This Grilled Sweet Cajun Chicken is tender, juicy and packed with flavor. The perfect chicken recipe for grilling season!
Delicious as a main meal for dinner, on sandwiches, in a salad or stirred through pasta, this recipe is ideal for the whole family.
The marinade is so easy to put together - a mixture of the spice rub, brown sugar, and olive oil. This can then be left in the refrigerator for the day or popped in the freezer for a quick and easy meal another day.
An easy Cajun marinade.
This sweet cajun chicken has just 4 ingredients!! Chicken Fillets, Cajun Spice Blend, Brown Sugar, and Olive Oil.
You can use a store-bought Cajun spice mix or make your own up. I have a recipe for the homemade spice blend, that includes:
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- cayenne pepper (optional)
- dried oregano
- dried thyme
- ground fennel
For full details of the recipe check out the Cajun Seasoning Recipe here.
But for these cajun chicken fillets, I used a premade seasoning that I picked up at a food conference. So pick your favorite brand and go from there.
Just watch for the salt content, my homemade and the premade brand, both had salt in them, so I didn't need to add any to the chicken. If your brand is salt-free then be sure to season your chicken when you add the cajun spice blend.
Is Cajun Chicken Spicy?
The spice level on your cajun chicken depends very much on the cajun spice blend you use. I like to use a mild blend to make this family-friendly.
Give your spice blend a taste and make the best judgment for your family's tastes.
How long to marinate the chicken for?
The beauty of cajun spices is that they are strong and punchy. So just 30 minutes in the marinade will give your chicken flavor.
However, I recommend leaving the chicken for 12-24 hours. This will give you great flavor but also allow the salt to penetrate the meat and you'll end up with a fabulously tender chicken breast.
Can I freeze the marinated chicken?
You sure can! I like to mix up the chicken in a zip lock bag and then place it in the freezer. it will keep happily for 6 months. As it defrosts the chicken will continue to tenderize and marinate.
How to cut chicken fillets from chicken breasts
To cut your chicken breasts into fillets:
- Lay the chicken breast flat on the board.
- Use a large sharp knife to cut sideways through the breast.
- Keep the knife flat and parallel to the chopping board.
How long to cook cajun chicken for
Filleting the chicken breasts means that this meal becomes a really fast cook. The chicken needs just 3-4 minutes on each side.
Can I pan fry Cajun chicken?
Yes! If it isn't grilling season, you don't have a grill or just fancy staying inside, then you can cook this in a heavy-based frying pan/skillet. If you have a ridged grill pan then you can even get the wonderful char lines that grilling gives you. The chicken will need 4 minutes on each side.
What to serve with Cajun Chicken
- Garlic Green Beans
- Brabant Potatoes
- Fried corn
- Cajun black eyed peas
- Cajun dirty rice
- Lime rice
- Sweet potato wedges
- Southern butter beans
- Collard greens
- Crushed Potatoes
What wine to serve with Cajun Chicken
Cajun dishes are wonderful with sparkling wines! We like a dry South Australian or Californian sparkling wine. If you have opted to make your Cajun chicken spicy then a slightly sweet sparkling wine like a Moscato works well.
If you want to avoid the bubbles then pick a white wine that isn't oaky, something like a Sauvignon Blanc or a Reisling.
For those that love a red, you want a very light red with low tannins. A Zinfandel works well or a light Pinot Noir.
For more delicious chicken ideas why not try:
- Peri Peri Chicken
- Garlic Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Champagne Chicken
- Dill Pickle Stuffed Chicken Breasts
- Baked Tomato Chicken Breasts
- Crispy Oven Baked Chicken Schnitzel
- Cheesy Baked Fajita Chicken
- Easy Creamy Basil Chicken Breasts
- See all 80+ Chicken recipes
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Grilled Sweet Cajun Chicken Recipe
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3 tbsp cajun spice blend - see note 1
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 large chicken breasts
- In a zip lock bag or non-reactive container, combine the olive oil, cajun seasoning and brown sugar. Squish the bag or stir the container until well combined.
- Place the chicken breasts flat on a chopping board and keeping your knife parallel to the chopping board cut horizontally straight through the chicken breast. Repeat with the second chicken breast.
- Add the chicken breasts to the marinade and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes but 12-24 hours is best (see note 2 for freezer instructions)
To cook the chicken
- Get the grill hot. Or if you are using a frying pan place it over medium-high heat.
- Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook for 3-4 minutes on one side then flip and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until cooked through.
- If your Cajun seasoning blend doesn't contain salt then add 1 tsp of salt to your marinade mixture.
- Once the chicken is in the marinade it will keep in the freezer happily for 6 months. As it defrosts the chicken will continue to tenderize and marinate.