Cajun Chicken Pasta with bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes in a creamy Cajun sauce is a lightened up version of a famous restaurant dish.
We are pretty obsessed with Cajun spices in our house and this Cajun Chicken Pasta is at the top of the list. With the creamy sauce and Cajun flavors, it pretty hard to beat.
It's almost embarrassing how much I have been making this lightened up Cajun chicken pasta lately. We just can't get enough of the creamy, spicy, smoky sauce and pasta - it's like a bowl full of comfort. Plus you can make it in about thirty minutes with ingredients you probably already have at home. Perfect for a busy weeknight.
This dish was inspired by the many restaurant versions of this dish, except...it's not over 1500 calories a bowl. If you want to be scared for a minute, do a quick Google search. Some of these restaurant versions over 1500 calories and 75 grams of fat. Luckily it's not that hard to make a delicious and healthier version at home with under 400 calories.
The key to making this amazing pasta dish is the sauce. It starts with onions, peppers, and garlic. This creates the first layer of flavor. Next comes the Cajun spices. You can use store-bought or homemade but look for one without added sugar. Then the sauce is finished with diced tomatoes and cream cheese. The cream cheese is the secret to making a creamy sauce without needing lots of cream or butter.
Recipe Ideas for Cajun Chicken Pasta
In terms of making this recipe your own, there are lots of delicious and easy ways to modify the recipe depending on what you have at home and how spicy you like things.
- Add more veggies: You could easily add mushrooms to pack in more veggies. Spinach, kale, or zucchini would be delicious as well.
- Swap proteins: Switch out the chicken for shrimp. You could also try ground turkey or sliced chicken sausage.
- Vegetarian: Make a vegetarian version with all veggies and add some black beans in place of the chicken.
- Spice level: In terms of spice, if you prefer a less spicy version use less Cajun spice and add some extra paprika and oregano for flavor. Now if you love spice, you could add some cayenne pepper, adobo sauce from canned chipotles in adobo, or use poblano or jalapeno peppers instead of the green bell pepper.
How to make homemade Cajun seasoning?
- 4 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp pepper
- 1.5 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp cayenne (adjust to preference)
What is the best pasta to use?
When making Cajun Chicken Pasta, it's best to use a pasta that has some ridges for the sauce to stick to. I like pasta shapes like shells, rigatoni, or penne. With that said, this pasta recipe will work with any type of pasta you like including whole wheat, chickpea, and lentil options. You could also substitute spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.
How long will this keep in the fridge? Can it be frozen?
This will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge in an airtight container. When reheating you can add a touch of milk or chicken broth if the sauce has become too thick. This dish doesn't freeze since the sauce will separate when frozen.
This post was originally shared over five years ago but has been updated with a video, new photos, and recipe ideas.
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
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- 8 oz. high fiber shell pasta (or whole wheat)
- .75 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
- 2 tbsp. Cajun seasoning, divided
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 1 U red pepper, sliced thin
- 1 U green pepper, sliced thin
- 1/2 U red onion, sliced thin
- 4 U cloves garlic, minced
- 14 oz. canned fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup scallions
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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