Nashville Hot Seasoning

$0.78 recipe / $0.09 serving
by Monti - Budget Bytes
4 from 2 votes
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I know you’ve heard of it, but have you ever tried Nashville Hot Seasoning? Believe it or not, this incredibly hot, peppery blend of spices is ridiculously versatile, and you can use it on way more than fried chicken. But don’t waste money buying a big canister, which will probably sit in your spice drawer, losing potency. Instead, make a small batch at home for pennies. It’s easy and will only take a few minutes!

Overhead shot of Nashville Hot Seasoning in a black bowl with a silver measuring spoon in it.

What Is Nashville Hot Seasoning?

Nashville Hot Seasoning blends cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, and other spices to create a fiery heat. An angry girlfriend originally created it in the 1930s as payback for a cheating boyfriend who’d been out all night. When she made breakfast, she doused her lover’s fried chicken with the ridiculously spicy blend, hoping to make him scream. But he ended up loving the extra spicy chicken and built an empire around it.

What You’ll Need

Nashville Hot Seasoning pairs well with fish, pork, beef, and hearty vegetables. Try it on cauliflower or avocado. Make Nashville Hot deviled eggs. If you’re an adventurous eater, sprinkle it on vanilla ice cream! Here’s what you need to make Nashville Hot Seasoning:

  • Ground Cayenne Pepper- The backbone of your spice blend brings a wallop of heat. For milder heat, lower the amount of cayenne by two teaspoons. For a spicier kick, raise it by two teaspoons. 
  • Smoked Paprika- Adds depth to the mix with a smoky and mildly spicy flavor. Substitute with equal parts chili powder or chipotle chili powder.
  • Dark Brown Sugar- Rounds out the heat with its sweetness. You can also use granulated sugar or light brown sugar.
  • Garlic Powder– Adds pungent garlic flavor. If you only have garlic salt, omit the salt in the recipe.
  • Onion Powder – Adds a sharp, savory note. If you only have onion salt, omit the salt in the recipe.
  • Black Pepper- adds a woody flavor with hints of citrus.
  • Salt- enhances the flavor of the rest of the spices.
Side shot of Nashville Hot Seasoning Blend in a black bowl with a wood spoon in it.

How To Store

Keep Nashville Hot Seasoning in an air-tight container and store it in a cool, dark place. It will stay potent for up to six months. This recipe only makes three tablespoons, so you’ll use it up way before then!

How To Use Nashville Hot Seasoning

It’s time to get creative because you can use Nashville Hot Seasoning on much more than fried chicken! Sprinkle it on these dishes to give them an extra kick:

Overhead close up shot of Nashville Hot Seasoning on a wood spoon.
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Nashville Hot Seasoning

4 from 2 votes
This incredibly peppery blend of spices is ridiculously versatile, and you can use it on more than fried chicken. Try it on fish, pork, beef, hearty vegetables, and even vanilla ice cream!
Side shot of Nashville Hot Seasoning Blend in a black bowl with a wood spoon in it.
Servings 9 teaspoons
Prep 3 minutes
Total 3 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions 

  • To a small bowl add the cayenne pepper, dark brown sugar, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and salt.
  • Mix and store in an airtight container in a cool, dry spot.

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Notes

* For milder heat, lower the amount of cayenne by two teaspoons. For a spicier kick, raise it by two teaspoons. 
*Substitute with granulated sugar or light brown sugar.
*Substitute with chili powder or chipotle chili powder.
*If substituting with garlic salt, omit the salt in the recipe.
*If substituting with onion salt, omit the salt in the recipe.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tspCalories: 5kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.2gSodium: 65mgFiber: 0.4g
Read our full nutrition disclaimer here.
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!
Overhead shot of Nashville Hot Seasoning in a black bowl with a silver measuring spoon in it.

How to Make Nashville Hot Seasoning – Step by Step Photos

Overhead shot of the spices that make up Nashville Hot Seasoning in a white bowl.

In a small bowl add 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper, 1/8 teaspoon dark brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Overhead shot of Nashville Hot Seasoning in a white bowl.
Mix it with a fork and you are done! Store in a cool, dark spot in an airtight container, and use your Nashville Hot Seasoning on anything you want to add a spicy kick to!

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  1. Really good base Nashville Hot Spiced Rub. Hot, but not cry hot. You can dial up or down the cayenne according to your liking.

  2. Was really excited for this as I love Nashville hot chicken, have tried it on 3 different meals and found this a little on the lack luster side, it is pretty good on hard boiled eggs with extra salt sprinkled on them, I know the original recipe paired the spice blend up with deviled eggs, which is why I mention it.

    next time I may try doubling everything but the cayenne pepper.