Easy Cajun chicken pasta. This dish is not only delicious but also fast and easy to make. Ground chicken is combined with Cajun seasoning, smothered in an irresistible creamy tomato sauce and tossed with shells for a comforting meal. It’s ready in less than 30 minutes, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
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Why you’ll Love this Easy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Get ready for a creamy pasta dish with juicy Cajun-flavored ground chicken and a mouthwatering sauce. It’s packed with delicious flavors and can be made in a flash – ideal for hectic evenings. This recipe is incredibly versatile and will be a great addition to our collection of quick 30-minute meals!
Let me guide you through the recipe with this step-by-step VIDEO or follow along on YouTube.
How to customize this Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe
There are various ways to personalize this simple and tasty pasta dish. Here are some ideas to modify or enhance your dinner:
- Adjust the Spiciness: To add some heat, sprinkle a bit of cayenne pepper or chili flakes into the sauce.
- Creamy or Not: If you prefer not to use heavy cream, consider substituting it with unsweetened full-fat coconut milk. Alternatively, you can skip the creamy element altogether. The pasta tastes great even without cream, but the creaminess helps to balance the Cajun seasoning’s heat and acidity of the tomatoes.
- Additional Flavors: For an extra punch, try adding cooked bacon to boost the flavor even more. You can also include shrimp alongside or instead of the chicken.
- Add Veggies: Experiment with adding spinach or roasted bell peppers to the dish for added flavor and nutrition.
Ingredients to Make this Cajun Chicken Pasta
- Pasta: For this recipe, I used shells but you can use any type of pasta: linguine, fettuccine, elbow, macaroni, penne, rigatoni or bow tie pasta will all work great.
- Ground Chicken: You can swap chicken for turkey.
- Seasoning: A delicious blend of Italian seasoning and Cajun seasoning. You can use your favorite store-bought Cajun seasoning. You’ll also need a pinch of salt and black pepper.
- Garlic and Onion: Freshly minced garlic cloves and finely chopped onion will give the best flavor.
- Puréed Tomatoes: The base for our sauce, you can also use crushed tomatoes.
- Cream: Makes the sauce rich and creamy, for a lighter version, use half-and-half or unsweetened coconut milk to make it dairy-free.
- Cheddar: Freshly grated for best result. You can also use Gouda or Parmesan.
- Parsley: To add that fresh touch. If you don’t have it on hand, you can simply leave it out.
Serve with a side of garlic bread and a leafy salad drizzled with caesar dressing.
Make Ahead Instructions
To make this Cajun chicken pasta ahead of time, you can prepare the ground chicken with sauce. Boil the pasta, but keep it separated. Allow to cool and store refrigerated in airtight containers. When ready to serve, reheat the sauce and stir in pasta.
Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat over low until warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water to thin out the sauce, as it will thicken when cooled.
Cooking Video: How to Make Easy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Easy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- 12 ounces dry pasta of your choice
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1.1 pounds ground chicken
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1 tbsp Cajun seasoning more to taste
- 1 yellow onion finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup puréed tomatoes
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- 3 ounces grated cheddar
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley more for serving
- chili flakes for serving
- Get your prep done before you start cooking. Grate the cheddar. Finely chop the onion, mince the garlic cloves and chop the parsley.
- Bring a large pot with generously salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve ½ cup cooking water before draining.
- Heat oil over medium high in a large skillet. Add ground chicken, break up into pieces and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and onion, cook for 2 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and Cajun seasoning. If your Cajun seasoning is salty, use less salt, you can always add more later.
- Deglaze the skillet with ¼ cup pasta cooking water. Scrape up the brown bits on the bottom or your skillet with a wooden spoon. Add puréed tomatoes, then add cream and stir in parsley. Simmer for 3 minutes.
- Stir in cheddar and finally toss in pasta. Taste and adjust Cajun seasoning or salt. Finish off with chopped parsley and a sprinkle of chili flakes. Enjoy!