Creamy Cajun Pastalaya – just like jambalaya but better, made with pasta instead and with a creamy sauce and Fontina cheese. Great crowd pleaser and super simple!
We’re finally back from our long vacation and I cannot tell you how happy I am to be home. Although we had a lot of fun and have seen so many great places, took literally thousands of pictures, nothing beats sleeping in my own bed. We’ve been to so many cities, but if I were to pick a favorite I’m going with Quebec city! I love this city, especially the old downtown, it’s so amazing.
I couldn’t wait to get home because I honestly missed cooking so of course I had to cook today, no matter how exhausted I am. While on vacation we ate at a lot of great places and tried quite a few dishes which I want to try myself at home. One of these dishes is this delicious pastalaya, which it’s pretty similar to your regular jambalaya but it’s made with pasta. I also wanted to put my own spin on this recipe and turned it into a creamy version with a creamy sauce and one of my favorite cheeses, Fontina cheese.
While on vacation, I’ve had jambalaya 3 times, that should show you how much I love it. Jambalaya almost always is made with chicken, shrimp and some sort of sausage. Onions, peppers and celery are used as vegetables which are also known as the trinity of cajun cooking. I like to use different colors of bell peppers, but you don’t have to be so fancy, use whatever’s cheaper. I also used store bought cajun seasoning here which you can find pretty much in all grocery stores right now.
I went with a creamier sauce made from chicken broth and heavy cream and then added some fontina cheese, just because I like my pastalaya cheesy. Fontina cheese is usually quite pungent and has a very intense flavor and it’s known for its earthy, mushroomy and woody taste. It also has a rich and creamy flavor which is why I chose it for this dish. If you don’t like Fontina cheese, feel free to use a Mozzarella or even a Monterey Jack cheese.
All the jambalayas I’ve had at restaurants were pretty spicy, as a matter of fact one was so spicy I couldn’t even eat it, luckily my husband could. The cajun spice itself packs some heat but if you really love lots of spice then by all means add some hot sauce to this or more cajun seasoning and make it as spicy as you can handle.
If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
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Creamy Cajun Pastalaya
- 12 oz dry pasta I used mafalda
- 8 oz shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 tbsp cajun spice
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz chicken breast boneless and skinless, cut into small bite size pieces, about 1 large chicken breast
- 1 andouille sausage or smoked sausage cut into slices
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 celery stalk chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 red bell pepper julienned
- 1/2 green bell pepper julienned
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper julienned
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1/4 tsp pepper or to taste
- 1 cup Fontina cheese shredded
- 3 green onions chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions.
- Season the shrimp with about 1/2 tbsp of the cajun seasoning and set aside.
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven heat the olive oil. Add the shrimp and cook on both sides until it turns pink, about 2 min per side, could be less depending on the size of your shrimp. Remove the shrimp from the pot and set aside.
- Add the chicken and sausage to the pot, and sprinkle about 1 tbsp of the cajun seasoning over the chicken. Stir everything together and cook until the chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Add the onion, celery and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion becomes translucent, about 3 minutes.
- Add all the peppers and sprinkle the remaining 1/2 tbsp of cajun seasoning over the peppers, stir well and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the chicken broth and heavy cream to the skillet, stir and season with salt and pepper if needed. Add the shrimp back to the pot. Bring the sauce to a boil, then add the cooked pasta and about 1/2 cup of the shredded Fontina cheese. Stir everything together.
- Remove from heat, then garnish with the remaining Fontina cheese, green onions and parsley. The pasta will continue to soak up the sauce.
- Serve immediately. Refrigerate leftover for up to 3 days.
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