Cajun Seasoning

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This homemade Cajun Seasoning blend is a tasty, versatile mix of common spices you probably already have on hand. Great on meats, pasta, veggies, and more!

Cajun seasoning spices on a white plate.


 

Cajun Seasoning is a delicious spice blend made with common pantry spices that yo probably already have. It can be spicy or mild depending on much cayenne pepper you add.

It’s the same sort of spice blend that you se when you want something “blackened” such as Blackened Chicken or Blackened Salmon. But, it has the sort of universal appeal that lends itself to so many different dishes.

It shows up in several different New Orleans classics such as Cajun Chicken and Fried Green Tomatoes, but I also love to use it in unexpected ways. It gives a little kick to Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad and it’s great in Cajun Chicken Alfredo, a copycat from Chili’s and elsewhere.

Recipe ingredients

Cajun seasoning spices on a white plate.

At a Glance: Here is a quick snapshot of what ingredients are in this recipe.
Please see the recipe card below for specific quantities.

Ingredient notes

  • Paprika: Both sweet and smoked paprika work here.
  • Italian seasoning: To make your own, add 1 ½ teaspoons EACH of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram. If you’re missing one, just leave it out.
  • Salt: Add salt to taste (I like 2 tablespoons), or leave it out of the blend and salt your individual dishes as you go.
  • Cayenne pepper: Dial the heat up or down with more or less cayenne pepper (omit it entirely if you don’t like spicy food).

Instructions

  • In a small bowl, whisk together paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, cayenne pepper, thyme, and onion powder. Store in an airtight container.

Should I use a spice grinder?

I HIGHLY recommend using a spice grinder if you want the freshest flavors for your spice blends. They’re not too expensive and make a tremendous difference in your cooking! The KRUPS Fast Touch Electric Grinder is my favorite one because it’s powerful and easy to clean. You can get it at Walmart for $34.96 but I recommend a few others in my best spice grinder roundup!

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: This recipe makes ¾ cup seasoning.
  • Storage: Store covered in a dark, cool place for up to 6 months.
  • Marinade: To make a marinade for 2 pounds of steak, chicken, or pork, whisk together ½ cup olive oil, ¼ cup lemon or lime juice, 1 tablespoon brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon seasoning. Marinade at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour. Pat meat dry before cooking.
  • More Cajun flavors: Depending on what you are cooking, consider adding green bell peppers, onion, and celery (the “holy trinity”), okra, tomatoes, mint, parsley, and hot sauce (especially Tabasco). Pepper jelly is classic, too.
  • Mardi Gras: Gearing up for Fat Tuesday? I’ve pulled together 30+ Mardi Gras Recipes to help you celebrate. Start with Crab Cakes with RemouladeFried Okra, or Hush Puppies served with a Muffaletta sandwich, Dirty Rice, a bowl of Red Beans and Rice, or Shrimp Étouffée. Finish your meal with a sweet treat such as Bananas Foster, a slice of King Cake, or some Pecan Pralines. Classic cocktail options include a Sazerac or a Hurricane cocktail.
Cajun chicken alfredo with broccoli in a gray speckled bowl.
Cajun Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli.

Great recipes for Cajun seasoning

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Cajun seasoning spices on a white plate.

Cajun Seasoning

This homemade Cajun Seasoning blend is a tasty, versatile mix of common spices you probably already have on hand. Great on meats, pasta, veggies, and more!
Prep Time 1 minute
Total Time 1 minute
Servings 36 servings (1 teaspoon each)
Course Pantry
Cuisine American
Calories 5
4.98 from 152 votes

Ingredients 

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl, combine paprika, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, salt, cayenne pepper, thyme, and onion powder. Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Video

Notes

  1. Paprika: Both sweet and smoked paprika work here.
  2. Italian seasoning: To make your own, add 1 ½ teaspoons EACH of dried basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and marjoram. If you’re missing one, just leave it out.
  3. Salt: Add salt to taste (I like 2 tablespoons), or leave it out of the blend and salt your individual dishes as you go.
  4. Cayenne pepper: Dial the heat up or down with more or less cayenne pepper (omit it entirely if you don’t like spicy food).
  5. Yield: This recipe makes ¾ cup seasoning.
  6. Storage: Store covered in a dark, cool place for up to 6 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 tspCalories: 5kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.03gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.1gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.02gSodium: 389mgPotassium: 28mgFiber: 0.5gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 354IUVitamin C: 0.2mgCalcium: 9mgIron: 0.4mg
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Meggan Hill is a classically-trained chef and professional writer. Her meticulously-tested recipes and detailed tutorials bring confidence and success to home cooks everywhere. Meggan has been featured on NPR, HuffPost, FoxNews, LA Times, and more.

