Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

cajun-chicken-pasta

This Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is sure to become a new family favorite. It’s comfort food at its finest. I started with chicken breasts, coating them in a homemade Cajun seasoning blend for extra savory depth. After searing the chicken until just cooked through, I removed it from the pan and set it aside. A creamy sauce made from Greek yogurt, mayonnaise and parmesan cheese. Stirred into the pasta, it coated each strand in the most decadent, richly flavored creaminess you can imagine.

Recipe Ingredients

  • For the chicken, we’ll need bite-sized pieces of tender boneless, skinless breasts totaling about 1 pound. I like to use chicken breasts for their lean protein content. We’ll also use 1/2 tablespoon of my homemade Cajun seasoning blend to infuse the chicken with deep flavor.
  • For the pasta, we’ll start by melting 2 tablespoons of butter in a pan over medium heat. With butter’s rich creaminess as our base, we’ll then add 1/2 of a sweet yellow onion, diced into small pieces for texture. A quarter teaspoon of dried basil brings an herbal note. Another tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning adds savory warmth. Two plump garlic cloves, minced, lend their subtle aroma. And 1/4 cup of dry white wine ties it all together with acidity.
  • For the creamy sauce, we’ll combine 3/4 cup of heavy cream along with 3/4 cup of milk. The cream provides lushness while the milk balances it out. Finally, 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated and brought to room temperature so it melts smoothly into the sauce.
  • And of course, no pasta is complete without the pasta itself – in this case, 8 ounces of penne for its tube shape that cradles the sauce beautifully. A scattering of fresh basil leaves provides a pop of green color and herbaceous flavor to finish it off. Now let’s get cooking.

How to Make This Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Preparing the Chicken

To start, let’s get the chicken ready. Place the bite-sized pieces on a plate and generously season all over with 1/2 tablespoon of the homemade Cajun seasoning blend. Gently toss to evenly coat. Set aside while we prepare the other ingredients.

Sautéing the Aromatics

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Once melted and bubbling, add the diced onion, dried basil, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, and minced garlic. Sauté for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent.

Deglazing with Wine

Pour in the 1/4 cup of dry white wine and stir to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Let the wine simmer for 2-3 minutes until reduced by half.

Searing the Chicken

Nest add the seasoned chicken pieces to the pan in a single layer, taking care not to overcrowd. Cook for 5-7 minutes, flipping occasionally, until no longer pink inside and the juices run clear. Remove chicken to a plate and set aside.

Cooking the Pasta

Add the penne pasta to the pan along with 3/4 cup of chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente but still has some bite.

Making the Cream Sauce

While the pasta cooks, in a separate saucepan combine the 3/4 cup heavy cream, 3/4 cup milk, and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Warm over low heat, whisking constantly, just until thickened and smooth.

Assembling the Dish

Once pasta is done, stir the cream sauce into the pan. Add the cooked chicken back in along with fresh basil leaves. Toss everything together gently until well coated.

Serving Instructions

  • This Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is best served hot from the stove, so have your serving bowls or plates warmed and ready. Ladle generous portions of the pasta into bowls, making sure to distribute the chicken and sauce evenly. Top with a sprinkle of extra parmesan if desired.
  • For a finishing touch, garnish with fresh basil leaves. You can also serve with a simple green salad or garlic bread on the side to soak up every last drop of sauce. Enjoy while it’s hot – the flavors really sing when piping warm from the pan. Makes 4-6 servings depending on appetites.

Storage and Freezing Instructions

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The sauce may thicken as it sits, so you can add a splash of milk or cream to loosen it up before reheating.
  • To freeze, allow the fully cooled pasta to come to room temperature then transfer to an airtight freezer bag or container, pressing out excess air. Label with contents and date. It will maintain quality in the freezer for 2-3 months.
  • To reheat frozen portions, thaw overnight in the fridge or microwave in 30-second intervals until warm throughout. Alternatively, you can bake frozen pasta at 350°F for 20-25 minutes until hot and bubbling. Either way, be sure to stir in a splash of milk or cream to refresh the texture before serving.
cajun-chicken-pasta

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FAQs

Can I use a different pasta shape?

Yes, feel free to substitute penne for another short pasta like farfalle or fusilli. Avoid long pasta shapes that won’t hold the sauce as well.

Is the recipe kid-friendly?

Yes, the flavors are kid-approved. You could leave out the wine or serve it on the side for younger family members. Extra parmesan on top makes it extra delicious!

Can I make it ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the components ahead and assemble right before baking or reheating on the stove. Just don’t add the fresh basil until serving.

Is it healthy?

Using Greek yogurt, mayo and parmesan in the sauce keeps it lower in fat and calories than a cream-based recipe. Chicken is a lean protein. Request smaller portions for a lighter meal.

Can I double the recipe?

Easily! Just be sure to use a very large pot and cook the pasta in batches if needed so it isn’t overcrowded. A bigger batch is perfect for meal prepping.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

This Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is sure to become a new family favorite – it's comfort food at its finest. I started with chicken breasts, coating them in a homemade Cajun seasoning blend for extra savory depth.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 500 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces penne
  • Fresh basil for garnishing

Instructions
 

  • Let's start by prepping our main ingredients. Dice half a sweet onion and mince a few plump garlic cloves. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and toss with Cajun seasoning in a bowl.
  • In a large skillet, melt some butter over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic until softened. Pour in a splash of dry white wine to deglaze the pan.
  • Once the wine has reduced by half, add the seasoned chicken pieces in an single layer. Cook through until no longer pink inside. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • Return the skillet to the stove and melt a knob of butter. Add penne pasta and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer.
  • While the pasta cooks, make a luscious cream sauce. Warm heavy cream, milk and parmesan in a saucepan until thick and smooth.
  • When the penne is al dente, stir in the cream sauce. Add cooked chicken back to the pan along with fresh basil.
  • Toss everything together gently until well coated. Ladle into bowls and top with more parmesan if desired. Dig in
Keyword cajun pasta recipe, chicken and pasta casserole, Creamy cajun chicken pasta, pasta recipes with chicken and vegetables,
Hey there! I'm Betty Spangler. I love food, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple.