Cajun Blackened Seasoning for Beef

5 from 2 votes

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My Cajun blackened seasoning is perfect for searing a bold, spicy crust onto beef tenderloin, rib eyes and New York Strips to name a few. These dried herbs, seasonings, and whole spices are chosen with bold NOLA flavors in mind!

small glass jar of blackened seasoning with more spilling on the counter


My Paul Prudhomme copycat recipe draws directly from the blackened cooking technique coined by the famous New Orleans chef himself. Chef Prudhomme’s masterful approach to searing food has become almost synonymous with Cajun cuisine as a whole!

Here I’m recreating his blackened seasoning — an intentionally bold blend that brings together flavors and textures to create that Cajun blackened seasoning effect on pork and beef especially (there is another blackening seasoning that is better suited for fish and shrimp).

whisking my homemade blackened seasoning recipe in glass bowl

Cayenne, paprika, dried herbs, and chili powder. All of those hot and exciting Cajun flavors are all right here, and you’re free to customize with other herbs and spices, too.

For some more homemade spice blends, check out my Montreal, Adobo, Creole, and seafood seasonings!

Tip From Kevin

Toast those seeds!

Toasting spices before grinding enhances their flavor by releasing essential oils and intensifying aromatic compounds. This process also reduces moisture content, extending the shelf life of ground spices while adding complexity to dishes.

overhead: toasting spices in cast iron skillet for blackening seasoning

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)

  • Cumin & Coriander Seeds – In this blackened seasoning recipe, I take the time to dry toast these whole spices to release their essential oils. This makes their flavors bolder and eases some of their more bitter notes. Trust me — you’ll taste a real difference!
  • Chili Powder – Did you know you can make your own chili powder from scratch, too? I highly recommend it! You can make it as herbal, spicy, or smoky as you want. 
  • Paprika – Both sweet and smoked varieties of paprika work in blackened seasoning. It’s all about what you prefer! 
  • Salt – By using just a small amount of salt in this Cajun blackened seasoning, you can salt foods themselves to taste per their specific recipes. It makes this blend far more versatile. 
  • Garlic Powder You can substitute with garlic flakes or granulated garlic. You may also use garlic salt as long as you omit the additional salt in this blackened seasoning recipe. 
  • Dried Oregano Oregano can be substituted with thyme or basil. 
  • Cayenne Pepper Prudhomme copycat recipes with Cajun blackened seasoning is all about the cayenne! You need to use plenty to really get that telltale flavor.
  • Crushed Red Pepper Flakes & Fresh Black Pepper – These spices add more nuanced, varied heat and great texture.
cajun blackened seasoning in glass jar with spoon

How to Make Blackened Seasoning

  1. Toast the Seeds. Toast the cumin and coriander seeds over high heat for just 2 minutes or so until the seeds just begin to turn brown and you can smell their “toasted” aroma.
  2. Grind the Whole Spices. Add the toasted cumin and coriander seeds to a spice or coffee bean grinder along with the dried oregano and red pepper flakes. Pulse a few times to break down the spices.
  3. Combine the Seasonings. Transfer the spices from the grinder to a small bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and whisk together until every seasoning is well distributed. 
  4. Store. Transfer the seasoning blend to an airtight container and use in all of your favorite Paul Prudhomme copycat recipes.
  • Spice Grinder or Coffee Bean Grinder – Use an electric grinder to break your toasted and other whole spices into granules of relatively uniform size. You can see the video included for an idea of how ground you want these spices to be for a solid Prudhomme copycat! 

Storing Homemade Seasoning

This blackened seasoning recipe yields ¾ cup of seasoning. It is absolutely crucial to store in an airtight container to keep the ground spices fresh. I recommend saving an old seasoning container that you bought from the store or buying a small glass storage container for this purpose.

Keep in a dry cabinet or pantry away from direct sunlight. Your homemade blend will stay fresh for up to 6 months and then become a bit more stale as time passes. Use within a year for best results.

bite size pieces of steak in bowl with Prudhomme copycat seasoning

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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes blackened food “blackened”?


When we refer to “blackened” meats, we are referring to the use of blackened or blackening seasoning blends. We are not burning food! 

Instead, we are searing a crust of bold spices onto the food to create that very distinct blackened look. This is best done on a skillet or flat-top grill where the spices won’t fall off of the meat.

Is blackened seasoning hot?


There is definitely a distinct heat to it, but it isn’t the kind of spice that’ll clear your sinuses! It’s a lingering, smoky heat with a hint of fruitiness, herbs, and bitterness.  

All in all, I’d say it has medium heat. Bear in mind that you have the power to make this blend as spicy or mild as you want. That’s the beauty of homemade spice blends!

What is the difference between Cajun and blackened seasoning?


The two blends use different spices and are used in different circumstances. 

Cajun seasoning is more versatile, usually a little hotter, and is used in a slew of recipes from soups, sauces, and rice to meat and seafood. Blackened seasoning is used only for searing crusts onto foods and is specifically catered to meats, not seafood.

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jar of blackening seasoning

Cajun Blackened Seasoning for Beef

5 from 2 votes
Blackened seasoning for beef is the key for New Orleans cuisine at home! Blend your own smoky, spicy blackened seasoning with this recipe.
Servings: 10 servings
Prep: 8 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Total: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a skillet over high heat toast the cumin and coriander seeds for 2 minutes. 
  • In a spice grinder or coffee bean grinder, blend the toasted cumin and coriander with the dried oregano and red pepper flakes, pulsing a couple times.
  • Pour spices from grinder into a bowl and add the other ingredients. Whisk together to mix well. Store in a air tight container.

For Use to Feed 2 People (1:1 ratio butter/meat)

  • *** Note *** Be sure to cook this in a well ventilated area.
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and pour over cubed beef chunks or dip steaks. Use 2 tablespoons of Cajun Blackened Seasoning for Beef and generously coat both sides of beef.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet until smoking hot (8 minutes) and sear meat until crust forms on side(s) and or until desired doneness.

Video

Notes

This recipe yields about 3/4 cup of blackened seasoning.
 

Nutrition

Calories: 20kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Sodium: 731mg | Potassium: 117mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 1331IU | Vitamin C: 0.4mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 2mg

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

Course: Spice Blend
Cuisine: Southern
Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
titled image (and shown): blackening seasoning for any meat

Kevin

Whether in the kitchen or on the grill, you’ll find me cooking American favorites with a love for BBQ, Mexican and Tex Mex. I’m passionate about making tasty food because life’s too short to be bland!

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Your blackened seasoning is one of my favorite recipes of yours, right up there with your other Cajun and Creole recipes. Authentic NOLA flavor for the BIG win, Kevin!

  2. Hey Kevin,

    I just discovered your blog and I really like it. It’s refreshing to see somehow with professional experience sharing their recipes!

    And just had to say that the chef prudhomme’s blackening seasoning was the first spice blend that got me hooked into cooking as a young kid. You’ve brought back nostalgic memories of sitting outside with my dad and BBQ steaks!

    Respectfully,

    Devan

    1. Hi Devan!
      Thank you! I am so glad you found my blog! Thank you for your kind words! I hope you enjoy a lot of my recipes! Glad you found one you will enjoy already!

    1. Haha! I am in the middle of a house remodel and my 3 boxes (yes, 3!) of spices are at the back of the storage unit. I’m dying! Can’t wait to spice and grill next week again!

  3. Did you know that Martha Stewart owas Emeril? I know that owning people is definitely out of style these days, but she does own him.

    1. Wow, no I did not. So he sold to Martha huh? He basically started Food Network channel back in the day. Thanks for the tip there Jeff and I hope you give this a try!

  4. I love the fact that you pan toasted the seeds prior to grinding and blending your mix. That is an essential part of developing the flavors that even some of the most skills cooks miss. I’ve been making my own blackening spice blend for years, but never included cumin nor coriander. I’ll have to add ’em in to check it out. Nice job!

    1. It really adds so much doesn’t it Nate? Hope you give this one a go, it’s super good and a house favorite. Cheers!

  5. Hey Kevin! I never buy seasoning blends because they usually have way more salt than we care for. I like to experiment to come up with blends to suit our tastes and your blends are spot on! 🙂

    1. Agreed Dorothy, although I have found when I do pick up a spice blend it’s from Penzys and they are much lower in salt than other brands. Thanks for the kind words, friend. 🙂

      1. I disagree with your comment that blackened is specifically catered to meats. Did you ever try blackened scallops or catfish ? I just made a batch of the blackened seasoning for beef going to try it tomorrow on b’less ribeyes. I think it’s going to be on the money!

      2. Oh I have blackened seasoning for meat and seafood, links are in the post Anthony.