Cajun seasoning is a simple mix of nine herbs and spices, most of which you likely have on hand. Blending your own is so economical per ounce! Using individual spices allows you to control the saltiness, herb ratio and heat level, not to mention to be sure there is no gluten in this mix.
Purchased cajun seasonings tend to have a lot of salt, and our lower-salt diet doesn’t allow us to use brands like McCormick or Tony’s. Some brands contain celery seed, which I haven’t included here, but you could if you like that taste.
To make a recent batch of my savory Red Beans and Rice, I needed some Cajun seasoning. I was so sure I had some in the house, I didn’t buy any when I was at the market.
Once home, could I find any anywhere? Nah.
Go back to the store? Blah. What to do? Make my own.
Luckily between my daughter-in-law and me, we had all the ingredients.
What is in Cajun seasoning?
This Cajun blend recipe is a hybrid of several recipes that I’ve often seen on other websites and cookbooks. The key ingredients are paprika, oregano, thyme, onion and garlic powders, white and black pepper, and cayenne.
In some recipes the white pepper is left out, but I think it’s really important to the flavor!
My version is fairly low-salt so that I can adjust the salt in each recipe. The seasoning needs to have some spicy bite but not too much; if people want my red beans to be spicier that’s why there is hot sauce on the table!
This recipe makes about a half cup, and my red beans recipe (to be posted soon!) calls for 1½ teaspoons of that. So the quantity you end up with here will season 5 or 6 batches of red beans and rice. Needless to say, I’ve got my seasoning in an airtight container for the future!
Making your own is economical
If you plan to prepare Cajun food or any recipe that contains herbs and spices like this, your best money-saving bet is to buy the individual seasonings in bulk. I’m fortunate that Natural Grocers carries herbs in bulk, and all are organically grown. Or you may have a food co-op near you – or find Amazon the easiest place to find bulk herbs.
If you purchase on Amazon, especially if you choose to buy organically grown, as we do, be prepared for an investment of money and space! But you can make so many cuisines with this set of herbs and spices. Add cumin and coriander, and you have the makings for most Mexican dishes as well.
These seasonings all keep well, with the exception of onion and garlic powders that can clump up in humid areas. In Hawaii I keep these two in the refrigerator to keep them from turning to stone.
As always, if you make this recipe, leave me a comment below so that I know how it went. I’d love to hear from you!
Other seasoning blends and recipes on A Meal In Mind
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Cajun seasoning is a simple mix of nine herbs and spices, most of which you likely have on hand. It’s more economical to blend your own than to buy it pre-mixed. Mixing your own also allows you to control the saltiness, herb ratio and heat level and to be sure it contains no gluten.
- 3 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons pink sea salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1–2 teaspoons cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
- Stir the seasonings together. If the onion or garlic powders have gotten clumpy, press the lumps with a back of a spoon or in a small mortar and pestle.
- Measure out the amount you need for your recipe, and store the rest in an airtight container. See note.
If you live in a humid area, keeping onion and garlic powders and seasonings made with them in the refrigerator will keep them from clumping together.
Keywords: cajun seasoning, seasoning blend, easy seasoning, Cajun cuisine, homemade seasoning, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan