The Most Popular Cajun Dish: Exploring the Cajun Culinary Delights

Choose the dish you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 7, 2024 06:54
Embark on a flavorful journey through the vibrant world of Cajun cuisine with StrawPoll's latest ranking - "What is the most popular Cajun dish?". Thousands of food enthusiasts have already cast their votes, and now it's your turn to weigh in on this tantalizing debate. Will Jambalaya reign supreme, or will Gumbo steal the spotlight? Perhaps Étouffée or Crawfish Boil will set your taste buds afire. Every vote counts, so don't miss your chance to be a part of this gastronomic showdown. And if you think we missed a dish that's worthy of being crowned the ultimate Cajun delight, feel free to suggest it and watch as the rankings evolve. Dive into this spicy culinary adventure and savor the mouthwatering marvels of the most popular Cajun dishes, only on StrawPoll!

What Is the Most Popular Cajun Dish?

  1. 1
    Jambalaya is a dish made with rice, meat (usually sausage and/or chicken), and vegetables, flavored with traditional Cajun spices like cayenne pepper and paprika. It is a staple in Louisiana cuisine and often served at gatherings and events.
    Jambalaya is a flavorful rice dish that originated in Louisiana, United States. It is a fusion of Spanish and French culinary influences with West African and Caribbean flavors. Jambalaya is known for its rich and complex taste, combining a variety of proteins, vegetables, and spices with rice.
    • Key Ingredients: Rice, proteins (usually chicken, sausage, and/or shrimp), vegetables (often onions, bell peppers, and celery), and spices (such as garlic, paprika, thyme, and cayenne pepper)
    • Cooking Method: Jambalaya is typically cooked in one pot, where the proteins and vegetables are sautéed, then the rice and liquid (like broth or tomatoes) are added and cooked until all the flavors meld together.
    • Flavor Profile: Jambalaya is known for its bold and robust flavors. It can be mildly spicy or very spicy, depending on the amount of cayenne pepper or other chili spices used.
    • Variations: There are different variations of jambalaya, including Creole jambalaya (red jambalaya) which includes tomatoes, and Cajun jambalaya (brown jambalaya) which omits tomatoes. Additionally, there are vegetarian and seafood versions available.
    • Cultural Significance: Jambalaya is an iconic dish in the cuisine of Louisiana and is often associated with celebrations, festivals, and gatherings, particularly during Mardi Gras season.
  2. 2
    Gumbo is a stew made with a roux (a mixture of flour and fat), meat or seafood, and vegetables like okra and bell peppers. Gumbo is a classic Cajun dish that is often served with rice.
    Gumbo is a traditional Louisiana soup known for its rich and complex flavors. It is a hearty dish that typically combines a variety of ingredients and spices, resulting in a thick and flavorful stew-like soup.
    • Main Ingredients: Gumbo typically includes a combination of ingredients such as meat (such as chicken, sausage, and seafood), vegetables (such as onions, bell peppers, and celery), and a thickening agent (such as roux or okra).
    • Flavor Base: Gumbo is known for its flavorful base, which often consists of a trinity of vegetables (onions, bell peppers, and celery) sautéed in fat.
    • Spices: Gumbo utilizes a wide array of spices and herbs, including but not limited to paprika, cayenne pepper, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves.
    • Thickeners: Gumbo can be thickened with either roux (a mixture of fat and flour) or okra, which imparts a distinct texture and flavor to the soup.
    • Seafood Variation: Seafood Gumbo is a popular variation that includes a medley of seafood such as shrimp, crab, and sometimes oysters.
  3. 3
    Crawfish étouffée is a dish made with crawfish (or sometimes shrimp), vegetables, and a roux-based sauce. It is typically served over rice and is a popular choice during crawfish season.
    Crawfish étouffée is a popular Cajun dish that originated in Louisiana. It is a thick and flavorful stew made with crawfish tails that are smothered in a rich and savory sauce. The sauce is typically made with a roux, onions, bell peppers, and celery, which are sautéed until soft and then simmered with crawfish tails, spices, and herbs. The dish is usually served over a bed of steamed white rice, and it has a slightly spicy and tangy taste that is characteristic of Cajun cuisine.
    • Main ingredient: Crawfish tails
    • Sauce base: Roux, onions, bell peppers, and celery
    • Flavor profile: Spicy and tangy
    • Serving style: Over steamed white rice
    • Regional cuisine: Cajun
  4. 4
    Red beans and rice is a traditional Monday meal in Louisiana made with red beans, rice, and typically some kind of smoked meat, like sausage or ham hocks.
    Red beans and rice is a classic Cajun dish that is renowned for its hearty and flavorful combination of red beans, rice, and a combination of spices and seasonings. It is a staple in Cajun and Creole cuisine and has become a beloved comfort food across the United States.
    • Main Ingredients: Red beans, rice, sausage (such as Andouille), vegetables (onions, celery, bell peppers), Cajun spices
    • Preparation Time: 8 hours (soaking the beans) + 2 hours (cooking time)
    • Serving Temperature: Hot
    • Serving Size: Varies, typically 1 cup of cooked rice topped with 1 cup of beans
    • Spiciness: Moderate, can be adjusted according to personal preference
  5. 5
    Boudin is a type of sausage made with pork, rice, and Cajun spices. It can be served on its own or used as an ingredient in other dishes.
    Boudin is a popular Cajun dish that is made from a mixture of cooked rice, pork meat, pork liver, onions, and various seasonings. The mixture is traditionally stuffed into a sausage casing, but it can also be formed into patties. Boudin is then typically boiled or grilled until cooked through. It is often served as a main dish or used as a filling for sandwiches.
    • Ingredients: Cooked rice, pork meat, pork liver, onions, seasonings
    • Cooking Method: Boiled or grilled
    • Serving Style: Main dish or sandwich filling
    • Texture: Moist and tender
    • Flavor Profile: Savory, slightly spicy
  6. 6
    Po'boys is a sandwich made with fried seafood, like shrimp or oysters, or roast beef. It is typically served on a French roll and dressed with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.
    The Po'boy is a classic Cajun dish that originated in Louisiana, United States. It is a traditional sandwich made with French bread and filled with a variety of ingredients, typically seafood or roast beef. The sandwich is known for its generous portions and rich flavors, making it a favorite among locals and tourists alike.
    • Bread: French bread
    • Fillings: Seafood or roast beef
    • Size: Generously portioned
    • Flavors: Rich and savory
    • Condiments: Mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, pickles
  7. 7
    Andouille sausage is a smoked sausage made with pork, garlic, and spices. It is a key ingredient in dishes like jambalaya and gumbo.
    Andouille sausage is a spicy, smoked pork sausage that is a staple in Cajun cuisine. It is known for its bold, smoky flavor and firm, coarse texture. The sausage is made from coarsely ground pork butt, mixed with a blend of herbs, spices, and garlic. It is then smoked over pecan wood to infuse it with a distinct smoky taste.
    • Ingredients: Pork butt, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, paprika, thyme, onion, cayenne pepper
    • Preparation: Coarsely ground pork butt is mixed with spices, herbs, and garlic. The mixture is then stuffed into natural casings and smoked over pecan wood or other hardwoods.
    • Flavor: Bold, smoky, and spicy
    • Texture: Firm and coarse
    • Cooking methods: Andouille sausage can be grilled, pan-fried, boiled, or used in various Cajun dishes.
    Andouille sausage in other rankings
  8. 8
    Beignets is a type of fried dough that is typically served as a dessert or breakfast item. They are often dusted with powdered sugar and served with coffee.
    Beignets are a popular Cajun dish that originated in New Orleans, Louisiana. These deep-fried doughnuts are made from a yeast-based dough that is traditionally flavored with hints of vanilla and dusted with powdered sugar. Beignets are typically square in shape and have a light and fluffy texture on the inside, while being crispy on the outside. They are often served hot and fresh, and are enjoyed as a breakfast pastry, dessert, or even a snack. These delicious treats have become synonymous with the vibrant and diverse culinary culture of New Orleans.
    • Ingredients: Yeast-based dough, flour, water, sugar, salt, vanilla extract
    • Shape: Square
    • Texture: Light and fluffy on the inside, crispy on the outside
    • Preparation: Dough is mixed, kneaded, left to rise, rolled out, cut into squares, and deep-fried
    • Serving Style: Hot and fresh, dusted with powdered sugar
  9. 9
    Fried catfish is a popular seafood dish that is typically coated in cornmeal and fried until crispy. It is often served with hushpuppies and coleslaw.
    Fried catfish is a popular Cajun dish known for its crispy breaded exterior and tender, flaky interior. It features catfish fillets that are coated in a seasoned cornmeal or flour mixture and then deep-fried to perfection.
    • Type of Fish: Catfish
    • Coating: Seasoned cornmeal or flour mixture
    • Cooking Method: Deep-fried
    • Texture: Crispy exterior, tender and flaky interior
    • Flavor: Savory with subtle Cajun spices
    Fried catfish in other rankings
  10. 10
    Pecan pie is a classic Southern dessert that is made with pecans, corn syrup, and eggs. It is a popular choice during the holiday season.
    Pecan pie is a rich and irresistible pastry that combines a sweet and gooey filling with a flaky crust and crunchy pecans. The filling is made with a mixture of eggs, sugar, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla extract, which creates a caramel-like consistency when baked. The pie is generously topped with an arrangement of pecan halves, adding a nutty flavor and a pleasing texture. When baked to perfection, the pie is golden brown on the outside and has a soft yet firm filling. Pecan pie is often enjoyed during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    • Crust: Flaky and buttery
    • Filling: Sweet, gooey, and caramel-like
    • Main ingredient: Pecans
    • Texture: Smooth filling with crunchy pecans
    • Flavor: Sweet, nutty, and slightly caramelized
    Pecan pie in other rankings

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Ranking factors for popular dish

  1. Authenticity
    The dish should be representative of traditional Cajun cuisine, with the right flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques. Authenticity is important because it's the essence of what makes a dish truly Cajun.
  2. Popularity
    The frequency and reach of the dish in Cajun communities, as well as its appeal to a wider audience, should be considered. A popular dish should be enjoyed and talked about by locals and tourists alike.
  3. Cultural significance
    Certain dishes in a cuisine hold historical or cultural significance. Identify if the dish represents an important aspect of Cajun culture and has a story or tradition associated with it.
  4. Taste and flavor
    The dish should have a distinctive and delicious taste, with the proper balance of spices, ingredients, and flavors that make Cajun cuisine so unique and enjoyable.
  5. Versatility
    A dish that can be served in various ways or adapted to different tastes is likely to be popular among a wide range of people. A versatile dish should have variations and possible substitutions while maintaining its core flavors and characteristics.
  6. Level of complexity
    While some culinary enthusiasts appreciate the challenge of a complex dish, it's often more popular dishes that are accessible and easy to prepare. A dish that is simple to make yet still has a depth of flavor will likely be a popular choice.
  7. Presentation and visual appeal
    The dish should be visually appealing and well-presented, as we often eat with our eyes first. The colors, textures, and overall presentation of the dish can influence its popularity.
  8. Adaptability to dietary preferences
    A dish that caters to various dietary needs and preferences (e.g., vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.) can make it more popular among a wider group of people.
  9. Tradition and heritage
    A popular Cajun dish should be connected to the history and heritage of the cuisine, carrying forward traditions and flavors that have been passed down through generations.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular Cajun dish. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Dish is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 200 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Movers & Shakers

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Dish once every 24 hours. The rank of each Dish is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular cajun dish

Cajun cuisine is a unique blend of French, African, and Native American influences that has been developed over centuries in the Southern United States, particularly in Louisiana. Known for its bold and spicy flavors, Cajun cuisine has become a beloved part of American food culture. With a diverse range of dishes, from gumbo and jambalaya to crawfish étouffée and red beans and rice, the cuisine is both hearty and flavorful. But when it comes to determining the most popular Cajun dish, opinions vary. At StrawPoll, we've gathered thousands of responses from food enthusiasts to get a better idea of what Cajun dish reigns supreme.

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