Cajun-Style Creamy Smoked Gouda Chicken Pasta.
Cajun chicken pasta is a simple and delicious dish that can be prepared with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen. It’s filled with flavor from the spice blend and the tomatoes, plus it’s ready in no time at all.
1 pound of boneless skinless chicken breast
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast is typically sold in portions that weigh about 1 pound. If you’re not sure how large your individual piece of meat is, use a kitchen scale to measure it out before cooking.
- There are many different cuts of chicken to choose from, but for this recipe we recommend using boneless and skinless breasts because they cook quickly and don’t require any special preparation techniques—just pop them in the pan!
2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (or more if you like it spicier)
- 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning (or more if you like it spicier)
- 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil or butter, divided
This is a simple recipe with just a few ingredients, so make sure to use only fresh spices. You can buy Cajun seasoning in a pre-packaged mix or make your own; this recipe calls for two tablespoons’ worth. You can also add additional spices like paprika, garlic powder and chili powder for an even more complex flavor profile.
3 tablespoons of butter, divided into 2 and 1
- For the chicken: Melt 1/2 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add 4 skinless chicken thighs (about 1 pound). Cook until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side.
- For the pasta: Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in salt and 1 pound spaghetti or linguine noodles until it is fully submerged under water. Cook for 8 minutes or according to package instructions. Drain well before adding back into pan with sauce and tossing together until coated evenly with sauce.
1/4 cup of diced onions
To begin, dice your onions. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saute pan over medium heat and add the diced onion, stirring occasionally until translucent. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic and bell pepper to the mixture, cooking for an additional minute or two before adding chicken to cook through (about 2 minutes).
Add cream to the pan along with uncooked pasta, allowing it all to simmer together for ten minutes or until cooked through. Remove from heat and top with shredded cheese before serving!
1 bell pepper (green, red or yellow), sliced
Bell peppers are a good source of vitamins C and A, both of which help the body fight free radicals that can cause cancer and other diseases. They’re also high in fiber—a nutrient that helps lower cholesterol and regulate bowel movements, among other benefits.
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
This is the only ingredient that I don’t use fresh, but it’s a great flavor for chicken dishes. If you have it on hand, go ahead and throw some in!
Salt and pepper to taste
Add salt and pepper to taste.
If you want it spicier: Add more cayenne pepper, starting with 1/8 teaspoon.
If you want it less spicy: Add more black pepper, starting with 1/4 teaspoon.
2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Substitute with nutritional yeast, which is a vegan alternative.
If you are not following a dairy-free diet, you can also use fresh mozzarella or ricotta cheese instead of the Parmesan.
Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
If you like spicy food, add red pepper flakes here. If you don’t have any or don’t want to use them, skip this step!
1 cup frozen corn kernels (optional)
You can also add 1 cup frozen corn kernels to this dish, if desired. Corn adds a great crunch to the dish, and it’s delicious! If you don’t want to add another vegetable or would like a lower carb option, I suggest substituting broccoli for the corn.
12 ounces dry penne pasta
Penne pasta is a spiral-shaped cut of pasta that got its name from the Italian word for quill. Look for it in the dry pasta section of your grocery store, or you can find it online at Amazon or Jet.com (affiliate links). You’ll need about 12 ounces for this recipe.
While the ingredients and recipe are simple, this Cajun Chicken Pasta dish is delicious and filling! It’s perfect for busy weeknights but also great for entertaining friends and family.