Cajun Chicken Salad

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad, with chicken marinated in olive oil, Cajun seasoning, salt and juice of lime. Instructions for oven, grill, and instant pot. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie

Summertime!!  Like many of you, summer is my family’s favorite season!  It means more road-trips, hiking, picnics and a ton of fresh, delicious and colorful salads.  My husband and I have a salad for lunch almost everyday. Since we both prefer chicken as our protein, we get creative with seasonings, mix-ins and salad dressings to avoid monotony.  Cajun Chicken Salad is one of our most loved salad.

Cajun Chicken Salad:

I start with grilling Cajun spice rubbed chicken, to toast those earthy spices. I use a cabbage spring mix for this salad, which provides a nice cool contrast to the Cajun seasoning. But, you can use any lettuce mix you like. I add toasted almond chips, which provide a nice crunch, and strawberries, which compliment and balance this salad with their sweetness. The chicken is so moist and flavorful that I don’t even use a salad dressing most of the time. But when I do, I like to have an Apple Cider-Honey Mustard Vinaigrette with it. This salad is perfect for any weather really, and the best part is, it’s Low-carb

Mediterranean-Rub-Chicken- Instant Pot or grilled. Perfect for lunches and salads by Spice Cravings

Cajun Spice Blend:

Cajun Cuisine, which is best known for it’s spicy and earthy flavor tones, is a regional cuisine from the southern part of Louisiana. The first time I had Cajun chicken was in New Orleans, the real deal. I fell in love immediately. It was more than a decade ago, when my husband was attending a conference in New Orleans, and I tagged along. I visited the flea market at the famous French market, where I bought my first Cajun Spice blend. I was so eager to try it, that the first thing I did when we returned home was to grill some chicken and shrimp using this spice blend. It was UNBELIEVABLY good. Based on the ingredients on that spice pack, I started putting together my own blend.

The spice mix that I put together, tasted authentic and most of all, I was able to adjust the heat level in the mix. When I make a new batch, I store it in an air-tight container, and keep it in my spice drawer, away from heat and light.

When I make it from scratch, here’s what I use:

Cajun Chicken SaladAnd, for days when I need short-cuts, here is a brand of Cajun Spice Blend that I really like: Frontier Organic Cajun Seasoning 

It’s got the perfect balance of spices and heat for my family’s taste. It’s salt free, which I love, because I can customize it. I use 1 tablespoon of seasoning per pound of chicken. For fish and seafood, I would reduce that to 2 teaspoons per pound of meat.

Wet-Rub for the Chicken:

I make a quick and easy wet-rub for the chicken by combining olive oil, Cajun seasoning, salt and juice of lime. Rub the chicken and if I have time, I pop it in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. If I am running short on time, I put it in the refrigerator while I prepare the salad and the dressing. That still gives it time to absorb the spice blend.

Mediterranean-Rub-Chicken- Instant Pot or grilled. Perfect for lunches and salads by Spice Cravings

Cook it anyway you like: Oven, Skillet, Grill, Instant Pot

This Cajun chicken can be cooked in many ways;  in the Oven, on an Outdoor grill, on the stove-top in a Skillet, or, in the Instant Pot, the electric pressure cooker. If you scroll down, the Instructions for each method are mentioned in the Recipe/Instruction card.

Mediterranean-Rub-Chicken- Instant Pot or grilled. Perfect for lunches and salads by Spice Cravings

Customize it:

This salad is like a blank canvas! You can change the base of this salad to pretty much anything you like. Use your favorite kind of spring-mix. Add sliced peppers, granny smith apples, blueberries or cucumbers. Don’t like salads, no problem! Make a burger out of it! Melt some pepper jack cheese on the chicken, sandwich it between two toasted buns with mayo and honey-dijon, and enjoy a Grilled Cajun Chicken Burger!

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Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad, with chicken marinated in olive oil, Cajun seasoning, salt and juice of lime. Instructions for oven, grill, and instant pot. By Spice Cravings. #cooking #food #recipe #recipes #foodphotography #foodblogger #yummy #delicious #foodie
Cajun Chicken Salad
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

Cajun Chicken Salad is perfect, low-carb meal for any weather.  The crunchy almond chips and strawberries compliment the grilled cajun chicken perfectly.   A simple, but rich blend of spices enhances the grilled chicken in this recipe.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cajun Chicken
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 289 kcal
Author: Spice Cravings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast (can use thighs too)
Wet-Rub:
Salad (this is one bowl/single serving, multiply as needed)
  • 2 cups lettuce of your choice (I use a cabbage slaw salad mix)
  • 1-2 small radish sliced thin (optional)
  • 4 strawberries sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp toasted sliced almonds
Salad Dressing: Apple-Cider Honey-Mustard Vinaigrette (makes enough for 2 salads, you can store in refrigerator for up to a week)
Instructions
Wet Rub
  1. In a large ziplock bag, or a mixing bowl, combine olive oil, salt, lime juice and Cajun Seasoning.  Add chicken to the bag, zip it, and shake to coat the chicken with the wet-rub.  Refrigerate it for 20 mins-4 hours

Oven Broiler Method
  1. Turn on the broiler.  Place chicken on a lined baking sheet and cook for 6-8 minutes on 'each' side, flipping half way through, or till chicken is cooked through.  Rest 10 minutes before serving.

Instant Pot
  1. Pour 1 cup water in the inner pot.  Place a trivet.  Stack the seasoned chicken on the trivet.  Close the lid.   Set vent to "Sealing" position.  Pressure cook on Manual (or Pressure Cook) for 8 minutes for Chicken Breast, and 6 mins for Chicken Thighs.   Wait for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure manually (NPR10), and open the lid after the pin drops.    Remove chicken and rest 5 minutes before slicing.

  2. As an optional step before slicing the chicken, you can heat a skillet and sear the chicken on both sides for a minute, to add a grilled flavor to this chicken.  You can do the same by placing it under the broiler too.

Grill Pan, Skillet or Outdoor Grill
  1. Heat the grill-pan on medium-high heat. When hot, place chicken and cook for 6-8 minutes on 'each' side, flipping half way through, or till chicken is cooked through. Rest 10 minutes before serving. When using an outdoor grill, place the chicken on a medium-high heat zone and follow the same time as the grill pan. 

Assemble the Salad
  1. Combine all the ingredients for salad in a large bowl. Using a mason jar, or a small mixing bowl, combine and whisk together all ingredients listed under "Salad Dressing". Mix well to combine the dressing well. Pour over the salad mix and toss gently. Slice up the chicken and serve on top of the salad. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.

 

Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition Facts
Cajun Chicken Salad
Amount Per Serving (1 lb)
Calories 289 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 872mg 36%
Potassium 545mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 1g
Protein 25g 50%
Vitamin A 21%
Vitamin C 12.8%
Calcium 2.3%
Iron 6.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Mediterranean-Rub-Chicken- Instant Pot or grilled. Perfect for lunches and salads by Spice Cravings

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