Use this delicious Homemade Cajun Seasoning to spice up your simple weeknight dinners for the whole family! Made with a handful of simple ingredients, it adds mild heat and loads of flavor to everything from chicken, fish, or shrimp, to veggies, potatoes, and dressings!
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When it comes to cooking meals with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut. They are so handy to have as an option, I always have a bag of them in the freezer that I can just grab and cook when I don't have a plan for dinner already—but they can end up boring and bland unless they're seasoned well and cooked properly. Enter this Homemade Cajun Dry Rub Seasoning Mix, and this easy Grilled Cajun Chicken Recipe.
We love making our own rubs and seasoning blends because we can customize things like salt, heat, and flavor. You can make a double, triple, or quadruple the batch and store it in an airtight container (I like to reuse empty spice jars for my own personal spice blends) so you have some on hand for your next last-minute meal!
For more homemade seasoning mix inspiration, check out these Perfectly Grilled Pork Chops with Sweet BBQ Pork Rub and Juicy Roast Turkey with a Butter Herb Rub.
Why We Love This Recipe
- This homemade seasoning is customizable to your preference of flavor and spiciness.
- It's made with simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry!
- Quick and easy to make, and means tasty dinners will take less time in the future
What You'll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for the full recipe with ingredient quantities and instructions.
- Chicken Breasts - skinless and boneless are best for this grilled chicken recipe, but you can use any kind of chicken for a similar flavor, it will just affect the grilling time.
- Oil - use any kind of neutral flavored oil or melted butter to baste the chicken before adding the seasoning. It will make the seasoning stick to the chicken more and also help it to cook.
Cajun Spice Seasoning
- Garlic Powder & Onion Powder - They add a depth of flavor to all kinds of meats and vegetables and blend well with other herbs and spices.
- Salt & Pepper - Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper are best for the strongest flavor. You can add white pepper too if you like.
- Dried Oregano & Dried Thyme - They complement each other so well. Together they have an aromatic earthy flavor that goes with just about any food!
- Paprika - Use smoked paprika for an added smoky flavor, especially if you aren't grilling the food.
- Cayenne Pepper - Adds a bit of heat to the seasoning. You can use less than the suggested amount of cayenne pepper, or substitute it for mild chili powder, to make the seasoning milder.
- Crushed Red Pepper - Red pepper flakes add a bit of a kick to this seasoning!
How to Make Grilled Cajun Chicken with Homemade Dry Rub Seasoning
Prepare the grill and chicken. Heat your grill to medium-high heat and prepare the chicken. Place each boneless skinless chicken breast on a baking sheet or large dish and pat dry. Drizzle them lightly with olive oil and rub the chicken to coat evenly.
Make spice mix. In a small bowl, combine all of the spices and stir well.
Season chicken. Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the tops of the chicken breasts, turn the chicken over, and sprinkle the remaining half of the spice mixture on the bottom side of each breast so the chicken is evenly coated in Cajun seasoning.
Grill chicken. Place chicken breasts directly over the heated side of the grill and grill for about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken.
When the internal temperature of the breasts reaches 160 degrees (use an instant-read meat thermometer to check this), your chicken will be done!
You can also check whether the chicken is done by making a small cut into the thickest part to see if it is opaque in the center, or pressing on the thickest end of the chicken with your finger to see if there is any resistance. If there is no resistance, the chicken is done.
Rest and cut. Remove from the grill and rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Tips for Success
- Prep your sides before grilling the chicken, as chicken breasts will only take about 10 minutes to grill in total. This doesn't leave heaps of time to prepare other dishes in between turning the meat over, so it's best to prep sides beforehand.
- Your chicken breasts might need to be pounded to make them the same thickness so that they cook more evenly. See more on this below.
- Double, triple, or quadruple this recipe to make your own Homemade Cajun Spice Mix and add it to a glass jar for future meals!
How Do I Grill Cajun Chicken Evenly?
You may want to pound your chicken breasts until they are an even thickness, but not too thin. This will help them to cook evenly and ensure you don't get any dry chicken as the end result.
To do this, put the breasts into a heavy-duty Ziploc bag and use a meat mallet to pound the thicker end about 4 or 5 times.
It's so easy to add this Cajun seasoning to a couple of defrosted chicken breasts and grill them to make some amazing weeknight meals.
- Make some Cilantro Lime Rice and a side of veggies, place a whole Cajun chicken breast on top of the rice, and serve!
- Use whole chicken breasts to make my Cajun Chicken Sandwiches.
- Slice the chicken breasts up and add them to a Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad.
- Alternatively, check out my Cajun Chicken and Sausage Gumbo.
- Make a Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta for the ultimate Cajun comfort food!
More Chicken Recipes You'll Love
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs
- Creamy Garlic Chicken
- Mom's Chicken Cordon Bleu
- Classic Poppy Seed Chicken
- Baked Chicken Drumsticks
- Creamy Chicken Marsala
- Grilled Chicken and Steak Fajitas
- Smoky Chicken Tinga Tacos
Chicken & Poultry
Chicken & Poultry
Did you make this recipe?
Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.
Grilled Cajun Chicken Dry Rub Seasoning
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 ½ to 2 pounds
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
Cajun Spice Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Heat a grill to medium-high heat.
- Place each boneless skinless chicken breast on a baking sheet or large dish and pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle them lightly with olive oil and rub the chicken to coat evenly.
- In a small bowl, combine all of the spices and stir well.
- Sprinkle half of the spice mixture over the tops of the chicken breasts, turn the chicken over, and sprinkle the remaining half of the spice mixture on the bottom side of each breast so the chicken is evenly coated in Cajun seasoning.
- Place chicken breasts directly over the heated side of the grill and grill for about 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your chicken, until the internal temperature of the breasts reaches 160 degrees using an instant-read meat thermometer.
- Remove from the grill and rest for 5 minutes.
- To Oven Cook: Of course! Follow the instructions for coating the meat, then put the chicken breasts into an oven-proof tray or dish and cook in the oven at 450 degrees F for 15-18 minutes.
- Storage: Once your chicken breasts have thoroughly cooled, store them in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Freeze: Put your cooked chicken breasts in an airtight container that is freezer safe, or in freezable Ziploc bags, for up to 3 months! Simply defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave.
This post was originally published in April, 2017. The content was updated in November, 2022 to be more helpful.