To us, a good Cajun Seasoning recipe needs to be savory with some salt, herbs, some nice earthy flavors of paprika, and have a touch of heat. These elements evoke those Cajun coastal flavors that work so well for grilled fish and poultry.
When looking for some Louisiana influenced flavors, we reach for a Cajun seasoning. Unlike blackening spices, which focus on super earthy and almost burnt-like flavors, an authentic Cajun seasoning recipe combines a savory mouthfeel with the slight salt and spice that stands out but does not overpower the flavor. A great article from Thrillist also talks about the difference in styles of Cajun versus Creole and some common myths of Cajun cuisine.
What Is Cajun Seasoning?
With a nod to the south, and specifically Louisiana, Cajun cooking is an influence of cuisines from France, West Africa, and Spain. For seasoning, it evokes aromatics and earthy flavors that complement stews, open fire cooking, and seafood from Cajun inspired cuisine.
Ingredients for seasonings and rubs often include:
- Savory – Typically the standard paprika (versus smoked) and celery seeds. Dried onion or garlic is also often used.
- Salt – Usually kosher salt.
- Herbs – Herbal notes can range from parsley, thyme, bay leaf, and sage.
- Heat – Cayenne or red chili pepper flakes are most common.
How To Make Cajun Seasoning
- Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Use a whisk to incorporate the ingredients.
- Use a funnel to transfer the seasoning into your preferred storage device (we like mason jars for this), or use a large spoon.
Store in a mason jar for up to four months. Keeping it in a cool dark cupboard prevents light from causing clumping as moisture in the jar heats up and cools down through the day and weeks. Just shake it prior to use if there is any clumping.
- For more heat double the cayenne. This will create a very spicy version of this cajun seasoning recipe. For a more subtle heat element, add 1 teaspoon of ground chili pepper flakes in addition to the original cayenne portions.
- Add 2 tablespoons of dried sage for more herbal elements.
- For a darker, richer, blackened flavor use smoked paprika. Warning however, this can make the rub a little bitter when cooking proteins over direct heat.
More Dry Rub Recipes
- Ultimate Dry Rub for Pork and Chicken
- Rib Rub
- Chicken Seasoning
- Seafood Seasoning
- Ancho Chile Coffee Rub
Recipe Ideas with Cajun Seasoning
Substitute the following recipes with this seasoning:
- Grilled Chicken Wings
- Perfect Grilled Chicken
- Grilled Pork Chops
- Grilled Salmon
- Cajun Grilled Turkey Breasts
Cajun Seasoning Recipe
- Mason Jar
- ¼ cup paprika
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 4 teaspoons ground thyme
- 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried mustard
- 1 teaspoon celery seed (not salt)
- In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and stir with a whisk.
- Using a funnel or large spoon, store the dry rub in a mason jar for up to 4 months in a cool dark cupboard.