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Alternatives for Cajun Seasoning

$1.73 Recipe/$0.35 Serving

Cajun seasoning is a great way to add unique flavors to any dish! If you find that you have run out of Cajun seasoning or want to try making your own, I have a few recommendations for alternatives to Cajun seasoning that will help you in a pinch!

Large spoon full of Cajun seasoning substitute.

What is Cajun seasoning?

Cajun seasoning is a spice blend that is influenced by French, African and Native American cuisines and is native to Louisiana. Many people associate Cajun seasoning with the cuisine from New Orleans.

You will typically find many different spices in each blend depending on those influences but there is a unique spicy, smoky, savory flavor from Cajun seasoning that gives a unique taste to any meal!

Ingredients to make cajun seasoning in white ramekins.
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The best alternative for Cajun seasoning?

Make your own Cajun seasoning with pantry ingredients! This is my go-to recommendation because you get to control the ingredients, the spice level and ensure there are no unnecessary sugars or preservatives! My homemade Cajun seasoning includes:

  • Paprika
  • Dried chives
  • Dried thyme
  • Fennel seeds
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper

How to make homemade Cajun seasoning

For this recipe, the fennel seeds need to be ground down before you can use the seasoning. You can use a spice grinder, but I prefer to put everything in a high speed bullet blender and blend together. This also helps to break down the dried chives. Simply blend until the fennel seeds are broken down and easy to sprinkle.

Ingredients to make cajun seasoning at home in a bullet blender cup.

What are other spices you can add to homemade cajun seasoning?

This spice mix is just a base recipe that you can tweak to make your own. Some other common ingredients include:

  • Onion powder (use 1 teaspoon)
  • Garlic powder (use 1 teaspoon)
  • Dried basil (use 1 teaspoon)
  • Dried oregano (use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Turmeric (use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper or white pepper (use ¼-1 teaspoon depending on your preferences)

Note: The ingredients in my homemade Cajun seasoning are low FODMAP friendly, so there are no onions or garlic included. Instead, I use dried chives which really brings a special flavor to the Cajun seasoning (and I highly recommend using if you have them on hand). If you are not low FODMAP, you can also include the onion powder and garlic powder in this recipe.

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Why should you make your own cajun seasoning at home?

I highly recommend making your own spice blends anytime you can because you get to control the ingredients, the level of heat (spiciness), how much salt is used and the quality of the ingredients used (no added sugars or fillers, no preservatives, organic if desired, etc.).

Since you are controlling the ingredients, you can make the Cajun seasoning fit your needs. This Cajun seasoning is vegan, gluten free, dairy free, keto, low carb, Whole30 and low FODMAP friendly.

Cajun seasoning alternative in a large bowl with a spoon in the bowl.

How to store homemade Cajun seasoning?

Store the Cajun seasoning substitute in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid. Be sure to store it in a dark, cool place. Do not store your spices or oil right above the stove out in the direct light or your spices will not last as long. Store for up to a year in a tightly sealed container. I like to save my previous spice jars and remove the labels.

Other alternatives to Cajun seasoning

Creole Seasoning

Creole seasoning is often interchanged with Cajun seasoning since the flavor profiles are so similar. Creole seasoning has a heavy African and Native American influence, but there often is not much heat in Creole seasoning. If you want to make this more like Cajun seasoning, add your own cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.

Old Bay Seasoning

Old Bay seasoning is surprisingly similar to Cajun seasoning as it is typically a combination of paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, celery salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom. If you wanted to change the old bay seasoning a bit to make it more like Cajun seasoning, I would add dried thyme and possibly ground fennel.

Adobo Seasoning

Adobo seasoning has many of the same base flavors as Cajun seasoning but definitely have more of a Mexican or Southwestern flavor than Cajun seasoning. Most adobo seasonings include garlic powder, oregano and ground cumin. To make this more like Cajun seasoning, add paprika and cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.

Chili powder + dried thyme + cayenne pepper

If you really don’t have many ingredients in your pantry, you can pull together a basic substitute for Cajun seasoning using 1 tablespoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of dried thyme and 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

Ingredients to make cajun seasoning alternative on a diamond shaped plate.

Ways to use Cajun seasoning

Cajun seasoning is so good on so many different foods. I love to use it as a way to infuse lots of flavor in a short period of time because its got such bold seasonings. Here are some of my favorite ways to use it:

If you love making your own spices and sauces, check out these other great recipes

Italian Seasoning Substitute

Homemade Taco Seasoning (low FODMAP)

Homemade Ketchup

Dairy Free Ranch Dressing

Homemade French Dressing

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Alternative for cajun seasoning in a white bowl with whisk in the bowl.

Homemade Cajun Seasoning

$1.73 Recipe/$0.35 Serving
This simple alternative for Cajun seasoning is so easy to make and made with pantry staples! This healthy Cajun seasoning can be used anywhere that Cajun seasoning is listed as an ingredient in a recipe! This substitute for Cajun seasoning is vegan, gluten free, sugar free, low FODMAP, Whole30 and low carb!
Print Pin Save Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: alternative for cajun seasoning, cajun seasoning substitute, homemade cajun seasoning, low fodmap cajun seasoning, whole30 cajun seasoning
Prep Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 2 mins
Servings: 5

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to a high speed bullet blender or spice grinder.
  • Blend until the fennel seeds are pulverized and crushed down.
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 1 year.

Notes

What are other spices you can add to homemade Cajun seasoning?
This is just a base recipe that you can tweak to make your own. Some other common ingredients include:
  • Onion powder (use 1 teaspoon)
  • Garlic powder (use 1 teaspoon)
  • Dried basil (use 1 teaspoon)
  • Dried oregano (use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Turmeric (use 1/2 teaspoon)
  • Black pepper or white pepper (use ¼-1 teaspoon depending on your preferences)
Note: The ingredients in my homemade Cajun seasoning are low FODMAP friendly, so there are no onions or garlic included. Instead, I use dried chives which really brings a special flavor to the Cajun seasoning (and I highly recommend using if you have them on hand). If you are not low FODMAP, you can also include the onion powder and garlic powder in this recipe.
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Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
17
Fat
 
1
g
Carbohydrates
 
3
g
Fiber
 
2
g
Sugar
 
1
g
Protein
 
1
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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