Our recipe for southern smothered chicken is a classic around here, and it will sure to become a favorite comfort food from the first taste. The succulent pan-fried chicken is seared, then allowed to simmer away in a Crock Pot in a delicious gravy that’s cooked in your own kitchen with authentic homemade creole seasoning.

This is one of those soul food recipes you’ll love to keep handy for guests or for a cozy family night in. While it’s a from-scratch recipe, it’s not difficult or time-consuming (it takes 15-20 minutes to prep), and you’ll be glad you made the extra effort to make your own seasoning.

fork tender Cajun Smothered Chicken with Gravy being pulled from chicken breast

It’s made from basic ingredients like peppers and onions, broth, cream, thyme, oregano, and garlic. It all simmers together to make a rich brown gravy you’ll want to eat with a spoon when no one is looking.

It’s chicken & gravy cranked up a few notches (as we do here in the South), but let me show you how approachable and fun cajun cooking can be. One taste of this dish and you’ll be a firm believer in the power of Southern comfort food, if you weren’t already!

Crock Pot Smothered Cajun Chicken

southern Cajun Smothered Chicken with Gravy with a spoon for he gravy

Why You’ll Fall in Love with This Homemade Southern Smothered Cajun Chicken

  • Great Flavor: First of all, the flavor! Those classic cajun seasonings like cayenne, paprika, onion, garlic, and oregano all blend together in this recipe to give you the authentic flavor you want. And this method of pan-searing the outside of the chicken then slow cooking it makes it extra tender and juicy.
  • Easy For New Cooks: If you’ve never cooked Southern food before, this is a great recipe to begin with. It’s a recipe that takes just a little bit of love and care to make your own cajun seasoning, but it takes less than 5 minutes to do so.
  • Family Favorite Dinner Idea: Using your cock pot, this is an easy-to-serve dinner. Later in this post, I include excellent side dishes to serve with this chicken recipe, but it’s safe to say it serves up with real stick-to-your-ribs sides that fill up hungry bellies to make your meal stretch even further.

Ingredients Needed

To make this New Orleans-style chicken dish, you need to practically empty out your spice cupboard! All the best recipes use plenty of seasoning, and this one is no exception. Here’s what you’ll need:

spices with spice blender for Rich and Creamy Cajun Smothered Chicken with Gravy
  • *Dried seasonings – smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, basil, parsley, cayenne pepper, black pepper, celery salt, cumin, coriander, allspice.
  • You will need a coffee grinder or some other way to blend your herbs and spices to make a cajun seasoning for your chicken and gravy.

*If you’re short on a number of these seasonings or just want to save a little time, you can purchase a high-quality creole seasoning from your local grocery store instead.

ingredients for Smothered Chicken, pepper, onion, celery, broth, whipping cream cornstarch and cream of chicken and breasts
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast – I recommend chicken breast, but you can also use legs or thighs. Either way, you’ll end up with tender chicken
  • Green bell peppers – ​This recipe is a great way to use up peppers from your garden or that have been in the fridge a bit too long.
  • Yellow onion –​ Any sweet onion will be fine.
  • Celery – In many recipes, celery can be easily omitted, but in this recipe, (or any Creole cuisine), I recommend you include it.
  • Worcestershire ​- This will give your sauce the perfect bite! 
  • Cream of chicken soup –​ If you prefer to make your own, you can. Just use my recipe for homemade cream of chicken soup (takes less than 5 minutes!).
  • Heavy Whipping Cream – Substitute with half & half for a lighter option.

This recipe includes what’s known in Creole cooking as ‘The Holy Trinity.’ It’s a magical trio of onions, bell peppers, and celery, sautéed together to create the base for so many of our beloved dishes, making it the heartbeat of Louisiana flavor.

Just like the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the Christian faith, these three ingredients come together to form what we think of as the ‘divine foundation’ for gumbo, jambalaya, and étouffée. The onions bring sweetness, the bell peppers add a colorful kick, and the celery provides a subtle earthy note. It’s a culinary trinity that makes every Creole dish come alive with soul and spice.

