Cajun Chicken Recipe that can be baked, grilled or pan fried. Lean chicken breast coated in easy homemade cajun seasoning for a healthy dinner with a lot of flavor.
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It can be baked, pan fried, grilled or use the seasoning on your air fryer chicken breast!
This cajun chicken recipe with the best seasoning gives you a crispy browned crust on the outside and a tender juicy inside. Spices like oregano, thyme, paprika, and garlic powder, and a bit of added heat from the cayenne and red pepper flakes, make this a spice so flavorful that even your kids will love this chicken!
Homemade Cajun Spice Mix
Anytime you’re making a homemade spice rub you’re avoiding all of the added sodium, preservatives, and junky additives you find in a store-bought package. It’s also way cheaper to make it at home which is always a bonus.
But if short on time, you can buy this cajun seasoning that is made with natural ingredients and is low in sodium.
Ingredients for Cajun Chicken Recipe
To make this cajun chicken, you will need just a few simple ingredients that I guarantee are in your pantry right now.
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs.
- Oil: I use avocado oil for high heat cooking. You can substitute olive oil, if that’s what you like.
- Cajun seasoning: Paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, onion powder, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, salt.
How to Make Cajun Chicken
Here is a quick overview how to make cajun chicken. You can pan fry, bake or grill it. I’m going over the stove top method with photos right down below. Other methods are in details as well and full recipe card is located further down.
Prep: Cut chicken breasts lengthwise into thinner cutlets and place in a large bowl. This step helps to avoid pounding the chicken.
In a small bowl, add paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, and red pepper flakes; stir to combine.
Season the chicken: Sprinkle 1 1/2 tablespoons of the prepared Cajun seasoning mix onto the chicken. Use tongs to toss the chicken around making sure all of the chicken pieces are coated.
If you are going to grill or bake cajun chicken, also add oil to the bowl transforming it into a chicken marinade.
To pan fry cajun chicken: Preheat a large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until white edges appear, turn and cook for another 4-5 minutes. It’s a thinner chicken breast, so you don’t want to overcook it.
To bake the chicken: Preheat the oven and arrange the chicken in a single layer in a large baking dish. Remove chicken from the oven, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes. See baked chicken breast for a video tutorial.
To grill the chicken: Preheat grill on medium-high heat (450-500 degrees F), place chicken on the grill, close the lid, and grill for 8-10 minutes turning once. Do not overcook. Remove from the grill, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes. See grilled chicken breast recipe for a video tutorial.
Tips for Best Results
- Adjust the heat: If you find this cajun chicken recipe a bit too spicy, use less of the red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper next time. Use more if you want it spicier!
- Different meat: This cajun spice rub can be used for all kinds of protein like steak, grilled shrimp skewers and baked cod. You may also use boneless skinless chicken thighs and cook for same time. Bone-in chicken like chicken drumsticks or chicken thighs will need a bit longer cook time.
- Air fryer: Along with baking, grilling, and pan-frying, others have enjoyed making the air fryer chicken with cajun seasoning.
- Don’t skip the oil: The oil helps the spice rub coat the chicken and permeate the meat. It also helps with non-sticking when grilling and baking.
- Pound to even thickness: When you cut the breast in half, you may not always get pieces that have an even thickness. If this is the case, you can pound the thicker parts down to get it even. This makes for consistent cooking.
What to Serve Cajun Chicken with?
How to Store and Reheat
Store: Store cajun chicken leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freeze: If you’ve made lots and have chicken cutlets leftovers you can freeze them for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
Reheat: These chicken breasts are pretty thin, so reheating too many times may result in dry chicken. You can reheat in the same way you prepared them or here is how to reheat chicken breast in air fryer. Either that or keep it cold and use in a sandwich or a salad!
Cajun chicken is based on the techniques of Cajun cuisine. It is a style of cooking brought to Louisiana from Acadia (which is now Nova Scotia) in 18th century. Today we take simple cajun spice mix and coat chicken in it. Nothing authentic, just good taste.
Cajun seasoning has a bold spicy flavor from paprika and cayenne and earthy flavors from dried herbs. It can be mild or spicy depending on how much cayenne pepper you use.
More Chicken Recipes to Try
- BBQ chicken breast
- Lemon pepper chicken
- Garlic butter chicken breast
- Pan seared chicken breast
- Grilled BBQ chicken breast
- Grilled chicken burger
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts 3 large
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- Cut chicken breasts lengthwise into thinner cutlets and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, add paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt and red pepper flakes; stir to combine.
- Sprinkle 1 1/2 tbsp of prepared cajun seasoning in the step above on chicken breasts and using tongs toss to coat. If you are grilling or baking cajun chicken, also add avocado oil to the mix.
- Pan Fried Cajun Chicken: Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add chicken and cook for 5 minutes or until white edges appear, turn and cook for another 4-5 minutes. Transfer onto a plate, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Baked Cajun Chicken: Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, arrange chicken in a single layer in a large baking dish and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Grilled Cajun Chicken: Preheat grill on medium-high heat (450-500 degrees F), place chicken on the grill, close the lid and grill for 8-10 minutes turning once. Do not overcook. Remove from the grill, cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 5 days. Reheat same way you cooked them or best is to eat cold so they don’t dry out.
- Freeze: In an airtight container for up to 3 months.
- Adjust the heat: If you find it a bit too hot and spicy, use less of the red pepper flakes and cayenne. Use more if you want it spicier.