cajun blackened fish seasoning ingredients

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  2. In a small bowl, mix together all of the seasonings.

    Cajun blackened fish seasoning ingredients mixed together in a bowl

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  3. Store in an airtight container, in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

    Cajun blackened fish seasoning in a jar

    The Spruce / Tara Omidvar

  4. Enjoy.

How to Use the Seasoning

  • To use the seasoning mix, simply apply a generous amount of rub onto the flesh of the fish. Cook the fish in a hot skillet, flipping once until the flesh is opaque.
  • The mixture can be made into a marinade as well. Add 1/4 cup oil and either 1/3 cup vinegar (white or cider) or citrus juices (orange, lemon, or lime) to a bowl and whisk together with seasoning rub. Marinate fish and shellfish for 20 to 30 minutes maximum. Chicken can sit in the marinade for much longer, up to 12 hours. Cook the fish or chicken in a pan or grill.

Use the Seasoning in Other Recipes

This fish seasoning is so full of flavor that it is a great addition to other recipes as well. Here are a few ideas on how to make the best of this easy-to-make and delicious spice rub:

  • Add 1 tablespoon of fish seasoning to 1 1/2 cups of full-fat Greek yogurt. Mix well, stirring in 1/4 cup of olive oil, a squeeze of a lime, and salt and pepper to taste. This creamy sauce can be served alongside grilled chicken or fish, or used as a creamy salad dressing.
  • Combine 1 tablespoon of fish seasoning with 8 ounces of full-fat cream cheese. Add a few chile flakes on top and serve with tortilla chips or crudités.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of the seasoning when sautéing onions to make sauces, stews, or soups. Alternatively, when using store-bought soups, add a pinch of the seasoning to each bowl right before serving to add a touch of flavor.
  • Blend a handful of cilantro and a handful of basil, without stems, with 3/4 cup of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the fish seasoning, 2 cloves of garlic, the squeeze of a lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Add a tablespoon of water, if needed, and blend to make a thick herby paste. This sauce can be used on top of carne asada, grilled chicken, fried fish, potatoes, or vegetables. Or use as a quick marinade for beef, chicken, fish, or pork.

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