This Creole seasoning recipe makes a homemade spice blend that adds authentic NOLA flavor to Cajun dishes. It’s a great jambalaya seasoning!
Difference between Cajun and Creole
Cajun is a word used to describe the French colonists who moved from the Acadia region of Canada down to Louisiana after the British conquest of Acadia in the 1700s. By the way, that area is presently New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia.
Creole is a term used to describe the people who were born to these new settlers in French colonial Louisiana, especially New Orleans.
Difference in cuisine
When it comes to the difference between Cajun and Creole cuisine, there aren’t many differences. The terms are often used interchangeably, and sometimes it comes down to whether the recipe was created by a Cajun or a Creole descendant.
Difference in seasonings
While there are slight differences between Cajun and Creole seasonings, they’re minimal. I use this Creole seasoning to add flavor to Cajun dishes all the time.
While both blends include spices like garlic and onion powder, plus spicy heat from red, black and white pepper, Creole seasoning also includes dried herbs.
Creole seasoning recipe
There are 3 components in my spice blend.
Keep in mind that you can adjust this recipe to personalize your seasoning blend any way you’d like. Oftentimes, I’ll take a recipe like this and make it as written, try it out on my favorite dish, then tweak the ingredients to my liking.
- Traditional spices – garlic powder, onion powder, and salt create the base for any good seasoning blend. When it’s going to be used to season authentic Creole or Cajun dishes, paprika and cayenne powder are always included as well.
I don’t use much salt, because I like to keep it lower in sodium. Besides, it’s always best to use less than you think you’ll need. Just taste your food as you’re making it; you can always add more salt if the dish needs it.
- Unique and bolder spices – these ingredients are where you can really personalize your blend. In my blend of Creole seasoning, bold flavor doesn’t just mean spiciness. In addition to cayenne powder and black pepper, I also include smoked paprika, celery salt and dry mustard.
- Dried herbs – I include oregano and thyme in my homemade seasoning blend, but feel free to other herbs that you enjoy. Or, you could substitute lemon thyme for original thyme to add a bit of brightness.
This recipe makes a great substitute for Creole seasoning you’d buy from the store, but it’s much more versatile than that! Think about adding a bit onto any of the following for some authentic NOLA flavor:
How to make Creole seasoning
To make your Creole seasoning, just add all the ingredients to a food processor or a coffee bean or spice grinder. Pulse several times to combine and you’re done!
If you don’t have a food processor, simply add everything to a bowl and whisk to combine. Simple!
Be sure to store the spice blend in an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry location in your pantry. It should keep fresh for 6 to 8 months, and possibly longer. I can’t say exactly how long, because it depends on how fresh your spices are.
You can continue to use the Creole spice after that time, but it does lose flavor as time goes on. Also, humidity can cause the blend to clump. If that happens, you’ll want to make a fresh batch of the Creole seasoning recipe.
I have an entire section of this site devoted to homemade spice blends, but some of the popular favorites are Montreal Seasoning, homemade chili seasoning, lemon pepper, (it’s SO good on chicken, fish and veggies!), and my personal favorite blend… blackening seasoning. Enjoy!
This post, first published on Kevin is Cooking Oct. 16, 2017, was updated with new content on Dec. 17, 2021.
Homemade Creole Seasoning
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp celery salt
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp thyme
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- Add all the ingredients to a spice grinder or food processor and pulse several times to combine and store in an airtight container.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.