One of the best ways to get more adventurous with your slow cooker is to incorporate new seasoning blends alongside your favorite ingredients! With my homemade Creole seasoning recipe, you’ll have an original, flavorful mix to add a twist to family favorites or create new ones.
I love making homemade seasoning blends because they can be adjusted to taste and make your home cooking even more delicious. Plus, you just need to have basic spices on hand and you’ll save a trip to the store every time you want to make something special. I also think that homemade seasoning blends taste fresher since they are free of additives and preservatives that you’ll find in store-bought mixes.
This recipe for Creole seasoning is smoky, herbal, and a bit spicy – but not too much that the whole family can’t enjoy!
What is Creole seasoning?
Creole seasoning is a unique blend of herbs and spices with a signature reddish tint, thanks to paprika, the key ingredient. This seasoning is adapted from Creole cuisine which originates from Louisiana. The flavors of Creole cooking generally come from tomato-based dishes, beans and rice, and gumbo stews.
Many Creole recipes incorporate seafood and vegetables so this herbal seasoning blend creates a cohesive taste common to this style of cooking.
It must be said that Cajun seasoning is very similar to Creole seasoning. Many of the same types of dishes will use either seasoning with slight ingredient variations. Cajun seasoning will generally be used on tougher meats like game meat or pork and includes different peppers as opposed to the fragrant herbs in Creole seasoning.
- Paprika – Paprika is the key ingredient that provides a smoky sweetness from dried and ground red peppers.
- Thyme, oregano, basil, and parsley – This quartet of herbs creates a deep aromatic release when cooked with Creole staples like shrimp, tomatoes, or thick broths of gumbo soup.
- Kosher salt – Kosher salt adds texture to savory blends that are used with a variety of meats and vegetables. It also works to bring out extra flavor!
- Garlic powder and onion powder – These two together are a necessity for a flavorful spice blend.
- Ground pepper – Use regular pure ground black pepper for the spicy element of this seasoning.
- Cayenne pepper – Cayenne is definitely on the hot side of the seasoning spectrum but adds the signature heat to Creole cooking. Once you’ve tried a batch of this blend, you can always decrease this amount if you prefer a more mild blend.
How To Make Creole Seasoning
When I make homemade seasoning blends, I like to get everything out and all ingredients measured to streamline the process. The steps to mix are simple!
- Add all seasonings to a mini chopper or food processor.
- Give it a few pulses to incorporate the spices and chop the larger pieces to make the blend more uniform. (This also helps with accurate measuring when adding to recipes.)
- Transfer the mixture to a clean and dry glass storage jar with a tight-fitting lid. Make a label if you’re feeling fancy!
As long as the mixture is stored properly, the shelf life should match the dates of the original spices.
Tips For The Best Homemade Creole Seasoning
- If you don’t have one of the herbs on hand to create this seasoning blend, just add more of one or two in an equal portion of the missing ingredient.
- Blending the spice mix in a food chopper is not required, but it will keep the seasonings from separating as much. Your flavor will also be a bit more uniform if you do blend them together.
- Before you mix up the Creole seasoning, be sure that the individual spices are not expired. (Surely we all have an “aged” spice or two in our pantry, right?) If some of the ingredients are less fresh, it can affect the overall flavor and potency of the blend.
- Keep your storage container sealed and completely dry. When measuring out the spice blend, be sure to keep it away from any heat or moisture near the stove or simmering foods.
- Make a double or triple batch to prep ahead for future tasty meals!
How To Use Creole Seasoning
Traditional Creole dishes include shrimp and other seafood, rice, beans, tomatoes, and gumbos. Try out homemade Creole seasoning in classic meals like Slow Cooker Jambalaya or your own take on a hearty tomato-y stew with andouille sausage.
Red beans and rice, cooked through any method, would be elevated to the next level of flavor with the addition of this smoky blend. Additionally, try this seasoning the next time you have a mix of vegetables to stir fry and serve over rice.
When you make homemade seasoning blends, you’ll find that you may just be more creative about incorporating them into other recipes!
Creole Seasoning FAQs
- What is the difference between Cajun and Creole seasoning? Cajun seasoning tends to include more pepper and hot spices to pair with game meats. Creole seasoning contains more herbal additions. Likewise, this recipe is very similar to my Cajun seasoning but a little less spicy and a little more herby.
- Which is hotter – Cajun or Creole? Typically, Cajun will be spicier since it contains a variety of peppers and a greater ratio of peppers than Creole seasoning.
- What can I substitute for Creole seasoning? You can substitute Cajun seasoning for Creole with the addition of some extra paprika. You could also create your own blend of paprika, cayenne pepper, and any herbs that you have on hand.
- How long is homemade Creole seasoning good for? Homemade Creole seasoning should last several months if stored properly in a dry, sealed container.
Homemade Creole Seasoning Recipe
- measuring cups and spoons
- storage container
- Add all seasonings to a mini chopper or food processor
- Give it a few pulses to incorporate spices and chop larger pieces to make the blend more uniform
- Transfer mixture to clean, dry glass storage jar with a tight-fitting lid
- Store in a cool location, completely sealed.
- Both Cajun and Creole seasoning can be used interchangeably depending on your preference for spice or herbal flavors.