🐔 Easy Blackened Chicken Recipe for Dinner

by | Jun 3, 2024 | Chicken Recipes, Recipes

Imagine this: You’ve had a busy day and want something easy yet tasty for dinner. A recipe for blackened chicken is just what you need. It fills your kitchen with the smell of Cajun spices. This homemade blackened chicken recipe uses simple ingredients and a reliable cast iron skillet. In only 25 minutes, you can enjoy a delicious blackened chicken breast. It’s quick, easy, low in carbs, and high in protein. Perfect for a healthy meal any night of the week.

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Total calories per serving: 228kcal
  • High in protein: 24g
  • Low in carbohydrates: 1g
  • Quick prep and cook time: 25 minutes
  • Perfectly charred using a cast iron skillet
  • A healthy and satisfying dinner option

Introduction to Blackened Chicken

Blackened chicken is a spicy and tasty choice for your meals. It comes from Cajun cooking, where chicken is covered in spices and then cooked in a hot skillet. This makes the outside crunchy and full of flavor.

What is Blackened Chicken?

To make blackened chicken, you season the chicken with a mix of common spices. This mix includes paprika, cayenne pepper, and more, giving the chicken its bold taste. Cooking it in a very hot, cast-iron skillet creates a special crispy layer, which is a key part of this dish.

Origins and Popularity

Blackened chicken comes from Louisiana and became popular in the 1980s. Chef Paul Prudhomme showed everyone how to make it. Since then, it has become a favorite dish in the US. People love its unique spicy flavor, even those who aren’t big fans of Cajun food.

Ingredients Needed for Your Blackened Chicken Recipe

The secret to great blackened chicken is in the spices and chicken you choose. For your seasoning, you’ll need smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, oregano, and salt. These spices make a zesty mix. You can tweak the cayenne pepper amount to your preferred spiciness.

Main Spices and Seasonings

Spice Function
Smoked Paprika Adds a smoky flavor and vivid color
Cayenne Pepper Provides heat and spice
Dried Thyme Contributes an earthy aroma
Garlic Powder Offers a savory, umami taste
Onion Powder Adds sweetness and depth
Black Pepper Enhances overall spice
Oregano Brings a slightly bitter, herbaceous note
Salt Balances and intensifies flavors

homemade blackened chicken seasoning

Chicken Breasts Selection

To ensure they cook evenly and look good, consider cutting thick chicken breasts in half. Let the chicken sit out for 30 minutes to reach room temperature. This helps it cook evenly. Around 8 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast per piece is best for this spicy dish.

Preparing Your Chicken

To get the best texture for your easy blackened chicken, you should start by preparing the chicken breasts well. Begin by pounding the meat to an even thickness.

How to Pound Chicken Breasts

Press the chicken breasts between plastic wrap or use a resealable bag. Then, pound them gently. Aim for an even thickness, about half an inch, for uniform cooking.

The Importance of Drying Chicken

It’s key to dry the chicken breasts with paper towels before seasoning. This removes extra moisture. It also helps the spice blend stick better, creating a tasty, crispy crust on your chicken.

Creating the Blackened Seasoning Mix

Making a tasty blackened chicken seasoning is easy and crucial. You blend strong spices to create a mix that boosts your chicken’s flavor.

Step-by-Step Spice Mix Instructions

Start by gathering your spices. You’ll need smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dried thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, ground black pepper, dried oregano, and salt. Mix these well in a bowl or bag:

  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (adjust for desired spiciness)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

Once your mix is ready, store it in a sealed container at room temperature. This keeps it fresh for your next cooking project.

Customizing the Spice Levels

The great thing about making your blackened chicken is you can change the spices to your liking. You can adjust the cayenne pepper for more or less heat. Adding ghost pepper powder could give it an even hotter kick.

Here’s a table to show the nutrition in the spice mix per sprinkle:

Nutrient Per Serving
Calories 6kcal
Carbohydrates 1g
Sodium 146mg
Potassium 32mg
Vitamin A 560IU
Vitamin C 0.3mg
Calcium 5mg
Iron 0.3mg

Adjust the seasoning to match your diet or taste. Keep it tightly sealed in a cool, dark place. This mix can last fresh for up to 6 months. With this seasoning, making delicious blackened chicken is always possible.

The Best Skillet for Blackened Chicken

For perfect skillet blackened chicken, the right cookware matters a lot. A cast iron skillet is a top choice because of how well it keeps and spreads heat. You need to get the skillet super hot before cooking. This helps give the chicken that crunchy, charred outside we all love.

Getting your cast iron skillet hot before adding the chicken is key. It makes sure the chicken browns well, keeping it juicy and tasty. If you don’t have a cast iron, a hot nonstick skillet can also work. Just make sure it’s almost smoking hot before you start. This way, you’re on your way to delicious skillet blackened chicken.

Ensure that the oil begins to smoke before adding the chicken. This is critical for searing in the juices and flavors.

Let’s compare the two skillet types:

Skillet Type Benefits Drawbacks
Cast Iron Skillet Excellent heat retention and even distribution Heavy and requires seasoning
Nonstick Skillet Easy clean-up and lighter May not achieve the same level of crust

Both skillets can work, but cast iron is the top pick for great blackened chicken.

Step-by-Step Cooking Instructions

Preparing the perfect easy blackened chicken requires careful steps. These ensure it’s full of flavor and just right. By following these steps, you can make mouthwatering chicken at home.

Cajun blackened chicken

Preheating the Skillet

First, preheat a cast iron skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Watch for smoke wisps. This signals the perfect time to add the chicken for the ideal blackened texture.

Cooking the Chicken

As your skillet gets hot, coat your chicken breasts in the seasoning. Ensure it’s even. Then, carefully lay them in the skillet.

  1. Cook one side until it’s a deep brown, almost black, for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Flip them and do the same for the other side, being careful not to burn.
  3. The chicken should reach 165°F inside to be fully cooked.
  4. Let the chicken sit for 5 minutes after cooking. This keeps it juicy.

Follow these steps to get amazing easy blackened chicken. It will be crispy outside and tender inside. Watch the skillet closely. You want spices golden, not burnt, and the chicken moist and tasty.

The table below shows the nutrition facts for Cajun blackened chicken per serving:

Nutrient Amount per Serving
Calories 228kcal
Carbohydrates 1g
Protein 24g
Fat 14g
Saturated Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 8g
Trans Fat 0.1g
Cholesterol 72mg
Sodium 278mg
Potassium 456mg
Fiber 1g
Sugar 0.2g
Vitamin A 577IU
Vitamin C 2mg
Calcium 15mg
Iron 1mg

Cooking the Chicken to Perfection

Making the perfect blackened chicken needs focus on timing and temperatures. This way, you get a tasty, juicy meal every time.

How Long to Cook Each Side

For top-notch blackened chicken breasts, cook each side for about 5 minutes. This makes the outside crispy and flavorful while keeping the inside moist.

High-heat skillets or grills work best for this method.

Ensuring Chicken is Fully Cooked

For ideal blackened chicken, it must reach 165 degrees F inside. Check this with an instant-read thermometer. After cooking, tent the chicken loosely with foil and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.

This step helps the flavors and juices spread throughout, making the chicken extra delicious and tender.

Alternative Cooking Methods

You don’t have to limit cooking blackened chicken to searing in a pan. There are many ways to make this tasty dish with different flavors and textures.

Grilling Your Blackened Chicken

Grilling adds a smoky taste and nice grill marks to your blackened chicken recipe. Start by preheating your grill to medium-high. Coat the chicken in your seasoning and grill it for 5-7 minutes on each side. Make sure it hits 165°F inside. Grilling keeps the meat juicy with a delightful smoky flavor.

Baking Your Blackened Chicken

Baking is easy and lets you step away while it cooks evenly. Start by preheating your oven to 425°F. Season your chicken, then place it on a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until it’s 165°F inside. This method is great for busy people who want a tasty, tender meal.

