This simple Lighter Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is made in 30 minutes and uses just one pot. It’s the perfect quick-cooking pasta that’s great for both busy weeknights and laid-back weekends too. Every bite is layered with spicy flavor, bell peppers, crispy chicken, the absolute best creamy parmesan sauce (made on the lighter side), and finished with fresh basil.
If there was one pasta to make this week, this is it. Hands downs, one of my favorites. And for two reasons. First, this is so, so, so easy to make. Simply boil the pasta, sear the chicken, make the sauce, and toss!.
And second? There is so much flavor. Mostly thanks to a good spoonful of my homemade cajun seasoning blend…it’s delicious.
And really all I have to say is that I wish I would have put this one together sooner, it’s soo delicious and so easy. A great new addition to your recipe rotation!
As you might guess, this is pretty simple and straightforward. But I gave it some get-up-and-go with the addition of my cajun seasoning blend.
Start with the pasta. For this particular recipe, I like to boil and drain the pasta first.
While the pasta is boiling, start prepping. Chop the chicken, prep the bell peppers, and grab some herbs. The idea is that by the time the pasta is finished boiling, all the other prep work will be complete.
Once you drain the pasta, move on to the chicken. Toss it with a little cajun seasoning, then cook it until it’s just crisp.
Now that sauce…
First, you’ll need to cook up some onions, peppers, garlic, herbs, and a touch more cajun seasoning. Then add a splash of chicken broth, milk, and plenty of parmesan. Next comes the ingredient that keeps the sauce creamy without adding any additional cream or butter…the tiniest amount of cream cheese.
I know cream cheese isn’t typical, but I swear it creates a silky smooth sauce every time. And a little goes a long way. Trust me, it really does the trick!
Once the sauce comes together, toss in the pasta, and add the chicken back in. And that’s it! Top with additional parmesan and lots of fresh basil and thyme.
This recipe is all about the sauce and that spicy cajun chicken. The sauce is slightly spicy, herby, and ever so creamy. It’s my favorite combo. And the chicken? It’s a game-changer, tender and delicious, and just perfectly seasoned and spicy! SO GOOD in this creamy pasta.
This is the perfect dish for livening up an average Wednesday night. Or maybe save it for a Friday night. Either way, everyone loves this simple, creamy pasta!
Looking for other quick pasta recipes? Here are a few…
Lastly, if you make this Lighter Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
Lighter Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Calories Per Serving: 477 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
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- 1 pound short-cut pasta
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta al dente, according to package directions. Drain.2. In the same pot set over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, chicken, and 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning. Cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Spoon the chicken onto a plate.3. To the pot, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, the bell peppers, and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes until the peppers are soft. Stir in 1-2 teaspoons cajun seasoning. Add a pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook another minute, until the spices are fragrant, then pour in the broth and milk. Add the cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and cook 5 minutes, until thickened slightly.4. Stir in the parmesan. Then toss in the pasta and chicken and cook 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Serve immediately topped with additional basil. Enjoy!
Homemade Cajun Seasoning: mix 2 1/2 tablespoons smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 1 tablespoon dried thyme, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt, and 1 tablespoon black pepper. Makes 3/4 cup.