Salads boring? Nah, not in the least bit. The good thing about salads is that you can put together anything you want. One of my favorite salads is centered around cajun marinated chicken. All you need is some lovely veggies and you’re ready to go! It’s quick, it’s easy and healthy and delicious to boot.
Cajun chicken salad
What do you need?
- Chicken breast
- Olive oil
- Cajun spices
- Veggies of your choice: cucumber, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, bell pepper, carrot, olives, red onion, etc. Make it as colorful as you like.
- Cheese of your choice: plain Gouda works, but so do mozzarella, feta, and brie.
- Optional: toppings such as nuts or seeds
The best part about this salad is that you can throw anything into the mix that you think go nicely with the slightly spicy, yet sweet cajun flavor of your chicken. I like adding cheese to counterbalance the spiciness, however, you could also leave it out and just go for it. When it comes to the veggies I use, I change it up every time I make this dish. However, I tend to love cucumber, lettuce, tomatoes and bell peppers the most as they add some freshness.
How to make it? Super simple! It does require a little bit of prep work and it is advisable to start the chicken the night before so it can cool down. Here’s what I do.
The night before: chop up chicken and marinate in oil and cajun spices. Leave in the fridge for minimum of 30 minutes. The longer you leave it, the more flavor will be absorbed by the chicken. Then fry up your chicken so it is well cooked. I like to make sure my chicken is very tender: as it cools it will firm up. But don’t cook it for too long as you don’t want your chicken too dry either. Just give it a little test. If the chicken nearly falls apart when just cooked, you should be good to go. Chill in the fridge overnight.
The day of: chop up your vegetables, cheese and other toppings you may have. Put in a bowl, add your chilled chicken. Give it a stir and that should be it. If you’re very much stressed for time, you chould chop up the vegetables in advance and keep them in an airtight container. Just make sure not to mix the protein and the greens until the last minute. I find that the greens spoil easily when you mix in too many different ingredients.
When to have this? This makes for one of the best packed lunches ever! Since the chicken is cooked, you don’t have to worry about it spoiling too quickly. If you leave it a few hours in the fridge at work, the flavors will have time to combine and come together too, so that spicy cajun flavor will be everywhere by the time you get to stick your fork in. My other option for having this would be dinner. This just makes a great dish on its own as it packs pretty much everything you need. If you want to add carbs you can simply have those on the side, but if those aren’t a must for you at every meal, you can leave the carbs out very easily.
What is your favorite salad to make?