Best Substitutes for Cajun Seasoning to Intensify the Flavor of Your Recipe

Substitute for Cajun Seasoning

Some may wonder why your cooking is so delicious. You would say there’s nothing special about the recipe but the thing is, you’ve actually got your favorite seasoning that magically improves most dishes: cajun seasoning.

This blend of spices has always been your go-to potion for either preparing or cooking food. Unfortunately, you’ve been dealt with a surprise finding you’ve run out of this seasoning. Well, don’t worry and take a look at the silver lining. There are plenty of substitutes for cajun seasoning that you can use and who knows, it may be your next secret ingredient.

Don’t be afraid to try these substitutes for cajun seasoning

1. Creole Seasoning

Typically made with spices and herbs, creole seasoning is your next best alternative for cajun seasoning. In fact, the two are often confused with each other since they contain similar ingredients and have the same culinary uses.

Creole seasoning is a mixture of ground black pepper, salt, garlic, onion, cayenne pepper, paprika, dried oregano, and dried thyme. While cajun is more focused on having an array of ground peppers or other spices, creole adds this up with herbs.

Like cajun, there is a variety of creole seasoning that either has a lot of ingredients or those that have milder mixture. You can get the store-bought kind or make your own but chances are, if you have the spices for creole then you can easily make cajun, too.

Use this blend of herbs and spices on all kinds of cooking including meat, stews, soups, rice dishes, and more.

2. Old Bay seasoning

This mixture has a more complex flavor compared to cajun but it can work just fine if you’re in a pinch. Old bay contains the same spices in cajun plus a lot more so you’ll likely get more flavor too.

Old bay seasoning is a blend of 14 spices and herbs which includes black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, ginger, and celery salt to name a few. Very much like creole and cajun, this too is a versatile ingredient.

You can use this to sprinkle over baked chicken or smoked salmon. You can also mix it in your sauces like with cream cheese for some sandwiches or for a creamy onion dipping sauce for your fries. There’s a lot you can do with this sub for cajun but just note that old bay has a distinct taste so experiment with it first before using it in all your recipes.

3. Adobo Seasoning

Another doable sub for cajun seasoning is this one. Pretty much like old bay, adobo seasoning has its own charms that work differently with cajun. It’s also used in the same way so you can use this for some dishes.

Adobo seasoning is popular in Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean cuisine. Its primary ingredients include ground peppercorns, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, and salt. There is no one true recipe for this as a lot of variations emerged over time with some blends including dried citrus, onion powder, or paprika.

This mixture is a great ingredient for roasting, frying, grilling, and sauteing. It is also used as a base seasoning for stews, sauces, and various savory dishes. Try out this blend for yourself to taste a different kind of delicious magic.

4. French Spice Mix

Quatre épices or French Four Spices is a wonderful replacement for cajun seasoning. It’s quite straightforward with only four ingredients but its effect on your recipes is something profound.

This French spice mix is made with peppercorns, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Either black or white peppercorns are used for this blend but the latter is often preferred. 

Quatre éspice is as delicious and as versatile as cajun seasoning. It’s great for plenty of recipes, especially those that belong to French and Middle Eastern cuisine.

5. Chili Powder

A seasoning blend made of dried chiles and some other spices, chili powder is also a good alternative for cajun seasoning. Unlike the other seasoning blends mixed with a variety of spices and herbs that pack a lot of varying flavors into one, chili powder is an uncomplicated ingredient.

Chili powder is a blend of 5-8 spices with each having a flavor profile not so different from one another. This seasoning is usually composed of cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and ground oregano.

For many Latin dishes, whether it’s a stew, soup, enchilada or chilis, this is a must-have seasoning. If you are a fan of hot spicy dishes, this is certainly a good choice for you. If not, you can still add it moderately to your recipe to kick it up a notch. 

6. Homemade Cajun Seasoning

If you’ve only ever used store-bought cajun seasoning, it’s time to use its perfect replacement: your own homemade cajun blend.

Most of the spices used to make cajun blends are easily available in grocery stores and some of which may already be in your pantry. You can mix and match the spices you’ve got to make your own blend but to make it cajun just make sure you have at least the basics.

To make your cajun blend, you should have salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper, and paprika. 

Related FAQs

What is cajun seasoning made of? 

As already noted in the homemade cajun seasoning above, this mixture is made of salt, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. You can also add some more spices or some herbs to get more flavor. However, if you add in more herbs like rosemary or thyme, then you’ll also get creole seasoning.

What is the best cajun seasoning recipe?

The best kind of cajun mixture highly depends on your preferences. Do you enjoy a classic taste, a spicier take, or a sweet, hot blend?

If you prefer having a more spicy kick then you can buy an extra spicy cajun seasoning or make your own by adding cumin and more cayenne pepper. If you like more sweetness, you can add a tad more onion powder plus some dried green bell pepper and red bell pepper in the mixture.

What is cajun seasoning used for?

Cajun seasoning is an all-around seasoning mixture used for so many things. You can use it for marinating, topping, mixing, rubbing, roasting, etc. It works deliciously in poultry, seafood, meat, eggs, veggies, beans and rice.

When you’re looking for something to intensify the flavor and add more aroma to your recipe, cajun is one of the most ideal blends you can use.

So if you don’t have cajun seasoning, what should you do?

First of all, crying and quitting is not an option. Instead, you can brush up your cooking skills by considering the ingredients you have in store and challenge yourself to make some experiments in your recipe.

Another thing, you can either make a homemade cajun blend to get the same exact results for your recipes or use one of the substitutes for cajun seasoning we listed above to replicate the closest taste. Maybe you’ll discover something different that could be better.

If you’re not up for any of these now, go get some food delivery for the meantime and try cooking later with the choices above.

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