Most Cajun seasonings include paprika, garlic and onion powders, dried oregano, and salt and pepper. Other common ingredients in Cajun seasoning are hot spices, such as cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes and white pepper, and savory herbs, such as dried parsley, dried thyme, basil, cardamom and caraway seeds. Many seasonings also include dried mustard powder for a sharper flavor. Some store-bought Cajun seasonings also include MSG, artificial flavors and fillers such as gluten.
A simple Cajun seasoning contains just paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano and black pepper. Cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes mixed into the blend adds spiciness; many recipes only require a small amount. Dried parsley and thyme add a subtle savory flavor. Many Cajun seasoning mixes also include salt to taste.
For extra spice, some Cajun seasoning blends include dried habanero peppers, New Mexican chiles or chipotle chiles, and the blend may use smoked paprika for a barbecue-style flavor. Cajun seasonings may also use freeze-dried granulated onions, garlic and celery.
Cajun seasoning tastes good with fish, shrimp, chicken or pork, and adds the signature flavor to Cajun dishes such as blackened fish, gumbo and po' boys. This seasoning mix also makes a versatile dry rub for meats, and tastes good mixed into mayonnaise for sandwiches or sprinkled over popcorn.