This creamy Cajun chicken pasta is made with seasoned chicken with bow tie pasta in a creamy Cajun sauce. Loaded with vegetables makes this a one-dish meal. A great dish for a crowd. Pair with french bread to sop up the sauce and dinner is served.
This dish came about when my niece got engaged. I wanted to do something special to celebrate the special occasion, but also make a dish that was easy to make, inexpensive, and didn’t require a lot of time to make. An added bonus is that it can also easily be doubled to feed a crowd.
While my niece was thrilled with the recipe, the real admirer was my brother who was there taking engagement photos. Since then he has routinely called me on the way to the grocery store to ask for the recipe. As a shout-out to family, special occasions, and good food, please enjoy this recipe for Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta.
The Best Pasta Shapes for Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
There are over 350 types of pasta with some shapes going by multiple names. But this overwhelming list can be broken down into four categories: long pasta, short pasta, stuffed pasta, and small pasta. For creamy sauces, you want to choose a short pasta shape with nooks and crannies to hold all the sauce you can. Of the short pasta types, you can often exchange one shape for another depending on what is available and how you want the dish to look.
Farfalle pasta, (commonly called bowtie pasta) is my go-to pasta for this dish. They are easy to find, hold lots of sauce, and most importantly—the shape is a wonderful compliment for all the vegetables that make up this dish.
Pasta Serving Size
The basic rule is for short pasta serving size is 2 ounces of uncooked pasta per person. This will cook up into 1 cup of cooked pasta. This recipe of Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta also includes protein and vegetables for the meal. A serving size is about 2-1/2 cups of deliciousness.
The Difference Between Cajun and Creole Seasoning
Cajun cuisine originated with the French settlers (Acadian people) who migrated in the early days of North America to the South namely the area of Louisiana. The seasonings feature the use of various peppers ranging from cayenne peppers to bell peppers and include both black and white pepper. It also relies heavily on garlic and paprika as well as the culinary trinity. (See this post for more information.) Together the flavors are well seasoned with a spicy kick.
Creole cuisine is a collection of many cultures ranging from West Africa to French to other European nations that are mixed into a single cuisine. While the flavor profile is similar to Cajun cuisine, it is based on herbs oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, and parsley. This makes a complex seasoning base that doesn’t have as many spicy notes that is characteristic of Cajun seasoning.
The creamy sauce is the perfect base for the Cajun seasoning, it won’t be overly spicy as the cream and cheese both mute the spicy heat. If you want more of a kick, simply add more Cajun seasoning.Print
Seasoned chicken with bow tie pasta in a creamy Cajun sauce. Loaded with vegetables makes this a one-dish meal. A great dish for a crowd.
- 10 ounces (uncooked) farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 carrots, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
- 8–10 white button mushrooms, sliced (about 4 ounces)
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced (about 1 cup)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced, (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced, (about 1 cup)
- 1 small clump broccoli head, separated into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 (14 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- basil leaves to garnish
- In a large sauce pan bring 4- 6 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile in a large saute pan, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Season chicken with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and a generous pinch of kosher salt and pepper.
- Cook the chicken pieces until golden brown on all sides and almost cooked through about 7-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same large saute pan, add the sliced carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, red bell pepper, red onion, broccoli florets and minced garlic until the vegetables are beginning to become tender. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.
- Drain the pasta and reserve 1 cup of pasta water. Place pasta in a bowl large enough to toss all the ingredients together.
- In the now empty saute pan, melt the butter until bubbly, then whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.
- Whisk in the heavy cream and cook until thickened. Then stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning.
- Reduce the heat and add Parmesan cheese. Whisk until fully incorporated and creamy. If the sauce is too thick, add enough reserved pasta water to loosen it to a pouring consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the creamy Cajun sauce to the pasta.
- Stir in the chicken pieces, cooked vegetables, and drained can of fire-roasted tomatoes and gently stir to fully combine all the ingredients.
- Taste and add a sprinkle of Cajun seasoning if desired.
- Garnish with basil leaves cut into chiffonade (see this post for instructions on how to chiffonade basil.)
- Serve warm.
Switch out other vegetables as desired.
This recipe can easily be doubled.
Keywords: Cajun, bowtie pasta