A bold seasoning such as Cajun is such a great way to turn bland chicken into a delightfully flavorful dish that everyone enjoys.
In this easy 40-minute recipe, chicken breast is coated in a tasty rub, then baked in a hot oven until perfectly juicy.
I have several more excellent recipes in my arsenal, and this Cajun chicken is definitely one of them. It's delicious, VERY easy to make, and even the leftovers are great - I like them in a salad.
You'll only need a few simple ingredients to make this tasty chicken recipe. The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of what you'll need:
Avocado oil spray: This oil has a neutral flavor and a high smoke point, making it an ideal cooking oil.
Chicken breasts: Try to find ones that aren't too big - 8 oz per piece is perfect. Cooking bigger ones in a hot oven is a bit more challenging, although it can be done.
Cajun seasoning: Homemade or store-bought. If using store-bought, check the ingredients list to make sure no sugar was added.
Making Cajun chicken is easy! The detailed instructions are listed in the recipe card below. Here are the basic steps:
You start by coating the chicken breast with a spicy dry rub that you can quickly mix. Or use store-bought Cajun seasoning if you prefer.
Then, spray the seasoned chicken with some oil. This is important - it doesn't just protect the chicken from drying out in the oven, it also protects the herbs from burning.
Lastly, bake the chicken in a 450F-degree oven until it's is perfectly done browned on the outside and cooked through on the inside.
In this recipe, I use the same baking technique that I always use when baking chicken breasts. Baking them at a high temperature for a short time is the best way to keep the chicken from drying out.
Baking in a hot oven for a relatively short time ensures juicy chicken. But if your chicken breasts are bigger than 8 oz each, you'll need to bake them for longer - as long as 30 minutes instead of 20 minutes.
If that is the case, loosely cover them with foil after the first 20 minutes. This will prevent the tops from scorching in the hot oven. The spices we use here are delicious, but they can burn if we're not careful.
Frequently asked questions
It's a seasoning blend that originated in Louisiana. There are several variations, but many of these blends include garlic and onion powders, paprika, thyme, oregano, and cayenne pepper.
How spicy you make it is completely up to you. I use ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper for two chicken breasts. This is actually not very spicy (at least not to my palate). If you like heat, you can certainly use ¼ teaspoon cayenne.
There's no need for that. One of the things I love about this recipe is how easy and quick it is. Rub the chicken with the spice blend, bake, and serve! Simple.
This is such a versatile main dish, you can serve it with anything. But since I bake it in a 450°F oven, I often serve this dish with a side that I can cook in the same oven, such as:
You can keep the leftovers in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. Gently reheat them, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
The advantage of enjoying the leftovers cold is that you don't run the risk of drying the chicken out when you reheat it.
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Easy Oven-Baked Cajun Chicken
- Avocado oil spray
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (8 oz each)
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a square 8-inch baking dish with oil. Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board.
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the Cajun seasoning ingredients.
- Rub the seasoning into the chicken breasts on both sides.
- Place the coated chicken pieces in the greased baking dish. Spray their tops with oil. Be generous with the oil - it protects the chicken from drying out and it also protects the herbs from burning in the hot oven.
- Bake until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 20 minutes.
- Place the chicken on a plate, cover it loosely with foil and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.