Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta: Perfect for a Quick Dinner
Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta is a quick and easy dish that can be made in 30 minutes. It’s perfect for busy weeknights or when you want to use up leftovers.
What is Cajun Cooking
Cajun cooking is a style of cooking that originated in the French-speaking Acadiana region of Louisiana. The Cajun cuisine is the only true indigenous cuisine of Louisiana, and it has become popular throughout the United States for its spicy, flavorful style.
Cajun Chicken Pasta Ingredients
- Marinate the chicken for at least 30 minutes.
- Add the chicken to a large pan, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.
- Add pasta, and cook as directed on package (about 5 minutes).
Cajun Seasoning Ingredients
Cajun seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that can be used to add flavor to your food. The main ingredients are salt, oregano, thyme, black pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Add other spices like cayenne pepper or ground bay leaf to make it spicier!
How To Make Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and onion, and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute (you don’t want them too soft).
If you want to add a little bit of milk or cream, butter and/or cream cheese to your pasta dish, feel free! If you prefer a sharper flavor for your pasta dish, then by all means use that as well. Just remember that the spicier the sauce is up front (spicy at least in terms of hotness), the more milder it will be when served over cooked pasta.
- Add vegetables: Bell peppers, mushrooms, onions.
- Add beans: Black beans or pinto beans (you can also use lentils).
- Add rice: Brown rice or white rice works well here! You could also think about serving this pasta over quinoa if you want something more hearty that won’t break the bank. That said, if you don’t have access to quinoa but do have some leftover chicken thighs on hand—which is always an option when it comes down to cooking in bulk—that would be perfect too!
Protein. You can use skinless, boneless chicken breasts in this recipe. I advise using chicken breasts that have been thinly cut. Make sure to cut each huge one in half horizontally if you purchased any large ones. This will speed up and simplify the cooking process. Chicken tenderloins and skinless, boneless thighs are further options. Even some shrimp or sausage is an option.
Carbs. For this cajun chicken pasta, I like to use short pasta. Use any short pasta you have on hand, including rigatoni, farfalle (bow-tie pasta), fusilli (spiral pasta), pasta shells, and penne.
Vegetables. You may also include chopped asparagus, sliced tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, or sliced zucchini in addition to the bell pepper.
- You’ll need a large pot to cook the pasta, chicken, vegetables and sauce in this recipe.
- To keep your pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan while you’re cooking it, fill half of your pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat before adding the uncooked noodles (or any other food).
- Once your noodles are fully cooked—about 10 minutes—remove them from heat and drain them thoroughly using paper towels or cheesecloth before returning them back into their original cooking container for storage until ready for use later on down this road.
For Cajun chicken pasta that’s healthier:
Replace spaghetti with full grain.
Add vegetables: Include but are not limited to sliced bell peppers, spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, and any other vegetables you’d like to use up from your refrigerator.
Replace the butter with olive oil or reduce the butter by half.
Utilize cream cheese reduced in fat.
Employ skim milk
Leave off the parmesan cheese
With bite-sized pieces of soft pasta and chicken and a creamy cajun sauce, this Cajun Chicken Pasta is a dinnertime hit. One of the simplest dinners, it takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.
Few things make me happier than 30-minute meals! This cajun spaghetti is incredibly quick, simple, and adaptable! Serve it with rolls, salad, homemade bread sticks, roasted vegetables, or a side of salad.
Our spicy Cajun chicken pasta is a great way to enjoy classic Cajun flavors in a healthier, lighter meal. You can make it as is, or add any of your favorite vegetables to make it even more delicious. If you want something indulgent, add some feta cheese or pesto sauce before serving! You’ll love how much flavor there is in this dish without all the extra fat and calories that come along with traditional recipes.