Learn how to make the best homemade Cajun seasoning with common spices right from your pantry!! Use this mix and match template to create your own Cajun spice and easily customize it to your specific taste! This smoky, savory, herbaceous and mildly spicy Cajun spice rub is a great way to add BOLD Big Easy flavor to your food! It’s so versatile and tastes AMAZING on everything from chicken, seafood, and vegetables to classic New Orleans dishes, such as Po’ boys, Gumbo, Maque Choux, and more!
Hi, friends! I hope you love Cajun cuisine as much as I do! Because, today I’m sharing the most delicious (and ridiculously versatile!) all-purpose seasoning mix and it’s the perfect way to add a punch of Big Easy flavor to all your favorite dishes!
Cajun Spice (Homemade Cajun Seasoning)
This Cajun seasoning takes mere minutes to whip together, but it will totally transform any dish from boring and bland to BOLD and undeniably DELICIOUS!
This recipe features a rustic mix of spices, such as paprika, onion, garlic, oregano and cayenne, to create an all-purpose blend that’s savory, smoky, aromatic, slightly spicy, peppery and irresistibly robust! Store-bought blends can contain gluten, MSG and unhealthy additives; however, this DIY Cajun mix is all natural and free-from any harmful ingredients!
Plus, this seasoning mix is totally customizable and a great way to use up any lingering spices you have hanging around your pantry! You can easily tailor the heat level, salt content and combination of seasonings to your personal liking! Think of this recipe as a template to bringing delicious Southern cooking to your very own kitchen!
Oh, and did I mention this Cajun blend is amazingly versatile!? Seriously, it is delicious on anything and everything!! Try it on eggs, dips, potatoes, chicken, meats, seafood, tofu, pasta, and MORE! Trust and believe, this seasoning mix will become a staple in your spice drawer!
Why this recipe works
- Flavorful: This Cajun blend is so flavorful and robust – it’s the perfect way to add bold Big Easy flavor to your favorite dishes!
- Basic Pantry Staples: This versatile blend is made with common spices you probably already have on hand in your pantry!
- All natural: While store-bought seasoning mixes are convenient, they also contain undesirable additives and preservatives.
- You are in control: Mixing your own spice blends allows you to control the ingredients! You can make your blends lower in sodium and gluten-free too! Plus, homemade blends taste brighter and fresher in flavor!
- Cheaper: Making your own spice blend with seasonings you already have on hand can save you some money!
- Customizable: You can easily customize this flexible spice recipe to suit your personal taste! For those who like it hot, add the optional red pepper flakes. Or if you prefer your spice blend heavy on the earthy flavors, add in a bit of basil and parsley! This recipe allows you to be in control!
- Versatile: This Cajun spice mix is delicious on anything and everything – try it on eggs, vegetables, potatoes, chicken, fish, or classic New Orleans dishes, such as Jambalaya, and MORE!
- 10 Minutes: This blend literally comes together in minutes!
- Stores Great! Homemade seasoning mixes store great for up to 1-2 years!
What is Cajun seasoning?
Cajun seasoning, also known as Cajun spice or spice mix, is a fragrant blend of dried herbs and ground spices originating from Louisiana, home of Cajun cuisine. The spice blend is typically made of spices that are common to Cajun cuisine, such as paprika, oregano, salt, pepper, and cayenne. However, the exact ingredients will vary from one seasoning mix to the next, as every family tends to have their own “special” blend.
Bold, flavorful cajun seasoning was originally used to make game meats, such as alligator, more palatable and enjoyable.
What does it taste like?
Cajun spice is complex, fragrant, and bold in taste with a savory, smokey, herbaceous, spicy flavor that can range from mild to hot and fiery.
Is it spicy?
Generally, Cajun seasoning is spicy! However, for this homemade blend, you can customize the amount of heat based on your personal preference! I recommend you start with 1 teaspoon of Cayenne is you prefer mild heat and go up to 1 tablespoon if you want to bring the heat!
Cajun versus Creole seasoning
Cajun and Creole seasonings are both aromatic spice blends that add flavor to meats, seafood, stews, and classic Louisiana dishes. However, the main difference between the two seasonings lies in their ingredients.
