The key to tasty dishes, whether it be roasted vegetables or grilled fish is seasoning. We say it a lot, but the right seasoning combination can transform a mundane ingredient. Although we’re all about lightly seasoned seafood with no frills here, our team has paired and tested several different seafood seasoning combinations you can try at home, taking the guesswork out of it for you. Join us as our seafood seasoning experts from NC Seafood Restaurant in Raleigh, NC share the top 5 seafood seasonings that made the cut.

From zesty lemon herb to bold Cajun, the following seafood seasoning combinations stood out as the best options to enhance your meal.

Lemon Herb Seafood Seasoning

If you’re searching for a flavor profile with a zip meshed with a bit of earthiness, the tried and true lemon herb seasoning doesn’t disappoint. Lemon herb seasoning typically consists of dried lemon zest, a variety of herbs and spices, including:

  • parsley,
  • thyme,
  • oregano,
  • garlic powder,
  • salt, and
  • pepper.

How to Make Your Own Lemon Herb Seasoning

Creating your own lemon herb seafood seasoning at home is simple. Start by combining dried lemon zest, parsley, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Adjust the ratios to suit your taste preferences, adding more lemon zest for extra citrusy tang or increasing the amount of herbs for a more herbaceous flavor.

Lemon Herb Seasoning Recipe Ideas

Lemon herb seafood seasoning pairs beautifully with a variety of seafood, including shrimp, salmon, tilapia, and cod. For a quick and easy meal, sprinkle the seasoning over your favorite fish filets before grilling or baking. You can also use it to season shrimp skewers or sprinkle it over seafood pasta for a burst of flavor.

Here are some ideas for great lemon herb seafood seasoning recipes you can try at home: 

  • Lemon herb grilled salmon: Coat salmon filets with lemon herb seasoning and grill until cooked through.
  • Lemon herb shrimp skewers: Thread shrimp onto skewers, sprinkle with lemon herb seasoning, and grill until pink and cooked.
  • Lemon herb baked tilapia: Season tilapia filets with lemon herb seasoning, drizzle with olive oil, and bake until flaky.
  • Lemon herb seafood pasta: Toss cooked pasta with lemon herb seasoning, sautéed shrimp, cherry tomatoes, and spinach.

Cajun Seafood Seasoning

You likely identify Cajun seafood seasoning as a robust blend of spices that reflect the bold and spicy flavors of Louisiana cuisine, including Cajun and Creole Gumbo. The beauty of Cajun seafood seasoning is its diversity. While ingredients may vary from recipe to recipe, you’ll typically use paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, and black pepper. The result is a complex seasoning blend that adds depth, heat, and a touch of smokiness to any dish.

How to Make Cajun Seasoning

Crafting your own Cajun seafood seasoning at home allows you to tailor the spice level and flavor profile to your preferences. Combine paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, black pepper, and salt in a bowl, adjusting the amounts of each spice to achieve your desired level of heat and flavor.

Seafood Recipes with Cajun Seasoning

Cajun seasoning is a versatile spice blend that complements a wide range of seafood, including shrimp, crawfish, catfish, and crab. For a classic Cajun dish, coat shrimp or fish fillets in Cajun seasoning before grilling, blackening, or pan-searing. You can also use Cajun seasoning to add a spicy kick to seafood boils, jambalaya, gumbo, or étouffée.

Here are some of our favorite cajun seafood ideas for home cooks: 

  • Cajun blackened catfish: Coat catfish filets with Cajun seasoning and pan-sear until blackened and crispy.
  • Cajun shrimp boil: Boil shrimp, potatoes, corn, and sausage in a pot seasoned with Cajun seasoning.
  • Cajun seafood gumbo: Make a roux with Cajun seasoning, add shrimp, crab, and sausage, and simmer to perfection.
  • Cajun catfish po’boys: Coat catfish filets with cajun seasoning, fry until crispy, and serve on a baguette with lettuce, tomato, and remoulade sauce.

Garlic Butter Seafood Seasoning

Garlic butter seafood seasoning is a heavenly blend of garlic, butter, and aromatic herbs that infuse seafood with irresistible flavor. Typically, the seasoning includes dried garlic powder, butter powder, parsley, and other herbs such as thyme, oregano, or chives. But, we encourage you to use freshly grated garlic and freshly chopped parsley and herbs of choice. The result is a creamy, buttery seasoning that enhances the natural taste of seafood with its luscious richness.

How to Make Authentic Garlic Butter at Home

Crafting your own garlic butter seafood seasoning at home is surprisingly easy and allows you to customize the flavors to your liking. Melt salted butter butter (or dairy-free butter) and add freshly grated garlic, freshly chopped parsley, and other herbs you desire, such as oregano or chives. Adjust the ratios to achieve your desired level of garlic and butter flavor, and voila– you have homemade garlic butter. Bonus: Lather this on bakery bread for an added treat!

