I am on a roll with pasta lately and I still have yet another pasta recipe coming soon (and guess what, it has grilled chicken. Imagine that.)! I live for pasta, in other words I could never give up my carbs. And oh how I LOVE this pasta! It is packed with goodness and totally irresistible flavors.
I love all the contrast going on in this pasta dish. You get that light charred flavor from the grilled chicken, a creamy Alfredo style sauce, plenty of sauteed fresh veggies all of which is seasoned with this incredibly flavorful and perfectly spicy cajun seasoning!
If you are like me and you love heat go with 1 tsp of cayenne pepper in the cajun seasoning (or even more). I had to make this so that my husband and my kids would still eat it so I just went with 1/2 tsp and even then my kids were still noticing heat (I’m trying to break them in slowly). You can always add more cayenne to your own serving and taking it easy on the full amount so everyone’s not complaining. Also, you can definitely swap out the chicken for shrimp for another tempting version of this unbelievably delicious pasta dish.
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
Yield: About 6 servings
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (shrimp can be substituted)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil , divided
- 6 tsp cajun seasoning , divided (recipe in notes below)
- 12 oz dry linguine or fettuccine pasta
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 clove garlic , minced
- 3 Tbsp flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
- 1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- 1 medium red bell pepper , sliced into thin strips then strips halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper , sliced into thin strips then strips halved (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 large red onion , sliced into thin strips
- 2 cups sliced button mushrooms (about 8)
- Fresh parsley , for garnish
Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Brush chicken with 1 Tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with 2 tsp of the cajun seasoning (I used 2 chicken breasts and this is 1/2 tsp per side). Grill chicken until cooked through, about 8 - 10 minutes, rotating once halfway through grilling until chicken registers 165 degrees on in instant read thermometer in center of chicken. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes then cut into strips.
Boil pasta in salted water according to directions listed on package. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water before draining.
In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in garlic and flour and cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. While whisking slowly pour in milk and whisk vigorously to smooth lumps. Stir in 1 - 3 tsp cajun seasoning, to taste (season with additional salt as needed). Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low, stir in parmesan and cream and cook until cheese has melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add red and yellow peppers and red onion and saute 2 minutes. Add 1 tsp cajun seasoning and mushrooms and saute 2 minutes longer.
Toss drained pasta with sauce mixture, adding reserved pasta water 1 tbsp at at time to thin sauce as desired. Toss in pepper mixture and chicken. Serve warm sprinkled with parsley and additional cajun seasoning to taste.
Recipe source: pasta - Cooking Classy, seasoning blend - allrecipes
Recipe NotesFor the cajun seasoning, whisk together 2 1/2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp salt, 2 tsp garlic powder, 1 & 1/4 tsp dried oregano, 1 & 1/4 tsp dried thyme, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper and 1/2 tsp cayenne (use 1 tsp or more if you like a lot of heat).