Appetizers

28 Easy & Authentic Cajun Appetizers

Serve up the taste of Louisiana in bite-sized starters.

Claire Onidi By
Claire Onidi
Passionate about food and pastries since always, Claire spends most of her time in the kitchen to develop new recipes. She is French but lived many years abroad.
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Updated May 13, 2022

With these easy Cajun appetizers, you can bring a delicious slice of Louisiana culture into your kitchen.

On this list, you have lots of southern appetizers to choose from. This includes classics like chicken dip and crab cakes.

Plus, you can put Cajun seasoning on just about anything, and it will taste delicious. So, start experimenting.

Easy & Authentic Cajun Appetizers

With these 28 Cajun recipes, you can serve up delicious appetizers and starters with no fuss and lots of flavor.

01. Louisiana Shrimp Dip

Do you smell of the rich, flavorful shrimp dip right out of the oven?

The seasoning and lemon juice in this recipe complement the silky mix of cream cheese, sour cream, mozzarella, and parmesan. So make sure you add enough — there’s no shame in tasting as you go.

And it’s the perfect sharing appetizer for a family dinner or a movie night with your friends. So don’t forget the chips.

02. Crab Dip

Mix north and south in this spicy Cajun dip made with Alaskan crab.

Similar to the shrimp dish above, this is a creamy dip spiced with Cajun seasoning and baked until golden brown and bubbly.

It’s also excellent on crackers, French bread, or even celery sticks. So spread on a thick layer and enjoy.

03. Boudin Balls

These boudin balls will take you right down to New Orleans. When you spike the crispy, salty sausage balls with extra Cajun spices, your taste buds are sure to ask for more.

You can make these in a deep fryer if you have one, or just in a pan on the stove. But make sure that the oil gets hot enough before you add the sausage balls, and don’t crowd the pan.

04. Shrimp Toast

Garlic shrimp is the crowning glory of these little Cajun appetizers. Then the cheesy topping melts in your mouth, and the toasts add the perfect crunch.

You can also add a dash of your favorite hot sauce on top if you want some extra heat.

And these make the perfect appetizer for game day. But make sure to prepare enough because they’ll go fast.

05. Cajun Chicken

Don’t forget this southern classic.

Spiced chicken is one of the most popular Cajun dishes and with good reason. Tender chicken rubbed with spicy Cajun seasoning is a healthy, satisfying dish.

It’s also an extremely versatile recipe because you can bake, grill, or fry the meat. You can even make sandwiches or add it to salads.

Plus, you can serve small pieces or skewers as an appetizer, or larger pieces as a main course.

06. Sausage Bites

Do you need exceptionally easy and delicious finger food for your Mardi Gras party?

For these Andouille sausage bites, you just wrap the meat in crescent roll dough and bake. Then dunk the bites in the creamy dip.

This recipe tastes great with Andouille sausages. But if you can’t find them, you could also swap them out for smokies or your favorite variety.

And if you’re serving vegetarians, you could even use soy- or wheat-based sausage.

07. Cauliflower Poppers

These cauliflower poppers are both healthy and addictive. So you can’t stop popping them in your mouth.

The different Cajun spices also make this vegetable appetizer exciting.

Plus, you can dip them in your favorite sauce.

They’re great with creamy ones like ranch to balance the heat. But honey mustard and buffalo sauce also pair well.

Just make sure the cauliflower is completely dry before you add oil and spices. Otherwise, it won’t crisp.

08. Avocado Cucumber Shrimp Appetizers

You can be cool as a cucumber with these bite-sized appetizers.

They’re perfect for a backyard get-together or an elegant dinner. With a few simple ingredients, you can bring all the flavors of Louisiana to your party table.

This recipe also gives you a few cooking tips on how to get juicy shrimp, so make sure you read the notes. And try to serve them immediately so the avocado doesn’t go brown.

09. Roasted Chickpeas

This chickpea snack is a vegetarian’s answer to all of the seafood Cajun appetizers above. In other words, you get all the southern flavors without the animals.

By coating the chickpeas in oil and spices and roasting them in the oven, you get a crunchy, spicy snack that will bring you right down to New Orleans.

They’re very addictive, so double the recipe and you won’t run out.

10. Hush Puppies

These hush puppies are easy-to-make Cajun comfort food. Just using pantry staples, you’ll create little balls of heaven.

If you like to experiment in the kitchen, you could add diced bell peppers, corn kernels, or bacon bits. Or you could throw in chopped jalapenos for a little heat.

If you can’t find buttermilk, you can mix a teaspoon of white vinegar into a cup of milk and let it sit for 5 minutes.

11. Etouffee Nachos

This appetizer takes a classic Cajun dish and turns it on its head. Or, more accurately, dumps it over nachos.

Shrimp, sausage, crawfish, and okra make these nachos one of the best Cajun appetizers for a party. But these nachos are also filling enough for a main course.

This is one of those recipes that you can play with by adding your favorite toppings, such as sliced jalapenos or chopped onions. Have fun experimenting.

12. Deviled Eggs

If you thought deviled eggs were too bland and old-fashioned, think again.

The dijon mustard, hot sauce, Cajun seasoning, and cayenne pepper really give these eggs a kick. But you can always adjust the spices to your preferred heat level.

These deviled eggs only last for about a day in the refrigerator. But don’t worry because you won’t have a problem finishing them all.

13. Cajun Nuts

These cajun nuts are the perfect late afternoon pick-me-up or snack to go with your beer. They will give you the jolt of salt and spice you’re looking for.

And if you don’t have bacon grease (or are a vegetarian), you can just substitute vegetable oil. But the nuts won’t taste quite as rich.

Also, make sure you check and stir the nuts every 15 minutes as they cook so they don’t burn.

14. Crawfish Boulettes

These little seafood patties are a delicious, spicy alternative to northern fritters with crab. The seasoning and chopped veggies really bring the crispy patties alive.

If you make these boulettes a little bigger, you can serve them as main dishes at a dinner party. And if you don’t have Japanese panko, regular breadcrumbs will work in a pinch.

Don’t forget to dip them in the dill sour cream.

15. Cajun Crab Cakes

If you are in the mood for crab instead of crawfish, why not spice up your cakes southern-style? These Cajun appetizers will be a surefire hit with all the herbs and seasonings.

Also, using fresh seafood will improve the flavor of these cakes, but canned will still taste great.

And if you want to have some fun in the kitchen, you could make the patties into hearts or another unique shape before you fry them.

16. Baked Blooming Onion

Something is flowering in the kitchen: it’s a baked blooming onion. This baked blooming onion tastes as good as the restaurant appetizer but has much less fat.

A couple of these on the table make great Cajun appetizers for a themed party or Superbowl Sunday.

Cutting the onion is the hardest part, but don’t worry. The recipe shows you exactly how to do it.

17. Muffuletta Sandwich

Stack these sandwiches high with southern goodness. The provolone cheese, cured meats, and pickled vegetables make a succulent sandwich.

Pick your favorite fillings or have your guests build their own sandwiches. And you can make these sandwiches small for Cajun appetizers at a backyard picnic, or full-sized for a filling lunch.

If you want to make a vegetarian version, you could substitute soy deli slices or grilled vegetables for the meat.

18. Tomato and Pesto Appetizer

With just 5 ingredients, you can make super elegant party appetizers in about an hour. These cups are bites of pesto and flaky pastry bliss.

If it’s the right season, use local tomatoes from a farmer’s market. They’ll make this dish taste even better.

Or you can use diced cherry tomatoes for an even sweeter version.

And if your tomatoes are a little too sour or acidic, add a bit of white or brown sugar.

19. Catfish Wontons with Andouille Sausage

Seafood and sausage are a classic combination for Cajun appetizers — and with good reason. These little parcels wrap big flavor in tiny bites.

The trick of using Chinese egg roll wrappers speeds up this recipe.

And you can play with the flavoring if you want the wontons a little spicy. Just add some red pepper flakes.

Plus you can throw together the tangy sauce with ingredients from your pantry.

20. Cajun Caviar Dip

Nope, it’s not fish eggs. This caviar is a delicious southern dip made of beans and veggies.

Bottled dressing makes this dish super speedy. But if you prefer 100% homemade, you can use your favorite Italian dressing recipe.

You could also add chopped shrimp or other seafood for a heartier dip.

The author suggests pairing this with corn chips — yum. Also, this salad would make a great lunch served over spring greens.

21. French Quarter Praline Cheese Ball

Head down to the French Quarter of NOLA with this creamy praline cheese ball. Just season up some cream cheese, shape it, and roll it in spiced nuts.

If you don’t like rushing, you can make this a couple of days ahead of time. But take it out of the refrigerator an hour before you want to eat it.

This is a wonderful addition to a cheese plate or a buffet of other Cajun appetizers.

22. Watermelon, Andouille, and Creole Cream Cheese Bites

Sweet and salty are a match made in heaven with these little bites. Add a little spice from the sausage, and you’ll be gobbling up the whole plate.

These are perfect summer appetizers because in-season melon will be very sweet.

Also, this recipe uses Creole cream cheese, which might be hard to find. If you can’t locate this cream cheese, use a 1:1 mix of Greek yogurt and ricotta cheese.

23. Jambalaya Cajun Kebabs

Who knew jambalaya could be finger food? These kebabs are chock full of veggies and meat, but you don’t need a fork or spoon.

This dish calls for lots of spices. But if you don’t have a fully stocked pantry, you can use bottled Cajun seasoning.

If smoking is your cooking style, you should definitely try out these skewers. But you can also easily make them on the grill if you don’t have a smoker.

24. Cajun Cauliflower Bites

If you’re a vegetarian or gluten-free, make your vote count. These little cauliflower bites are chock-full of Cajun flavor, but there’s no meat or wheat.

The author suggests dipping these in yogurt, but any creamy dip would be delicious. You could try ranch or blue cheese for a different spin.

Also, make sure the cauliflower is really dry before you add the seasonings and oil. Otherwise, it won’t crisp in the oven.

25. Jambalaya Fritters with Rémoulade Sauce

Crispy and golden, this fritter appetizer is one of those recipes that no one can resist.

Jambalaya mix makes the seasoning easy, but make sure to add the fresh herbs too. Those add a bit of brightness to the rich sausage balls.

And don’t skip the remoulade either. The sauce is creamy, tangy, and spicy, all in one.

26. Cajun Shrimp and Corn Cakes Aside

Three types of corn share center stage with shrimp in this tasty dish. In addition to kernels of regular corn, creamed corn keeps the cakes moist, and cornmeal gives them a nice crunchy texture.

To save prep time, pulse the shrimp in the food processor. That way you don’t need to chop them.

You can top these shrimp fritters with aioli or remoulade, but they would also be great with red pepper jelly.

27. Baked Cajun Chicken Nuggets

For a kid-friendly dish, why not try Cajun chicken nuggets? Adults will love them too.

Since the chicken is baked, not fried, it’s healthy as well as tasty. Plus, it only takes 35 minutes from start to finish.

As well, these are great appetizers or party snacks for game day because you can serve them with a variety of dips. Try blue cheese, remoulade, or honey mustard sauces to find your favorite.

28. Cajun Crawfisg Egg Rolls

It’s fun to mix recipes from different cultures. Here the different flavors of Louisiana get stuffed into Chinese egg rolls.

The crawfish and seasoning bring salt and spice. And the heavy cream and cheese make them very rich.

You can also bake these egg rolls. That makes them healthier, but they won’t be as crispy.

Don’t forget to dunk them in your favorite sauce. Try them with remoulade.

28 Easy & Authentic Cajun Appetizers

Directions


  1. Pick your favorite recipe from the list.

  2. Add some Cajun spices.

  3. Have fun snacking.

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