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This Cajun chicken recipe tastes a lot like the Cajun-seasoned dishes I tried in New Orleans and Texas last spring: Tender chicken gets smothered in a luscious creamy Cajun sauce, with a little extra kick from fresh lime and cilantro. It has a rich, velvety, and creamy texture like the sauce in mushroom chicken, but with bold and vibrant flavors like Cajun cod and blackened chicken. For a healthy dinner recipe with some heat, you have to try this!
Why You’ll Love This Cajun Chicken Recipe
- Bold and vibrant Cajun flavors
- Juicy, tender chicken
- Creamy, luscious sauce
- Easy to make
- Perfect for a hearty and flavorful meal
Ingredients & Substitutions
This section explains how to choose the best ingredients for Cajun chicken, what each one does in the recipe, and substitution options. For measurements, see the recipe card below.
- Chicken – I opted for boneless skinless chicken breasts in this Cajun chicken recipe, but boneless skinless chicken thighs would work as well.
- Cajun Seasoning – I used my homemade Cajun seasoning (it takes just 5 minutes!), made with a simple combination of spices: Paprika, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, onion powder, cayenne pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. You can use store-bought Cajun seasoning if you like.
- Olive Oil – Used for searing the chicken. You can also use avocado oil, or any neutral heat-safe oil.
- Butter – Used for sauteing the garlic and adds richness to the sauce. You can just use another tablespoon of olive oil instead if you prefer.
- Garlic – Freshly minced garlic will give you the best flavor, or substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons of jarred minced garlic for convenience.
- Diced Tomatoes – Canned diced tomatoes give the Cajun chicken sauce a tangy and sweet flavor, but you can also use crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce for a smoother consistency, or 1 pound of fresh diced tomatoes for a brighter and more vibrant flavor.
- Chicken Broth – Use reduced-sodium broth, since Cajun seasoning and cream cheese are already salty. You can also use bone broth for extra flavor and nutrition or make your own homemade chicken broth.
- Heavy Cream – Adds richness and creaminess to the Cajun chicken recipe. If you need a dairy-free option, use full-fat coconut milk instead.
- Cream Cheese – Helps thicken the sauce without any thickeners. Soften the cream cheese at room temperature for about 30 minutes before using in the recipe. If you don’t have any cream cheese, you can substitute parmesan cheese instead. (I use it to thicken creamy lemon chicken and it would work the same way here.)
- Lime Juice – I often use bottled lime juice for convenience, but freshly squeezed lime juice tastes even better.
- Sea Salt & Black Pepper
- Optional Garnishes – Lime wedges and fresh cilantro are the perfect finishing touch! If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can use fresh parsley instead.
VARIATION: Add mushrooms to the sauce!
Saute them in the butter before adding the garlic.
How To Make Cajun Chicken
This section shows how to make this Cajun chicken recipe, with step-by-step photos and details about the technique, to help you visualize it. For full instructions, including amounts and temperatures, see the recipe card below.
- Season the chicken. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Season both sides with Cajun seasoning.
- Sear the chicken. Heat the olive oil in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides, until golden brown.
- Bake. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Transfer the Cajun chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.
- Saute the garlic. To the same pan, add the butter and let it melt over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.
- Deglaze the pan. Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer.
- Add the cream. Stir in the heavy cream and continue to simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Thicken the sauce. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. (You can add more cream cheese if you want it thicker.)
- Adjust seasoning. Stir in the lime juice. Season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Garnish. Return the Cajun chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over it. Garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.
- Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
- Reheat: You can reheat Cajun chicken in the microwave, or on the stovetop over low to medium heat.
- Freeze: Cool completely, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
What To Serve With Cajun Chicken
Creamy Cajun chicken has bold flavors, so it works best to pair it with a milder side dish. Here are some ideas:
- Rice – Serve in a bowl over a bed of fluffy rice to soak up all the creamy sauce. For a lighter option, try my cauliflower rice (pictured above).
- Noodles – Turn it into a creamy Cajun chicken pasta by adding the (sliced) chicken and sauce to your favorite noodles. I prefer lighter options, like zucchini noodles or 3-ingredient low carb pasta.
- Vegetables – Pair this dish with a simple side of air fryer green beans, crisp and tender roasted broccoli, or use the same skillet to make sauteed vegetables. For a southern-inspired meal, pair this Cajun dish with some roasted cabbage.
- Salads – Serve Cajun chicken over an arugula salad with lemon vinaigrette for a light meal.
More Creamy Chicken Breast Recipes
Looking to add more delicious chicken recipes to your rotation? Here are some of my other favorites:
Cajun Chicken (Creamy, Easy Dinner!)
Savor the bold flavors in this Cajun chicken recipe, with tender spiced chicken, a creamy sauce, a hint of lime, and fresh cilantro.
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Tap on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C).
Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels. Season the chicken on both sides with the Cajun seasoning.
Heat the olive oil in an oven safe pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sear for 5 minutes per side.
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).
Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.
To the same pan, add the butter and let melt over medium-high heat.
Add the garlic and saute for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add the diced tomatoes and chicken broth. Use a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Increase heat to bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the heavy cream. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. (You can add more if you want the sauce thicker.)
Stir in the lime juice. Season the sauce with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce over it. Garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro.
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Serving size: 1 Cajun chicken breast + sauce
The recipe makes about 3 cups sauce, which is enough for the chicken plus more for drizzling over rice or cauliflower rice to serve.
Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy. Have questions about calculations or why you got a different result? Please see our nutrition policy.
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