These delicious Cajun side dishes take you on a virtual trip to Louisiana! From cornbread to red beans and rice, these easy recipes pack a punch!
There’s a reason you can spend an entire day eating in New Orleans. The food is simply spectacular!
Cajun side dishes are incredibly flavorful, often relatively easy, and full of fresh ingredients.
They can be paired with anything from pork chops to roasted chicken for a colorful and sometimes spicy side that will quickly become the star of the show.
So since we can’t all make it to the Big Easy anytime soon, use this list of 15 fabulous cajun side dishes to brighten up your next big dinner.
This southern staple is welcome on my table at any meal.
Sometimes sweet, sometimes spicy, I can’t get enough of the stuff!
When it’s made like this with no extras, it works well with almost everything.
But if you’re looking to kick it up a notch, try adding in some spice!
I love corn so much, I will add some to everything I can – even cake!
Even though I like it alone with nothing but some salt and butter, I do love finding new ways of serving this crisp and sweet veggie.
Maque Choux is the perfect blend of corn, peppers, and onion, with just the right amount of heat from jalapenos and cajun spice.
Cooked in bacon fat, it is a vibrant and delicious side dish.
Can we all agree that fries are the best food out there?
If there was ever a doubt, this recipe for Cajun sweet potato fries will definitely sway you.
These are anything but bland between the garlic salt, paprika, oregano, thyme, and cayenne pepper.
Trust me when I say you’ll need to make double!
There’s an old tradition down in Louisiana. Monday is for laundry and red beans and rice.
My very first time in New Orleans – more than 15 years ago – I arrived at my hostel and was handed a big plate of red beans with dirty rice and a beer on the side.
I knew then that this place was for me.
Dirty rice might not sound appealing, but it’s full of ground pork and beef with plenty of celery, peppers, onion, and herbs.
Though it’s traditionally made with chicken livers, you can skip those in favor of sausage meat!
If you’re anything like me, you love the idea of roasted veggies but are often disappointed by a bland dish.
The good news is, Cajun spice can make even the most boring dish exciting!
Just be sure to toss the veggies at the end, so the spice doesn’t burn during cooking.
This is more of a main dish, but I just had to include it.
The simplicity of red beans, cooked in the holy Cajun trinity of celery, onion, and peppers is to die for – not to mention the smoky andouille sausage!
As the recipe suggests, I like to make mine with the sausage cooking throughout so that the flavor imparts into the beans.
For a thicker consistency, try mashing some of the beans and stirring through.
I’m a massive fan of spicy foods but often find hot sauce to be overly acidic.
That’s probably why I like Cajun spice so much. You get a pleasant warmth without the tang.
If you have the time, let your wings marinate overnight for maximum flavor.
This creamy dip is loaded with horseradish, cream cheese, sour cream, and crab meat.
There’s some added heat from Cajun spice and hot sauce, and the whole thing gets served hot.
Since it’s so creamy, you might think it needs extra hot sauce, but the horseradish more than holds up the spice!
That being said, you could always pour a little on top for those die-hard hot sauce lovers.
As much as I love the fresh vegetable medley used here, feel free to use a store-bought mix to save on time.
The list of ingredients for the dressing might seem long, but you likely already have ketchup, lemon juice, mustard, and even Worcestershire sauce somewhere in the fridge.
The trick to keeping the dressing smooth is slowly incorporating the oil and keeping it moving as you whisk in everything else.
Try to make it up an hour or so ahead of time to let the flavors marry together.
I don’t know why we don’t have beans more as a side dish.
They’re filling, cheap, and can be super flavorful when you cook them right.
Using dried beans will keep the cost down, though for a speedier version, try using a variety of canned beans.
Diced ham makes for a really lovely salty addition that can be chunky and gives great texture, but you really can’t go wrong with bacon or sausage as an alternative.
Given their mild flavor, shrimp are perfect for Cajun seasoning.
They can marinate in 30 minutes and cook in less than 10!
Due to their short cook time, you don’t have to worry about the seasoning burning.
If you’ve never tried okra before, you won’t be disappointed with this recipe.
The mild flavor can be savory, sometimes sweet, and occasionally bitter.
For some, okra can have a mushy texture that isn’t too appealing, but this is fixed with a quick deep-fry!
The trick is to look for fresh and small pods and to cut the pieces evenly.
Hush puppies are small round, deep-fried bites, typically made with a cornmeal batter.
They can be sweet or savory and include anything from corn and onion to sweet potato.
Once your batter is smooth, it’s as simple as dropping spoonfuls into hot oil.
Be careful not to overcrowd the pan and cook just until golden.
For extra flavor, toss the hot puppies in some Cajun seasoning before serving.
It doesn’t matter how old we get. Chicken tenders will always be a guilty pleasure.
Although, I do sometimes wonder exactly what part of the chicken they come from.
Making your own takes out the guessing and amps up the flavor.
Always add your spices to the flour before dredging in your egg mixture.
You should also dust with some extra Cajun right after they leave the hot oil.
Serve with Cajun ranch dressing for all the spice you can handle.
You haven’t lived until you’ve had a fresh batch of warm beignets from Cafe du Monde.
These square doughnuts are deep-fried and completely covered in powdered sugar for one sinful treat.
I love that these don’t need to be cut perfectly, and the random edges are just as good as the little squares.
You can fill them if you want to, but they’re so good alone, you don’t need anything extra – except maybe a coffee and some jazz.
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