This quick and easy Cajun Chicken Pasta is ready in 30 minutes with just one-pot! A creamy cajun-inspired sauce coats pasta, bell peppers, onions, and pan-seared chicken breasts to create this easy weeknight dinner.
Cajun Chicken Pasta
You know those nights when all you want to do is dig into a hearty serving of flavorful creamy pasta? There’s just something so satisfying about sinking your teeth into a hearty pasta dish, especially when it’s made with a little heat like this Cajun Chicken Pasta.
The mouthwatering cajun flavors in this easy dinner come from the bell peppers and cajun seasoning, of course! Most cajun seasonings all have a blend of dried herbs, cayenne pepper, and spices like onion and garlic powder. Some also have crushed red pepper in them, which we recommend adding if your bottle lacks it! A light sprinkle of crushed red pepper gives this pasta even more of a cajun kick.
This easy dinner idea takes just 30 minutes to make and you will only need one pot to make it in! As a mom of 3, I love any easy dinner recipe that doesn’t require a lot of work and only requires washing one pot. So what are we waiting for, let’s get started!
Other Proteins To Try
While chicken is our favorite protein to use in this pasta dish, there are so many other delicious options you can try instead. Of course, if you’re a vegetarian, you can skip the chicken entirely and still have a tasty pasta dinner. However, if you’re a carnivore like us, here are some other classic cajun meats to try out in place of chicken:
- Andouille Sausage: or any other sausage you like.
You can also do a fun combination of chicken and sausage, it’s my husbands favorite and we never have any leftovers!
- Olive Oil – Avocado oil can also be used.
- Chicken – I prefer using boneless skinless chicken breasts, but thigh meat will also work if you prefer dark meat.
- Cajun Seasoning – You can add a little more if you want more of a kick, but be careful, because this stuff can be bold! You can also add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes to really kick up the heat.
- Yellow Onion – Sweet yellow onions work best for this recipe, but a white onion can be substituted in a pinch.
- Bell Peppers – Yellow and red bell peppers are my go-to choices, but a green pepper will also get the job done.
- Green Onion – Slice them, divide them, and toss an extra handful in there if you love them like I do!
- Chicken Broth – I like to use low-sodium chicken broth. Cajun seasoning often has a lot of salt in it, so using low-sodium chicken broth gives you more control in the final amount of salt in the dish.
- Penne Pasta – Bowtie or rotini noodles will also work.
- Cream Cheese – Your cream cheese should be full fat for optimal flavor and softened prior to use (so it melts quickly and easily).
How to Make Cajun Chicken Pasta
Sear. In a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and sear the chicken breast on each side for about 5 minutes, until nice and golden.
Cook. Add bell peppers, onion and half of the sliced green onions, stirring often and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, until vegetables are softened.
Boil. Add cajun seasoning, chicken broth and pasta. Bring to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
Make it creamy! Cut the cream cheese into blocks and stir until melted and creamy. This goes much quicker and easier if your cream cheese is room temperature and soft.
Serve, and enjoy! Taste and season with extra cajun seasoning, salt and or pepper, to taste as needed. Top with remaining sliced green onions and serve immediately.
Adjusting The Heat: Mild To Hot
This pasta recipe as is has a little heat, but is overall mild enough for most families with kids to still enjoy. However, you can absolutely adjust the heat by adding more cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes.
We recommend using cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes, more than cajun seasoning, because they add a great amount of heat without additional salt. If you like things extra spicy, when adding cajun seasoning to reach that level of heat, it will often get too salty. You are more in control of the heat and salt amounts if you choose one of the other two options that don’t have any salt in them.
What To Serve With Cajun Chicken Pasta?
The nice thing about this dinner? You have your protein, vegetables and starchy side all in the dish already! However, there are a few fun sides you can add to your meal, if desired:
- Garlic Bread: buttery garlic bread is the perfect side for this dish.
- Side Salad: something light and green is always great with a hearty pasta dish.
- Green Vegetables: we often add some roasted/steamed broccoli on the side. It goes well and helps us get in some more healthy veggies in the kids.
How To Store And Reheat Leftovers:
Have any leftovers? In an airtight container in the refrigerator, this pasta dinner will stay fresh for about 2-3 days.
This dinner actually reheats pretty well in the microwave and makes for a great lunch the following day! It can dry out a little, so I usually add a little extra cream cheese, heavy cream/half and half or chicken broth while I am reheating it.
Looking For More Easy One-Pot Dinner Ideas?
We obviously love nothing more than an Easy Dinner Idea, but nothing makes us happier than when it also only dirties one pot. An easy dinner combined with very little clean up is always our goal!
Check out some of our favorite one-pot meals below:
- One Pot Easy Chili Mac
- Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta
- Instant Pot Beef Tips
- Crockpot French Onion Chicken
- One Pot Pasta
- Crockpot Mexican Chicken
- Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 bunch of green onion, sliced and divided
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 10 oz penne pasta
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- In a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat, add olive oil and sear the chicken breast on each side for about 5 minutes, until nice and golden.
- Add bell peppers, onion and half of the sliced green onions, stirring often and continue to cook for 5 more minutes, until vegetables are softened.
- Add cajun seasoning, chicken broth and pasta. Bring to a low boil and cook for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
- Cut the cream cheese into blocks and stir until melted and creamy. Taste and season with extra cajun seasoning, salt and or pepper, to taste as needed. Top with remaining sliced green onions and serve immediately.