15 Best Cajun Side Dishes (2023)

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!

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15 Best Cajun Side Dishes (1)

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.

15 Best Cajun Side Dishes (2)

1. Bisquick Cornbread Recipe

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!

2. Cajun Corn Maque Choux

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.

3. Cajun Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Can we all agree that fries are the best food out there?

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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.

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Trust me when I say you’ll need to make double!

4. Louisiana Dirty Rice

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!

5. Cajun Summer Vegetables

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.

6. Red Beans and Rice

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.

7. Cajun Chicken Wings

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.

8. Cajun Crab Dip

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.

9. Cajun Coleslaw

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.

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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.

10. Slow Cooker Cajun Ham & Beans

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.

11. Grilled Cajun Shrimp Skewers

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.

15 Best Cajun Side Dishes (3)

12. Cracker Barrel Fried Okra

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.

13. Cajun Hush Puppies

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.

14. Crispy Fried Cajun Chicken Tenders

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.

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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.

15. Beignets

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.

15 Best Cajun Side Dishes (4)

15 Best Cajun Sides You Need to Try

These delicious Cajun side dishes take you on a culinary trip to Louisiana! From cornbread to red beans and rice, these easy recipes pack a punch!


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What is a good side dish for Cajun chicken? ›

Here's the short answer. The best dishes to serve with cajun chicken are cilantro lime rice, garlic alfredo pasta, Southwest chopped salad, and pico de gallo. For more veggie options go for apple slaw, boiled corn, or creamed spinach. For more Southern sides, go for buttermilk biscuits or collard greens.

What are some famous Cajun dishes? ›

Traditional Cajun Foods
  • Jambalaya.
  • Maque choux.
  • Gumbo.
  • Crawfish Étouffée.
  • Muffuletta.
  • Crawfish/shrimp boil.
  • Boudin Balls.
  • Po'Boy Sandwich.
16 Jun 2022

What is the most popular Cajun dish? ›

Gumbo. A true Cajun star, gumbo is the official state cuisine of Louisiana. It's usually made with a dark gravy or roux, along with shellfish or game. It's very common to also throw some sausage or ham and the whole thing melds delightfully thanks to several hours of simmering during preparation.

What is a good side dish for gumbo? ›

Best Side Dishes to Serve with Gumbo
  1. Rice. The classic accompiant to gumbo. ...
  2. Potato Salad. We recognize this dish from BBQ's and cookouts, but it's also great with gumbo. ...
  3. Coleslaw. ...
  4. Sweet Potato Salad. ...
  5. Fried Okra. ...
  6. Cornbread. ...
  7. Deviled Eggs. ...
  8. Cornbread Dressing with Sausage.

What are some good cookout sides? ›

80 Best BBQ Sides to Throw a Summer Backyard Cookout
  • of 80. BLT Pasta Salad. ...
  • of 80. Grilled Watermelon. ...
  • of 80. Classic Coleslaw. ...
  • of 80. Mexican Street Corn. ...
  • of 80. Red Potato Salad. ...
  • of 80. Corn and Black Bean Salsa. ...
  • of 80. Southern Fried Okra. ...
  • of 80. Grilled Corn on the Cob.
17 Mar 2022

What is Louisiana signature food? ›

Fun fact: gumbo is the official dish of Louisiana.

What is the most famous Creole dish? ›

Jambalaya is a signature dish of Creole cuisine and is a one-skillet meal featuring cooked rice with vegetables and almost any kind of meat. Chicken and andouille sausage are the stars here, with a supporting cast of tomatoes, onions, peppers, and garlic.

What is the Holy Grail of Cajun cooking? ›

The “holy trinity” in Cajun cuisine and Louisiana Creole cuisine is the base for several dishes in the regional cuisines of Louisiana and consists of onions, bell peppers and celery. The preparation of Cajun/Creole dishes such as crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya all start from this base.

