How to Make Cajun Seasoning

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Learn how to make Cajun Seasoning that’s full of Creole flavor in this easy recipe. After trying it the first time, you’ll find yourself reaching for this flavorful spice mix more than you expect!

White mixing bowl filled with piles of dried spices and seasonings used to make cajun seasoning

I’ve been making my homemade seasoning blends by the pint for over a decade now. It makes it so easy to prepare dinner when you have a good selection the whole family loves.

My DIY cajun seasoning (aka creole seasoning) is one that we go through very quickly because it’s so versatile. It tastes amazing on on chicken, shrimp, seafood, veggies, fries and more!

And if you’re used to store bought cajun seasoning brands like Tony Chachere’s, Louisiana, Slap Ya Mama, you’ll never want to go back after making it yourself! In addition to having the best flavor profile, it’s also more affordable to make your own rather than buy over-priced store-bought blends.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup of sea salt
  • ¼ cup of chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of paprika
  • 4 teaspoons of celery salt
  • 4 teaspoons of mustard powder
  • 4 teaspoons of dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon of ground sage
  • 2 ½ teaspoons of cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons of dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons of oregano
  • 2 teaspoons of dried thyme

Equipment

  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Glass jar

By the Numbers: How to Make Cajun Seasoning

Follow these simple step by step instructions to learn how to make a pint of your own homemade cajun seasoning mix. The robust flavors of this blend will take your Cajun-inspired meals to the next level!

Step 1: Measure out your spices and seasonings.

The first step is to measure out ¾ cup of sea salt, ¼ cup of chili powder, 2 tablespoons of garlic powder, 2 tablespoons of black pepper, 2 tablespoons of paprika, 4 teaspoons of celery salt, 4 teaspoons of mustard powder, 4 teaspoons of dried basil, 1 tablespoon of ground sage, 2 ½ teaspoons of cayenne pepper, 2 teaspoons of arrowroot powder, 2 teaspoons of dried onion flakes, 2 teaspoons of oregano, 2 teaspoons of dried thyme.

Bowl of dried spices and seasonings to make homemade cajun seasoning

Step 2: Combine your ingredients.

After you’ve measured all of your cajun seasoning ingredients out, add them to a mixing bowl and stir until well combined.

You may be tempted just to put everything into a jar and try to mix it up there by shaking the jar. I don’t recommend doing that if you want everything fully blended. Take the extra time to use a mixing bowl.

Clear glass mixing bowl of homemade cajun seasoning being mixed with a spoon on a wood table

Step 3: Transfer to Storage Jar.

I like to keep this recipe in a pint sized mason jar, but any storage jar you have should work. Make sure it’s an airtight container because homemade spice blends start to clump and stick together if moisture gets into the jar.

Cajun Seasoning in a pint sized mason jar

Tips & Tricks for Making & Using Cajun Seasoning

Answers to all of your questions about making the best cajun seasoning recipe, including tips and substitution ideas.

How do I use this blend?

You can use this simple blend of spices on any type of cajun food, including meat, seafood, veggies, fries or any recipe that calls for cajun seasoning. It’s seriously delicious on everything we’ve tried it on.

If you like spicy food, one of my favorite ways to use it is to sprinkle a nice layer over bone-in, skin-on chicken and bake as usual for a super easy entree. You can also add it to boneless skinless chicken breasts in the Instant Pot for flavorful salads, pasta and more.

It’s the perfect blend for my Instant Pot Jambalaya recipe and Crock Pot Red Beans & Rice recipe as well. The kids even love eating pinches out of the jar!

Is this a copycat Tony’s Cajun Seasoning recipe?

Yes my easy homemade cajun seasoning blend tastes very similar. I based my recipe on the flavors in that blend with some modifications that we enjoy.

We spent a lot of time experimenting and taste testing to get the flavors just right. We like my Cajun spice mix blend better than the Tony Chachere, Louisiana, Slap Ya Mama and every store bought brand we’ve tried.

What’s in cajun seasoning and can I omit ingredients?

There are a lot of ingredients in this recipe and I don’t recommend leaving any of them out. All of the flavors meld together perfectly, and the starch helps thicken recipes you use it in.

Low salt option?

While the flavors are perfect as is, this spice mix does have a really high salt content. If you’re on a low-salt diet, you can simply omit the salt from this recipe.

