Cajun Chicken Salad and Rice Bowl

Feb 19, 2021 | Bowls, Chicken and Poultry, Recipes, salads

Today marks the beginning of a brand new series here at Chef’s Notes. Over the next eight Friday’s I will share with you recipes, instructions, and tips on how to make delicious “salad bowls.” Today, we’ll make a Cajun Chicken Salad and Rice Bowl. This bowl has three main components—the rice, which has beans and bell peppers in it. There is a salad with a delicious homemade dressing. And of course, there is the cajun chicken. I absolutely loved this Cajun Chicken Bowl, and I am very excited to share it with you. So, let’s get to it.

Rice and Beans

This bowl is built around the Cajun chicken, so I wanted to keep that Cajun feel throughout the dish. To do that, I made Cajun-style rice and beans. As any regular reader of this blog will know, the French have a combination of ingredients called Mire Poix (onion, carrot, and celery) they use as a base for soups, sauces, and just about everything else. Cajun cooking has a similar combination that is the foundation of their flavour called the Holy Trinity. The only difference between the Holy Trinity and Mire Poix is that the Holy Trinity substitutes carrots for bell peppers. You’ll be surprised at how much of a difference in flavour that small change makes. The rice and beans can be made a day ahead, then reheated in the microwave or on the stove.


The rice and beans ingredients are a quarter cup each diced green bell pepper, red bell pepper, and celery. Half a cup of diced onion. One teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme. One teaspoon of kosher salt. One cup of jasmine rice, rinsed and drained. One and a half cups of water. And one 398ml can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed.

Making The Rice and Beans

Start the rice and beans by heating a two-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add in the onion, celery and bell peppers and cook for three to four minutes or until the onions soften. Add the salt, pepper, and thyme, cook for thirty seconds, then add in the rice and cook for one more minute. Add the beans and the water, bring the pot to a boil, put a lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low, and let the rice simmer for seventeen minutes. Then, take it off the heat and let it rest for five minutes before serving.

Cajun Rice and Beans

The perfect side dish to any Cajun meal and a key componenet to my Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Cajun, Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl, Rice and Beans
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup jasmine rice rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 398 ml can kidney beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper


  • Heat a 2-quart pot over medium heat. Add in the olive oil, onion, celery, and bell peppers. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until the onions are soft.
  • Add in the thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 30 seconds before adding the rice and cooking for 2 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Put a lid on the pot, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 17 minutes.
  • Take the pot off the heat and let the rice rest for 5 minutes. Take the lid off, fluff the rice with a fork and serve.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

The Salad

While the rice and beans are cooking, make your dressing and salad. The salad is a pretty standard type of garden salad with lettuce, cucumber, and tomato. However, the dressing is a take on a classic Cajun remoulade. Cajun remoulade differs from French remoulade only sightly. These differences are mostly based on regional ingredients. If you don’t know what remoulade is, don’t worry, you’ve had it before. Remoulade is essentially a fancy precursor to tartar sauce. Cajun remoulade tastes more like Thousand Island Dressing than tartar sauce, and that’s what we’re making today. Of course, you can just use store-bought dressing if you’d like, but I encourage you to make this at least once.

Making The Dressing

To make the Cajun remoulade combine a quarter cup of mayonnaise, one teaspoon hot sauce, one tablespoon ketchup, one teaspoon dijon mustard, one tablespoon finely chopped gherkins, one tablespoon minced chives, a quarter teaspoon kosher salt, and a teaspoon or two of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Mix all the ingredients and let them sit for ten minutes before using.

Making The Salad

As I said, the salad itself is basic. It is a combination of iceberg lettuce, about three cups once it’s chopped—half a cup of quartered grape tomatoes. A quarter of an English cucumber cut in half lengthwise, then sliced thin. And about a quarter cup of thinly sliced red onion. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and toss with the Cajun remoulade.

Garden Salad with Cajun Remoulade

A simple salad tossed with a delicious dressing. Serve it as a side or as part of the Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Cajun, Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl, Salad
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


Cajun Remoulade Dressing

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp chopped gherkins or sweet relish
  • 1 tbsp minced chives
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice


  • 3 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup quartered grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced red onion


Cajun Remoulade Dressing

  • Mix all ingredients and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


  • Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, top with the Cajun Remoulade Dressing, and mix.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cajun Chicken

Finally, the star of the show, the Cajun Chicken. I cooked one very large chicken breast for two people. If you buy smaller chicken breasts, you will want one for each person. The rice and the salad should make four portions, so you will want enough chicken for four portions too.

The first step is to flatten your chicken breast. The easiest way to do that is to put the breast in a zip-top bag, but don’t seal it all the way. If there is any air stuck in there, the bag may pop when you hit it, so leave one corner unseeled. Pound the chicken with a meat mallet or a heavy pot until it is about a centimetre thick.

Make it Cajun

I used a store-bought Cajun seasoning becasue it is quicker than making a homemade one, and it’s delicious. I didn’t actually measure the amount of Cajun seasoning I used, but I would say about three tablespoons. I also added about a half teaspoon of kosher salt to it. Then, I rolled the chicken around in it. In retrospect, it would have made more sense to mix the salt, and Cajun seasoning then add it to the bag I used to pound the chicken and give it a good shake. All well. Next time.

Cooking the Cajun Chicken

The Cajun seasoning is really only half the equation of getting that kind of authentic Cajun taste. The other part of the equation is butter. The butter is going to brown and help to flavour the chicken. That’s very important for the overall flavour of the dish.

To cook the Cajun chicken, heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add in two tablespoons of butter and one of olive oil. Once the butter melts and starts to foam, add in the chicken and cook for about three minutes before flipping and cooking for another minute. Finish the chicken in a 375°f oven for about twelve minutes or until it is cooked. Take it out of the pan and let it rest for five minutes before cutting it.

Cajun Chicken

A delicious cajun chicken recipe and the key ingredient to the Cajun Chicken Rice Bowl.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Keyword: Cajun Chicken Salad Bowl, Chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Chef Ben Kelly


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Preheat your oven to 375°f
  • Put the chicken breasts in a zip-top bag and seal all but one corner.
  • Pound the chicken using a meat mallet or heavy pot until the breasts are 1 cm thick.
  • Mix the Cajun seasoning and salt, then add to the bag with the chicken. Seal the bag and shake to coat the chicken in the seasoning.
  • Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add in the butter and olive oil. Once the butter melts and starts to foam, add in the chicken and cook for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken, cook for 1 more minute, then put the pan in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  • Take the chicken out of the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Cajun Chicken Salad and Rice Bowl

Okay, the three components are ready. We have the rice and beans, the salad with Cajun remoulade, and of course, the Cajun chicken. Now, it is time to put it all together. Start by putting the rice and beans in four bowls, top with the salad. Thinly slice the chicken and put that on top of the salad. Serve with a lime wedge and enjoy.

The Wrap Up

In all honesty, I didn’t intend to make a Cajun Chicken Salad bowl. Originally, this post was going to be a Chicken Shawarma bowl. But, just before I started cooking, I realized that I made a Chicken Shawarma bowl on the blog already, way back in May of 2019. I don’t like repeating myself, so I had to come up with something on the fly. I came up with the recipe you just read, and I have to tell you that I couldn’t be happier with it. The Cajun Chicken Salad bowl is loaded with flavour and is something I will be making again in the very near future. I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did.

I can finally announce that I have written a cookbook. It’s called the 5-Ingredient Cookbook for men (of course, it is for everyone). It officially goes on sale on March 16th, but you can preorder it now from Amazon in Canada here, and Amazon in the US here.

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