This Cajun Chicken Avocado Salad is a quick, easy, and healthy salad topped with Cajun-flavored chicken and slices of avocados, then tossed with a scrumptious salad dressing. A great go-to meal any time of the year!
I’m not much for eating out, especially at fast-food restaurants. However, Wendy’s Southwest Avocado Chicken Salad really hit the spot. And I knew I could make something like it at home. You don’t have to wait for summer to enjoy a good salad. In fact, you can customize your salads with warm seasonings and spices to bring on a little heat for cooler days.
If you want to take a break from soups and stews, salads are a great quick option. This Cajun Chicken and Avocado Salad is great, even on cold days. With just a handful of ingredients, you’ll be able to serve this healthy dish with the chilliest of breezes.
Avocados on a Chicken Salad?
Those of you who know me already know I adore avocados. Of course, they’re tropical, aren’t they? Avocados are creamy, delicious, and healthy. And they make an excellent salad dressing almost by themselves. If you tend toward paleo or keto (No! I refuse to use the word diet!), you already know they’re a perfectly acceptable alternative to unhealthy fats.
Speaking of that, we all know avocados are loaded with healthy fats. Scientifically known as Persea Americana, avocados are native Mexico and Central America. They are richer in fat content than most fruits. They may not be sweet, but their subtle flavor and smooth texture make them a good substitute for meats in sandwiches and salads. In this salad recipe, you’ll both enjoy the complementing flavor and texture of the Cajun-flavored chicken and avocado.
Immaculate Bites Avocado Chicken Salad
What makes my salad special is the Cajun spices. Oh, how I love Creole or Cajun seasoning. Start off by pan-frying or grilling the boneless Cajun-flavored chicken thighs. I strongly recommend that you make your own Cajun Seasoning (you can find the recipe HERE) – it tastes way better than store-bought ones. An added benefit is that you can control the amount of salt that goes in and adjust the other seasonings according to your preference. That’s the beauty of homemade spices. 😉
What Goes in the Salad
Don’t let the long list scare you. Most of these ingredients are already in your pantry or fridge.
- Low-fat mayonnaise – the creamy base for the ranch dressing.
- Low-fat sour cream – another base ingredient that adds a pleasant tang to the dressing.
- Lemon – adds a citrusy flavor and acidity that balances the fat in the mayo and sour cream.
- Minced garlic – You can either use minced garlic from a jar or mince fresh garlic for an even more wonderful flavor.
- Onion powder – This ingredient is an essential item in any pantry. Onions have a lot of moisture, so onion powder gives you the flavor without making your sauce runny.
- Worcestershire sauce – This thick sauce serves multiple purposes. It’s often used as a sauce base because it holds sweet and strong flavors.
- Salt – A basic ingredient that intensifies all other flavors. it’s also used for preserving, brining, or simply as a light garnish.
- Sriracha – A delicious Asian hot sauce that pleasantly spices up any dish.
- Chopped parsley – A herb that can be used fresh or dried. However, the taste is stronger in fresh, and it beautifies the dish.
- Buttermilk – adds a creaminess and tartness that plain milk can’t compete.
- Sugar or honey – Sweetness balances the acidity of the vinegar and lemon.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs – Many would say the breast is lower fat and healthier. It may be lower fat but it’s also lower taste and moisture. The skin (the fattiest part) is gone, so live a little. 😍
- Creole Cajun seasoning – A mix of herbs and spices bursting with flavor that’ll totally give your dish a kick of heat. Find how to make it HERE!
- Romaine lettuce – Lettuce can be soft and wilt easily when topped with hot ingredients. Romaine lettuce is crispy, crunchy, and hardy, making it the perfect salad ingredient.
- Avocado – Creamy, delicious, and healthy. Do we need to know more?
- Cherry tomatoes – You could use Roma tomatoes if you’d like but these are so cute and sweet. Perfectly sweet and tangy.
- Boiled eggs – Adds protein and substance.
