These high protein Cajun Chicken and Rice Bowls pack serious flavor for a delicious healthy dinner or lunch!
Living in Colorado, Mardi Gras isn’t a huge deal. Sure, there are events downtown, but growing up we never did anything special for dinner.
But ever since I started cooking for myself, I’m all about getting in the celebratory mood with recipes that I don’t usually make.
While these healthy Cajun chicken and rice bowls started out as a Mardi Gras dinner idea, they’ve since become one of my go-to healthy chicken dinner recipes.
I’ve always loved to cook. But it wasn’t until I met Bry that I really started to appreciate the world of spices and seasonings.
And as fun as it is experimenting with different combos and exploring spice shops for new seasonings, I always fall back on my all-time favorite: Cajun seasoning.
Seriously, this spice mix is the ultimate flavor-booster. I almost always put it on my eggs and love using it as a dry rub when grilling.
While we have a spice shop a few blocks away that I like to get my spices from, when in a pinch I’ll sometimes buy this one off of Amazon.
To make these healthy Cajun Chicken and Rice bowls, you just need a few simple ingredients – many of which can be substituted based on what you have on hand or find on sale:
When making this healthy Cajun chicken recipe, know that things can start moving fast, so I highly recommend getting your rice (or grain of choice) cooking and then prepping everything else: dice your chicken, make the spice blend, and slice your peppers.
Once the rice is cooking and everything is prepped, the first step is to get the chicken cooked. I recommend doing this on the stove, as I like the flavor better than baked, but you could also grill your chicken thighs instead.
If grilling the chicken thighs and veggies, then I recommend marinating the chicken in oil and the spice blend at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Once cooked, move the chicken thighs to a paper towel-lined plate. This will help remove a little of the grease from the chicken.
Using the same pan, you’ll then cook the garlic and peppers. I like to cook the peppers until they’re slightly blistered on the outside but still a bit crisp inside. If you like softer peppers, then just keep cooking.
Finally, you’ll add the chicken back in, taste, and then start dishing everything out.
I like heat, so I add 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning.
However, I’ve found that even 1 tablespoon can be a bit much for people who really don’t like heat in their food.
If making this for someone who doesn’t love spice or kids, I’d start with 2 teaspoons, taste and adjust as you cook. However, if you want a good amount of heat then start with 1 tablespoon and go up from there.
The original version of this recipe called for adding 1 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes. Then one day I forgot to add them and Bry actually liked it better.
Without the tomatoes, it’s much more like a grain bowl in the sense that you have spiced chicken, sautéed vegetables, and rice, but nothing is very saucy.
Adding the tomatoes makes the consistency a little saucier – almost like jambalaya.
This healthy cajun chicken and rice is one of my favorite meal prep recipes! Not only is it quick to make, but the leftovers taste just as good if not better.
However, the rice can get a bit dry after a day or two in the fridge. So, if making a batch to enjoy throughout the week, I recommend adding a splash of water to the rice before heating it up in the microwave.
If you have a rice cooker, you could also prep the chicken and veggies the night before. Then in the morning, cook the rice in your rice cooker while you’re at work, come home, and quickly cook up the chicken and veggies for dinner.
Looking for more easy, healthy chicken dinner recipes that are perfect for meal prep? Here are some of my go-to’s:
Want something sweet after this Cajun Chicken and Rice? These King Cake Cupcakes from Cooking Light are a tasty twist on the traditional Mardi Gras dessert.
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