This Baked Cajun Garlic Chicken is anything but boring with fresh garlic and a homemade spice blend. Makes an easy, quick, and healthy weeknight meal.
Aside from using a slow cooker or Instant Pot, I think baking food is one of the easiest ways to cook dinner easily. Especially if you're only using one pan. It is to that end that I decided to make this Baked Cajun Garlic Chicken.
I like chicken baked many, many ways (and how could you not — it's so versatile!), but baking it with Cajun spices is one of my favorites. I like food to be a little bit spicy, but the spice blend I put together for this recipe isn't that hot. So, don't worry if you are not a fan of spicy food. You can also easily adjust the spices in this recipe to suit your own tastes.
There are a few store-bought spice blends that I always have on hand for quick-and-easy seasoning. One of these is a Cajun spice blend that I use in many dishes, which I often add to chicken or fish when I need to season something in a hurry.
However, another option I highly recommend is to make your own spice blends, as many premade spice blends also include added sugar and sodium, which you probably don't even realize you are purchasing. Lately, I have been making my own sugar-free versions of spice mixes. I typically skip the garlic in these mixes though, instead opting to add real garlic when it's called for. You can, though, add some garlic powder instead if you want to skip sauteing the garlic and dirtying up another pan.
Side Dishes to Serve with Baked Cajun Garlic Chicken
You probably want a little something extra with your chicken, especially if you're baking up a batch for dinner. Just like almost any spice goes great with chicken, so does just about any side dish. However, if we're going to stick to a Cajun theme (or thereabouts), then I'd recommend the following dishes:
- For a simple, healthy meal, serve your chicken over a scoop of cooked brown rice and add a side salad.
- Cajun Red Beans and Rice is a dish you'll love to serve with Cajun Chicken, and you can cook it up right on the stovetop while the chicken bakes.
- Parmesan Roasted Broccoli makes a nice, savory, flavory (yes that's a word now), complementary vegetable dish with just about any protein, but especially chicken.
- Grilled Red Potatoes are great to serve with this chicken dish as well and the potatoes can bake right alongside the chicken in their own dish.
- I would be remiss if I didn't add my favorite salad: this Healthy Kale Caesar Salad. So crunchy, a little bitter, so good for you and good with just about everything!
- Add chicken to a side of Simple Crock Pot Pinto Beans. Make a double batch of both for good eating all week!
Ways to Serve Cajun Garlic Chicken
There are as many ways to serve up this chicken as there are ways to make chicken. Try a few of these the next time you make this chicken.
- Serve the whole breast right on top of rice or wide egg noodles, spooning extra sauce over the top, if you've got it.
- Slice thinly and grill it up in a panini with a little Monterey jack cheese and your favorite toppings.
- Slice the chicken into strips to add to your favorite salad.
- Roll it up in a tortilla with some banana peppers, lettuce, and a little bit of reduced fat mayonnaise.
- Add diced chicken cubes to romaine lettuce leaves and your favorite toppings for a yummy, low-carb lettuce wrap.
- Cut it up into cubes or shred it and use it warm or cold in your favorite chicken salad recipe.
How to Make Your Own Cajun Spice Blend
Making your own spice blends can help you skip the added sodium and sugar and it's also good for your budget as well. What follows are spices I'd include in my own Cajun spice mix, but feel free to tweak yours however you like for your own personal tastes.
Once you make up your mix, keep it in a tightly sealed spice jar, in a cool, dry place, for up to two to three years. Make sure you label it for easy reference and keep it front-and-center — you'll be reaching for it a lot, I promise.
For my mix, I used cumin, coriander, paprika, oregano, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. To make a big batch, simply multiply the ingredients listed here by four to six times, depending on how big your spice jar is.
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Baked Cajun Garlic Chicken
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- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Arrange the chicken breasts in a prepared glass baking dish. Season with salt and pepper (adjust if your spices contain salt and pepper.)
- Heat the oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and tender. Remove from heat and add to a small bowl. Alternatively you can microwave the garlic and oil for 2 minutes to soften the garlic.
- Stir in the spices you are using. If you like things spicy, consider adding some cayenne pepper. Pour over chicken.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes until chicken is just cooked through.
- Turn up the oven to broil for 1-2 minutes to brown the top if desired.. Serve with fresh squeezed lemon.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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