Cajun seasoning features an array of peppers, such as cayenne and black pepper, as well as paprika, garlic, and onion. When it comes to taste, Cajun seasoning is more on the spicy side.
On the other hand, Creole seasoning consists of more herbal ingredients, such as thyme, basil and parsley. Due to the additional ingredients, Creole seasoning is bolder and more herbaceous in flavor.
Traditional Cajun dishes
- Shrimp Étouffée: This classic dish is a marriage of both Cajun and Creole seasonings.
- Fish and Grits: The southern classic of fried fish and grits typically uses Cajun seasoning.
Classic Creole dishes
- Gumbo: Flavorful, rich Gumbo is a staple in Creole cuisine!
- Jambalaya: This popular, one pot Louisiana staple utilizes Creole seasoning blend to enhance the flavor!
What spices are in Cajun seasoning?
The exact spices in a Cajun blend will vary greatly from kitchen to kitchen and recipe to recipe; however, the most common ingredients include paprika, oregano, cayenne, salt, and pepper. The great thing about making your own spice blend is that you can add any seasonings, spices, and herbs you love!
Cajun seasoning ingredients
- Paprika: Both regular and smoked paprika work great depending upon what you have on hand!
- Onion Powder: Onion powder provides a mild touch of slightly sweet, savory onion flavor.
- Garlic Powder: Garlic powder adds a more subtle, slightly sweet garlic flavor than assertive garlic cloves.
- Salt: For the best flavor, be sure to use kosher salt and not table salt!
- Pepper: Freshly grind black pepper for the best taste!
- Cayenne: Fiery cayenne brings the heat! You can easily adjust (or eliminate) the cayenne according to your personal taste!
- Oregano: Dried oregano leaves gives the spice blend a warm, slightly peppery, and herbaceous flavor.
- Red Pepper Flakes: Crushed chili flakes add delicate touch of sharp and vaguely earthy flavor with a tiny kick of heat.
- Creole Seasoning Mix: Make your own creole spice blend by adding dried thyme leaves, basil leaves, and parsley to the mix!
- Sweet & Smoky Blend: To make your own sweet and smoky spicy blend, use smoked paprika and add 1 tablespoon of white sugar!
- Spicy Blend: Add extra heat to your Cajun spice mix by throwing in a little Ghost Pepper Powder!
- Cumin: You can add a bit of cumin to your blend to instantly add a bit of warm and earthy flavor.
- Coriander: Cumin and coriander go hand in hand! If you are adding in cumin, I recommend also throwing in fresh-tasting, slightly citrusy coriander!
- Fennel Seeds: While not traditional, fennel seeds are a great way to add a unique touch of warm, aromatic flavor!
- Ground Mustard: Add a touch of tangy heat by throwing in some ground mustard!
How do you make your own Cajun spice?
Making homemade Cajun seasoning is as quick and easy as 1,2,3 – gather, mix and enjoy! All you need to do is gather and measure your spices, mix them together in a jar, and cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid! Voilà – you have just created your very own Cajun blend!
Expert tips for the making the best seasoning mix
- Check expiration dates: Double check your spices and dry herbs for expiration dates before using them in your mix!
- Use whole spices: For the most flavor, buy whole spices and grind them yourself in a coffee or spice grinder!
- Use dried herbs: When using herbs in this seasoning blend (oregano, thyme, basil, and parsley), make sure you use dried and not ground as ground herbs are much more potent!
- Start small: As for the salt and “spicy” seasonings, such as cayenne, start with a small amount in your Cajun blend! Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out once you add it!
- Adjust to taste: Taste your Cajun spice mix before storing! If you want it spicier, add more cayenne pepper! If you prefer a more robust “seasoned” taste, add in some dried herbs!
- Store properly: To keep your seasonings fresher for longer, make sure you store them in an airtight container in a dark, cool place!
How to use Cajun spice mix?
Cajun seasoning is incredibly versatile, and you can use it as an all-purpose spice blend to jazz up any meal! It’s delicious on everything from eggs, chicken, seafood, and fresh vegetables, such as corn on the cob, to classic New Orleans’s dishes, like Shrimp Po’ Boys,Gumbo, Jambalaya and more!
