This easy one-pan Skillet Cajun Chicken and Rice is smoky, spicy, and downright delicious! With the help of some good old Cajun seasoning, this recipe turns simple chicken and rice into a flavorful superstar!
Easy Cajun Chicken and Rice Recipe
The flavors of my skillet Cajun chicken and rice will transport your taste buds to the heart of Louisiana with every delicious bite! Featuring juicy chicken breasts, seasoned to perfection with Cajun spices, nestled atop a bed of fluffy rice—all cooked to perfection in a single skillet, this one pan meal marries simplicity with sublime taste!
Why You’ll Love Skillet Cajun Chicken and Rice
- One-Pan Wonder! The magic happens in a single skillet, minimizing the cleanup and maximizing the flavors. With just a handful of ingredients, you can create a dish that’s as tasty as it is easy to make.
- Cajun Deliciousness! The bold Cajun seasoning infuses the juicy chicken and tender rice with layers of smoky, spicy flavor that awakens your senses, delivering the delicious taste of Louisiana.
- Versatile Dish! It’s like a blank canvas waiting for your creative touch. Add a splash of hot sauce for an extra kick, top it with cheese, or throw in some shrimp or andouille sausage for more protein.
Ingredients You’ll Love
- Chicken Breasts: I used boneless skinless chicken breasts, but you can use boneless skinless thighs if you prefer.
- Cajun Seasoning: Seasons the chicken breast and gives the dish a kick. You can use your favorite store-bought brand or make your own homemade Cajun seasoning.
- Olive Oil: Used to sear the chicken and saute the veggies while also adding some richness.
- Onion: Complements all the other ingredients with a touch of pungent flavor
- Bell Peppers: Red bell pepper and green bell pepper add a burst of color and a sweet crunch.
- Garlic: Freshly minced garlic provides a layer of aromatic garlicky goodness. In a pinch, you can use garlic powder.
- Long-Grain Rice: Creates the foundation of the dish. White rice works best with each grain absorbing the flavors.
- Chicken Broth (Low Sodium): Used to cook the rice to perfection and add flavor. I use low-sodium broth to control the overall saltiness of the dish.
- Salt and Pepper: Together they enhance the overall taste.
- Fresh Parsley: A vibrant garnish that adds a fresh and herbaceous note.
How To Make Skillet Cajun Chicken and Rice
Like my Mediterranean chicken and rice skillet, this easy recipe is crafted in a single pan eliminating a sink full of dishes! It’s a no-fuss recipe that lets you savor the flavors of Cajun cuisine without much effort.
Season And Sear The Chicken
Start by rubbing the chicken breasts with the Cajun seasoning, salt, and black pepper, making sure to cover every surface. Then set them aside.
Next, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. Then place the seasoned chicken breasts in the hot pan and sear them for about 5 minutes on each side or until nicely browned. Now, remove the breasts from the skillet and set them aside.
Saute The Veggies
In the same skillet, add more oil if needed, and then add the onions, bell peppers, and minced garlic. Then saute the veggies for about 3 to 4 minutes or until they begin to soften.
Form The Dish And Cook
Begin by thoroughly coating the long-grain rice with the oil and seasonings. Next, pour in the chicken broth and stir. Then place the seared chicken on top of the rice and vegetable mixture, nestling it into the dish.
Now, turn the heat down to low, cover the skillet with a lid, and let the dish simmer for 18 to 20 minutes. When done, the internal temperature of the chicken should be 165°F (74°C) and the rice fully cooked.
Serve And Enjoy
When ready, remove the pan from the heat and garnish the dish with a sprinkle of freshly chopped parsley. Then serve your skillet Cajun chicken and rice with some hot sauce and cornbread muffins if you like!
Frequently Asked Questions
Feel free to get creative! Consider incorporating additional vegetables like carrots, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, or zucchini. Add some andouille sausage or incorporate a pinch of hot sauce, red pepper flakes, or more Cajun seasoning for a spicier kick. Just keep in mind you must keep the ratio of rice to liquid the same.
Inaccurate measurements, lifting the lid during cooking, or boiling the chicken broth excessively before securing the lid can contribute to unevenly cooked rice.
If you don’t have all the spices in your pantry to make my DIY Cajun seasoning, you can create a substitute by combining any of the following spices you have on hand: smoked paprika, garlic powder, dried thyme, dried oregano, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- Pat the chicken dry. Before seasoning, use paper towels to remove any excess moisture. This helps to create a better sear on the chicken breasts.
- Measure the rice and broth. Use measuring cups to ensure the correct ratio of rice to liquid. This is crucial for achieving perfectly cooked skillet Cajun chicken and rice.
- Don’t lift the lid. Trust the cooking time and let the steam work its magic. Lifting the lid releases steam, which can disrupt the cooking process and lead to undercooked rice.
- Check the doneness. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken, to ensure it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) for safe consumption.
You can store leftover skillet Cajun chicken and rice in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply transfer the desired amount to a skillet or microwave-safe dish and heat until warmed through. You can also freeze the leftovers for up to 3 months and thaw them out in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
Discover More Delicious Skillet Dishes
- Skillet Chicken Parmesan
- Southwest Chicken And Rice Skillet
- Skillet Spicy Tofu Stir Fry
- Skillet Breakfast Hash
- Skillet Shepherd’s Pie
Craving More? Follow Along:
Skillet Cajun Chicken and Rice
- Rub the chicken breasts with Cajun seasoning, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Place a large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil.
- Add the seasoned chicken breasts to the skillet. Cook until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
- In the same skillet, add more olive oil if needed. Add the diced onion, bell peppers, and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the rice to the sautéed vegetables, ensuring the rice is well coated with the oil and seasonings. Pour in the chicken broth.
- Nestle the browned chicken breasts on top of the rice and vegetable mixture.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the skillet, and let it simmer for 18-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Remove the skillet from heat. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley.
Tips & Notes:
- Spice it Your Way: You can make this dish as spicy or as mild as you like. Use a little Cajun seasoning for less heat, or add more if you love a spicy kick.
- Best Rice to Use: Use long-grain rice for the best results. It helps keep your dish nice and fluffy.
- Try Different Chicken: Instead of chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs. They’re tasty and stay juicy even if cooked a bit longer.
- Add More Veggies: Feel free to toss in other veggies like carrots or celery for extra flavor and nutrition.
- Storing Leftovers: Keep any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. They’re great for a quick meal later and the flavors get even better!