What are 3 differences between Creole and Cajun cooking? ›

Creole gumbos most often include tomatoes, shellfish and dark roux and often okra and filé powder, an herb made from ground leaves of sassafras trees. Cajun gumbo doesn't have tomatoes and usually also contains chicken. It's not uncommon for both Creole and Cajun gumbo to include meats such as ham or sausage as well.

What is New Orleans favorite dish? ›

New Orleans is famous for a lot of foods, and chief among them is the traditional rice dish known as jambalaya.

What is a side dish for jambalaya? ›

Fresh roasted corn salad is a surprisingly delicious side dish for jambalaya. It is jammed with such lovely flavors that include sweet corn, cucumber, tomato and onion. The the salad is tossed with a lemon dressing. You can roast the corn in a cast iron skillet to keep all of this simple and quick.

What should I bring to a black cookout? ›

What to Bring to the Black Cookout: 15 Recipes for Summer 2022
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  3. Grilled Fish. ...
  4. Lemon Pepper Shrimp. ...
  5. Baked Mac & Cheese. ...
  6. Southern Potato Salad. ...
  7. Fried Plantains. ...
  8. Deviled Egg Dip.
1 May 2022

What are the most popular BBQ sides? ›

7 Classic Southern Sides Every Barbecue Needs
  • When it comes to barbecue, there's no question about it: Southerners do it best. ...
  • Corn Pudding. ...
  • Collard Greens. ...
  • Coleslaw. ...
  • Baked Beans. ...
  • Mac and Cheese.

What's a good side dish for hamburgers and hotdogs? ›

From classic coleslaw to terrific grilled corn on the cob, here are our favorite simple sides to serve with hot dogs.
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob with Calamansi Mayo. ...
  • Smoky Coleslaw. ...
  • Pasta Salad with Grilled Vegetables, Parsley, and Feta. ...
  • Classic Potato Salad. ...
  • Homemade Veggie Chips. ...
  • Tomato Salad with Red Onion, Dill, and Feta.
14 Oct 2022

What is the number one side dish in America? ›

Potatoes, America's favorite side dish.

What is the most eaten food in Louisiana? ›

But What are the Most Popular Foods? I would say that gumbo, muffuletta, etouffee, po'boy's, red beans, and rice, as well as jambalaya, are the most popular foods in Louisiana. As far as meats go: seafood, crawfish, shrimp, crabs, oysters, and catfish ranked right up near the top.

What is real Cajun food? ›

Cajun Food

Think of meals with lots of smoked meats as well as meat-heavy, one-pot dishes like jambalaya or the rice-filled, spicy pork sausage known as boudin. The backyard crawfish boil is also another byproduct of Cajun culture.

What snack is Louisiana known for? ›

Louisiana may be best known for its Southern and Cajun cuisine, but the best snack food in the state is actually the much sweeter praline, a vanilla and sugar-coated nut, typically a pecan. Whether you enjoy it as a standalone snack or as the top-tier pralines and cream ice cream duo, this sweet treat can't be beat.

What celebrities are Creole? ›

  • Beyoncé Knowles (born 1981) – R&B singer.
  • Solange Knowles (born 1986) – R&B singer.
  • Tina Knowles (born 1954) – fashion designer.
  • The Knux (born 1982 & 1984) – musicians, rappers, singers, record producers.
  • Dorothy LaBostrie (1929–2007) – songwriter, best known for co-writing Little Richard's 1955 hit "Tutti Frutti"

Whats the difference between Cajun & Creole? ›

For Cajuns were—and are—a subset of Louisiana Creoles. Today, common understanding holds that Cajuns are white and Creoles are Black or mixed race; Creoles are from New Orleans, while Cajuns populate the rural parts of South Louisiana.

What is Haiti's main dish? ›

Soupe joumou, the national dish of Haiti, is a unique blend of West African Scotch bonnet peppers, New World squash and classic French pot-au-feu. After defeating Napoleon's army in 1803, the formerly enslaved Africans in Saint-Domingue declared their independence on Jan.

