Cajun seasoning is a popular blend of herbs and spices used to flavor many dishes, especially in the cuisine of Louisiana. With the rising popularity of gluten-free diets, many people wonder if Cajun seasoning contains gluten or not. The short answer is yes, most Cajun seasoning blends are gluten-free and safe to eat on a gluten-free diet.
In this detailed guide, we will cover the following questions:
What is Cajun Seasoning?
Cajun seasoning originated in the cuisine of Louisiana. It’s a spice blend that typically contains a mixture of herbs and spices like garlic, onion, black pepper, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, basil, and more. The exact blend can vary, but the goal is to create a versatile, boldly flavored seasoning.
Cajun seasoning is used to flavor all kinds of dishes – meats, seafood, vegetables, rice, beans, and more. It’s a key ingredient in many famous Cajun and Creole dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish etouffee. The spice blend brings out robust, savory flavors and adds a touch of heat.
Common Ingredients in Cajun Seasoning
- Paprika – For color and flavor
- Cayenne Pepper – For heat
- Black Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Bay Leaf
Does Cajun Seasoning Contain Gluten?
The majority of Cajun seasoning blends do not contain any gluten-containing ingredients. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Most Cajun seasoning contains pure herbs, spices, peppers, salts, and other gluten-free seasonings.
Some Cajun seasoning blends may contain flour, wheat starch, or other fillers as part of the blend. Always check the ingredient list carefully. If the blend contains wheat, barley, rye, or ambiguous ingredients like “spices” or “natural flavors,” it may contain gluten.
Reputable brands that make gluten-free claims will typically be very clear about producing gluten-free products. When in doubt, look for Cajun seasoning made by gluten-free brands or certified gluten-free.
Ingredients to Watch Out For
- Wheat Flour
- “Natural Flavors”
- Additives with uncertain sources
Popular Gluten-Free Cajun Seasoning Brands
Many major spice brands offer gluten-free Cajun seasoning blends:
McCormick is one of the largest spice companies. Their Cajun Seasoning blend is gluten-free and contains ingredients like paprika, garlic, black pepper, onion, and red pepper. McCormick clearly labels gluten-free status.
Tony Chachere’s is a popular Cajun food brand. Their bold Creole seasoning contains no gluten ingredients. The blend includes ingredients like red pepper, black pepper, garlic, onion, and spices.
The Spice Hunter
The Spice Hunter makes many gluten-free spices and seasonings, including a Cajun blend with paprika, garlic, black pepper, onion, and oregano. Their products are certified gluten-free.
Weber’s Cajun seasoning is labelled gluten-free. It contains paprika, cayenne, garlic, black pepper, onion, and spices. Weber indicates allergen information for all products.
Slap Ya Mama
Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning is gluten-free. Their blend includes salt, red pepper, black pepper, garlic, and spices. The company confirms gluten-free status online.
Is Cajun Seasoning Safe for Celiac / Gluten Sensitivity?
For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, Cajun seasoning that does not contain any gluten ingredients should be safe. But it’s important to use trusted brands and read labels carefully.
Look for “gluten-free” on the label or check the brand’s website for confirmation that the product is gluten-free. Reputable gluten-free brands test products to verify they are below 20ppm gluten.
If you are highly sensitive, you may want to opt for brands that are certified gluten-free, meaning the facility and manufacturing process is certified not to cross-contaminate with gluten. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about trace amounts of gluten.
Tips for the Gluten-Sensitive
- Review labels carefully for any gluten ingredients
- Look for “gluten-free” claims on packaging
- Choose brands that are dedicated gluten-free
- Opt for certified gluten-free products if concerned about cross-contamination
- Contact the manufacturer with any questions
What About Homemade Cajun Seasoning?
Making homemade Cajun seasoning is an option if you want to control the ingredients. Choose gluten-free herbs and spices like:
- Smoked Paprika
- Cayenne Pepper
- Black Pepper
- Onion Powder
- Garlic Powder
Avoid additives like wheat flour or wheat starch. Check that all spices are certified gluten-free. Be aware that spice blends can potentially be cross-contaminated.
Homemade Cajun Seasoning Recipe
Here is a simple homemade Cajun seasoning recipe:
Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight container. Use to season meats, seafood, vegetables, and rice dishes. Makes about 1/4 cup of seasoning.
Gluten-Free Brands of Cajun Seasoning
Here is a table summarizing some top gluten-free brands of Cajun seasoning:
|Bold Creole Seasoning
|The Spice Hunter
|Slap Ya Mama
|Cajun Blackening Seasoning
What Foods is Cajun Seasoning Used On?
Here are some of the most popular dishes and foods to use Cajun seasoning on:
- Pork chops
- Fish fillets
- Crab cakes
- Corn on the cob
- Red beans and rice
- Dirty rice
- Fried rice
- Deviled eggs
- Roasted nuts
Cajun seasoning is versatile enough to use on all kinds of meat, veggie, rice, and seafood dishes. Use it wherever you want to add some extra flavor and spice.
Cajun seasoning is full of robust flavor and can be used to spice up all kinds of dishes. The majority of Cajun seasoning blends are gluten-free and safe to consume on a gluten-free diet. Just be sure to check the ingredients carefully since some blends may contain wheat, barley, or rye.
When in doubt, choose reputable gluten-free brands of Cajun seasoning that are either certified or labelled gluten-free. With so many quality spice brands offering gluten-free options, there is no need to miss out on flavorful Cajun cuisine.