Our Cajun seasoning is crafted to be spicy (without overwhelming heat), bold, and well-balanced, with a subtle touch of sweetness from a hint of sugar (trust me). Use this DIY spice blend by generously seasoning your meats, seafood, and veggies. The best part? With only six ingredients, you probably have most, if not all, of what you need in your spice cabinet already!
Related: Use this homemade seasoning to make our cajun shrimp with garlic butter sauce (so good!)
What is Cajun Seasoning?
Cajun seasoning stems from Louisiana and is a vibrant and bold blend of spices popular in Creole and Cajun cuisine. It combines influences from Native American, West African, Caribbean, and French cooking styles, resulting in a unique and flavorful seasoning. While the specific ingredients may vary, Cajun spice blends often include paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic powder, thyme, and salt.
This versatile seasoning is celebrated for its ability to infuse dishes with a bold and spicy kick. It complements a wide range of dishes exceptionally well, including chicken, pork, seafood, vegetables, and stews, enhancing their flavors and providing a distinctive Cajun taste.
Our Perfected Blend, Cajun Seasoning No. 4
In our kitchen, we refer to this blend as “seasoning No. 4” since we have spent a lot of time refining our house blend. Our blend is crafted to be spicy (without overwhelming heat), bold, and well-balanced, with a subtle touch of sweetness from a hint of sugar.
The sugar balances out the heat from the other spices and makes this an amazing spice blend to use when blackening meats and seafood. We have enjoyed it on chicken, in meatloaf, paired with grilled corn, infused into butter for shrimp, and even sprinkled onto garlic bread. This versatile, delicious blend is surprisingly simple to make.
One of the best aspects of this Cajun seasoning recipe is its versatility in scaling. Richard, our in-house spice master, has developed it to easily adjust the quantity of seasoning based on your needs. Whether you want to make a large or smaller batch, this recipe can adapt to your needs. Below, you will find the detailed recipe, but here’s the basic ratio to get you started:
Cajun Seasoning Ingredients – The Basic Proportions
To make the spice blend, whisk all the spices together, and use however you like.
- 1 part hot paprika or cayenne pepper
- 2 parts sweet paprika (not spicy)
- 2 parts chili powder (New Mexico or standard, non-spicy chili powder)
- 1 part dried thyme
- 3 parts sugar
- 2 parts fine sea salt
To help you when you are shopping for spices to make this easy blend, we’ve included a photo of each ingredient. You do not need to use the same brands, but this will hopefully give you an example of each ingredient. We love using New Mexico chili powder (shown in the bag), which we find in the International aisle of our grocery store and Mexican markets. If you don’t have this, use a standard non-spicy chili powder.
Storing Your Homemade Cajun Spice Blend
Our recipe offers flexibility, allowing you to easily adjust the quantity of seasoning to suit your needs. Don’t worry if you have any leftovers; they can be stored in your spice cabinet with your other spices for up to one year.
To preserve the freshness of your homemade Cajun seasoning, store it in a spice jar or airtight container in a cool, dry place, such as your spice cabinet. This will help maintain its flavors for up to a year. Since spices gradually lose their freshness over time, making smaller batches is a good idea.
Additionally, it’s worth considering the age of the individual spices you used to create the blend. For instance, if your cayenne pepper has been sitting in your spice cabinet for a couple of years, purchasing a fresh jar for the best flavor might be beneficial.
How to Use It
Now that you have your very own spice blend, you can use it. Think of it as a bold, all-purpose seasoning for meats, seafood, and veggies. Our DIY Cajun seasoning adds a vibrant, earthy, and smoky flavor to whatever you use it with. The sugar included in the blend also helps when blackening meats and fish. Here are some ideas for using it:
- Make Cajun butter and use it with vegetables, pasta, and shrimp (recipe coming soon)
- Use the seasoning with shrimp and fish (Cajun shrimp recipe coming soon)
- Dust it over salmon, then cook them seasoning side-down for blackened salmon.
- Add a spicy kick to pasta sauces for a Cajun-inspired pasta (recipe coming soon)
Cajun Seasoning No. 4
Our Cajun seasoning is crafted to be spicy (without overwhelming heat), bold, and well-balanced, with a subtle touch of sweetness from a hint of sugar (trust me). Use this DIY spice blend by generously seasoning your meats, seafood, and veggies. Store leftover seasoning in an airtight jar or container in a cool, dry place, such as your spice cabinet for up to one year.
You Will Need
1 teaspoon hot paprika or cayenne pepper, see notes
2 teaspoons paprika, sometimes called sweet paprika
2 teaspoons chili powder, we love New Mexico chili powder, see notes
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
1Add hot paprika (or cayenne), sweet paprika, chili powder, thyme, sugar, and the salt to a small bowl. Use a whisk to blend the spices.
2Transfer to a spice jar or an airtight container, store in a cool, dry place, and use within one year.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- Hot paprika is spicier than sweet or smoked paprika (my jar is labeled “Hungarian hot paprika”). It’s just as spicy as cayenne but more flavorful. Feel free to substitute cayenne for hot paprika in this spice blend.
- Mild version: For a milder spice blend, reduce the hot paprika (or cayenne) by half.
- Spicy Cajun blend: As written, the spice blend has quite a bit of heat, but to make it spicer, increase the hot paprika or cayenne by 1/2 teaspoon or more.
- Chili powder adds a smoky, earthy note to this spice blend. Use regular, non-spicy chili powder, or if you can find it, try New Mexico chili powder (we find ours sold in small bags in the International aisle of our grocery store as well as in Mexican markets).
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA database to calculate approximate values.