This creamy cajun chicken pasta is the best meal I have made all year.
It’s my family’s new favorite and I know you are going to love it as well. This quick and easy pasta dish is packed with bold and delicious ingredients that satisfy your taste buds.
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Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe
Cajun Chicken Pasta Ingredients
Recipe Variations and Ingredient Substitutions
I wouldn’t recommend changing this creamy cajun chicken penne recipe too much. This recipe written is the recipe that was tested but here are a few options:
Chicken breasts. You can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead. If you’re looking for another protein option, shrimp, prawns or scallops would be delicious in this creamy cajun sauce.
Avocado oil. Go ahead and use olive oil instead.
Cajun seasoning. This is what made the recipe, so I don’t recommend substituting it. You could make homemade seasoning if you prefer. I bought mine from Bulk Barn but this seasoning blend has over 6000 positive reviews.
Smoked paprika. I love the smokiness that this spice brings but you can use regular paprika.
Lime juice. Fresh lime juice only, please. The concentrated stuff does not taste as good. I buy this brand of fresh lime juice.
FAQs about this Easy Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe
How to Make Skillet Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
To ensure even cooking, slice the chicken in half (butterflying the chicken) and place the chicken between two sheets of parchment paper.
Hit them with a mallet or a heavy skillet to flatten them to an even thickness. This will ensure even cooking (and it speeds it up a bit too).
Season each chicken with a little salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of cajun seasoning.
In a large, hot, skillet add the butter and avocado oil and fry the chicken breast for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until it reaches cooked temperature (165f). Set aside.
At this point, boil the water for the pasta. Add the penne and cook until al dente. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes (about 3 minutes), then add the vegetables and garlic. Saute for another 3-4 minutes.
Spoon the tomato paste over and stir together. Let it cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes and let the paste turn to a deeper color.
When your pasta finishes cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of water from the pot.
Pour in the cream, mix it together, and then add the cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and parmesan cheese. Turn the burner to low. Stir it together until thick. It thickens fast.
Pour in the pasta water, and the lime juice, and add the butter and parsley. Stir it together and let it simmer on low.
You can add the pasta to the pan or serve it separately.
Cajun Chicken Pasta Tips
- Use a nonstick skillet. The sauce stirs better than cast iron.
- Taste and adjust as you cook. Don’t be afraid to adjust the amount of cajun seasoning to your personal preference.
- Be careful not to burn the garlic when sautéing it in the skillet. Keep stirring.
- Stir the sauce frequently to prevent it from burning or sticking to the skillet.
- Top the dish with green onions and parsley for a fresh burst of flavor and color.
We know you’ll love our creamy pasta dish, so here are a few more for you to save and try:
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Creamy Cajun Sauce
- 1/2 pound penne pasta
- 1/2 cup pasta water
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1/2 cup tomato paste
- 1 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
- 2 stalks green onions chopped
For the Cajun Chicken
- Butterfly chicken breasts (cut in half) and use a mallet to flatten until a consistent thickness (about 1/2" thick). Season both sides with 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat up a large skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon of avocado oil and a tablespoon of butter.
- Once hot, add the seasoned chicken and book for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until done. Remove from skillet, set aside on a plate.
Creamy Cajun Sauce
- Start boiling the water for the pasta, and add the penne. Remember to save 1/2 cup of the cooked pasta water.Leave the leftover oil, butter, and any leftover seasoning in the pan. Add onions. Let them cook for 3 minutes. Stirring frequently. Then add the garlic, green, and red pepper. Cook for another 3-4 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and saute until a deep red, about 3 minutes.
- Pour in the cream and add in the cajun seasoning, lime juice, parmesan cheese, and smoked paprika. Stir until thick, less than a minute.
- Finish the sauce by adding 1/2 cup of pasta water, butter, and parsley. You can add the pasta to the skillet or serve the sauce on the side.
- Slice up the cooked chicken and add on top.
- Garnish with sliced green onions and serve with more parmesan cheese on the side.