When you’re craving something bold, hearty, and full of flavor, you can’t go wrong with these Easy Cajun Recipes. Developed in Louisiana, Cajun food is an exciting mix of West African, French, and Spanish cooking.
Cajun food is known for being well-seasoned with paprika, cayenne, garlic, and other spices. Cajun food can be mild or spicy, depending on your preferences. Jazz up your dinner table with famous Southern dishes like New Orleans-style gumbo, jambalaya, and an authentic Cajun crab boil!
Cajun food is special because of one thing – the seasonings. Keeping a jar of Cajun seasonings in your pantry is an easy way to ensure that your meals will be far from bland. Cajun seasoning is usually a blend of cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, and oregano. You can buy a ready-made Cajun seasoning mix, or create your own if you have the herbs and spices separately.
What Are Some Popular Cajun Recipes?
There are some dishes you’re likely to see on any authentic Cajun restaurant’s menu. Popular traditional Cajun meals include Jambalaya (a one-pot mix of rice, vegetables, meat, and seafood, similar to Spanish paella), gumbo (a thick, rich soup), and boiled crawfish.
What Do You Eat Cajun Dishes with?
Cajun dishes are often served with delicious side dishes like cornbread, cheddar biscuits, and corn on the cob. Hush puppies are a classic Southern deep-fried fritter popularly served with jambalaya or gumbo. Okra is a nutritious vegetable that is often incorporated into or served alongside many Cajun dishes.
Best Louisiana Cajun Recipes
- Louisiana Seafood Gumbo: For a Cajun take on comfort food, give this gumbo a try. The thick, rich and flavorful soup is just what you need for a cozy night in.
- Louisiana Crawfish Boil with Garlic Butter Sauce: Crawfish boil is a traditional Cajun dish for seafood lovers. Crawfish, corn, potatoes and sausages are boiled in a delicious Cajun broth and served with a classic garlic butter sauce.
- One-Pot Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta: Put a Cajun twist on your next pasta night! This delicious one pot dish features tender pieces of chicken and penne pasta in a creamy Cajun sauce.
- Popeye Cajun Turkey: Did you know that Popeye’s makes a delicious Thanksgiving turkey? Follow this recipe and you can re-create their traditional Cajun recipe at home.
- Homemade Creole Cajun Seasoning: A jar of the right seasoning is the foundation for making tasty Cajun meals. This recipe tells you everything you need to know about making your own authentic Cajun seasoning blend.
- Shrimp Creole: Tender shrimp are cooked in a spicy, tomato-based sauce. Serve with rice for an easy weeknight dinner.
Vegetarian Cajun Recipes
- Popeyes Cajun Fries: Authentic Cajun seasonings make Popeyes fries a cut above the rest. Make them at home with this copycat recipe.
- Cajun-Style Vegan Red Beans and Rice: This vegan-friendly Cajun recipe eliminates meat but maximizes flavor. It’s healthy, well-seasoned and full of flavor.
- Cajun Rice: Jazz up a boring pot of rice with Cajun seasonings, onions and bell peppers. Cajun rice is delicious on its own or served with chicken or shrimp.
- Easy Cajun Jambalaya: This jambalaya is perfectly seasoned and super easy to put together. You can even make it with vegan ingredients.
Authentic Cajun Recipes
- Louisiana Wingstop Wings: Can’t make it to Wingstop? Recreate their crispy Cajun wings with this moderately spicy spice mix.
- Cajun Crab Boil: With the right ingredients, you can make an authentic Louisiana crab boil the whole family will love.
- Garlic Cajun Seafood: This buttery Cajun sauce is loaded with garlic and Old Bay seasoning. Pair it with shrimp or crawfish for a real Southern treat.
- Easy Cajun Shrimp Pasta: It’s healthy, full of flavor and is ready in about 30 minutes. This Cajun-inspired shrimp pasta is a must-try!
- Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet: This simplified version of jambalaya has all of the flavor, but takes half the time. It’s perfect for those nights when you want a low-effort meal.
- Cajun Chicken Alfredo: Spice up your chicken Alfredo pasta with a creamy Cajun-inspired sauce. This copycat recipe yields similar results to the Cajun Chicken Alfredo at Red Lobster.
- Cajun Grilled Salmon: Tender salmon fillets are seasoned with a blend of spices and cooked in a honey butter sauce. It’s a healthy, quick option for lunch or dinner.
Traditional Dishes to Eat in New Orleans
Taking a trip to New Orleans any time soon? Be sure to add jambalaya, gumbo, red beans and rice, and a good seafood boil to your culinary bucket list.
What’s the Difference Between Gumbo and Jambalaya?
Gumbo and Jambalaya are both popular traditional Cajun dishes that originated in Louisiana. Because they’re so closely associated, they’re often thought to be the same dish, but this is not true. Gumbo is a thick, rich soup or stew that can be eaten on its own or along with a carbohydrate such as rice or cornbread. Jambalaya, on the other hand, is a rice dish that incorporates seafood, vegetables, and sausages, similar to Spanish paella.
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17 Easy Cajun Recipes (Best Cajun-style Chicken Wings Recipe & More)
- Preheat oven to 400 ºF. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together smoked paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar.
- Add chicken wings to a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with vegetable oil, and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle the dry rub mixture and massage it into the chicken wings.
- Place the seasoned chicken wings on the baking sheet in one single layer.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until fully cooked and crispy. Serve and enjoy!