This is the best Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe! It’s creamy, cheesy, loaded with flavor, and on the table in 30 minutes! An easy weeknight dinner your whole family will love.
Cajun Chicken Pasta
Despite my husband always complaining that he doesn’t like pasta dishes, it never stops me from making more pasta. Personally pasta is my comfort food! It’s what satisfies me and makes me happy. It’s what warms my heart and makes me sing with happiness. Who else can relate?
But this dish is not just about the pasta, it’s loaded with chicken and sausage, half and half and lots of Parmesan cheese, not to mention lots of cajun seasoning.
When you make this, the first thing that’s going to happen is the smell is going to hit you and then you’ll be super anxious to finish this dish so that you can get to eating.
What Does Cajun Mean
When we’re talking about food, Cajun is usually referring to a spice blend which originated from Acadians living in Louisiana. Dry Cajun spice blend is made of paprika, cayenne pepper, herbs, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
What Ingredients Do I Need For Cajun Chicken Pasta
For this recipe, you will need:
- Olive oil
- Chicken breast
- Cajun seasoning
- Salt & pepper
- Smoked sausage (andouille or chorizo would be great)
- Fresh parsley
- Half & half (half milk, half cream- 10% MF)
- Parmesan cheese
You can honestly use any shape of pasta you want for this recipe! Rotini, farfalle, shells, linguini, spaghetti, fettuccine, you name it! If you use any low-carb alternatives, you may need to thicken the sauce with a cornstarch slurry. The starch on the pasta help thicken the sauce in this recipe when everything comes together.
Want to make your own jar of Cajun seasoning? This is what you’ll need:
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (feel free to use more or less depending on your spice tolerance)
- 1.5 tbsp dried oregano
- 1.5 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
How To Make Cajun Chicken Pasta
This cajun chicken pasta really is easy to make. The best way is to cook the pasta al dente ahead of time according to package instructions. This way when you make the sauce, all you have to do is stir in the pasta and serve.
To make the sauce you’ll need to cook the chicken first, but I like to add all the seasoning to the chicken, so that as the chicken cooks, all the flavors build in to it. Cut the chicken into equal bite size pieces. This will ensure the chicken cooks faster.
Use a smoked sausage that you like and slice it up into 1/4 inch slices. I used a beer and smoked gouda sausage which was so flavorful and it really added to the entire dish. If you don’t want to use a smoked sausage use any other cooked sausage you prefer.
I used half and half for the sauce which is a 10% cream, much lighter than a heavy cream, however if you wish to make this even lighter, feel free to use milk such as 2% or 3%.
Use freshly grated Parmesan cheese because pre-shredded cheese usually has added ingredients which help prevent the shredded cheese from naturally sticking together.
Can This Chicken Pasta Be Made In Advance?
You can absolutely make this in advance and as a matter of fact, the longer this sits, the better it will taste because the flavors will develop even better. However, do keep in mind that this pasta won’t be as creamy anymore as when you first make it because the penne will absorb all the sauce.
If planning to make this ahead, another option would be to just make the sauce, and when ready to serve, cook the pasta and heat the sauce together with the pasta. This way it will taste fresh and it will still be super creamy and delicious.
How To Store Leftover Cajun Chicken Pasta
Store this pasta in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last 4-5 days, which makes it perfect for your weekly meal-prep!
Can You Freeze Cajun Chicken Pasta
In an airtight container, this pasta will last 3-6 months in your freezer. I would freeze this in individual servings so that it will be easier to thaw. You can thaw this in the microwave, or covered in the oven at 350 F until the pasta is heated through. If you reheat in the oven, the pasta will absorb some of the sauce. Keeping it covered will help it from getting dry.
CRAVING MORE CAJUN RECIPES? TRY THESE:
- Cajun Shrimp Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Crispy Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine
- Cajun Shrimp with Tomato Alfredo Pasta
- Creamy Cajun Pastalaya
- Cajun Meatballs in Fire Roasted Tomato Sauce
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Cajun Chicken Pasta
- 8 oz penne (2 cups) uncooked
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb chicken breast (2 chicken breasts) boneless and skinless, cut into small pieces
- 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
- ¼ tsp salt or to taste
- ¼ tsp pepper or to taste
- 2 links smoked sausage cut into slices
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- Cook pasta: Cook the pasta according to package instructions until it's al dente (cooked until it's still firm when bitten). Drain and set aside.
- Cook Chicken: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the chicken to the skillet, then sprinkle with the cajun seasoning and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through, should take about 5 minutes.
- Add sausage: Stir in the sausage and cook for a couple more minutes until the sausage starts to brown.
- Add garlic and parsley: Add the garlic, parsley to the skillet and stir. Cook for 30 seconds until the garlic becomes aromatic.
- Add half and half: Add the half and half and cook until it comes to a boil. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
- Stir in pasta: Add the penne and stir everything together.
- Garnish and serve: Garnish with more parmesan cheese and parsley if preferred and serve while warm.
- Half and Half: Half and half has 12 percent fat content. Heavy cream can also be used. It is also called heavy whipping cream because it's whipping cream with a milk fat content between 36 and 40 percent.
- Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container for 3 to 4 days. Make sure to refrigerate within two hours of cooking. Keep in mind that the pasta will soak up all the sauce.
- Make ahead: Make the sauce ahead, then refrigerate. When ready to serve cook the pasta, then add the pasta to the sauce and cook until heated through.
- Nutrition: Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.