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This Cajun chicken salad is absolutely packed with flavor! Tender, Cajun-spiced chicken breast, an easy but deliciously savory twist on your favorite ranch dressing, and creamy pepper jack cheese… They all come together for a salad that’s filling and surprisingly fresh and flavorful.

Top down view of an oval platter filled with cajun chicken salad - lettuce, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and ranch.

🌶️ What Makes This Recipe So Good

  • If you’re a fan of big, bold flavors and super satisfying ingredients, you’re in luck! Every bite of this Cajun chicken salad is full of flavor. From the Cajun-spiced chicken breasts, to the fiery pepper jack. The vibrant red onions and cherry tomatoes, to the tangy Cajun ranch dressing.
  • Salads like this one are great for meal prepping. It’s so easy! Just assemble the salad in one container (though I’d hold off on adding the avocado slices until you’re about to eat). Store the dressing in another container, and store the chicken in a third container. When it’s time for lunch, warm the chicken, add it to the salad, and pour the dressing on top. Voila! You can cut down on the number of containers if you eat the chicken cold, too.
  • Between the chicken breast, the avocado slices, the pepper jack cheese, and the fresh veggies, this Cajun chicken salad is full of protein and good-for-you fats. It’s definitely not a salad that’ll have you hungry again in 20 minutes! It’s low carb, keto-friendly, and gluten free as written. You can also easily adapt it to fit Whole30, paleo, and dairy-free diets as needed.

👩🏼‍🍳 Chef’s Tips

  • For the best and most-even dressing distribution, add all the lettuce to a large bowl, then pour in the dressing. Toss the lettuce gently until every piece is coated in Cajun ranch. From there you can divvy up the salad and toppings as desired!
  • To keep this Cajun chicken salad super quick and super easy, slice the chicken into thin cutlets. They’ll cook so much faster and more evenly that way! Just be careful not to overcook the chicken. Since the cutlets are thin, they won’t take as much time as whole chicken breasts. That also means it’s really easy to dry them out and make them rubbery. Use an internal meat thermometer to tell when they’re ready to come off the heat!
Close-up of ranch being poured over a cajun chicken salad.

🔥 Our Favorite Recipes with a Little Kick

Recipe By: Cheryl Malik

Cajun Chicken Salad with Cajun Ranch Dressing

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 10 minutes
Total 25 minutes
The easiest, most flavorful salad ever, made with Cajun-seasoned chicken breast, pepper jack cheese, and an incredible Cajun ranch dressing.
4 salads


  • small mixing bowl
  • Silicone spatula or mixing spoon
  • Airtight container or plastic wrap
  • Cutting board
  • small skillet
  • Tongs
  • internal meat thermometer
  • sharp kitchen knife
  • Serving bowls


For the Cajun Ranch Dressing

For the Cajun Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin cutlets
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning divided
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil avocado oil, olive oil, etc.

For the Salad

  • 6 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
  • ½ cup pepper jack cheese chunks or shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 medium avocado pit removed, peeled, sliced


For the Cajun Ranch Dressing

  • Add 1 cup ranch dressing, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper, and 1-2 dashes Louisiana-style hot sauce to small mixing bowl.
  • Mix ingredients together until fully combined. Transfer prepared dressing to airtight container, or cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside until ready to use. See Notes.

For the Cajun Chicken

  • Place chicken cutlets on cutting board. Sprinkle ¾ tablespoon Cajun seasoning onto cutlets, then flip chicken over and cover with remaining ¾ tablespoon Cajun seasoning. Set cutting board aside.
  • Heat small skillet over medium-high heat. When pan is warm, add 1 tablespoon neutral oil and swirl pan to distribute oil across surface. Continue heating skillet until oil is hot and shimmering.
  • When oil is hot, place chicken in skillet. Cook chicken 3 to 5 minutes, then flip chicken over. Cook 3 to 5 minutes more or until chicken is firm and internal temperature reaches 160° Fahrenheit. Note: while chicken cooks, clean cutting board to use again.
  • Remove chicken from skillet and place on clean cutting board. Let chicken rest 5 minutes.

For the Salad

  • While chicken rests, divide 6 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce, 1 cup cherry tomatoes, ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion, ½ cup pepper jack cheese chunks, and 1 medium avocado evenly between serving bowls.
  • Once chicken is cool enough to handle, chop cutlets into bite-sized pieces and divide pieces evenly between prepared salads.
  • Drizzle Cajun ranch dressing over salads and serve immediately.
  • Ranch Dressing: It plays a prominent role in this salad dressing, so use your favorite ranch dressing here!
  • Hot Sauce: Louisiana-style hot sauces are mainly a blend of chiles, vinegar, and salt, and the flavor is very vinegar-forward. Tabasco, Crystal, Louisiana, and Frank’s Red Hot brands would all work well in this recipe.
  • Cajun Ranch Dressing: For more flavor, prepare dressing in advance (at least 30 minutes) and refrigerate dressing until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftover dressing in an airtight container up to 1 week.
  • Make it Whole30/Paleo: Use a compliant mayonnaise and compliant hot sauce. Omit the pepper jack entirely.

Approximate Information for One Serving

Serving Size: 1saladCalories: 583calProtein: 31gFat: 45gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 773mgPotassium: 1051mgTotal Carbs: 14gFiber: 6gSugar: 6gNet Carbs: 8gVitamin A: 7983IUVitamin C: 19mgCalcium: 173mgIron: 3mg
Nutrition Disclaimers
Number of total servings shown is approximate. Actual number of servings will depend on your preferred portion sizes.
Nutritional values shown are general guidelines and reflect information for 1 serving using the ingredients listed, not including any optional ingredients. Actual macros may vary slightly depending on specific brands and types of ingredients used.
To determine the weight of one serving, prepare the recipe as instructed. Weigh the finished recipe, then divide the weight of the finished recipe (not including the weight of the container the food is in) by the desired number of servings. Result will be the weight of one serving.

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