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Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs

Time: 40 minutes
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Looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner with a spicy kick? These Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs are seasoned with a flavorful cajun rub and roasted with cauliflower.

It is a cheap recipe with minimal prep work that will leave the whole family feeling full and nourished!

For another chicken thigh dinner, try my Rosemary and Thyme Chicken Thighs with potatoes. Or you can browse more easy and cheap dinner recipes here.

A plate of baked cajun chicken thighs and roasted cauliflower ready to eat.

If you’re a regular here you know I don’t typically share dinner recipes. I am all about appetizers like chicken wings and sliders. But let me tell you, these Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs are hands-down my favorite chicken dinner recipe.

I knew I had to share this one with you because as soon as you bite into the crispy skin, you get the juiciest meat with a kick of spice. The cauliflower roasts up so nice and tender but still has a little crunch to it, which I know you’ll love.

Not to mention, this recipe is …

  • SIMPLE – 8 ingredients and only 40 minutes to make.
  • INEXPENSIVE – there is nothing I like more than a cheap dinner, it cost me under $6 to make!

Ingredients For Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs

  • Chicken Thighs: Use bone-in, skin on thighs. If there is an excess amount of skin on the underside of the chicken, trim that away with kitchen scissors or a knife.
  • Cauliflower: Use a medium to large sized head of fresh cauliflower (don’t forget to wash it). Break or cut the cauliflower into large florets. I do not recommend using frozen cauliflower.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil: This helps the seasoning to adhere to our food while promoting a beautiful even browning.
  • Cajun Seasoning Blend: This is a mixture of Slap Ya Mama original blend, 21 Season Salute, salt, and black pepper. It is the perfect amount of Cajun without being completely overwhelming to your mouth.
  • Unsalted Butter: We add a dollop to the top of our chicken thighs before baking them. It helps the skin of the chicken to become even more crispy and delicious.

Equipment Needed

  • Baking Sheet: You will need a really large baking sheet for this dinner recipe. We need a lot of room for the cauliflower and chicken to bake evenly (it shouldn’t be too crowded on the baking sheet).
  • Meat Thermometer: A digital thermometer is great for checking the temperature of our chicken thighs and ensuring doneness.
Ingredients. Bone in, skin on, chicken thighs, extra virgin olive oil, cajun seasoning blend, and cauliflower.

How to Make Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs

This effortless dinner comes together in just 3 major steps, which I’ve briefly summarized below. Of course, you’ll find more detailed instructions in the full recipe card further down, but for now here’s a quick overview.

1. Preheat oven, prep your baking sheet, and mix together the cajun seasoning blend.

2. Toss the cauliflower in olive oil, seasoning blend, and arrange on the baking sheet. Nestle the chicken thighs between the cauliflower before coating them in olive oil, the seasoning blend, and a dollop of butter.

A baking sheet topped with a dollop of butter and cajun seasoned chicken thighs. Seasoned cauliflower surrounding the chicken and ready to go in the oven.

3. Bake for 30 minutes, flipping only the cauliflower halfway through. Allow the chicken thighs to rest before serving dinner.

This dinner tastes great with a side salad, mashed or smashed potatoes, cajun smothered green beans, english pea salad, broccoli, or really anything. The possibilities are endless!

If you’re wondering what the green stuff is on mine, it’s chimichurri (you can find the recipe below)! Chimichurri is a bright, herbaceous sauce that is perfect for cutting through spice. The main ingredients are parsley, spices, and red wine vinegar.

Storing Information

Any leftover chicken and cauliflower should be refrigerated in an airtight container for no more than 3 days. Feel free to eat your leftovers cold or warmed up in the microwave or air fryer.

A baking sheet with baked Cajun Chicken Thighs and roasted cauliflower.

3 Recipe Tips You Need To Read

1. Trim away excess skin on the chicken thighs. Sometimes store-bought thighs have an excess amount of skin on the sides and bottom of the chicken. Leaving this can make the chicken and cauliflower super oily. Always trim it away with kitchen scissors or a knife and discard.

2. Break the cauliflower into large florets. This is so important because cauliflower not only shrinks as it roasts, but it cooks faster than you may think. If the florets are too small it will cook faster than the chicken and you will have mushy overcooked cauliflower. Nobody wants that!

