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This Southern Style Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta is THE best any night of the week pasta. Lightly breaded parmesan chicken pan-fried until golden and crispy. The chicken is served over a big bowl of creamy southern-inspired cajun pasta. Every bite is layered with spicy flavor, bell peppers, crispy chicken, and creamy pasta. It’s the easiest, creamiest bowl of pasta that’s fancy enough for the weekend, but easy enough to make any night of the week. And most importantly, it’s delicious…especially with an extra sprinkling of parmesan on top!

Southern Style Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta | halfbakedharvest.com

Switching things up tonight with this creamy pasta! So, this wasn’t the recipe I was planning for today, but it’s all ok because this bowl of pasta is delicious… shockingly delicious. The story?

Well, as I said, I had something else in mind for today, but after thoroughly messing up big time with my other recipe, I pulled out this pasta. It literally saved the day. It’s not the most traditional pasta, but it’s fun, easy, and so great for a weeknight!

The idea.

This recipe was actually inspired by The Cheesecake Factory. I know this is a chain restaurant that so many of you love, but I’ve actually never been. Or if I have, I don’t remember it. Regardless I’m pretty unfamiliar with their menu…or I was.

After coming up with the idea to do a spicier cajun style pasta, Google somehow brought me to The Cheesecake Factory’s Louisiana Chicken Pasta. I was pretty curious to learn more about it, so I read the description. Breaded parmesan crusted chicken served over creamy pasta with bell peppers in a spicy New Orleans style sauce. I can’t say it sounded incredible, but it was definitely interesting to me. It was either going to be totally weird, or it was going to be weird…and delicious.

I went back and forth about how I actually felt about a cajun pasta. In the end, my love of spices won and I decided to test out my own version. I have not a clue how they make the pasta at The Cheesecake Factory, but what I do know is that this creamy cajun pasta is so delicious.

A little different, for sure, but DELICIOUS.

side angle close up photo of Southern Style Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta

The process.

What’s amazing about this pasta is just how quickly it comes together. I like to start with the sauce, then pan-fry the chicken, and put it all together.

The sauce I adapted a bit from my Fettuccine Alfredo, really just adding in lots of bell peppers and my homemade cajun seasoning blend.

First, you’ll need to cook up some onions, peppers, garlic, herbs, and spices. Then add a splash of milk and plenty of parmesan. Next comes my dad’s secret ingredient…the tiniest amount of cream cheese…whisk it in!

I know cream cheese isn’t typical, but my dad used to make his alfredo sauces this way. I swear it creates a silky smooth sauce every time. We’re only using the tiniest amount, but that’s all you need to do the trick!

overhead photo of Southern Style Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta with fork and knife in bowl

While the sauce is simmering, pan fry the chicken. I made sure to keep the chicken simple and easy. I used chicken cutlets, then simply breaded them in Panko and parmesan (don’t skip out on the parmesan!). Super simple, but when placed atop the creamy sauce? Beyond good.

Once the sauce has simmered, toss in the pasta. I like to use bow ties, but really any cut of pasta will do! And that’s it! Serve the chicken over steaming bowls of creamy pasta. Top with additional parmesan and fresh parsley. Yummmm.

This recipe is all about the sauce and that crispy chicken. The sauce is buttery, a touch garlicky, slightly spicy, and so creamy. It’s my favorite combo. And the crispy chicken? It’s a game-changer. Tender and delicious when thinly sliced and tossed in with the pasta.

The perfect dish for livening up an average Wednesday night. Or maybe save it for a Friday night? Honestly, this dish will be a hit whatever night you choose to serve it up…everyone in the family agrees.

overhead photo of Southern Style Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta

Looking for other weeknight dinner recipes? Here are some favorites:

30 Minute Spicy Sesame Noodles with Ginger Chicken

Shredded Brussels Sprout and Bacon Pizza

Slow Cooker Coq au Vin with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

Lastly, if you make this Southern Style Creamy Parmesan 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!

Southern Style Creamy Parmesan Chicken Pasta.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories Per Serving: 410 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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Ingredients

Instructions

  • 1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain.
    2. Meanwhile, place the Panko and 1/2 cup parmesan in a shallow bowl. Dredge both sides of the chicken through the Panko, pressing to adhere by using your fist to really pound the crumbs in. Place the chicken on a plate. Set aside.
    3. To make the pasta. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bell peppers, and garlic, cook another 5 minutes until the peppers are soft. Stir in the cajun seasoning, and a pinch each of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook another minute, until the spices are fragrant, then pour in the milk and cream. Add the cream cheese. Whisk until smooth. Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer and cook 5-8 minutes, until thickened slightly.
    4. To cook the chicken. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until golden brown on the other side, 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and season with salt. Slice into thin strips.
    5. To the sauce, stir in the parmesan. Toss in the pasta and cook 3-5 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
    6. Divide the pasta between plates and top with slices of chicken. ENJOY 🙂

Notes

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. 
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Comments

    1. Hi Ellen,
      Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go and sharing your feedback!! I love to hear that it was a winner:) xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    Made this tonight and it was delicious! I was wondering why you didn’t suggest putting spice in the chicken breading, and then when I tasted the heat of the sauce, I realized the chicken is a nice break from the spice. Such a perfect balance! I accidentally snagged cilantro instead of fresh parsley at the store, but it tasted great as a unexpected substitute. I am perpetually wowed by your recipes. Thank you!