Cooking Method Temperature Time
Grilling Medium-High Heat 5-7 minutes per side
Baking 425°F 20-25 minutes
Air Frying 360°F 12-15 minutes

Using an Air Fryer

An air fryer is a healthier choice that still gives you a crispy skillet blackened chicken. Preheat your air fryer to 360°F. Season your chicken and put it in the basket. Cook for 12-15 minutes, flipping it over once, until it’s 165°F inside. The air fryer method is great for a less oily, crispy meal.

Each way of cooking brings its special flavor and texture to your homemade blackened chicken. You can enjoy it in many ways, depending on what you like and the tools you have in your kitchen.

blackened chicken recipe

Pairing Your Blackened Chicken Meal

The bold flavors of Cajun blackened chicken need tasty sides and drinks. This makes a meal that’s not just filling but also perfectly balanced.

Side Dishes That Complement the Meal

Pair your blackened chicken with buttered angel hair pasta or a fresh garden salad. These help tone down the heat. Smashed potatoes or sweet potato fries give a more comforting option. They all bring out the rich spices of the blackened chicken, making your meal complete.

  • Buttered Angel Hair Pasta
  • Fresh Garden Salad
  • Smashed Potatoes
  • Sweet Potato Fries
  • Bacon Asparagus Cajun Pasta
  • Cauliflower Au Gratin

Drink Pairings

For your spicy Cajun chicken, cool drinks like lemonade or iced tea are great. Wine lovers can choose a refreshing white or a light red. These drinks make your meal taste even better, improving the whole experience.

  • Lemonade
  • Iced Tea
  • Crisp White Wine
  • Light-Bodied Red Wine

By choosing the right sides and drinks, you can make your blackened chicken meal outstanding. It will be both delicious and unforgettable.

Storing and Reheating Leftovers

To keep your blackened chicken leftovers tasting great, start by letting them cool. Then, store them in an airtight container. This method can keep your chicken fresh in the fridge for five days. For longer storage, up to three months, freeze them safely.

storing blackened chicken

Best Practices for Storage

Keeping blackened chicken fresh is key. After it cools, place it in a tightly sealed container. Wrapping it in foil is another good option. This way, it keeps its crispy outside and juicy inside.

  • Refrigerate for up to 5 days for optimal taste.
  • Store in freezer-safe containers for up to three months to extend shelf life.

Reheating Tips for Best Taste

There are several ways to reheat blackened chicken. If using a skillet, medium heat works best. Add a little oil to keep it from drying out. You can also bake it at 350°F for 15 minutes. Or, use a microwave on a lower setting for a quicker fix.

Here are some specific reheating methods:

  1. Skillet: Use medium heat with a tablespoon of oil. Heat for 5-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  2. Oven: Preheat to 350°F. Bake for 15 minutes, ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  3. Microwave: Use reduced power settings and heat in intervals to avoid overcooking.

By following these guidelines for storing and reheating blackened chicken, you’ll ensure that your leftovers are just as enjoyable as your first serving.

Health Benefits of Blackened Chicken

Eating blackened chicken is not only tasty but good for you too. The health benefits blackened chicken brings are varied. It helps with nutrition and body functions.

Nutritional Information

This nutritional blackened chicken recipe has about 449 calories in a single serving. It contains 15g of carbs, 47g of protein, and 22g of fat. Plus, it offers 10g of fiber, 256mg of cholesterol, and 1337mg of sodium.

This blend of nutrients meets many of your daily needs. Blackened chicken is a great source of what your body needs.

Low Fat and High Protein Benefits

Blackened chicken stands out for its protein and low-fat levels. It’s perfect for those who want to increase muscle without a lot of fat. Thanks to avocado oil, it also includes heart-healthy omega-9 fatty acids.

  1. Supports Muscle Building: With 47g of protein, it’s great for building muscle.
  2. Heart Health: Avocado oil, rich in monounsaturated fats, boosts heart health.
  3. Digestive Health: Ingredients like cumin can make digestion better by helping absorb nutrients.
  4. Immune Support: Garlic in the recipe is known to fight off or shorten colds.

Blackened Chicken Recipe

The beauty of this recipe is its flexibility for special diets. It’s great for those with allergens in mind.

