Homemade Cajun Seasoning

published Dec 20, 2021
Cajun Seasoning Recipe

Give any weeknight dinner a Cajun flair with this impossibly easy recipe.

Makesabout 3/4 cup

Prep5 minutes

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a blend of cajun seasoning in a round white bowl
Credit: Laura Rege

Cajun cooking isn’t for the faint of heart. Influenced largely by The Acadians, a group of French immigrants who settled in Canada before migrating to Louisiana, this hearty cuisine is full of robust flavors and big spices. Pairing their cooking with thee indigenous offerings from the land and people native to North America, you get rustic, seafood-heavy, spicy foods that warm your belly and heart. 

To more easily capture the flavor of Cajun cuisine (aside from a roux), a blend of different seasonings can be mixed together to flavor your food the way the locals do. This spice blend is a combination of most seasonings you’ll already have in your pantry. Critical ingredients include the following:

  • Paprika (smoked, plain or hot)
  • Garlic and onion powders
  • Dried herbs like thyme and oregano
  • Cayenne pepper

Once you have these as your base, riff a little to make it your own. I’ve added mustard powder for some zing and a bit of celery seed for a bright and earthy surprise. For a more nuanced spice mix, start with whole mustard seeds and toast it with the celery seeds until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Grind the toasted seeds in the spice grinder before adding them to the blend. 

Credit: Renae Wilson

How to Use Cajun Seasoning

Jambalaya, crawfish pie, filet gumbo … Hank Williams sang lyrics that gave explicit instructions on how to use Cajun seasoning. More creative ways to use Cajun seasoning include the following:

  • On the rim of a Bloody Mary.
  • In a Cajun-inspired omelet with crab.
  • Stirred into mayonnaise or sour cream for an easy dipper.
  • Added to macaroni and cheese with bacon or andouille sausage.

How to Store Cajun Seasoning

Store Cajun seasoning in an airtight container in your pantry (or a cool dark place) for up to one month.

Cajun Seasoning Recipe

Give any weeknight dinner a Cajun flair with this impossibly easy recipe.

Prep time 5 minutes

Makes about 3/4 cup

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons

    smoked paprika

  • 2 tablespoons

    garlic powder

  • 2 tablespoons

    dried oregano or dried marjoram

  • 1 tablespoon

    onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    celery seeds

  • 1 teaspoon

    dried thyme

  • 2 teaspoons

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons

    mustard powder

  • 2 teaspoons

    cayenne pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Place 2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 2 tablespoons dried oregano or dried marjoram, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon celery seeds, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 2 teaspoons black pepper, 2 teaspoons mustard powder, 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper if desired in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Use to season meat, fish, vegetables, beans, or rice.

Recipe Notes

General tips: This recipe includes salt. If you’re following a recipe that calls for Cajun spice, be aware of the salt level and adjust accordingly. Or leave the salt out and season to your liking!

Variation: For extra depth of flavor, use 2 tablespoons whole yellow mustard seeds in place of ground mustard. Toast the mustard and celery seeds in a small skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 40 seconds. Grind in a spice grinder and add to the spice mixture.

Storage: Store Cajun seasoning in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.