What do Cajuns call their girlfriends? ›

Cher (shaa)

Cajun and Creole slang, derived from the French. A term of affection meaning darling, dear, or sweetheart.

What do Cajuns call their parents? ›

Cajun French: Maman | Unearthly Musings.

Which US state has the most Cajuns? ›

The Cajuns (/ˈkeɪdʒənz/; French: les Cadjins or les Cadiens [le ka. dʒɛ]), also known as Louisiana Acadians (French: les Acadiens), are an ethnic group mainly living in the U.S. state of Louisiana.

What is the holy trinity in Cajun? ›

Many cultures and cuisines have their own version of a “holy trinity”—three integral ingredients that show up in the foundations of its signature dishes. The Cajun holy trinity recipe calls for one part white onion, one part green bell pepper, and one part celery.

What is the one food that the Cajun ethnic group is most famous for? ›

Gumbo—High on the list of favorites of Cajun cooking are the soups called gumbos. Contrary to non-Cajun or Continental beliefs, gumbo does not mean simply "everything in the pot". Gumbo exemplifies the influence of French, Spanish, African and Native American food cultures on Cajun cuisine.

What is the holy trinity in Cajun Creole cooking? ›

Traditional mirepoix is 2 parts onions, 1 part carrots, and 1 part celery, whereas the holy trinity is 3 parts onions, 2 parts celery, 1 part Green bell pepper.

What language do Cajuns speak? ›

What is Cajun French? Cajun French is the term generally used to describe the variety of French spoken in South Louisiana.

Do Cajuns still speak French? ›

The word Cajun popped up in the 19th century to describe the Acadian people of Louisiana. The Acadians were descendants of the French Canadians who were settling in southern Louisiana and the Lafayette region of the state. They spoke a form of the French language and today, the Cajun language is still prevalent.

Is jambalaya a Creole or Cajun? ›

Jambalaya is both a Cajun and a Creole dish. The differences are subtle, and there's sometimes confusion or debate over the traditional ingredients required for each.

What is the national drink of New Orleans? ›

Officially the Official Drink of New Orleans

After 150+ years and who knows how many Sazerac Cocktails later, it was time to make it official. In 2008, the state of Louisiana passed legislation that made the Sazerac Cocktail the official cocktail of New Orleans.

What are two typical Louisiana meals? ›

Find the best versions of the state's iconic gumbo, beignets, jambalaya and more.

What sandwich is New Orleans known for? ›

The Muffaletta

A muffaletta is a famous italian sandwich invented in New Orleans with cured meats (ham and salami), provolone cheese, olive dressing and great bread.

What Cajun dish goes with rice shrimp chicken and vegetables? ›

This Cajun dish of rice with shrimp, chicken, and vegetables, is often enjoyed with cornbread. Riddle - FAQs. The answer is Jambalaya.

What kind of salad goes well with jambalaya? ›

Green Salad

A fresh green salad is perfect to serve with jambalaya. This recipe from Creme de la Crumb is made with mixed greens, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, red onion, and cucumber. It is topped with a homemade honey mustard and olive oil dressing.

What is a good side for peri peri chicken? ›

The best side dishes to serve with peri peri chicken are coconut lime rice, corn riblets, potato wedges, no mayo coleslaw, and macho peas. Try tomato cucumber salad, turmeric roasted cauliflower, or a kale salad for healthier options. For something a little different, use naan bread as a wrap.

What can be served as a side to fried rice? ›

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  • Salt and Pepper Air Fryer Tofu. ...
  • Garlic Bok Choy by This Wife Cooks. ...
  • Sweet Chili Edamame by Peas and Crayons. ...
  • Vegetables and Tofu in Gochujang Sauce by Herbivore Cucina. ...
  • Burmese Tofu with Garlic Ginger Chilli Sauce by Vegan on Board.
1 Aug 2022

What bread goes best with jambalaya? ›


A quintessential pairing, of course, is none other than the famous southern-style cornbread that the state is known for. Cornbread is a type of bread that contains cornmeal. What makes cornbread one of the go-to side dishes for jambalaya is that its subtle sweet taste isn't as overwhelming and flavorful.

