What Are The Best Creole Seasoning Substitutes?

Creole seasoning is a popular blend of spices that go well in gumbo, jambalaya, stews, and soups. Common ingredients used in this mix may include garlic, cayenne pepper, paprika, oregano, onion powder, thyme, white pepper, black pepper, and salt.

Creole spice mix originated in Louisiana and is commonly used as a blackened seasoning for chicken, fish, and other foods. It adds a unique burst of flavor to any savory and has become a pantry staple in some parts of the United States. If you’ve got no creole seasoning, then you’ll need a suitable replacement. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to find a creole seasoning substitute so let’s take a look at the best options.

What can I use to replace creole seasoning in a dish?

To replace creole seasoning in cooking, your best option is Cajun or Old Bay Seasoning. You can also make your own creole mix using everyday spices that are commonly found in a spice rack.

1. Cajun seasoning

A Cajun spice mix has a peppery, smoky flavor that can vary in spiciness depending on who makes it. There are some subtle differences between Creole and Cajun mixes, but in most dishes, the two spice blends can be used interchangeably.

Cajun tends to have a spicier kick to it than Creole seasoning mix, so you may want to reduce the amount a little. If possible, taste test and add more spice if you think it needs it.

You’ll find Cajun spice blends in the spice aisle of the grocery store, spice specialist stores, and online.      

2. Old Bay Seasoning

If you’re in a pinch and don’t have time to make a Creole spice mix, you can try Old Bay in a pinch. It is a reasonable substitute creole seasoning, which won’t be out of place in most recipes.

Both spice mixes use cayenne and paprika in their base ingredients so they can be used in similar applications. Old Bay is an excellent option for seafood and crab boils. However, it contains additional flavors like allspice and cardamom which will give your food a different flavor.

We suggest reducing the amount by one-third and adding a little extra paprika. This will take your alternative mix’s flavor profile closer to an authentic Creole seasoning.  

3. Make homemade Creole seasoning

This is an authentic creole seasoning recipe that is quick and easy to make.

Makes:  ¾ cup of spice


  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme


  1. Add all ingredients to a small bowl and stir until everything is combined.
  2. Transfer to an airtight container and store in a cool, dark area until needed.

Note: For an extra hot and spicy mix double the cayenne pepper or add a tablespoon of chili powder.

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What is creole seasoning used for?

Creole seasoning is best known as an ingredient in gumbo, jambalaya, and crab boils. It is also a great choice for stew, beans, rice, burgers, salads, and soups. People also love to add the spice mix to vegetables, and the herbs are especially good, paired with tomatoes.

Where did Creole seasoning originate?

Creole cuisine is a type of food that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana, and has influences from Africa, South Europe, France, and Native America.

Is creole seasoning the same as Cajun seasoning?

Cajun and Creole seasoning have a similar flavor and use, but you’ll usually detect more spicy heat in a Cajun blend, thanks to the addition of black, white, and cayenne pepper. Creole seasoning has additional flavors from the addition of herbs like oregano, thyme, and rosemary.  

Is creole seasoning spicy?

Although some Creole seasoning recipes can be made spicy, they are usually mild to medium in heat. The spice mix often contains a lot of paprika which makes the blend look spicey, but isn’t.

Summing up

If you need a substitute for creole seasoning then your best choice is Cajun spice. Old Bay will work in a pinch, but keep in mind it has a more herbaceous flavor profile. The best option, if you can’t find Creole at the store is to make your own blend. It requires a handful of common spices and herbs that are readily available in the spice aisle. Follow our recipe above to whip up a delicious mix in 5 minutes.


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