Cajun Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons


Reinvent an entire Southern supper into a robust salad with big, brassy flavors.

Cajun Chicken Salad with Cornbread Croutons
Photo: Carson Downing
Total Time:
35 mins
4 chicken thighs, 6 cups greens, 1 cup blackeyed peas and 2 cups cornbread croutons


  • 6 - 8 ounce day-old cornbread, cut into bite-size cubes (about 2 cups)

  • 2 ½ teaspoon salt-free Cajun or Creole seasoning

  • 4 slices bacon, cut in thirds

  • 1 - 1 ¼ pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs

  • 2 tablespoon cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 1 cup canned or frozen black eyed peas (drained or thawed)

  • 10 cup torn kale leaves and/or mustard greens, stems removed

  • 2 tablespoon pickled okra brine

  • cup pickled okra, halved if large


  1. For cornbread croutons, preheat oven to 400°F. Spread cornbread cubes in single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil and and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. of the Cajun seasoning and 1/4 tsp. salt. Gently stir to coat. Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown, gently turning cubes once.

  2. Meanwhile, In a large skillet cook bacon over medium until crisp. Drain on paper towels. Reserve 2 Tbsp. drippings (add vegetable oil if needed); set 1 Tbsp. aside and leave 1 Tbsp. in the skillet.

  3. Season chicken with the remaining 2 tsp. Cajun seasoning and 1/4 tsp. salt. In the same skillet cook chicken over medium-high 6 minutes or until deep golden brown. Turn and cook 6 to 8 minutes more or until done (175°F.) Remove chicken from skillet; cover to keep warm.

  4. Add vinegar and mustard to skillet, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Add black-eyed peas; cook and stir 1 minute. Remove pan from heat.

  5. In a large bowl combine kale and/or mustard greens, pickled okra brine, and 1 Tbsp. reserved bacon drippings. Massage greens with your hands about a minute or until tender. Slice chicken.

  6. Transfer greens to a platter. Top with chicken, black-eyed pea mixture, bacon, okra, and croutons. If you like, drizzle with additional okra brine.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

425 Calories
20g Fat
41g Carbs
23g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 425
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 20g 26%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 78mg 26%
Sodium 654mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 23g
Vitamin C 102mg 510%
Calcium 243mg 19%
Iron 4.6mg 26%
Potassium 913mg 19%
Folate, total 106.7mcg
Vitamin B-12 0.3mcg
Vitamin B-6 0.5mg

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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