Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad

This is one of our newer family faves – Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad. It has a bit of spice but it’s not over the top and it’s a perfect foil for the creamy ranch-style dressing. This is a marvelous summer recipe, but its bold flavors can easily spill into fall with no problem. Oh heck, it’s good anytime.

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad

Grilled Cajun Chicken & Salad

I first came upon the idea for Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad from a Bon Appetit recipe which was a bit fussy. I tinkered and modified and learned how to make the most of my time & ingredients to make this doable on any old weeknight. Let me show you my thought process on how I “work” a recipe like this.

First of all, I save a bunch of time!

  • Instead of combining a dozen spices each and every time I made this I use my own Cajun blend. I use it for a lot of things and always have it on hand.
  • I usually make a good amount of dressing, not just for this meal, but enough for another salad later in the week. You could use store-bought but this is so fresh!
  • I generally double the chicken portion of recipe and freeze half – that makes best use of the buttermilk and gives me a stash of ready to go chicken in the freezer.
Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad – the salad part of the meal.

Sometimes, I might not be in the mood for a salad with my Grilled Cajun Chicken, so I make it as an entrée and serve it with a side or two. My Down & Dirty Cajun Rice makes a colorful fresh side (the bit of bacon gives it a marvelous smoky taste) and beans, red or black (doctor a can with a little garlic and cumin) are quick and easy. Leftovers are generally all combined in a salad bowl the next day.

So no matter how you serve, it, as an entrée, as a salad or as a bowl, enjoy! “Laissez les bons temps rouler” as they say down South.

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad

Grilled Cajun Chicken Salad

Grilled Cajun Chicken & Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

  • 20 ounces (four 1/2 breasts) chicken breast
  • Cajun seasoning to taste
  • buttermilk, enough to coat chicken, say 1/2 cup
  • Salad greens for four
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large or two small tomatoes
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • Dressing (below)

Rub Cajun seasoning mixture onto chicken. Place chicken in medium bowl. Pour buttermilk over chicken, turning to coat. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes and up to 3 hours, turning occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Remove chicken breasts from buttermilk, shaking off excess. Grill chicken until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

For salad dressing:

  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • Freshly ground black pepper or 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, optional (see note)
  • salt, if desired

Mix all ingredients in small bowl to blend. May be store covered and refrigerated for several days.


  • While the Cajun spice is marvelous in this dressing, often with spicier foods, I look for sides with a cooler flavor. If I omit, I do use a good amount of black pepper in the dressing.
  • The lemon peel in this dressing gives it an important flavor boost; don’t be tempted to omit.
  • If desired, mayonnaise or a mayonnaise/sour cream mixture may be used instead of the yogurt/buttermilk.

from the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving money/time and managing this recipe on a budget.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Use a coupon matching site! Every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings!

Kitchen & Cooking Hacks:

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Grilled Cajun Chicken & Salad - make it as a salad or a bowl or a wrap...however you like!

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