This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Cajun Chicken Pasta has tender bites of penne pasta and cajun-seasoned chicken in a smooth and creamy cajun sauce that’s a bit like a kicked-up Alfredo. It’s ready in about 30 minutes – just add some fresh Roma tomatoes on top and you’ve got a complete meal!

This recipe is a copycat of the Cajun Pasta on the menu at Chili’s Restaurant. For another Chili’s copycat, try my Restaurant Style Salsa!

Large skillet with chicken, pasta and fresh diced tomatoes.
Pin this recipe for later!Pin This

visual walk-through of the recipe

How to Make Cajun Chicken Pasta

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

This recipe is simple because you cook a few parts separately and then combine them. Each part takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

The key to success is preparation. Get all your ingredients ready before you start cooking. This will save you a lot of time in the kitchen.

Pasta cooking in boiling water.

Cook the Pasta: Boil some water and cook the pasta to al dente (tender, but firm, not mushy) according to package directions. Drain the water and set the pasta aside.

diced chicken in a skillet.

Cook the Chicken: Season the diced boneless skinless chicken breasts with cajun seasoning and cook in a large skillet with butter and olive oil. Transfer to a plate and continue on to make the sauce. *Note – The chicken could actually be made ahead of time and frozen so you can have half the prep done the next time you want to make this dish.

A roux with cajun spices in a large skillet.

Make the Sauce: Saute minced garlic (fresh is best, but jarred will do in a pinch) in some butter and then deglaze the pan with a little low-sodium chicken broth. Scrape up all the little brown bits left behind from the chicken – there’s a ton of flavor there!

Whisk in and cook some flour, then whisk in milk and more chicken broth. Simmer until it’s thickened.

The start of a cheese sauce with a creamy base and parmesan cheese.

Add Cheese and Toss: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in freshly grated Parmesan cheese in small handfuls until it’s completely melted. Toss the chicken and pasta with the sauce.

Penne pasta, diced cooked chicken, diced tomatoes in a cajun cream sauce in a skillet.

Serve: Garnish with fresh diced tomatoes and freshly chopped parsley.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cajun Seasoning?

Cajun seasoning is a cajun spice blend used in cajun and sometimes creole cooking like for Instant Pot Jambalaya or Dirty Rice. It’s made with onion powder, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried thyme, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika and chili powder.

Is cajun spicy?

It can be, depending on the blend you use. The best way to control the heat level is to create your own spice blend. Use my homemade cajun seasoning as a guide, and significantly limit or completely omit, the cayenne pepper. If you are using a pre-mixed blend, simple use less of it if you want to tame the heat.

Can I use other cuts of chicken?

You can use chicken tenders, whole boneless chicken breasts, or chicken thighs. Just manage the cooking times accordingly.

Can I use another kind of cheese?

The sauce is similar in flavor to an Alfredo Sauce, made with butter, cream and Parmesan cheese. If you want to try something different, add a little mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese in place of, or in addition to, the Parmesan.

Customizing This Dish

Sort of like those choose-your-own-adventure books from when you were a kid, you can definitely choose your own ingredients for this recipe. These are the basics, then below you get to pick which adventure you’d like to try!

Adjust the Heat: Simply adding more of less of the cajun seasoning will increase or lower the spice level.

Choose Your Pasta: While penne is my pasta of choice for this dish because I love the way the sauce just hugs those little tubes, you can use ziti, rotini, even spaghetti or fettucine.

Add Some Veggies: Maybe adding vegetables to a rich and indulgent dish like this might seem counter-intuitive, but I bet your mom would be proud! Try adding some peas, broccoli, diced onion, sundried tomatoes, mushrooms or red bell peppers.

Take it To the Top: For a truly indulgent chicken pasta, take it all the way over the top and add some crispy bacon or pancetta, a little extra Parmesan cheese or an extra splash of heavy cream. Or in place of the chicken, add some steak bites, andouille sausage or pan seared shrimp.

Storage Tips

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerate: Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.

Freeze: Freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Thaw completely in the refrigerator before reheating. Keep in mind that the sauce may break as it thaws.

Reheat: Add a little more milk and/or chicken broth and heat slowly on the stove. If you prefer to reheat in the microwave, add about 1-2 tablespoons of milk per cup of pasta and reheat at 50% power. This will keep it nice and creamy and won’t dry out the chicken.

Cajun chicken pasta in bowls and with a wooden spoon.

Up and Coming Chicken Pasta Recipes to Try Next

Recipe
Square image of chicken and pasta witih tomaotes in a skillet.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

4.86 from 7 votes
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta has tender bites of pasta and chicken in a creamy cajun sauce. Perfect for weeknights, it's ready in 30 minutes!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 12 ounces Penne pasta about 3 cups uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 4 tablespoon Butter divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds Chicken breasts cut into small chunks
  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 cup Chicken broth divided
  • 4 tablespoons All-purpose flour
  • 2 cups Nonfat milk
  • 3/4  cup Fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
  • tablespoon Fresh chopped parsley
  • 3 Roma tomatoes diced
Save this recipe
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside on until ready to use.
  • Meanwhile,in a large, deep skillet, melt 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. Add chicken pieces to the skillet and season with the cajun seasoning and ½ teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • To the same skillet, add 3 tablespoons of butter and the minced garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds to a minute.
  • Whisk in ¼ cup of chicken broth and stir constantly to deglaze the pan (loosen and scrape up all the brown bits of flavor from the bottom of the pan), then stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Whisk in milk and remaining chicken broth and simmer for several minutes until thickened (sauce should coat the back of a spoon).
  • Remove from heat and gradually add in the Parmesan cheese a little at a time until it's fully melted and incorporated.
  • Toss the cooked pasta and chicken with the sauce to coat.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with diced tomatoes and fresh chopped parsley, if desired.

Notes

Adjust the heat level to your liking by adding more of less of the cajun seasoning. 

Nutrition

Calories: 738kcalCarbohydrates: 79gProtein: 48gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.5gCholesterol: 120mgSodium: 799mgPotassium: 1013mgFiber: 4gSugar: 10gVitamin A: 2115IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 427mgIron: 3mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

Free Email Series
5 Secrets to Dinnertime Sanity
Free email series with tested, tasted & terrific dinner recipes!

You Might Also Like

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. Nicole says:

    Can I use whole milk?

    1. Kristin Maxwell says:

      Yes.

  2. Mary says:

    This is one of my go-to recipes! The sauce is delicious! I would 100% recommend this to anyone!

    1. Kristin says:

      That’s awesome Mary! Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your honest feedback.

  3. Jessy @ The Life Jolie says:

    This pasta is the stuff that dreams are made of! I would devour the entire pan!