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Comments

  1. This is a great recipe. I did take the cayenne pepper down a notch. Can I add this mix for pressure cooking red beans? Maybe adding green bell pepper, onions and celery also??? I like simple.5 stars

    1. Hi Joan, that sounds delicious! I think this would be perfect for a batch of red beans. – Meggan

    1. Hi James, yes. It’s an estimate for 1 teaspoon of the total recipe, or 1/36 of it all. It’s an estimate only. I would recommend if you are making this seasoning and counting the nutritional amounts, please use a food scale, measure each ingredient, and use an online program to determine the nutrition facts of the amount you need for your recipe. I hope you try this out. Take care! – Meggan

  2. Thank you for the recipe,this would be a big help to all aspiring cook or chef ..Megan Hill is is one of the best🙂

  3. Amazing!!!
    I used it in the batter to make Oyster and Shrimp Po-boys. So good. I’ve used it in other recipes as well.
    It keeps well in a Rubbermaid container.5 stars

    1. Hi Mardy, thank you for your question. I haven’t used this seasoning for boiled peanuts. I would personally start with 1 cup, taste as they are cooking and add more to taste. Take care! – Meggan

  4. Do you recommend spanish or Hungarian paprika for this? My local spice shop has a bunch of varieties and its really overwhelming! You also said garlic and onion powder, but the pictures look like they’re are granulated…do you recommend granulated instead of powder? I have granulated garlic and onion powde and my son says powder is not the same as granulated. Also is table salt okay or do I need to get kosher salt?. I want to buy the right ingredients to make this!!

    1. Hi Paula, thank you for your questions. I use sweet or smoked paprika. So for a sweeter paprkia, I would go for the Spanish variety. For the onion and garlic powder, I usually use what’s in my pantry. If your son has a preference, I would go with that! And for salt, table salt is fine (I list table or Kosher only when it is specifically necessary for a recipe.) You can also omit if you prefer and salt the dish to taste, depending on what you’re using the seasoning for. I urge you to experiment with this seasoning, adjusting the flavors for the specific dishes you’re creating. I hope you love it! – Meggan

  5. Love this blend. I use it in all sorts of things, even food that’s not traditionally cajun. I’ll be gifting it to people at Christmas, too.5 stars

    1. Thank you so much for the lovely comment, Tamara! I’m so glad you love it! – Meggan

  6. Thank you! Needed something new for chicken and this is it. Used as a dry rub and after cooking chicken, I served over cilantro rice and topped with sliced avocado. Family loved it.5 stars

  7. This was fabulous! I used it in a jambalaya recipe as I didn’t realize I was out of Cajun seasoning. So easy to make and was the best!! Thanks so much for a wonderful recipe!!!

    1. Hi Donna, you’re so welcome! Happy to have been able to help you out in a pinch! Take care! – Meggan

  8. I realized we were out of Cajun seasoning while making dinner. Super easy to make and delicious. I only added a pinch of cayenne because I’m not a huge spice person. Very flavorful!5 stars

  9. Thank you for providing the ingredients for Cajun seasoning! I only needed a small amount for a recipe of shrimp gumbo that I wanted to make on a snowy winter day, so simply used 1/4 teaspoon for each tablespoon of ingredient in the recipe and ended up the perfect amount for the recipe with only a small amount of extra to be sprinkled on for anyone who wanted additional seasoning.5 stars

  10. I live in Mexico now, from north Carolina it’s hard to find Cajun seasoning here thanks for the recipe I look forward to trying it

  11. Love this recipe and breaks it down so it’s so easy and less stressful. They have it all laid out for you all you really have to do it just enjoy it because it’s like authentic fried green tomatoes remumoled sauce. Thank you so much for sharing this5 stars

  12. I read through the comments and I want to have a taste of the Cajun seasoning in my meal, but my country is a tropical West Africa country. We don’t have oregano, paprika and marjoram. What else can I do?

    1. Hi Adaobi, thank you for your question! I would see what is locally available to you to substitute those flavors. For example, is there a chili powder that is smoky and mild available locally that would be similar to paprika? And for the Italian seasoning ingredients, if you can’t replace them, omit them! The other flavors- basil, rosemary, and thyme, are each flavorful on their own. I hope this helps! Enjoy – Meggan

  13. Looking forward to using this tonight in my homemade red beans and rice. Discovered the Cajun seasoning I had bought from the store added “natural smoke flavor” which I find to be very unpleasant – huge disappointment. Glad I caught it and made this in a pinch!

  14. Scrumptious! I followed the recipe exactly (well, ok, I did use only a teaspoon of cayenne pepper) and my creamy cajun chicken dish tasted superb. Thank you for the cajun seasoning recipe.

