Cajun Spice Rub is an excellent base for any recipe where you want depth and variety of flavor.
Update: This post was originally published in 2017. It has been republished with additional information for you.
I once bought a pre-packaged Cajun spice mix and it was very smokey, as in bottled liquid smoke-smokey, and overly salty. From then on, that is what I thought was classic Cajun. Years later, and fresh out of my break-up with packaged and processed foods, I decided to give it a go with spice mixes from scratch. This recipe is an incredible combination with all the flavors that add depth and brightness. Plus, I already have all the ingredients in my pantry.
Ingredients in Cajun Spice Mix
Salt – Salt is important to any seasoning mix and just the right amount makes flavors come alive. Salt should enhance and brighten a dish but not be THE flavor you taste the most. This mix adds just enough to play well with the other ingredients.
Garlic Powder – Garlic powder adds a deep slightly peppery-smoky flavor to this mix and is a fantastic “base” flavor in many spice mixes.
Paprika – Sweet and fruity, with mild heat- paprika adds beautiful color to this mix and really helps all the flavors play well together. Don’t use smoked paprika for this recipe as it may overpower.
Black Pepper – Black pepper starts adding some sharpness to the Cajun Spice Mix.
Onion Powder – Onion powder ads the sweet side of this mix as well as a little sharp bite.
Cayenne Pepper – Cayenne pepper definitely adds heat and this heat intensifies as it cooks. This spice has a sharp bite and also enhances the other flavors in the mix.
Dried Oregano – Oregano adds some bright, almost minty notes to the Cajun Spice Mix. Some people describe the flavor as “green”.
Dried Thyme – Thyme is also a kind of minty spice, with floral properties.
Red Pepper Flakes – Red pepper flakes in this seasoning combination add heat and a little texture. Made from a combination of red peppers, cayenne peppers being in there for sure, this is where I would increase for more heat and if you’re afraid of any heat at all, you can omit it. However, in this seasoning mix, 1/2 teaspoon is spread out enough that even kids will find it mild enough.
Ways to use Cajun Seasoning-
Sprinkle over popcorn.
Add to oven fries before baking.
Add to Greek yogurt for an instant vegetable dip or to top baked potatoes.
Mix with your favorite oil and brush on salmon before grilling. The same can be done with any fish or seafood.
Toss with vegetables before roasting and then drizzle with olive oil.
As you can see, Cajun spice mix comes together using common spices from your pantry, so make a bunch to always have on hand. I use it on my Instant Pot Easy Chicken Wings. This is the most popular recipe on my site and the seasoning is one of the reasons it’s so delicious.
Cajun Spice Mix and Rub
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional or adjust to taste
- Stir all ingredients together and store in an airtight container.