This copycat Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is a riff on the uber popular dish on the menu at Chili's Grill and Bar. The Cajun seasoned chicken is perfectly complemented by the Cajun seasoned cream sauce making it perfect for serving over cooked penne pasta.
Easy Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe
This skillet chicken is one that's simple enough for a weekday meal yet impressive enough for entertaining. So how do you make Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta? First, let's get the pasta cooking in boiling water. Next, season the chicken breasts with Cajun seasoning and cook on both sides in a skillet on the stovetop until the golden and cooked through, this will take around 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken to a platter and keep warm then add onion and garlic to the drippings in the pan. Once softened, add the remaining ingredients to make the Cajun cream sauce per the recipe. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss. Slice the chicken and arrange on top then serve and enjoy.
How to Make the Best Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe
- Ingredients you'll need to make homemade Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, olive oil, minced garlic, Cajun seasoning, butter, diced onion, Rotel tomatoes, light cream (or heavy cream or half and half) lemon pepper, grated Parmesan cheese and diced tomato and Italian parsley for garnishing. You'll also need cooked penne pasta.
- Kitchen gadgets you'll need: A large pasta pot, large 12 inch skillet or Dutch oven, sharp knife and cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, a cheese grater, a platter and a large spoon for stirring the sauce ingredients together.
- The sauce for this dish is rich and decadent by design. When adding the pasta to the skillet it's always a good idea to keep some pasta cooking water for thinning the sauce, if needed. It naturally has starch from the cooked pasta in it and is invaluable for creating the best sauces.
- You can also adjust the amount of sauce to your taste. This recipe will lightly coat the pasta for serving. If you like a heavier sauce, it will easily double.
- How long do you cook pasta? When cooking any pasta, I highly recommend following the package instructions of the brand you're using. Typically, you'll cook penne pasta between 10-13 minutes for al dente. Thinner pasta varieties such as angel hair, fettuccine or spaghetti will take slightly less time around 8-10 minutes. There's no way to un-do pasta that's been cooked too long so watch the time carefully.
- Store Cajun Chicken Pasta chilled in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in single serving portions in the microwave. You may need to add a splash of cream or milk to the pasta to thin the sauce.
More Easy Chicken Recipes to Make
- Lemon Butter Chicken is seasoned with fresh tarragon.
- Smothered Asiago Chicken is topped with sautéed spinach and mushrooms.
- The kiddos will love these Popcorn Chicken Bites.
- Pistachio Crusted Chicken breasts are easy enough for a family dinner but impressive enough for company.
- My recipe for Chicken Cakes with Remoulade Sauce is a fan favorite.
- Lemon Rosemary Roast Chicken is like having Sunday Supper any day of the week.
- Hasselback Chicken from Food Network.
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Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe
- 1 lb box penne pasta
- 4 6 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 ½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning divided use
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoon salted butter
- ¼ cup minced onion
- 4 medium cloves garlic minced
- 1 10 oz can Rotel tomatoes with green chiles
- 3 cups light cream (heavy cream OR half and half)
- ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper
- 2 diced Roma tomatoes
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped Italian parsley for serving
- Cook penne pasta in salted water per the package instructions until al dente. Drain well, reserve 1 cup pasta water.
- Rub chicken breasts with 1 ½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning on all sides. (You can use the smooth side of a meat mallet to pound chicken breasts to even thickness., if needed)
- In a large deep 12 inch skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter over medium high heat. Add chicken, cooking for 3 minutes per side or until juices run clear. Remove to a platter and keep warm.
- To the skillet add minced onion, cooking for 1-2 minutes until softened. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute longer.
- To the skillet add Rotel tomatoes cook for 1-2 minutes, scraping brown bits from bottom of pan. Add cream, reserved 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and lemon pepper. Mix until combined. Lower heat to medium. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add cooked penne to sauce. Mix well, then add reserved pasta water ½ cup at a time while stirring. Add just until creamy and fully coated with sauce. (You may not need it all)
- Cut chicken breasts on bias into strips. Arrange penne on each plate, top with sliced chicken breasts.
- Serve immediately garnished with diced tomatoes, grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.