Having now published several recipes that call for a Cajun seasoning mix, I'm sharing my own homemade version that you can throw together in a matter of minutes using herbs and spices in your store cupboard.
Once made, this recipe provides approximately 7 tablespoons of ready-to-go flavour that you can store for several months and use to spice up anything from shredded tofu tacos and vegan jambalaya to baked potato wedges.
I create new content every single week. Subscribe to keep in touch and get a free download of The Vegan Kitchen – My Top 10 Tips.
What is Cajun seasoning?
Cajun seasoning is a spice mix that owes its name to the Cajun cuisine of Louisiana in southern USA. There are many twists on the spice blend, but it typically includes cayenne pepper, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, and salt.
Is Cajun seasoning vegan?
It sure is. I've never been to Louisiana or any of the southern US states, but I often find myself using spice blends like this one in my cooking – especially since going vegan and looking for new and interesting ways to add flavour to dishes.
Is it spicy?
Cajun seasoning can be spicy or mild depending on the amount of cayenne pepper you add. The good thing about making your own is that you're in full control of the heat level.
Want to create a mix that'll set mouths on fire and make eyes water? The decision is all yours, amigo.
What is cayenne pepper?
Cayenne peppers are a long, skinny type of Capsicum annuum (the same family as other chillies and peppers). Native to southern North America and northern South America, they're known for their significant heat level.
When it comes to cooking, you're likely to find it in powdered form. This ground cayenne pepper has an intense, deep red/orange colour.
What's the difference between cayenne pepper and chilli powder?
While cayenne pepper is technically a form of chilli powder, there's a difference between this and the more generic chilli powders you might find:
- Cayenne pepper is made exclusively with cayenne chilli peppers.
- Chilli powder on a label usually means it contains a blend of different peppers, as well as other seasonings such as cumin and garlic powder.
Pure cayenne pepper also tends to be hotter than the average chilli powder mix.
What you'll need
Cajun seasoning will of course vary slightly from recipe to recipe, but here's what usually goes in mine:
- Paprika (or ½ amount smoked paprika)
- Cayenne pepper
- Ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Dried oregano
- Dried thyme
- Ground cumin
- Salt (omit for a salt-free version)
How to make homemade Cajun seasoning
Simply add all of the ingredients to a bowl or jar and mix well until everything is evenly combined.
Transfer to a dry, sealed container (such as a glass jar with lid) and store in a cool, dark place for up to several months.
Scroll down for recipe ideas! 👇
Another excellent option is vegan jambalaya – a plant-based twist on the popular southern rice dish. 👇
Why not try your hand at homemade baked potato wedges with a light dusting of your Cajun seasoning? 👀
You could also use it as a seasoning for these roasted chickpeas...
This homemade Cajun seasoning recipe is completely gluten-free, as are most other recipes and shop-bought versions I've come across. If in doubt, check the ingredients for gluten-containing items such as wheat or barley.
It's not quite the same, but you're likely to find a lot of crossover in terms of the ingredients used. Fajita seasoning (Tex-Mex cuisine) typically includes ingredients such as ground cumin and chilli powder and doesn't tend to be as hot as Cajun seasoning.
It's not essential to use cayenne pepper, however it's more authentic and will give the seasoning a nice kick. If you don't have cayenne pepper, simply substitute with chilli powder (note that the flavour and heat level will vary depending on the variety you use).
Store the Cajun seasoning in an airtight jar or container and use within a few months. For the best results, keep it in a cool, dark place such as a cupboard or spice drawer.
Variations and tips for Cajun seasoning
Paprika: If you don't have regular paprika powder, try half the amount of smoked paprika (which has a much stronger flavour).
Other flavours: Additional ingredients for Cajun seasoning (not used here) might include white pepper, onion powder, and ground fennel seed.
Keep in touch
Subscribe below to get your free download of The Vegan Kitchen – My Top 10 Tips, featuring 10+ pages of personal experience and advice to set you up for success with your plant-based cooking. 👇
Cajun Seasoning Recipe
- 2 tablespoons paprika (or ½ amount smoked paprika)
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt (omit for a salt-free version)
📩 Fancy keeping in touch? Subscribe to my weekly newsletter.
📖 Find out more about my story.
🍽️ Want to get straight to the food? Hop aboard the recipe train.
🌿 Got a question about veganism? You might find the answer in these vegan FAQs.