This Cajun Chicken Pasta ticks ALL the boxes: quick, a very easy recipe and a delicious complete meal that everyone can enjoy – even the picky eaters! A simple one-pot pasta recipe that the whole family will love – on the table in 30 minutes, perfect for those busy weeknights!
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Cooking pasta in the same pot as the sauce doesn’t just cut down on washing up – though that is always A GOOD THING. The pasta releases starch as it cooks thickening the creamy sauce and making it silky.
This chicken pasta is made irresistibly delicious with a little Cajun spice and butternut squash for added goodness. I can’t tell you how popular this family favorite is in our house!
Take a look at the recipe video and step by step tutorial to see how its done.
One-pot Chicken Pasta FTW!
I absolutely love this easy pasta recipe because it’s the perfect weeknight meal!
You can replace the chicken with turkey breast or prawns if you like – or use leftover roasted chicken (trimmed of any skin and fat) – and goes well with a simple salad.
Any leftovers can be turned into a chicken pasta bake if you like. This recipe is not suitable for freezing but it is so quick and easy to make that it more than makes up for it.
What is Cajun seasoning?
Homemade Cajun seasoning is popular in Louisiana, where the mix originated, but ready-made seasoning from your local grocery store works just as well. Typically, it is a mix of paprika, oregano, salt and pepper, with cayenne pepper, garlic powder and other spices throw in to make the Cajun flavor unique.
Here’s what you will need
This easy pasta recipe uses a few store cupboard staples and handful of fresh ingredients.
- Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and a little salt. Add some cayenne pepper if you like it a bit spicy!
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs
- Cooking spray
- Garlic cloves
- Chopped tinned tomatoes (canned chopped or crushed tomatoes) in their juice
- Butternut squash cut into small cubes – other vegetables can be swapped for squash if you like, added in the pot depending on how long they need to cook
- Dried pasta – I used pene but any similar pasta shape would work, even smaller pasta. Use wholemeal pasta for added fiber or gluten free pasta if required.
- Chicken stock (chicken broth) – made using a stock cube or canned
- Cream – Single cream or substitute with Light Cream Cheese or Quark if you’re looking for something on the lighter side!
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- Fresh basil to garnish
Here’s what you will need to make this pasta recipe
- Measuring Spoons
- Kitchen Knife
- Chopping boards – dedicate one board for raw meat and poultry and a separate for chopping vegetables
- Garlic press – one of my most used kitchen utensils!
- A large lidded chef’s pan – I swear by my Anolon Chef’s Pan
- A cheese grater – this Microplane grater is very versatile
How to make Cajun Chicken Pasta
Take a look at this step by step tutorial – plas note you will find the full recipe, including ingredients in the recipe card at the end of this post.
STEP 1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and put in a bowl. Add the Cajun seasoning, garlic granules and salt and mix together.
STEP 2. Spray a large non-stick lidded pan with low calorie cooking spray. Add the chicken and pan fry over medium-high heat until lightly coloured. The chicken doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through at this point.
STEP 3. Add the minced garlic and onions to the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes.
STEP 4. Add the butternut squash and chopped tomatoes, stirring to combine. Make sure the squash is cut into small cubes so that it will cook quickly.
STEP 5. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
STEP 6. Add the pasta, stir it to combine with the other ingredients and partially cover the pan, bringing to a boil.
STEP 7. Set a timer for 12 minutes (or however long your pasta needs to cook – I prefer it al dente) and continue to cook, stirring every couple of minutes. Cook until the pasta is cooked and any liquid is slightly reduced. Check the squash is cooked through as well.
STEP 8.STEP 8. Lower the heat and stir in the cream (or quark as a slimming friendly alternative). Add the grated Parmesan and basil and stir to combine.
STEP 9. Check the seasoning and add salt (if needed) and freshly ground pepper and serve.
Chicken Pasta Bake Variation
A great way to use up leftovers – if you happen to have any… Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Put the leftovers in a ceramic ovenproof dish, adding a little water or chicken stock.
Top with a little extra grated cheese – such as reduced fat mozzarella or cheddar and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden and pasta is heated through.
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Have you made my Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe? I would LOVE to see it! Snap a photo, add hashtag #supergoldenbakes and tag @supergolden88 on INSTAGRAM
Cajun Chicken Pasta
- 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 450 g | 1 pound skinless chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 onion , diced
- 400 g | 14oz tinned chopped tomatoes (canned chopped / crushed tomatoes) in their juice
- 200 g | 7oz butternut squash cut into small cubes
- 225 g | ½ pound dried penne pasta or similar pasta shapes
- 620 ml | 2 ½ cups chicken stock (broth) using a stock cube or canned
- 3 tbsp quark cheese for Slimming World version or cream cheese / heavy cream
- 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (Healthy Extra) plus extra to serve
- Small bunch fresh basil , chopped
- Salt and pepper to season to taste
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and put in a bowl. Add the Cajun seasoning, garlic granules and salt and mix together.
- Spray a large non-stick lidded pan with low calorie cooking spray. Add the chicken and pan fry over medium-high heat until lightly coloured. The chicken doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through at this point.
- Add the minced garlic and onions to the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add the butternut squash and chopped tomatoes, stirring to combine.
- Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
- Add the pasta and partially cover the pan, bringing to a boil.
- Set a timer for 12 minutes (or however long your pasta needs to cook) and continue to cook, stirring every couple of minutes. Cook until the pasta is cooked and liquid is slightly reduced. Check the squash is cooked through as well.
- Lower the heat and stir in the quark cheese.
- Add the grated parmesan and basil and stir to combine.
- Check the seasoning and add salt (if needed) and freshly ground pepper and serve.