Allergen Information

For specific dietary needs, you can make easy swaps. If you can’t eat paprika, try smoked paprika or chili powder instead. You won’t lose out on taste or safety this way.

Substitutions and Adjustments

For various dietary needs, you can tweak the blackened chicken. Swap regular oil for avocado oil for a better health profile. Use fresh garlic if you want a stronger taste than garlic powder offers. Need less salt? Just skip the salt in the homemade seasoning.

This blackened chicken can be the main dish or in many other meals. Think salads, tacos, or sandwiches. Making it takes about 20 minutes. Each serving is packed with 228 calories, 24g of protein, and 14g of fat. It’s full of nutrients.

Homemade Blackened Chicken Seasoning

Making your own homemade blackened chicken seasoning lets you customize it. This way, you can make it just how you like it and avoid preservatives. You’ll need ingredients like smoked paprika, cayenne powder, and more to get started.

You can tweak the spices to match your preferred spiciness and flavor. Adding more cayenne makes it hotter, while extra basil or thyme adds more herb flavors. Once mixed, store it in a sealed container for freshness up to six months.

Here’s what each serving of the seasoning offers:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 6 kcal
Carbohydrates 1 g
Sodium 146 mg
Potassium 32 mg
Vitamin A 560 IU
Vitamin C 0.3 mg
Calcium 5 mg
Iron 0.3 mg

Proper preparation and storing keep the seasoning fresh and flavorful. You can play around and make the perfect blackened seasoning for your dishes.

Skillet Blackened Chicken

Skillet blackened chicken is known for its rich flavors and crispy skin. With a cast iron skillet, anyone can make it at home. This method locks in the flavors, ensuring a delicious meal quickly.

Start with top-quality, boneless, and skinless chicken breasts. Cut the large pieces in half to cook them evenly. The secret to its great taste is a mix of smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and other spices.

Dry off the chicken to get rid of extra moisture. This makes the spices stick better and the skin crispier. Then, oil and rub your chicken with the spice mix. Heating the cast iron skillet until it smokes is a must. Sear the chicken until it’s golden brown on both sides.

Here’s a list of how to cook it best and its nutrition info:

Cooking Time Approximately 20 minutes
Calories (per serving) 228 kcal
Carbohydrates 1g
Protein 24g
Fat 14g
Cholesterol 72mg
Sodium 278mg
Potassium 456mg

After cooking, let the chicken sit covered for 10-15 minutes. This makes it juicy and tender. You can keep any extra in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it gently in the microwave to keep it tasty.

Serving Suggestions and Variations

Blackened chicken has bold flavors, making it a great fit for many recipes. You can enjoy it in salads, sandwiches, or even in casseroles. This dish blends well with different cuisines and preferences, allowing lots of menu options.

Using Blackened Chicken in Different Meals

There are many ways to use blackened chicken. Thinly sliced, it adds flavor to a green salad. A citrus or avocado lime dressing goes great with this. For a more filling meal, add it to Alfredo pasta or tacos. The spices will zest up these dishes.

Flavor Variations

You can play with flavors in blackened chicken. A squeeze of lemon makes it taste fresh. Honey adds a sweet touch that balances the spices. Cheese brings a creamy texture. You might also try herbs like cilantro and different sauces. Chipotle or tzatziki sauces can add a new twist.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with blackened chicken. You can make many exciting dishes. It’s great as the main course or mixed into other meals. And it’s sure to be a hit with anyone who tastes it.

User Reviews and Feedback

Feedback from users is key to making a great homemade blackened chicken recipe. Many people who cook at home share what they really liked. They also give tips to make the dish taste better and cook easier.

What Others Are Saying

Prep Time Cook Time Total Time Servings Rating
5 minutes 20 minutes 25 minutes 4 5 out of 18 votes

Reviewers often talk about how simple and fast it is to make this. They love the tasty crust you get in just a short amount of time, typically 14 to 25 minutes.