  15. Thank you. Was looking to make my own combination from my spices. Now I know what’s included.

  16. Very tasty. I only made one modification because I’ve used it before and its great in a Cajun Spice. I reduced the amount of cayenne and replaced it with 1 tbsp of “Red Pepper Power”. Its the kind used to make Kimchi. Ya. Its asian but that spice reminds me of a dried red bell pepper and red bell pepper just fits in a Cajun spice. It doesn’t have as much heat as cayenne so if you like it a bit milder, replace all the cayenne with that. Try it if you can find it and you’ll see what I mean. I also give it a quick whirl in a spice grinder to make it a bit finer and to meld the flavors more. Yum.5 stars

  17. I’ve been making this for months. I just love it. Just the right zing. PERFECTO! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️5 stars

  18. This was really good! I used this on turkey sausage then added Jasmin rice after. I maybe used about TBS of the blend in with the rice and a TSP to sausage and cooked together. I also added a little less cyanine and a little more paprika. I was I am used to the Zatarains box blend when I make this but this was honestly better. Thanks for the recipe, it was super easy to make and it makes a lot.

  19. Just the right amount of heat for me. I did not have thyme, so it was omitted. I used an Italian seasoning spice blend (in a spice grinder), which has some thyme in it, though. This is a great recipe! I used it as the main seasoning in a Cajun chicken pasta dish. YUM! Thank you!5 stars

  20. Wonderful blend! I used it for some shrimp gumbo I made last week. The next time I make it, I will cut the cayenne pepper in half or third to accommodate my nephews, who are more sensitive to heat than I am. I accidentally added twice the amount of onion powder, but I love the taste of onion powder, so I might continue doing that I’m the future!5 stars

  21. This recipe was great! I looked all over for premade Cajun seasoning and couldn’t find it, but had all the ingredients in my spice rack already!5 stars

  22. Awesome seasoning mix! Exactly what i was wanting. Used it to make blackened chicken Alfredo. Delicious! Made a large batch of seasoning so i can keep it on hand. Will definitely have this mix in my spice cabinet from now on.5 stars

  23. I just made this last night, and I have to say… it was delicious!! And plenty of left overs for some yummy lunches throughout the week.

    Thank you! 🙂5 stars

  24. Good day,

    You really feed me with good stuff. Please email me the any receipts you have. Cooking is my life.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Regards,
    Alson Mabilu5 stars

  25. Thanks for the recipe! I’m I’m allergic to onions & such so it is hard to get anything prepared. Plus I like to mix things myself. Thanks again5 stars

  26. I follow keto and after seeing that my Cajun seasoning had maltodextrin in it I needed to make my own. This worked perfectly in the gumbo I made tonight. Thanks for sharing!5 stars

  27. Excellent recipe! Threw it together to add to some homemade jambalaya, and it turned out amazing. Made a few modifications (including an accidental extra spoonful of onion powder, oops!) but I’ll definitely have to make this again!5 stars

  28. Oh no I don’t know If i put one or two Tablespoons of salt in unsure how to fix this can I add more at end and it will be ok ?

    1. Hi Tiffany! Such a bummer! You can definitely add more at the end, or maybe you can find a way to sample how salty the blend is that you made. One idea you could try, if you wanted, would be to stir a small amount of the seasoning in to a small amount of olive oil and try dipping bread in to it. That will give you an idea of how salty it is. You could also assume it is VERY salty and just use a little bit on your meat or whatever you’re doing, and then add more salt once it’s cooked, just adding however much you want to the finished dish. Good luck!

  29. The nutritional facts are insane!!!! I’m hoping that they’re incorrect.
    Nutrition Facts
    Serves 1
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 179
    % Daily Value*
    Total Fat 3.7g 6%
    Cholesterol 0g 0%
    Sodium 13986.2mg 583%
    Total Carbohydrate 39.5g 13%
    Sugars 3.1g
    Protein 7.9g 16%

    1. Hi Zacha! YES! They are incorrect, they are showing the total information for the entire amount made. I will have to split it out into something more reasonable, it’s just hard to say what a serving is of this stuff. But yes. This is WRONG! Sorry about that. I will decide on a serving (1 tsp or whatever) and show what it is. So sorry about that!

    2. Hi Zacha, I fixed the nutrition label. One serving is 1/4 teaspoon, here’s the new info. Thanks for pointing this out!
      Serving Size 1/4 teaspoon
      Serves 144
      Amount Per Serving
      Calories 1
      % Daily Value*
      Total Fat 0g 0%
      Cholesterol 0g 0%
      Sodium 97.1mg 4%
      Total Carbohydrate 0.3g 0%
      Sugars 0g
      Protein 0.1g 0%

  30. This is a great spice blend! I added a little more cayenne, to give it a little more love. This is a must have for my pantry.5 stars