- Red onions – The deliciousness of onions with a beautiful color. Yes, we also eat with our eyes.
- Cheese – Umami! The flavor it adds depends on the cheese you choose. Feta is my favorite for this salad but almost any firm cheese will be incredible.
Salad just loves to be with Homemade Bread Sticks, and can you blame it? Soup, Salad, and Sandwich is a popular lunch combination. A delicious and fresh Cuban Sandwich goes so well with this salad. And topping it off on the comfort-food scale is this awesome Tomato Basil Soup.
Make-Ahead & Storage
OK guys, lettuce and tomatoes just don’t get along well with the freezer. However, you can make the chicken ahead and freeze it. Then thaw it out and heat it up before adding it to your salad. I like to have my lettuce already cleaned and stored in the fridge. Tupperware is great for storing prepared veggies for a salad. Come mealtime, take the salad ingredients out of the fridge, and serve.
- Ranch dressing – As for the dressing, you can go with what’s in the recipe, or make something that tickles your taste buds. Even your favorite store-bought dressing will work. Pretty versatile, eh?
- Cajun chicken – Not in the mood for chicken? Cajun shrimp, grilled beef, or even blackened fish (boneless) make a great addition to this healthy salad.
- Romaine lettuce or tomatoes – Another reason to fall in love with this Cajun Chicken Avocado Salad is that it can be a good recipe to clean your fridge. Aside from avocados and tomatoes, you can pretty much throw in any fruit or veggies you want. You can put whatever greens you have in your fridge – be it lettuce, spinach, or mustard greens. Or top it with pomegranate or cranberries. Choose your side! 😉 Some even add green beans, sweet potato wedges, cucumber, spring onions, and the like. Be creative!
- Some even add green beans, sweet potato wedges, cucumber, spring onions, and the like. Be creative!
More Tasty Salad Recipes
How to Make Cajun Chicken Avocado Salad
- Mix the ingredients and season: Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, onion, lemon, minced garlic, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine and adjust for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Salt chicken according to taste. Then generously season the chicken with Creole Cajun spice. Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed skillet or Dutch oven.
- Cook the chicken: Pan cook chicken for about 8-10 minutes on each side or until fully cooked through and juice from the chicken runs clear. You might have to do this in batches to prevent the chicken from releasing excess liquid.
- Cut the chicken: Place chicken on a cutting board. Cut chicken into 1/4-inch-thick slices or desired shapes.
- Prepare the salad: On a large plate, arrange the romaine lettuce, cooked chicken, sliced avocados, tomatoes, eggs, and cheese. Serve with bread and ranch dressing on the side.
Cajun Avocado Chicken Salad
Low-Fat Ranch Salad Dressing
- ½ cup (165 g) low-fat mayonnaise
- ¼ cup (82.5 g) low-fat sour cream
- 1 tablespoon (4 ml) lemon juice adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- ¾ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1-2 teaspoons sriracha
- ½-¾ cup (4-6 oz) buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons sugar or honey optional
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 2-3 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons Creole Cajun seasoning or more
- 3-4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 large avocado sliced
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes or more
- 2-3 boiled eggs
- ½ cup sliced red onions
- crumbled cheese
Low-Fat Ranch Salad Dressing
- Whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, lemon juice, minced garlic, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, pepper, sriracha, buttermilk, and sugar. Mix well to combine, add chopped parsley and adjust for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Salt chicken according to taste. Then generously season the chicken with Creole Cajun seasoning.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed Dutch pan. Pan cook chicken for about 8-10 minutes on each side, or until fully cooked through and juice from the chicken runs clear. You might have to do this in batches to prevent the chicken from releasing excess liquid.
- Place the chicken on a cutting board. Cut chicken into 1/4-inch-thick slices or desired shapes.
- On a large plate, arrange romaine lettuce, grill chicken, sliced avocados, tomatoes, eggs, onions, and cheese.
- Serve with bread and ranch dressing on the side.
Tips & Notes:
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.