Make your own Creole and Cajun Spice Mix from spices and herbs you already have in your pantry! It’s perfect for adding New Orleans seasoning to any dish!
What is Cajun Seasoning or Creole Seasoning?
Many New Orleans-inspired recipes call for a Cajun or Creole seasoning blend. This blend creates a robust, smoky flavor that is slightly spicy and very savory.
You can easily find a jar in your grocery store’s spice aisle, but, if you’re like us, you never have time to run out when the craving strikes. And, who really wants another bottle cluttering up their pantry?
Thankfully, you don’t have to worry, because odds are, you have all the ingredients to make a Cajun seasoning in your pantry already!
What is the difference between Cajun and Creole food?
As we were putting this spice mix together, we started to wonder about Creole spices vs Cajun spices.
Recipes seemed to call for the Cajun spice mix and Creole spice mix like they were the same thing. But, is there a difference in the spices or the cuisine?
A Brief History of Cajun Flavors
To take it way back, Cajuns come from French colonists who originally settled in present-day New Brunswick and Nova-Scotia (North of Maine).
These people, called the Acadians, were eventually kicked out by the British. They found their way down south, to the swamps of Southern Louisiana. There they learned to live off the land and became an incredibly resourceful people.
Cajun cuisine is heavy on French influence but has been adapted to a more rustic way of living. Most Cajun dishes begin with a medley of onions, celery, and bell peppers. (As opposed to the onions, celery, and carrots found in the traditional French mirepoix.)
Cajun dishes are thickened with a roux of lard or oil and flour, since butter (and all dairy) was a luxury that most of these rustic people couldn’t afford.
Now, A Bit About Creole
Creole, on the other hand, comes from a broader ancestral mix of wealthy Spanish and French settlers blended with an Afro-Caribbean flair.
Because of this, Creole cuisine tends to be a bit more of a cultural fusion.
Accent sauces are common in Creole cuisine. And, you will find more of a variety of ingredients used. Since the Creole people were more upper class, they had access to markets and servants who could spend all day cooking.
Creole cuisine is characterized by a use of tomatoes (which you will not find in Cajun dishes). And, there is greater emphasis on cream and butter, resulting in rich sauces and bisques.
Spices In Our Cajun Spice Mix
While the subtleties of Cajun and Creole foods do vary, the spices found in each cuisine tend to be incredibly similar:
- green onions
These are all major players.
Whether you call it a Cajun spice mix or Creole spice mix, this blend adds a wonderful smoky and herby flavor to any dish. It has just enough of a cayenne kick to bring you to the bayou and get you ready to celebrate a cultural fusion.
Creole or Cajun Spice Mix
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Combine all ingredients in a seal-able, glass jar.
- Mix well.
- Use in your favorite recipe that calls for a Creole spice mix or a Cajun spice mix.