Then, when you’re preparing your cajun meal, you can add a little bit of salt, if needed. Keep in mind this change will significantly increase the spiciness level of the blend, so you may need to reduce the amount of cayenne pepper as well.

Which H.U. cayenne pepper to use?

There is a wide range in the level of spiciness of ground cayenne pepper, so pay attention. The H.U. you see on packages means “heat units.” It’s a measure of how spicy the pepper is. I use 90 H.U. cayenne in this cajun spice mixture, which means it’s extremely spicy.

If your cayenne pepper is milder (35 H.U. is the standard heat), you may need to increase how much you add depending on personal preference. It’s best to start with less and add more until you get the spicy level your family prefers.

You can get several different heats of cayenne pepper from Starwest Botanicals.

How to store spice blends?

I store all of my homemade seasoning blends, including this Cajun spice blend, in labeled mason jars. You can really use any type of airtight container though. And make sure you store them in a cool, dry place for a longer shelf life.

If you don’t go through the big batch of your spice blends as quickly as I do or you don’t have as much room in the kitchen, you can keep the bulk mix in a mason jar. Then just fill up a small spice jar to keep in your spice cabinet and refill it as necessary.

Creole vs Cajun seasoning… what’s the difference?

You probably see these words used interchangeably. That’s because both cuisines are native to Louisiana and found in New Orleans restaurants. You can use this blend in either type of cuisine, but they do have some differences.

For example, you typically won’t find tomatoes in Cajun cuisine, but you will find them in Creole dishes. I’ve also heard Cajun recipes referred to a country food and Creole recipes as city cuisine.

Other than that, they have pretty similar flavor profiles. They frequently use green bell peppers, onions and celery and use plenty of sausage and shrimp.

Best place to buy bulk spices?

I buy all of my spices in bulk because I make all of our seasoning blends from scratch. Starwest Botanicals has great prices on bulk spices, so that’s who I source most of my spices and seasonings from to make my own spice blends. I also put together and Amazon Shopping List for Bulk Spices if you prefer to shop there.

If you want to make some of my other homemade seasonings, these are popular choices:

  1. Italian Seasoning
  2. Ranch Seasoning
  3. Jerk Seasoning
  4. Taco Seasoning
Close up of cajun seasoning in mason jar.

Homemade Cajun Seasoning Recipe

Learn how to make your own cajun seasoning blend that's better than Tony's Creole in this easy spice mix recipe! Having your own spice blends pre-made is a great way to simplify meal prep.
4.54 from 114 votes
Print Recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Recipe Servings: 64

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup sea salt
  • ¼ cup chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 4 teaspoons celery salt
  • 4 teaspoons mustard powder
  • 4 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 2 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper - (we used 90K H.U., but you can use milder if you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

Equipment

Instructions

  • Measure out all of your dry spices and seasonings.
    Bowl of dried spices and seasonings to make homemade cajun seasoning.
  • Stir until well combined.
    Clear glass mixing bowl of homemade cajun seasoning being mixed with a spoon on a wood table.
  • Transfer to a pint-sized mason jar and store with your spices.
    Cajun Seasoning in a pint sized mason jar.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving: 1tablespoon | Calories: 7kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1487mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 422IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

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12 thoughts on “How to Make Cajun Seasoning”

  1. I have Zataran’s Cajun seasoning and it doesn’t say what the H.U. is. So does that mean it’s standard?

  2. This is really great, and I love that it’s a large amount! Used it in crawfish Monica for dinner tonight and it was perfect ILO store bought seasonings.

  3. Cajun and Creole are not interchangeable. They are completely different types of foods.
    Cajun refers to the Cajun French immigrants to southern Louisiana, Creoles were mostly immigrants from Africa/Haiti. Cajun is marked by the heat and complex medley of spices. Think of fun group activity dishes, like sports gatherings and parties. Creole is more of your slow cooked and thick foods. Think of it as more of your comfort foods and sit-down dinners.

    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective on the differences between cajun and creole cooking Donald. Both do have French influences, and I definitely simplified the full history of the cuisines and just shared the key differences most home cooks would notice since this is a seasoning recipe. 🙂

    1. Hi Paul! Great question. I actually tend to use whatever type of chili powder I have on hand and the cajun seasoning always turns out amazing. In fact, I need to make another quart we go through so much of it!

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