3. Adjust the spice to your liking. The spice level on this dish is great, even for those who don’t like spice. If you like a lot of spice I recommend buying a spicier cajun blend or adding additional chili powder and cayenne pepper.

Table scene of baked chicken thighs and roasted cauliflower seasoned with a Cajun blend seasoning on plates and more on a baking sheet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs

When are chicken thighs fully cooked?

The best way to tell if chicken thighs are fully cooked is with a digital thermometer. Inserted into the thickest part of the chicken thigh it should read 160 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can I use chicken breasts instead of thighs for this recipe?

Most definitely! The baking time will need to be adjusted because breasts cook more quickly than thighs (because of the bone). I would cook them at the same temperature but check them after about 15 minutes. I would also make the florets medium in size to adjust with the cooking time.

Can I make cajun seasoning homemade?

Yes, of course! To make cajun seasoning homemade, try this recipe. Unfortunately I don’t have a copycat recipe for 21 Season Salute. Honestly, I think it is easier to buy than to get all 21 seasonings to make your own.


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Enjoy Entirely, Elizabeth
A plate of cajun chicken thighs and cauliflower ready to eat.

Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs

Elizabeth Swoish
These Baked Cajun Chicken Thighs are seasoned to a spicy perfection and roasted with cauliflower. It is a quick, easy, and cheap dinner for any night of the week!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 4 servings
Calories 405 kcal

EQUIPMENT

INGREDIENTS
 
 

  • 4 chicken thighs - bone in, skin on
  • 1 head cauliflower - broken into large florets
  • cup extra virgin olive oil - divided in half
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning - I use Slap Ya Moma
  • 2 teaspoons 21 Season Salute - found at Trader Joe's (but you can also buy here on Amazon)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons unsalted butter - if using salted butter, omit the added salt above

INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Preheat oven to 450 °F and prepare a large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
    NOTE: Do not use parchment paper (the heat is a little too high for it).
  • In a small bowl mix together cajun seasoning, 21 Season Salute, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.
  • To a large bowl add cauliflower florets, half of the extra virgin olive oil, and a quarter of the prepared seasoning.
  • Stir together until the cauliflower is well coated in the oil and seasoning. Place seasoned cauliflower on the prepared sheet pan.
  • Nestle the bone in, skin on chicken thighs between the seasoned cauliflower.
  • Coat chicken thighs in the remaining extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle remaining seasoning on the chicken thighs.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of unsalted butter to the top of each seasoned chicken thigh.
    A baking sheet topped with a dollop of butter and cajun seasoned chicken thighs. Seasoned cauliflower surrounding the chicken and ready to go in the oven.
  • Bake in the oven for 15 minutes and flip the cauliflower to promote even browning.
  • Continue baking for an additional 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked and the cauliflower is fork tender.
    NOTE: Use a digital meat thermometer inserted into the largest part of the chicken thigh. It's internal temperature should read 165 °F and the juices run clear.
  • Remove from the oven allow the chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
    NOTE: I topped my chicken and cauliflower with a bright and herbaceous chimichurri, you can find the recipe below.
    A baking sheet with baked Cajun Chicken Thighs and roasted cauliflower.

NOTES

Storing Information:

  • Refrigerated, and in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. 
 

Chimichurri Recipe:

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano 
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
DIRECTIONS: 
  • To a food processor add the parsley, oregano, minced garlic, salt, and chili powder. Blend until it is chopped but not completely pulverized. Stir in the extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar.
  • Store in an airtight container and in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Metric conversions are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this information.

Tried this recipe?Feel free to share a rating and comment below. Don’t forget to tag me on social media, or use the hashtag #EntirelyElizabeth – I would love to see what you’ve made!
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By Elizabeth Swoish on January 2nd, 2024
Elizabeth Swoish holding a camera up to her eye taking a photo.

About Elizabeth Swoish

Elizabeth Swoish is the founder and CEO of Entirely Elizabeth. She is a self-taught foodie and mocktail enthusiast with a business degree in data analysis. Learn more about her HERE or connect on your favorite social media channels.

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