Creole… A word that shouts “Spice things up”!!
Is 10 minutes of your life worth the flavor explosion you will see in your recipes? This famous New Orleans spice blend will add those delicious and bold Southern flavors to any meal. Jambalaya, gumbo, blackened fish or shrimp are not far behind once this magic sprinkling is ready to go. And you don’t even have to think of only Southern food. Any kind of stew or pot gets an instant boost from this Creole seasoning. The good news? Most of the ingredients that go in this spice bottle are already hidden somewhere in your pantry. Grab, Measure and Mix. Your very own homemade Creole seasoning ready in 10 minutes. 🙂
In America, Southern food is my kind of food. It’s bold and extremely flavorful with generous hands of different herbs and spices. I don’t get excited if food is bland and tasteless. I always say to GET the flavors you need to ADD them into your food.
They don’t have such a problem in New Orleans. The food there has that punch from their famous Cajun and Creole seasonings, as well as an abundance of veggies and different kinds of meats.
Creole & Cajun cuisine of Louisiana
They both seem similar and blend well together, but have slight variations. Creole is what you find in cities, while Cajun lingers in the country.
Creole is the result of the descendants of French and Spanish colonial settlers of New Orleans, who call themselves French Creole. Later these Creole flavors were enhanced by Africans, who were introduced to the city by wealthy slave owners. Thus, modern Creole food evolved from a variety of cultures.
The Cajuns were French colonists originally from Canada’s Acadia region who mostly settled in the rural areas of Louisiana. Creole dishes tend to be more soupy and tomato based compared to Cajun food. Both cuisines are famous for their heavy handed spicing of dishes with exotic spices and herbs.
So what is Creole seasoning vs Cajun?
Cajun and Creole seasonings are actually very similar and to most they are interchangeable. Cajun started as a simpler blend, consisting of only a few ingredients like paprika and/or cayenne along with salt and pepper and sometimes oregano.
Creole on the other hand goes beyond this base by adding more oomph with different herbs and other spices.
Verdict: Creole is more complex and invariably adds more flavors, whereas Cajun has more heat.
However, as time has passed, the Cajun and Creole cuisines have been together so long that they started to look similar, and that’s why they are interchangeable to the unfamiliar palate.
Why to make your VERY own Creole seasoning
- It’s extremely easy, quick and lasts for a long time.
- No extra unhealthy additives and fillers like MSG or salt. Lot of store brands have so much excess salt that in the past a few of our meals were ruined. With homemade creole seasoning, you control how much salt according according to your taste.
- Other customizations. You can add or subtract herbs or spices or vary the amounts according to your liking, as it’s YOUR blend.
What ingredients are in our Creole seasoning
- Cayenne pepper
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Black pepper
- Sea salt or salt flakes
See, I told you, most of these are already in your pantry.
Now How to make Creole seasoning?
Well, it’s just a matter of measuring the ingredients and mixing them in a bowl. Transfer your seasoning to an airtight spice jar, or even mason jar, if you are making a large quantity. Easy, huh?
How to store
You can store this up to 6 months in an airtight spice jar. Make sure it’s in your pantry or spice cabinet, out of direct sunlight. Creole seasoning, like any other spice, can last a long time, but it would lose its freshness and vibrancy as time goes by.
Since it’s just a matter of mixing a few things, I suggest you only make enough to last 6 months at any time, so you always have that fresh, vibrant flavor on hand.
- Play with spices and herbs: Some like it HOT, some NOT. Feel free to add or subtract a teaspoon of any ingredients to your liking. For example, cayenne. Use more or less. Missing some herb that day? No worries, Creole seasoning minus some parsley, for example, would still turn out awesome. You can have some extra add-ons like smoked paprika or even red chili flakes for some extra sizzle.
- Vary salt or omit it altogether: You can use salt-less Creole seasoning. For me, salt is such an important thing in my food that I never do that. But it’s your seasoning. Or instead of sea salt, use Himalayan salt, kosher salt or even regular table salt.
- Grind it into powder: I love the coarse nature of my Creole seasoning, but if you prefer otherwise, you can grind it into powder by giving it a quick whirl in your spice grinder.
- Make a big batch: Love NoLa food too much? Double or triple the recipe and you have lots for your gumbo and jambalaya nights.
How to use Creole seasoning
You are going to love this one so much that shortly you are going to use this to flavor anything and everything.
- Creole seasoning is MUST for some classic Southern dishes like jambalaya, gumbo, grillades and grits, and soups like yakamein.
- Use it as a rub for meats and seafood: Think how much flavor you will add to simple chicken tenders, pork chops or steak.
- Use it as a marinade: Mix it with oil and vinegar or lemon and marinate whatever you fancy.
- Flavor booster for Veggies: Sauté, roast or grill them with a dash of Creole seasoning… yum!
Look at these GypsyPlate creations using Creole seasoning…
Don’t they make you want to have your own seasoning blend in your pantry? Homemade seasoning blends are so great and easy, you can even make them in bulk, put them in some mason jars or cute spice bottles and gift them to your friends and family on holidays or special occasions. (Great economic personalized gift idea… wink, wink)
Let us know if you whip up this easy homemade Creole seasoning in your very own kitchen and try some of our NoLa delicacies. Many more flavors are just round the corner. Don’t shy away from them just because you are not familiar with them. Try them and who knows… they might become your favorites.
GypsyPlate is all about that… Bringing you new flavors and deliciousness. One such thing called is Yakamein, New Orleans’ best kept secret. I’m bringing it just for you, in my next post… stay tuned!! Meanwhile, subscribe to GypsyPlate and make this Creole seasoning ready to go in your pantry… as you’ll need it for this upcoming New Orleans special, Yakamein in the bowls below!
Creole Seasoning, in my Gypsy Bowl… enjoy!
- 6 Tbsp paprika
- 1/2 - 1 Tbsp cayenne
- 3 Tbsp onion powder
- 3 Tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Tbsp oregano
- 2 Tbsp basil
- 2 Tbsp thyme
- 1 Tbsp parsley
- 2 Tbsp black pepper
- 1 - 1&1/2 Tbsp granulated or sea salt
- Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a dry spoon so everything is well combined.
- Store in an airtight spice jar and keep it in a pantry.
- This is my perfect blend, but you can always customize the proportions of the herbs and spices to personalize your recipe.
- To make a smaller quantity, simply replace tablespoon measurements with teaspoons.
Nutrition InformationYield 70 Serving Size 1 tsp
Amount Per Serving Calories 5Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 200mgCarbohydrates 1gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g
Nutrition information calculated by Nutritionix.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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