Growing up there was always a container of spicy Cajun seasoning on our table and by the stove. We used it on everything! If you visited my parent’s home today you would find multiple bright green containers of Tony’s in their kitchen. Same for most of my siblings! In my kitchen I like making my own seasoning blends for chili and spaghetti sauce, so of course I’m going to make my own Cajun seasoning. My whole family loves it, even my adult son is putting in orders for a refill on his supply.
Why Make Cajun Seasoning?
There are several reasons you should make your own seasoning blends.
First, you can make it just how you like it. It can be spicy or mild, have more or less garlic or dried herbs. Also you can make just as much as you need. Obviously I go through more than most people since I’m feeding an army over here.
Second, it saves money. Herbs and spices are very expensive if you buy the little jars at the grocery store. Instead, buy the spices you use the most at a natural food store that has a bulk section or order them in bulk online.
Third, you can reduce the packaging you buy and throw away. A huge percent of food cost is for packaging and nearly all that packaging goes in the trash. Buying larger amounts less often is ideal. One of our local stores even lets you bring in your own packaging so there’s no waste.
Last of all, these blends make great gifts any time of year. Pour it into a cute jar, tie a ribbon on it, and there you go! I like to use repurposed jars for this so I save any fun jars I come across. Jar hoarding is awesome!
The Hardest Part
Sourcing your spices and herbs may be the hardest part and that’s not really a challenge. Like I mentioned, a natural food store is going to be the easiest place to stock up. My favorite local one has almost all I need but some I buy in bigger amounts so I buy those online. For example, I keep a lot of peppercorns on hand and it’s cheaper to buy a 2 pound package from Amazon.
Once you have a good supply of basic spices and herbs on hand you can make so many custom seasoning blends. It’s such a good way to save money and expand your pantry. I’m able to make most of mine with the same base spices and just vary the amounts of one or two ingredients to have a totally different blend. Also I can double or triple a recipe and know I’ll have plenty in my cupboard.
Tips and Tricks will follow the recipe
Cajun Seasoning Recipe
- 2/3 cup paprika (I use sweet, smoked, and hot but whatever you have on hand is great)
- 1/4 cup onion powder
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1/4 cup dried oregano
- 1/4 cup dried basil
- 1/4 cup dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons white pepper (substitute black pepper if you don’t have white or leave it out)
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 2 tablespoons celery seed (I crush it in a mortar and pestle)
- 1 tablespoon cayenne (more or less to your taste) or red pepper flakes
Measure all the spices, herbs, and salt in a bowl and stir to mix well. Scoop into a jar and label.
Tips and Tricks
- I use Aleppo Pepper flakes for part of the cayenne. It’s not as hot and has amazing flavor.
- You can easily double or triple this recipe, especially if you’re making extra for gifts.
- Adjust any spices or herbs you want more or less of to your taste.
- Experiment with different kinds of paprika, smoked paprika is really great in this recipe.
- I crush the celery seed but it’s fine to leave it whole or swap celery salt for the celery seed and salt.
- Like all spices, this should be stored in a cool dark place.
- Be sure to label your jar!