21 ways to use Cajun Seasoning
- Dry Rub: The easiest way to use creole seasoning mix it to simply use it as a dry rub on chicken, pork, seafood, and vegetables!
- Hash browns: My personal favorite – Cajun hash browns or roasted potatoes!
- Eggs: Use your seasoning to make Cajun scrambled eggs or an omelet with peppers, onions, and plenty of spice!
- Remoulade (Cajun Mayo): Whip up my favorite sauce on earth – remoulade! Use it as a substitute for any creamy dressing, sauce, dip and spread!!
- Peanuts: Make your own Cajun boiled peanuts!
- Popcorn: Cajun seasoning adds a bit of zippy flavor to freshly popped popcorn!
- Croutons: Swap out the Italian for Cajun seasoning to make your own croutons!
- Dip: Jazz up your favorite store-bought dip (such as ranch) by stirring in some Cajun spice to taste!
- Hush Puppies: Fry up some Southern Hush Puppies!
- Vegetables: Season your favorite fresh vegetables with seasoning mix before roasting or grilling!
- Fries: Dust your hot French fries liberally with your homemade Cajun blend for a little Big Easy flavor!
- Dirty Rice: Use your blend to make the best dirty rice in all the land!
- Jambalaya: A delicious classic New Orleans’s dish featuring Cajun seasoning blend!
- Crawfish Boil: Use it to season water for a classic crawfish boil!
- Chicken: Use the mix as a dry rub for wings or make the best Cajun chicken!
- Burgers: Add some seasoning to your ground beef to create your own Cajun Spice Burgers!
- Shrimp: Use the blend to make Cajun Honey Shrimp!
- Pasta: Cajun chicken pasta for the win!
- Pizza: Pepperoni pizza with Cajun spice!
- Marinade: Mix a little Cajun spice with oil, brush the mixture over your favorite protein – salmon, chicken, pork, etc. – and grill or roast for a quick and easy dinner!
- Cocktails: Rim your glass with cajun seasoning for a fun twist on the classic Bloody Mary!
Storing your Cajun seasoning mix
How to store homemade spice blends?
You should store all your seasonings and spice blends in airtight containers in a cool, dark place away from heat or any direct sunlight. The kitchen pantry or a dark cabinet are both great places to store dried spices and seasonings.
How long will Cajun spice last?
Seasoning mixes never actually “spoil” or “expire”; however, they do lose their flavor! When properly stored, your homemade Cajun spice will last approximately 1 to 2 years. However, it is important to note, spice blends are made up of individual seasonings and dried herbs. If you make your spice blend with older seasonings, your blend will not keep as long.
So, what are you waiting for!? Grab some of basic pantry seasonings, mix up this Cajun spice blend and add robust, bold Big Easy flavor to all your favorite dishes!
Until next week, friends, cheers – to spicing things up!
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Easy Homemade Cajun + Creole Seasoning recipe👇
Cajun Spice (Cajun Seasoning Mix)
- Storage Jars
- 3 TBS Paprika
- 2 TBS Onion Powder
- 2 TBS Garlic Powder
- 1 TBS Kosher Salt
- 1 TBS Black Pepper
- 1 TBS Cayenne
- 1 TBS Dried Oregano Leaves (not ground)
- 1 tsp Celery Salt
- ½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (OPTIONAL)
For Creole Seasoning Mix, add the following:
- 1 TBS Dried Basil Leaves (not ground)
- 1 TBS Dried Parsley (not ground)
- 1 TBS Dried Thyme Leaves (not ground)
- ¾ tsp Cumin
- 3/4 tsp Coriander
- 3/4 tsp Fennel Seeds
- ¾ tsp Ground Mustard
- Gather and Measure Ingredients: Gather and measure all the seasonings and dried herbs.
- Mix: Place all the ingredients into a storage jar (or bowl) and stir to thoroughly combine. Taste and adjust as necessary.
- Store: Store the Cajun spice in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. (Please see the post for 20 delicious ways to use your seasoning mix!)
- Tips: Please see the post for tips on customizing your spice blend!
- Salt + Cayenne: When it comes to making your own blend, I recommend starting light handed with the Kosher Salt and Cayenne Pepper - remember, you can always add more, but you can't remove it once you've added it!
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