Tips from Other Home Cooks

  1. Adjust the Spice Level: Many advise changing the cayenne pepper amount to fit your spiciness likes.
  2. Use Fresh Ingredients: Using fresh garlic and herbs can really boost the flavors.
  3. Rest Your Chicken: Letting the chicken rest briefly after cooking makes it more juicy and tasty.

These tips from experienced home cooks help make a great homemade blackened chicken dish. This way, everyone can enjoy a delicious meal.


This easy blackened chicken recipe is simple, flexible, and full of flavor. You can use chicken breast or fish fillets. The key is the 4 tablespoons of Cajun Spice Mix. Cooking in a cast-iron skillet with real butter makes the taste pop. Grilling each side for 5-6 minutes gives a perfect, spicy crust.

With only 15 minutes, you can make a great meal. Cook chicken until it reaches 165°F inside. This keeps it safe and juicy. Using real butter gives the dish a boost. Don’t forget to cook with good airflow. This makes the flavors better. You can keep leftovers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Or freeze them to enjoy later, making this recipe very convenient.

This recipe is quick to make and goes well with many dishes. It can be part of a salad, with vegetables, or in a burrito. You can change the spices to fit your taste. This way, the whole family will love it. Try this tasty dish. It will soon be a favorite at your table.


What spices are needed for a homemade blackened chicken seasoning?

The main spices for a blackened chicken seasoning are smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and more. You also need dried thyme, garlic powder, and onion powder. Don’t forget fresh ground black pepper, dried oregano, and salt. Together, they make a rich and tasty mix.

How long does it take to cook blackened chicken?

It takes about 25 minutes to cook blackened chicken. Sear each side for 5 minutes in a skillet. Then, bake in the oven until it’s 165 degrees F inside.

What type of skillet is best for making blackened chicken?

A cast iron skillet is perfect for blackened chicken. It keeps the heat well and spreads it evenly. You can also use a nonstick skillet, though it might not give the same crunchy sear.

Can I adjust the spice level for blackened chicken?

You can change how spicy your seasoning is by altering the cayenne pepper. Less cayenne means it’s milder. This is good for anyone not wanting too much heat, including kids.

What are some alternative cooking methods for blackened chicken?

There are different ways to cook blackened chicken. You can grill it for a smoky taste and nice marks. Baking makes sure it cooks evenly. Or, use an air fryer for a crispy outside and healthy option.

How should I store and reheat leftover blackened chicken?

After it’s cooled, keep the blackened chicken in an airtight container. It’s good in the fridge for 3 days. To reheat, use a low setting in the microwave or skillet. Make sure it gets hot enough before you serve it.

What health benefits does blackened chicken offer?

Blackened chicken is good for you. It’s low in fat and carbs but high in protein. Plus, it has important vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and Iron.

What side dishes pair well with blackened chicken?

Blackened chicken goes well with many sides. Try it with angel hair pasta, salads, or potatoes. Sweet potato fries are also a great match. Lemonade or iced tea will cool off the spices.

Can I make my own blackened chicken seasoning in advance?

Yes, you can make a big batch of blackened chicken seasoning. Keep it in an airtight container at home. This way, you always have fresh and tasty seasoning when you need it.

How can I use blackened chicken in other meals?

Blackened chicken is so flexible. You can add it to salads, tacos, or make sandwiches. Try different flavors like citrus or sweetness. Or, use herbs and sauces to change it up.

Why is drying the chicken breasts important before cooking?

Drying the chicken with paper towels is key. This removes wetness, making the spices stick better. It also helps get a crisp crust when you cook it.

What are some tips for pounding chicken breasts evenly?

To pound chicken evenly, put it between paper or wrap. Then, use a meat mallet to make it thin and even. This helps it cook just right and get a great crust.

What are some common variations of blackened chicken flavor?

To change up the taste, add lemon for a zing, honey for sweetness, or cheese for a rich flavor. Fresh herbs or special sauces also make blackened chicken interesting and new.

Are there substitutions available for ingredients due to dietary restrictions?

Yes, it’s easy to switch some ingredients. Try smoked paprika for something like paprika. Use avocado oil if you want something instead of canola or vegetable oil. Fresh garlic works in place of garlic powder. These can meet different diet needs and tastes.