Learn what’s in Cajun seasoning and make your own homemade spice blend. There’s so many delicious ways to use it!
Note: Below you’ll find a recipe for a full 1/2 cup (4oz.) batch of Cajun seasoning. In addition, in case you’re trying to make a recipe that calls for Cajun seasoning and you just want to make a little bit, we’ve also given a recipe below that makes a small batch of just 2 tablespoons. We hope you find this helpful!
Cajun and Creole seasoning are often misrepresented in recipes. When this happens, spices are combined and sometimes labeled “Cajun-Creole,” or Creole is called Cajun, and vice versa.
While there are quite a few dishes from both cuisines with similar flavors, there are some significant differences, especially when it comes to spices and seasonings. Read about the differences below.
Are Creole And Cajun Seasoning The Same?
No, the cuisines and seasonings have similarities, but they are not the same thing.
Creole cuisine originated in New Orleans and although heavily influenced by French settlers, it also incorporates significant nods from Spanish, Portuguese, German, English, African, and Native American cooking. Creole is considered to be a little more refined than Cajun cuisine as well, which shows in the complexity of spices and ingredients. In Creole food you’ll find flavors like cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, butter and cream, bell pepper, celery, and herbs like basil, oregano, marjoram, and thyme.
Cajun cooking, on the other hand, comes from the Louisiana bayous and focuses on local, more affordable meats, fats, and vegetables. The spices are a lot less complex, too. Cajun seasoning is more pepper-forward and is spicier, and if there are any herbs, it’s typically just oregano.
How To Make Homemade Cajun Seasoning
To make the Cajun seasoning blend, combine the onion powder, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt in a medium bowl until well combined.
The salt in this recipe is optional so it’s more versatile. With the salt, it’s more like the store-bought Cajun seasoning brands.
Warning! Before mixing anything with cayenne powder, be aware that this stuff is so light and fluffy that it easily flies through the air as dust. If you’re sensitive to hot peppers, it’s a good idea to wear gloves and a mask so you don’t irritate the sensitive skin on your hands or in your throat or nose.
If transferring the mixture to a standard spice jar, a tiny funnel helps move the spices without spilling a drop. I don’t recommend storing any spices in plastic because the color, flavor, and spiciness can transfer into the plastic. Glass or ceramic air-tight jars or containers are best for keeping spices.
Store your homemade Cajun seasoning blend in a cool, dry, dark place up to 3 months.
Making a Small Batch of Cajun Seasoning
If you want a batch of Cajun Seasoning in your pantry that you can grab and use whenever, then scroll down to make the full recipe. However, if you just want a small batch to use right now in a recipe that calls for Cajun seasoning, or, if you just want to know approximately how much of each ingredient to add directly to something that you’re cooking, I have the info for you here.
Here is how to make 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, which is about the amount you would use to make a gumbo that includes 1 pound of chicken, 1 pound of sausage, and 6 cups of broth or stock. Note that the salt is optional in this blend. Most store-bought brands contain salt, so if you’re approximating that, use the salt. But if you’re comfortable omitting the salt and adding your own to taste, then don’t add the salt.
|To Make 2 Tablespoons of Cajun Seasoning, Combine:|
• 1.5 tsp. onion powder
• 1.5 tsp. paprika
• 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 3/4 tsp. garlic powder
• 3/4 tsp. black pepper
• 3/4 tsp. salt (optional)
To Add Directly to the Food You’re Cooking: Add equal amounts of onion powder and paprika. Then add half of that amount of cayenne pepper, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt (optional).
Using Your Cajun Spice Blend
In addition to using it in classic Cajun dishes like gumbo or shrimp etouffee, use this homemade blend as a quick dry rub for chicken or fish. Add some spice to your roasted potatoes or other vegetables. You can even add some to your Ranch dressing for a kick to your chicken salad.Print
- 2 Tbsp. onion powder
- 2 Tbsp. paprika
- 1 Tbsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp. salt (optional)
- In a medium bowl whisk together onion powder, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, black pepper, and salt until well combined.
- Transfer mixture to an air-tight container. Store up to 3 months in a cool, dry, dark, place.