Are you a lover of Cajun food? I am. I love Cajun Spices and Seasonings and this is my favorite Cajun Spice Blend. It’s a little spicy, yes, but has so many different layers of flavor. It’s not just all about the heat.
In this Cajun Spice Blend the Cayenne and optional Red Pepper flakes spice up the Cajun Spice Blend with a little heat, the Black and White Peppers bring a whole ‘nother bit of spiciness to the party. Then everything is jazzed with the Garlic and Onion Powder, grounded by the Paprika and the Oregano and Thyme bring in earthy notes.
About Cajun Cooking:
Maybe you’re not familiar with Cajun food? Let me give you my brief take on the history. In 1755, after 40 some years of conflict, the French Catholics were expelled from Canada by the British. Some went home, others settled on the Eastern seaboard, some to the Indies, but some settled in what then was French territory around New Orleans, later included in the Louisiana Purchase. The Cajuns developed their own style of cooking, using what was available to them.
You’ll see some French technique in Cajun food to this day, applied to the local indigenous foods from the ocean to the swamps to the plains of Louisiana. The mirepoix (mix of bell peppers, onion, and celery) and roux (mix of fat and flour for flavoring) come to mind immediately. So does Jambalaya, which shares a lot of similarities to Paella, and which reflects, I think, the essence of Cajun cooking more than any dish I can think of. I’ve read that the true Cajun Jambalaya uses a roux and that the Creole Jambalaya uses tomatoes. Others say the division between Cajun and Creole is all bunk. I just know it’s all delicious!
Cajun food isn’t usually super hot and spicy, but it does have just a bit of a kick to it. Think of Cajun food as highly seasoned. It’s said that right spicing should just leave a tickle in the back of your throat, not have you grabbing for a glass of water or other favorite beverage. Hot and spicy is what hot sauce is for, so feel free to put out a bottle or two for those that want to heat things up. If you’d like to read more about Cajun food, check out this article from Louisiana, Feed your Soul.
Making Cajun Spice Blend:
Cajun Spice Blend of any kind is best if it is fresh and making your own just takes a few minutes. It will blow away any purchased Cajun spices. Yep, even those by the famous Chefs, Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse. I actually recipes for spice blends from both Chefs. See the clickable photos at the bottom of the page.
You can mix up a little extra and have it on hand, but you’ll see and taste it “fade” just a bit if kept around too long. I’d give it a shelf life of about six months in a cool, dark cupboard. If I make this in a larger amount, I’ll usually put some in a “working” jar with my spices and keep the rest in a tightly lidded jar in a cool, dark cupboard.
This is mildly spicy, of course depending on how much you use. It’s also a great way to make use of that white pepper you bought for some recipe and haven’t used up yet. Make this with the salt or without, according to your taste. Whatever you do, though, make extra! I’ve given you a few ideas, below on how to use your Cajun Spice Blend. I think you’ll find yourself reaching for it to add a little “personality” to all kinds of dishes not just your Cajun ones.
Using Your Cajun Spice:
Try this spice blend in your favorite classic Cajun Recipes, like some of the recipes from my site I recently put together in a collection, Over 20 Recipes for your Mardi Gras Party. You can use this in the same ratio for any Cajun recipes that call for a spice blend, and you can use this Cajun Spice Blend in any Cajun Recipe that has a list of individual spices. Just add up the individual spices, the tablespoon of this, the teaspoon of that and use the same amount of the Cajun Spice Blend as the total amount of spices in the recipe. If you use salt in your spice blend, cut back on any salt in the recipe.
You can sprinkle Cajun Spice Blend on just about anything. You can use it as a Blackening Spice if you’d like to cook chicken, pork or fish in the style of Chef Paul Prudhomme. I did that with the Grilled Blackened Cajun Chicken Breasts, below. Or you can go rogue and use Cajun Spice Blend on anything you’d like to spice up, like my Crispy Oven Roasted Chickpeas or Bomb Baked Potato Wedges and Stupid Simple Sweet Potato Fries. Mix it into your burgers for a fun kick.
Toss a little of your Cajun Spice Blend in a mixture of mayo and sour cream, along with a drizzle of honey for a dynamite dipping sauce. Use it in a Remoulade sauce like this one for my Fried Green Tomatoes. You can put that stuff on anything, or dip just about anything into it. Just use your imagination and your good taste! You can’t go wrong!
Saving Money on Cajun Spice Blend:
There are times you absolutely need the best quality ingredients in a mix, and here freshly ground black pepper makes a big difference.
As for the paprika, garlic and onion powder, I look for the basic common spices like these in larger jars or in jugs, especially ones I know I’ll go through in my blends and rubs. If you can pick them up in a bulk size, you’ll save a little money on them. I rarely visit the spice aisle any longer and for some of these larger jugs, I don’t even visit the grocery. Check your buyer’s club if you’re a member.
Do check the produce area for packets if your store carries them. They’re usually a great value and that’s a fabulous way to pick up common spices like cayenne, oregano, thyme, and white & red pepper in this recipe that might not normally be used in large quantities. Generally, you’ll find them at a much better price than bottled or jarred spices or herbs, and if you crunch the numbers, they’re usually less than even the little “bargain” jars that run a dollar, each.
While some stores might have a bulk area where you can buy just the amount of spice you need, for the most part, you’ll be paying more for spices that way and it can be very difficult to crunch the numbers, at least without a calculator. The only time I would ever consider buying this way is when I know it’s less expensive per ounce or if the spice or herb that I’m buying is a one-off; something I’ll likely never use again or possibly one I just am curious about and want to try in a small quantity, only.Print
Cajun Spice Blend
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: about 2/3 cup 1x
- Category: Spices & Herbs
- Cuisine: American Cajun & Creole
- 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 tablespoons salt, optional
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
Mix together, store in an airtight container. Use in place of any “Cajun” spice blend or omit spices added individually to a dish and use instead.
optional: 1/2 teaspoon of dried lemon zest
Keywords: Cajun & Creole, Spice & Herb Blends