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Creamy penne pasta topped with sliced cajun chicken
5 from 6 votes

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta features tender pan fried chicken with a spicy cream sauce. This meal is made on the stovetop in under 30 minutes.
Author Diana
Servings 6 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces penne pasta uncooked. or other short pasta
  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced into thin cutlets
  • 2 tablespoons cajun seasoning divided
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
  • ½ yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed or very finely minced
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream (double cream in the UK)
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • In a medium-sized saucepan, boil water and salt it. Add your pasta, and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. When the pasta is cooked, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
  • Meanwhile, season and cook the chicken. Season the chicken cutlets with salt, pepper, and 1 tablespoon of cajun seasoning.
  • Heat olive oil and melt 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet, add the seasoned chicken cutlets and cook for 3-4 minutes per side until they are cooked through. Remove from the pan. Cover to keep warm. Cook the chicken in batches as needed so that the pieces have enough room in the pan to brown.
  • If there are any burnt seasonings left in the pan, wipe them away with paper towels. You can add water to make this easier.
  • Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, and saute the onion until soft and translucent. Add garlic, and saute for 30 seconds then add the diced tomatoes. Stir in the remaining cajun seasoning and heavy cream.
  • Use a flexible spatula or a whisk to mix everything together. Then add the parmesan cheese and let it melt into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, tasting and adjusting as needed. If the sauce seems too thick at any point, stir in some of the pasta water that you saved earlier.
  • Slice the cooked chicken into thin strips, then mix it in with the pasta and sauce. Serve, garnished with chopped parsley and extra grated parmesan cheese.

Video

Notes

  • Cook the pasta to al dente. Avoid overcooking the pasta. It will cook further when you add it to the sauce, so your final dish will end up mushy.
  • Use your favorite brand of Cajun seasoning, but note that not all of them are the same, heat-wise. If your seasoning is particularly spicy, you may need to use a bit less in this recipe. 
  • You can replace the chicken breast cutlets with boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you like. Pound them with a meat mallet if needed so that they are thin and cook quickly. 
  • To Store: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat over low heat until just warmed through. You may need to add a splash of water to thin the sauce, as it will thicken when cooled.

Nutrition

Calories: 521kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 296mg | Potassium: 468mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2224IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 2mg