Easy One Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice Dinner

by Eat Well with Lex

One pot Cajun chicken and rice is a a true one-pot dinner recipe for easy weeknight dinners. It is a flavorful and hearty one pot dinner recipe where chicken, rice and aromatic vegetables are cooked together in a single pot. This meal combines well seasoned chicken thighs with a cajun-spiced rice. It’s a convenient option for a delicious family dinner with the added benefit of easy cleanup.

Here is another one pot dinner recipe that is a guaranteed family favorite – One Pan Creamy Chicken and Gnocchi – 30 Minute Dinner. Plus, it takes only 30 minutes to make.

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One-pot Cajun chicken and rice, a flavorful and easy weeknight dinner for the family. eatwellwithlex.com

If you’re on the hunt for a delicious yet simple family dinner, our Easy One-Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice has got you covered. Let’s dive into why this dish is a game-changer for your weeknight routine.

As a full-time stay-at-home mom and food blogger, life can get pretty hectic very quickly! That’s one of the reasons why I love one pot dinners so much —they’re literally my lifesavers in the chaos of daily routines. There’s something incredibly satisfying about tossing all the ingredients into a single pot, letting the flavors mingle, and creating a delicious meal without drowning in a mountain of dishes.

This Cajun chicken and rice has become a household favorite, not just for me but for my two-year-old daughter too! The simplicity of the recipe allows me to spend more time with my family and less time in the kitchen. It’s recipes like this that make being a food-loving mom even more rewarding.

One Pot cajun chicken and rice for weeknight dinner. eatwellwithlex.com

Why One Pot Dinners Rule for Busy Families

Quick Prep, Minimal Cleanup: With just one pot, you’re saving time on prep and cleanup. Less time washing dishes means more time with your loved ones.

Bursting with Flavor: The blend of Cajun spices and fresh aromatics from onions, tomatoes, garlic and bell peppers, transform this one-pot wonder into a flavorful fiesta. Your family will love the bold taste without the hassle.

Family-Friendly : While the Cajun seasoning adds a delightful kick, it’s not overly spicy. The good news is, you can customize it! The simplicity of this dish allows for easy substitutions to accommodate picky eaters, making it a stress-free option for family dinners. This meal has become a favorite for my 2 year old daughter.

Budget-Friendly: With budget-conscious ingredients like chicken thighs, rice, and common pantry items, this recipe allows you to enjoy a delicious and satisfying meal without straining the budget.

Ingredients for One Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice

  • Chicken thighs: I used bone-in chicken thighs with the skin on for extra crispiness when seared. Feel free to remove the skin if that is your preference.
  • Long-grain white rice: Jasmine or basmati rice is highly recommended for best outcome. Other rice may turn out mushy.
  • Yellow Onion
  • Red and Green Bell Pepper
  • Garlic cloves
  • Roma Tomato
  • Tomato Paste
  • Chicken Broth
  • Cajun Seasoning
  • Dried Thyme
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
Overview of Ingredients for one pot cajun chicken and rice recipe

How to Make One Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice

Season the chicken thighs with cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sear the chicken thighs on both sides until golden brown. This step is to develop flavor; the chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this point. Remove the chicken and set it aside.

In the same pot sauté diced onion, bell peppers, tomato and minced garlic until softened.

Stir in the rice, Cajun seasoning, dried thyme, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for a 2-3 minutes to toast the rice and spices. Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine.

Nestle the seared chicken thighs back into the pot.

Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender, and the chicken is cooked through. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C).

Once done, garnish with chopped green onions or fresh parsley.

Step by step instructions for how to make Cajun chicken and rice

Tips for Cooking Perfect Rice

  1. Always rinse your rice under cold water before cooking to remove excess starch and prevent clumping.
  2. For every cup of rice, use two cups of liquid (1:2 ratio).
  3. once the rice starts simmering, resit the urge to lift the lid. Cook on low heat and let is do it’s magic for perfect fluffiness.

Tips for Perfecting Your One Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice

Perfecting your One-Pot Cajun Chicken and Rice is all about balance and technique. Here are some essential tips to ensure your dish turns out flavorful and satisfying every time:

  • Sear for Flavor: Take the time to properly sear the chicken thighs before adding other ingredients. This creates a golden-brown crust and locks in the juices, enhancing the overall flavor of the dish.
  • Spice It Up Gradually: Adjust the Cajun seasoning to your family’s spice preference. Start with a conservative amount, taste, and add more if needed. Remember, you can always add more spice later, but you can’t take it away.
  • Maintain the Right Ratios: Pay attention to the rice-to-liquid ratio. For every cup of rice, use two cups of liquid. Adjust accordingly for larger or smaller batches to ensure perfectly cooked rice.

Recipe Variations and Substitutions

  • Add you family’s favorite veggies — peas or corn can add color and nutrition.
  • Swap the protein for shrimp or sausage. Check out this One Pot Cajun Shrimp and Rice, also a household favorite.
  • Opt for brown rice for a heartier dish. Keep in mind that brown rice will require a longer cook time.

What to Serve With Chicken and Rice

  • Serve a medley of steamed vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower.
  • A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette or ranch dressing.
  • Soft, buttery dinner rolls or a slice of warm cornbread.
  • A zesty coleslaw.

How to Store Leftovers

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Cajun Chicken and Rice

Is there a substitute for Cajun seasoning if I don’t have it?

You can make your own Cajun seasoning using a blend of paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, and black pepper.

How spicy is this dish with Cajun seasoning?

The spice level can be adjusted based on personal preference. Start with a smaller amount of Cajun seasoning and add more if desired.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs?

Yes, you can substitute chicken breasts for thighs, but be mindful of the cooking time as breasts tend to cook faster.

Can I use brown rice instead of white rice?

Yes, you can use brown rice, but it will require a longer cooking time. Adjust the liquid and cooking time accordingly.

How do I prevent the rice from becoming mushy?

Ensure you’re using the correct rice-to-liquid ratio, and avoid stirring the rice excessively during the cooking process.

More Easy Family Dinners Recipes

Easy Sweet Chili Chicken – 30 Minute Dinner

Honey Soy Baked Chicken and Veggies

Easy Brown Sugar Glazed Salmon Recipe

Instant Pot Broccoli Cheddar Soup

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One-pot Cajun chicken and rice, a flavorful and easy weeknight dinner for the family. eatwellwithlex.com

One Pot Cajun Chicken and Ricce

One pot Cajun chicken and rice is a a true one-pot dinner recipe for easy weeknight dinners. It is a flavorful and hearty one pot dinner recipe where chicken, rice and aromatic vegetables are cooked together in a single pot. It's a convenient option for a delicious family dinner with the added benefit of easy cleanup.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

Cajun Chicken

  • 4 chicken thighs bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 tbsp cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Cajun Spice Rice

  • 1 1/2 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper diced
  • 1 small roma tomato diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Instructions
 

  • Season the chicken thighs with cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, salt and pepper.
  • In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat and sear the chicken thighs on both sides until golden brown. This step is to develop flavor; the chicken doesn’t need to be fully cooked at this point. Remove the chicken and set it aside.
  • In the same pot sauté diced onion, bell peppers, tomato and minced garlic until softened.
  • Stir in the rice, Cajun seasoning, tomato paste dried thyme, smoked paprika, salt and pepper. Cook for a 2-3 minutes to toast the rice and spices.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and stir to combine.
  • Nestle the seared chicken thighs back into the pot.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender, and the chicken is cooked through. Ensure the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F (74°C).
  • Once done, garnish with chopped green onions or fresh parsley.

Notes

  • Always rinse your rice under cold water before cooking.
  • For every cup of rice, use two cups of liquid (1:2 ratio).
  • Once the rice starts simmering, resit the urge to lift the lid. Cook on low heat and let is do it’s magic for perfect fluffiness.
  • Adjust the Cajun seasoning to your family’s spice preference. Start with a conservative amount, taste, and add more if needed. Remember, you can always add more spice later, but you can’t take it away.
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