How to Make Easy Smothered Cajun Chicken Step-By-Step

  1. Make a simple Cajun seasoning by adding all the herbs and spices to a small grinder and pulsing for a few seconds.
  2. Divide the seasoning blend in 1/2. Pour half of the seasoning blend into a sallow pie pan. *Note you will be dividing about 3 tablespoons of seasoning.
  3. Set the other half aside for later.
  1. Prepare your ingredients. Thick slice the bell pepper, cut the onions into small quarters, and chop the celery into small pieces.
  2. Clean and trim off any excess fat from the chicken breasts.
  3. Press each chicken breast into the cajun seasoning to give them a light coat. Make sure you coat both sides. 
  1. Place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it’s nice and hot, add the chicken breasts in a single layer to sear the outsides. You just need to leave them in the pan for 1-2 minutes until the outside is crispy, then flip them over. Work in batches if necessary. Set the browned chicken pieces in the Crock Pot.
cajun sauteed chicken in crock pot
  1. Add the sliced green peppers, onions, and celery to the Crock Pot with the chicken.
chicken cajun style, onions and peppers and celery in crock pot
  1. Now, prepare your sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together Worcestershire, chicken broth, and cream of chicken soup, and the other half of your homemade cajun seasoning blend. It will be about 1 1/2 tablespoons of seasoning. After whisking well, pour it over the chicken and vegetables.
  1. Place the lid on your crockpot and see the temperature to low. Let the Crock Pot cook your meal for 5 hours and 30 minutes on low.
  2. After five and a half hours, grab a jar with a lid and pour in the heavy cream and cornstarch. Shake it together, then whisk it into the Crock Pot to thicken the sauce. Cook covered for another 30 minutes to allow time for thickening the gravy.

Tips and Helpful Hints

  • When you sear chicken the way it this recipe directs, you aren’t looking to cook it fully. You just want to sear the outside so all the juices stay inside as it finishes in the slow cooker. This makes it really tender and juicy.
  • Resist the urge to lift the lid of your slow cooker! Every time you lift the lid, you let the heat and steam escape. Trust the process and try to leave the lid on.
  • Make a double batch of the Creole seasoning and store any leftovers in a Ziploc bag or a small jar for future recipes.
  • If you don’t have a spice grinder, use a mortar and pestle, or place them in a small resealable bag and combine well by crushing them with your hands.

How to Make Smothered Chicken for a Dinner Party

There’s no party like a Cajun Creole kitchen party, and this Smothered Cajun Chicken dinner is the perfect food to be the star of the show.

You can easily double or triple this recipe as needed. Keep it warm in Crock Pots or food warmers set on low heat. For easy clean up you could buy oversized disposable cooking trays and keep the cooked chicken and gravy in a 200°F oven until you’re ready to serve.

Complement this smothered dish by serving it alongside other Louisiana-style foods like gumbo, jambalaya, red beans, and rice, or even a full-on shrimp boil! Serve up beignets and some pralines, and you’ve got an entire Creole-themed party menu that will keep your guests ooo-ing and ahh-ing all evening long.

Rich and Creamy Cajun Smothered Chicken with Gravy in a bowl with peppers and onions

Can I make this without a slow cooker?

Yes you can! Follow the recipe as directed, except place your chicken and sauce in a large Dutch oven. Cook in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 350°F. Remove and add your cornstarch and cream slurry. Whisk it quickly into the pot and cook for 15- 20 minutes more, until thick and bubbly.

How to Store Leftovers

  • In the fridge – Your leftover chicken will stay good in the fridge for 4-5 days. Just store it in an airtight container.
  • In the freezer – This meal is excellent for freezing to enjoy on another day. You can even make a double batch and put some aside for a quick dinner. Just allow the chicken and gravy to cool to room temperature, then evenly distribute it between large, freezer-safe Ziploc bags. Freeze flat for easy storage and quick thawing.
  • How to reheat – Your leftovers can be reheated in the oven. Place the chicken and gravy in a small casserole dish. Cover and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350°F until hot through. You can also use the microwave. Cover with plastic wrap so the gravy doesn’t splatter!

Make It A Meal

This recipe makes a ton of super-flavorful gravy, so serving this chicken dish with something to sop up the gravy is always a win-win. I recommend you serve this dish beside a big bowl of steamy mashed potatoes, fluffy white rice, or even egg noodles. A fresh loaf of thick-sliced beer bread never hurt anyone, either, and makes the perfect vehicle for getting the sauce from your plate into your mouth!

Of course, for dessert, you must make a southern classic, Peach Cobbler, and a scoop of ice cream.

