Weeknight Shorts: Cajun Chicken Pasta

When this time of the year rolls around, one of the nicest gifts you can give yourself is a collection of delicious, simple recipes that either feed a crew or give you leftovers for when it gets busy again (so ... now). So for the next few posts, I'll be sharing some quick meal ideas that often use one pot or skillet and always bring the flavor to the table. No bow or ribbon needed!

This dish takes a box of pasta, a couple chicken breasts, some veggies, and builds a creamy Creole inspired sauce that will leave you reaching for seconds. What's more, it's a one pot meal. Try using a bowl you'll use for serving to keep the chicken and veggies warm during other parts of prep and you'll have so few dishes to clean after too!

I just pour everyone around the table their favorite beverages and we dig in. This dish is so popular at my house, we make it at least once a month. Sometimes I mix up the veggies in it but this version is my family's favorite. Let me know if you like it too and if you find any tweaks you want to share!

Cajun Chicken Pasta

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 T. cajun seasoning, divided
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 orange bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise and then into half coins
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ½ c. chicken broth
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 (16 oz.) box short pasta - I used radiatore
  • 1 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Coat the chicken breasts with half the Cajun seasoning (1 ½ teaspoons). In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken breasts about 4-5 minutes per side or until fully cooked. Remove from the pot and keep warm.

Add the bell pepper strips and zucchini half-coins to the pot and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute, being careful not to burn the garlic. Remove the peppers and garlic and keep warm.

Add the chicken broth, heavy whipping cream, pasta, and the remaining Cajun Seasoning (1 ½ teaspoons) to the pot. Bring the mixture to a low boil, cover, and simmer for an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente, stirring once halfway through.

Remove the lid. There should be enough liquid to melt the cheese and still coat all the pasta, about a cup of liquid. Add more chicken broth, cream, or milk, if necessary. Add the grated cheese, stir until melted. Stir in the peppers, zucchini, and garlic. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add them to the pasta as well. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes