Andouille sausage has become a staple part of Creole and Cajun cuisine, where more spice is traditionally added to enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish.
This version of andouille sausage is very prevalent in the American South, particularly Louisiana, where it even has its own festival.
Typically, andouille sausage offers its consumers a drier, smokier, and spicier flavor compared to most other types of sausages available.
Traditional Cajun cooking incorporates the heavy use of spices such as cayenne pepper and chilies, giving it more kick. However, for some eaters, this may be considered too hot.
So, is Andouille sausage spicy? This article will explore how spicy it really is so that you can decide whether you’d be interested in giving it a go.
Table of Contents
Is Andouille Sausage Hot?
The level of heat associated with andouille sausage is heavily dependent on the spices used when creating the seasoning.
Cajun andouille tends to be more spice-heavy than its European counterpart, typically incorporating hotter spices such as cayenne pepper and chilies.
When buying andouille sausage from a grocery store, it’s most likely that it will be Cajun style, as that’s the preferred option in the U.S.
For this reason, store-bought andouille is more likely to be spicy.
On the other hand, more traditional variations of the recipe from Europe are typically far milder as fewer spices are used to make the seasoning.
Usually, these include salt, pepper, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. From these options, the only ingredient that could be considered slightly hot is the garlic, but even that is overpowered by the smokiness compared to the Cajun version.
How Spicy Is Andouille Sausage?
Due to the smokiness of the sausage, traditional andouille is not overbearing when it comes to the heat. Instead, the spice is mild and lingers at the back of the tongue.
The heat usually comes from the garlic added to the sausage in the European recipe and generally offers a sharper flavor than a spicy one.
On the other hand, with a host of more spices added to the seasoning mix, Cajun andouille sausage generally tends to be a lot hotter.
However, whether it’s considered too spicy all depends on personal preference and your own spice tolerance.
As seen with the traditional European andouille sausage, the smokiness of the sausage tends to balance out the heat from the spice, leaving you with a pleasant flavor in your mouth and a slightly more potent kick.
Is Andouille Sausage Spicier Than Chorizo?
Both Cajun-style andouille sausage and chorizo offer some level of spice when being consumed.
Typically, chorizo tends to be the hotter option between the two, particularly the Mexican variation. This is because high levels of paprika and chili peppers are traditionally used when making it.
However, there are also versions of chorizo that use sweeter paprika and are therefore less spicy – more often seen in Spanish chorizo.
On the other hand, while andouille sausage does offer a certain amount of heat, it’s usually a lot milder on the senses than chorizo.
This is mainly due to the double-smoked nature of andouille sausage, which helps balance out the sausage’s overall flavor. As a result, the final product has more of a spicy kick than an overall attack.
It’s also worth noting that some variations of Cajun-style andouille sausage include extra amounts of chili peppers and cayenne pepper, which enhance the heat significantly.
Essentially, the spice level of the sausage all depends on the type of andouille or chorizo sausage one is eating.
Overall, andouille sausage and chorizo taste entirely different from one another. Nevertheless, some dishes which traditionally use andouille have been known to work just as well with chorizo as a substitute.
This includes traditional spice-heavy Cajun meals such as gumbo and jambalaya.
Is Chicken Andouille Sausage Spicy?
If made in the Cajun-style, chicken andouille sausage is usually more likely to be spice-heavy and hotter in taste.
This is mainly because of the heavy use of spices such as cayenne pepper, paprika, and chilies.
The chicken andouille variation is also made the same as its pork counterpart, and the overall flavor doesn’t differ much.
The levels of spice associated with it are also entirely dictated by the ingredients used in the stuffing.
Garlic is another ingredient that plays a crucial role in some versions of chicken andouille. Often this addition gives the sausage more flavor.
Although it may not be considered spicy compared to the spices used in traditional Cajun-style andouille sausage, it does give the meal a slight kick.
If purchasing chicken andouille from a grocery store, you can double-check the spice content in the ingredients list.
What Are the Spices in Andouille Sausage?
Cajun-style andouille sausage is typically made using salt, garlic, chili powder, black pepper, cayenne pepper, mace, allspice, sage, and bay leaves.
The combination of these spices tends to leave a hotter imprint in a person’s mouth.
If you’re not too big on spice, then the traditional European andouille may be more to your liking.
The main ingredients associated include garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme. The hottest of these is the garlic, which only adds a slight sharpness to the overall flavor.
Ultimately, the level of spice all depends on what type of andouille sausage you eat. Creole and Cajun andouille will usually be hotter than European versions due to spices such as cayenne pepper and chilies.
The original recipe changed when the early settlers first came to America in the late 1600s and early 1700s, and various local spices were incorporated.
If store-bought andouille sausage proves to be too spicy for your palate, then preparing andouille from scratch may be the way to go. That way, you can control the amount of heat that’s added to the dish.