What are 5 herbs that compliment seafood dishes? ›

If you want to stick to classic herbs ad spices, try fresh flavours like dill, parsley, sage, garlic and chives which are especially good with fish. Fresh dill and chives pair well with all types of seafood, particularly salmon, adding a delicate, sharp punch to your dishes.

What should you not eat with seafood? ›

Milk, buttermilk, honey, urad dal and sprout grains shouldn't be eaten with fish.

What sides go with crab legs and shrimp? ›

Add one or two of these to your crab feast menu and you won't be disappointed.
  • Potatoes. Whether roasted, baked, mashed or fried, potatoes are a classic go-to side with crab legs. ...
  • Corn on the Cob. ...
  • Coleslaw. ...
  • Cornbread. ...
  • Steamed artichokes. ...
  • Salad. ...
  • Roasted Vegetables. ...
  • Steak.

What food goes with Cajun seasoning? ›

Cajun Seasoning Uses
  • Soups and stews (especially gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice)
  • Spice rubs for grilled chicken, beef, pork, and seafood.
  • Seafood dishes with shrimp or fish.
  • Fried chicken batter or breading.
  • Sauces to serve over pasta or rice.
  • Spicy barbecue sauces.
  • Hamburger patties and meatballs.
2 Feb 2022

What side dishes go with peri peri chicken? ›

Juicy and tender peri peri chicken is paired with spicy rice and corn on the cob for a quick, easy and delicious meal.

What are side dishes that go with the main dishes? ›

Every great meal has to have delicious sides to complement it! This is a list of amazing side dishes to make at your next family dinner.
  • Fresh green beans.
  • Sautéed zucchini and squash.
  • Fruit salad.
  • roasted veggies.
  • Garden salad.
  • Mashed potatoes.
  • White rice.
  • Mexican corn off the cob.

What are the three main ingredients in Cajun cooking? ›

The “holy trinity” in Cajun cuisine and Louisiana Creole cuisine is the base for several dishes in the regional cuisines of Louisiana and consists of onions, bell peppers and celery. The preparation of Cajun/Creole dishes such as crawfish étouffée, gumbo, and jambalaya all start from this base.

What are three common foods found in Creole cuisine? ›

The traditional dishes of the Creole people: red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo, and creole sauce dishes are still prepared and recipes perfected in the home.

What is the difference between Creole and Cajun food? ›

Cajun and Creole food are both native to Louisiana and can be found in restaurants throughout New Orleans. One of the simplest differences between the two cuisine types is that Creole food typically uses tomatoes and tomato-based sauces while traditional Cajun food does not.

What is difference between Creole and Cajun? ›

For Cajuns were—and are—a subset of Louisiana Creoles. Today, common understanding holds that Cajuns are white and Creoles are Black or mixed race; Creoles are from New Orleans, while Cajuns populate the rural parts of South Louisiana.

What do the Portuguese eat with piri piri chicken? ›

The chicken is normally served with a simple salad along with either rice or chips (fries) or both: in the north of Portugal, rice is much more common, whereas in the Algarve and South of Portugal, chips are the side of choice.

What is the difference between Peri and Piri? ›

Piri-piri, peri-peri or peli-peli is the name used in Portuguese and a number of African languages to describe the African bird's-eye chili. The variations in spelling derive from the various pronunciations of the word in parts of Africa, although 'piri-piri' is the correct spelling in Portuguese.

Is peri peri chicken African or Portuguese? ›

While Peri-Peri is a South African staple it's the Mozambique Portuguese who introduced it into the country and if you're visiting South Africa and want the best Peri-Peri experience it's the Portuguese restaurants to look for. Growing up in South Africa Johannesburg was the mecca for Peri-Peri chicken and prawns.


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