This Cajun Chicken Pasta ticks ALL the boxes: quick, easy, delicious and slimming friendly! A simple one-pot pasta recipe that the whole family will love – on the table in 30 minutes.
You will also love my Tuna Pasta Bake and Chicken Fajita Pasta
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Have I mentioned how much I love one-pot recipes? Yes? Well I am going to say it again: one-pot recipes ROCK, one-pot pasta recipes ever more so!
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 sauce and making it silky.
This chicken pasta is made irresistibly delicious with a little Cajun seasoning, with butternut squash for added goodness and a little quark cheese for creaminess. I can’t tell you how popular this dish is in our house!
Take a look at the recipe video and step by step tutorial to see how its done.
Slimming World Chicken Pasta
You won’t believe this flavourful creamy pasta dish is totally Syn Free but it is! I absolutely love this recipe and I make it at least once a week.
You can replace the chicken with turkey breast or prawns if you like – or use leftover roasted chicken (trimmed of any skin and fat).
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.
Here’s what you will need
This simple 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!
- Skinless chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs
- Low calorie 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 penne but any similar pasta shape would work. Use wholemeal pasta for added fibre or gluten free pasta if required.
- Chicken stock (broth) – made using a stock cube or canned
- Quark cheese to add some creaminess. You can also use Extra Light Cream Cheese for a few added syns. If you are not making a slimming meal you can use cream if you like!
- Grated Parmesan cheese (Healthy Extra)
- 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 – please 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) 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.
STEP 8. Lower the heat and stir in the quark cheese. 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.
A serving of this recipe is just under 500 calories and 13 SmartPoints on WeightWatchers. This recipe is Syn Free on Slimming World*, using some of your Healthy Extra A options for the Parmesan Cheese (you can leave this out if preferred). * some seasonings have now been given syn values but it would be negligible in each serving.
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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.
We made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! All four of us enjoyed it which is unheard of in our house. Finally a meal we can all enjoy instead of having to make 2 or even 3 different things.
I used cream cheese instead of quark and frozen squash as we couldn’t get a fresh one.
can you freeze this pls?
Lucy Parissi says
Hi Cath, I don’t think pasta dishes freeze well so would not advise if. However you can always freeze a portion and check x
Love this recipe. I leave out the squash but add baby Bella mushrooms, spinach, and chopped up basil chicken sausage. Amazing.
Tried this recipe tonight and was a big hit! Didn’t use the quark cheese and was still so delicious.
What is considered a serving? 1 cup?
Lucy Parissi says
Hi Kate that’s hard to say, you would need to divide by however many servings
Tried this tonight. One word delicious! I never had squash in pasta before or cooked pasta like that before.
Lucy Parissi says
One pot pastas are so fab! Glad you liked it 😘
This is a firm fave in our house, we always go back to this for a reliable week day meal! Thank you!
Could you use coconut milk instead of the quark if your allergic to cheese and cream?
Lucy Parissi says
Hi Lorraine – coconut cream might be better or soya single cream (Alpro). I think soy would be better as coconut might add too much flavour.
Jacqui B says
Hi there – this looks amazing and I will definitely give it a go. But I am confused as you say you swear by your chef’s pan. I don’t understand the difference between that and a wok or large frying pan. Can you help please. Thank you
Lucy Parissi says
Hi Jacqui – a chef’s pan is quite deep and has a lid. You can use a deep pot instead – I think a frying pan would be too shallow for this recipe. Hope this helps x
OMG, amazing! One of the new house favourites x
Lucy Parissi says
A family favourite here too! Thank you so much for your comment x
Delicious 😋 this is so easy to make and everyone loves it, thanks for sharing the recipe.