Cajun Chicken Pasta

September 21, 2012 by Ali

A few weeks ago on a rainy evening, I randomly bumped into an old roommate at Target. And, yes, pretty sure we were those people who stood there right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of carts catching up on our life stories for an hour. It was so great to see her! But sure enough, when there was still more to share and the store was nearing closing time, the conversation came to — “We should do dinner!”

So this week we did! I invited some of the old crew to also come along, and we all spent an evening together at my place sharing a wonderful meal together, some of our favorite nostalgic wines from back in the day, and hours upon hours of conversation about the joys and answered prayers from the past year, some tearful honest moments about the lows, hilarious dating stories for better and worse, cheers over a new engagement, and endless hilarity and laughs. I love these friends!

This post, of course, is about the meal I served — Cajun Chicken Pasta. Well actually, I served them Cajun Shrimp Pasta, but (as often happens in blog world) I didn’t get time to snap photos before they arrived. And later this week, I was seafood-ed out. So I remade this with the classic chicken, which reminds me of an old dish I used to have at Chili’s as a kid!

Once again, the sauce somehow mysteriously didn’t show up in the photo. But I promise it’s there, and it’s super Cajun-y tasty! And while it does call for cream, it doesn’t include much cream. So I would go so far as to say that it’s a little lighter than many creamy Cajun sauces. Regardless, definitely a fabulous recipe that my friends all raved about, and I happily enjoyed even for the second time in a week. I think you’ll enjoy it too!

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4-6 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced thin
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning, divided
  • 3 small bell peppers, cored and thinly sliced (I used a red, orange and yellow bell pepper)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (or you can reduce to 1/4 cup)
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 12 oz. dried pasta of your choice (I used penne), cooked al dente according to package instructions
  • sliced or grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • thinly sliced green onions, for garnish

Method

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced chicken breasts and sprinkle evenly with 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning. Give them a quick stir to combine. Then saute for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and is no longer pink. Remove chicken with a slotted spoon and set aside in a large bowl.

Add an additional 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then add the bell peppers, tomatoes and onion. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add garlic. Continue sauteing for an additional 3-5 minutes until the edges of the veggies begin to brown just slightly. Transfer the veggies with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the chicken and set aside.

(I recommend adding the pasta to the boiling water at this point.)

Add the tablespoon of butter to the skillet, and once it is nearly melted, sprinkle the flour over it. Stir together to make a roux, and then cook for an additional minute, stirring occasionally. Add the white wine, and stir immediately to combine it with the roux, being sure to also scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan to grab that extra flavor. Let the wine reduce for 2 minutes, then add the chicken stock. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 5 minutes to reduce. Add the cream, pinch of cayenne, and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning, and stir until combined. Season with additional salt and pepper if need be.

Add your cooked pasta, chicken and veggies to the sauce and stir until evenly combined. Serve the pasta garnished with Parmesan and sliced green onions.

Ali's Tip:

This is also fantastic when made with a pound of (shelled and deveined) shrimp! Just substitute it for chicken, and saute it with the Cajun seasoning of medium-high heat until cooked and no longer translucent. We loved it!

filed in Chicken, Entrees, Pastas

About Ali

Ali Ebright is a freelance recipe developer and food writer/photographer, and blogs at Gimme Some Oven and Gimme Some Life. She also loves all things music, traveling near and far, actually making things from Pinterest, cozying up with a good book and her sweet pup, Henry, and spending time with a wonderful group of friends. Come say hello and follow Ali on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ & Instagram.

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20 thoughts on “Cajun Chicken Pasta

  1. can i leave the wine out? or should i replace it with equal amounts of chicken broth?

    - Mary

  2. OMG. This was AWESOME!!! Thank you so much for the recipe that replicates my fave dish from some of my fave restaurants!! A keeper!!

    - TK

  3. I love Cajun spices! This pasta sounds like a winner for any dinner party – or even just for a weeknight at home =)

    - Peggy

  4. Love all the flavors and colors! Beautiful dish!

    - Meghan

  5. I love cajun pasta! I also love when I run into old friends at Target!

    - Home Inspections Chicago

  6. Love the colors of this dish! And that cream sauce is absolutely to die for!

    - Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

  7. aww that sounds so fun!! i miss all my college buddies – what a great idea to invite them all over for some of this delicious looking and sounding pasta!

    - Julie @ Table for Two

  8. Beautiful pasta, perfect for a dinner with old friends!

    - Anna @ hiddenponies

  9. I love catching up with old friends!

    This pasta looks so good! The sauce sounds amazing!

    - Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.

  10. Love running into people! Well, people I like anyway. :) And amazing colors in this! Such a pretty meal.

    - Erin @ Texanerin Baking

  11. Love the flavours in this and how bright and colourful it is!

    - Kathryn

  12. How scrumptious, I love all these flavors!

    - Laura (Tutti Dolci)

  13. Cajun food rules my life! Love this and all the colors!

    - Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel

  14. I love your version of this pasta! Need to try with shrimp ASAP!

    - Cassie

  15. I love how energizing a great visit with good friends can be. So therapeutic!

    This pasta looks great. Lately I’ve been coming up empty when it comes to ideas for pasta, so I’m especially loving the looks of this.

    - Kare @ Kitchen Treaty

  16. I love love LOVE Cajun pasta! This looks absolutely delicious!

    - Laurie {Simply Scratch}