    1. Hey Kara,
      Perfect!! Thanks so much for giving this recipe a go, I am thrilled to hear that it was a winner! Have the best week!🌸 xT

  2. 5 stars
    Made this last night and OH MY HOLY amazing goodness! Restaurant quality! Followed recipe exactly because honestly who changes a Tieghan recipe?! 🙂 My husband was silent the whole meal as he stuffed his face and my (non-cooking) sister had leftovers today..mind you she ate the leftovers cold out of the tupperware while walking home from my house to pick up said leftovers!!! This meal was so fun to cook and so fun to eat! Thank you for this one! Just made my weekly meal planner here and excited for this week’s recipes! x

    1. Hey Melissa,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe, I am so glad it was enjoyed!! Have the best week:) xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS!!! One of my favorite HBH recipes so far. The creamy pasta is so flavorful and makes an amazing combo paired with the crispy chicken. This will be a repeat recipe in our house for sure!!!

    1. Hi Rebecca,
      Awesome!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it!! Have the best week:) xTieghan

  4. 5 stars
    This was insane. The sauce is heavenly and I’ve made it several times. I wasn’t a fan of the bowtie pasta (too thick) but made it again with shells and it worked perfectly.

    1. Hi Amy,
      Happy Friday!! I am thrilled that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for trying it out!! xx

    2. 5 stars
      We really enjoyed this! Our family doesn’t tolerate most dairy products well so, I used almond milk, nut pods original creamer, and almond milk cream cheese for the sauce. I still used Parmesan though bc we do ok with that. I also used Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning in place of the homemade Cajun and did a flour and egg wash dredge before coating the chicken with the Panko mixture. All minor adjustments to help our dietary needs and to make life easier. My whole family loved it and the hubby and I had to force ourselves to stop eating. Ha! Thank you for another amazing recipe!

      1. Hey Nikki,
        Happy Sunday!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it and sharing your feedback! xx

  5. This is my new favorite! So flavorful and delicious!!! I can’t wait to hear you speak in DC and get your new cookbook. Keep these incredible recipes coming!

    1. Hey Rachel,
      Thanks so much for making this recipe and sharing your feedback, I love to hear that it was enjoyed!! xTieghan

  6. 5 stars
    Loved this! Made it tonight for my husband. I used chicken breast. I cut it into strips then marinated the chicken in a bit of olive oil and the Cajun seasoning for a few hours. Once I took it out, I coated it in the bread crumbs. Then I cooked the pasta and made the sauce and then cooked the chicken right at the end and served it. It was a big hit and my husband asked if we could make it once a week! Way better than the cheese cake factory! 🙂

  7. 3 stars
    Love your recipes! I read the comment about less cayenne after I made it. Kids definitely thought it was too spicy for them. My husband and I enjoyed it! I did the chicken first and then kept it in a warm oven, as I washed the pan and then did the sauce. As for kids: I definitely think it’s too spicy and would have lessened the cayenne pepper in the Cajun seasoning (I made my own). Thanks!

  8. 5 stars
    Would give this a 6/5! I have made this recipe several times for my friends and family and everyone loves it! It is my absolute favorite food now and it’s not that difficult to make & wow we’re my friends impressed!

    1. Hey Ellie,
      Happy Friday!! I love to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks so much for making it! xx

  9. 5 stars
    This was amazing, still dreaming about it the next day 🙂 I wish I could get my Chicken as brown and crispy as yours! We follow instructions, cook in Staub cast iron cookware (thanks for the recommendation by the way), but I can never get it as photogenic as yours. Tastes perfect though!

    1. Hey Lisa,
      Thanks a bunch for giving this recipe a try, I am so glad to hear that it was a hit!! xTieghan

  10. 5 stars
    Delicious especially with the crispy chicken on top. Only did half the amount of cayenne in the cajun mix and it was perfectly spiced for me. Definitely took longer than it said it would but that’s usually how it goes for me!

    1. Hi Nicole,
      Fantastic! Thanks a lot for making this recipe, I love to hear that it was enjoyed! Have a great week:) xx

  11. I forgot to buy the pasta for this recipe, so I had to use jasmine rice instead. Still so delicious, but will definitely try again with the pasta!

    1. Hi Meagan,
      Happy Sunday!! I love to hear that this recipe was a hit, thanks so much for trying it out!! xTieghan

    1. Hi Kelsey,
      Fantastic!! I am thrilled to hear that this recipe was enjoyed, thanks for making it! Have the best weekend:) xT

  12. What’s the secret to have the breading stay on the chicken when cooking? I love chix parm but always have problems with the breading.

    1. Hey Theresa,
      I think it’s key to make sure the chicken is really dry, so make sure you pat all of the moisture off of it and then really press the Panko onto the chicken. I hope this helps!! xTieghan