Garlic butter seasoning pairs beautifully with a variety of seafood, including lobster, shrimp, crab, and fish. For a luxurious treat, melt garlic butter seasoning over grilled lobster tails or drizzle it over seared scallops. You can also use it as a dipping sauce for shrimp cocktail or as a finishing touch for seafood pasta dishes.

Try some of these delicious ideas for garlic butter seafood seasoning. 

  • Garlic butter baked lobster tails: Brush lobster tails with garlic butter seasoning and bake until tender and buttery.
  • Garlic butter shrimp scampi: Sauté shrimp in garlic butter seasoning, white wine, and lemon juice until cooked through.
  • Garlic butter grilled scallops: Season scallops with garlic butter seasoning and grill until caramelized and succulent.
  • Garlic butter seafood linguine: Toss cooked linguine with garlic butter seasoned shrimp, scallops, and clams, garnished with parsley.

Asian Sesame Rub

Asian sesame rub is a versatile blend of sesame seeds, spices, and other ingredients commonly found in Asian cuisine. It typically includes toasted sesame seeds, ginger, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and sometimes a hint of sugar or soy sauce for sweetness and balance. The result is a complex seasoning that brings together the nutty aroma of sesame with the warmth of spices and the richness of umami flavors.

How to Make Asian Sesame Rub

Creating an Asian sesame rub at home is simple and tasty. Start by toasting sesame seeds in a dry skillet until golden and fragrant, then combine them with freshly grated ginger and garlic, red pepper flakes, a pinch of brown sugar, and a generous splash of soy sauce. Adjust the ratios to achieve your desired level of spiciness and sweetness, and enjoy the exotic flavors of homemade Asian sesame seasoning.

How to Pair an Asian Sesame Rub with Seafood

Asian sesame seafood seasoning pairs best with hearty seafood, such as tuna steaks and shrimp. In general, you’ll want to avoid pairing bold spices with delicate seafood like scallops. All you have to do is rub your seafood with the rub before grilling or pan-searing. You can also use it as a seasoning for stir-fried vegetables or as a topping for sushi rolls to add a burst of flavor.

Here are some simple and tasty Asian sesame seafood seasoning ideas: 

  • Asian sesame-crusted tuna: Coat tuna steaks with Asian sesame seasoning and sear until rare in the center.
  • Asian sesame glazed salmon: Brush salmon filets with a mixture of soy sauce, honey, and Asian sesame seasoning, then bake until glazed and flaky.
  • Asian sesame shrimp stir-fry: Sauté shrimp with broccoli, bell peppers, and snap peas in a wok seasoned with Asian sesame seasoning and soy sauce.
  • Asian sesame sushi rolls: Roll sushi with crab, avocado, and cucumber, and sprinkle the top with Asian sesame seasoning for an extra burst of flavor.

Cilantro Lime Seafood Seasoning

Cilantro lime seasoning is a dynamic blend of dried cilantro, tangy lime zest, and complementary spices that come together to create a harmonious fusion of flavors. With its bright citrus notes and herbal undertones, this seasoning is perfect for adding a refreshing twist to seafood dishes.

How to Cilantro Lime Seasoning

Making your own cilantro lime seasoning at home is just as simple as it is tasty. Chop fresh cilantro, grate the zest of one lime, and to a bowl, add garlic powder, cumin, chili powder, and salt, adjusting the ratios to suit your taste preferences. The result is a versatile seasoning blend that can be used to enhance a variety of seafood dishes.

Recipe Ideas for Cooking Seafood with Cilantro Lime Seasoning

Cilantro lime seasoning pairs best with shrimp, fish, and even lobster. Use it to season grilled shrimp skewers, sprinkle it over baked fish filets, or brush it over lobster tails.

Try some of these cilantro lime seafood seasoning dishes at home:

  • Cilantro lime grilled shrimp: Marinate shrimp in a mixture of lime juice, olive oil, and lime cilantro seasoning, then grill until charred and juicy.
  • Cilantro lime baked tilapia: Season tilapia fillets with lime cilantro seasoning, drizzle with olive oil, and bake until flaky and tender.
  • Cilantro lime seafood tacos: Fill warm tortillas with grilled fish or shrimp seasoned with lime cilantro seasoning, then top with cabbage slaw, diced avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
  • Cilantro lime seafood ceviche: Marinate diced shrimp, scallops, and white fish in lime juice with chopped cilantro, diced red onion, and lime cilantro seasoning for a refreshing and zesty appetizer.

Visit NC Seafood for Calabash Seafood in Raleigh

If you’re hoping to take a break from cooking for the evening, visit NC Seafood Restaurant in Raleigh for crispy Calabash-style seafood. Since we’re all about fresh and crispy seafood here, you’ll enjoy freshly fried seafood that doesn’t weigh you down thanks to its light flour coating.

Place your order in person or opt for take-out and .