If this pan-seared and slow-cooked smothered Cajun chicken recipe sounds right up your alley, you’ll also want to try my recipes for pan-seared tilapia with lemon butter, extra juicy chicken legs cooked in the air fryer, Chinese salt & pepper chicken wings, and this slow cooker portabello mushroom chicken.

Did you enjoy making this recipe?

Could you be a gem and leave a comment and rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below? This helps others find yummy recipes to make for their family and friends. Calling all food paparazzi 📸 share your creation on IG, and tag me @intentionalhospitality.

Cajun Smothered Chicken with Gravy in a bowl with gravy spoon
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Rich and Creamy Cajun Smothered Chicken Recipe with Gravy

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours
Total Time: 6 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 6
This rich Smothered Cajun Chicken Recipe is loaded with flavorful gravy and tender chicken breasts. Creole cuisine has never been so easy. Just pan-sear your chicken and finish this dish in a Crock Pot for a meal that needs 15 minutes of prep time and almost no effort at all. Great for a dinner party or a family night.

Note: Be sure to read through the recipe’s post for tips and details about this recipe.

Ingredients
 

Chicken and Gravy

  • 2 pounds chicken breast, boneless, skinless
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 green bell peppers, large, cored and cut into thick slices
  • 1 onion yellow, medium size, cut into quarters
  • 3 stalks celery , celery stalks cut into 1 inch sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 10.5 ounces cream of chicken soup, one can
  • cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Cajun Seasoning Blend

  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon thyme , dried eaves
  • 1 teaspoon oregano , dried eaves
  • 1 teaspoon basil , dried eaves
  • 1 teaspoon parsley , dried
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, adjust to your preferred level of heat
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice

Instructions
 

  • Make a simple Cajun seasoning by adding all the herbs and spices to a small grinder and pulsing for a few seconds.
    1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon basil, 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon celery salt, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Divide the seasoning blend in 1/2. Pour half of the seasoning blend into a sallow pie pan. *Note you will be dividing about 3 tablespoons of seasoning.
  • Set the other half aside for later.
  • Prepare your vegetables. Thick slice the bell pepper, cut the onions into small quarters, and chop the celery into 1 inch pieces.
    2 green bell peppers, 1 onion yellow, 3 stalks celery
  • Clean and trim off any excess fat from the chicken breasts.
    2 pounds chicken breast
  • Press each chicken breast into the cajun seasoning to give them a light coat. Make sure you coat both sides.
  • Place a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add in 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When it’s nice and hot, add the chicken breasts in a single layer to sear the outsides. You just need to leave them in the pan for 1-2 minutes until the outside is crispy, then flip them over. Work in batches if necessary. Set the browned chicken pieces in the Crock Pot.
    2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Add the sliced green peppers, onions, and celery to the Crock Pot with the chicken.
  • Now, prepare your sauce. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together Worcestershire, chicken broth, and cream of chicken soup, and the other half of your homemade cajun seasoning blend. It will be about 1 1/2 tablespoons of seasoning. After whisking well, pour it over the chicken and vegetables.
    1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 cup chicken broth, 10.5 ounces cream of chicken soup
  • Place the lid on your crockpot and see the temperature to low. Let the Crock Pot cook your meal for 5.5 hours on low.
  • After five and a half hours, grab a jar with a lid and pour in the heavy cream and cornstarch. Shake it together, then pour it into the Crock Pot to thicken the sauce.
    ⅓ cup heavy whipping cream, 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • Cook covered for another 30 minutes to allow time for thickening the gravy.

Notes

Notes
  • When you sear chicken the way it this recipe directs, you aren’t looking to cook it fully. You just want to sear the outside so all the juices stay inside as it finishes in the slow cooker. This makes it really tender and juicy.
  • Resist the urge to lift the lid of your slow cooker! Every time you lift the lid, you let the heat and steam escape. Trust the process and try to leave the lid on.
  • If ou would like make a double batch of the cajun seasoing and store the leftovers in a Ziploc bag or a small jar for future recipes.
  • If you don’t have a spice grinder, use a mortar and pestle, or place them in a small resealable bag and combine well by crushing them with your hands.
Serving: 1g, Calories: 345kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 116mg, Sodium: 923mg, Potassium: 818mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 901IU, Vitamin C: 37mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 2mg
Cuisine: Cajun
Course: Main Dish
Author: Gina Dickson
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