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Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

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Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is a delicious and hearty meal that combines tender chicken, perfectly cooked pasta, and a rich, creamy Cajun sauce. This dish is perfect for a cozy dinner and is sure to impress your family and friends. Let’s dive into the step-by-step process of making this delicious pasta dish.

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Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rotini pasta
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Step 1: Cook the Pasta

  1. Boil the Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rotini pasta and cook according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.

Step 2: Prepare the Chicken

  1. Season the Chicken:
    • Slice the chicken breasts into thin strips and season with the Cajun seasoning.
  2. Cook the Chicken:
    • In a large skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken strips and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

  1. Sauté the Garlic and Onion:
    • In the same skillet, add the unsalted butter. Once melted, add the minced garlic and onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add Tomato Sauce, Cream, and Broth:
    • Stir in the tomato sauce, heavy cream, and chicken broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring frequently.
  3. Season the Sauce:
    • Add the fresh lemon juice, salt, and black pepper to taste. Continue to simmer the sauce until it thickens slightly, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Combine and Serve

  1. Add Chicken and Pasta to Sauce:
    • Return the cooked chicken to the skillet, along with the drained pasta. Toss to coat the chicken and pasta in the creamy Cajun sauce.
  2. Add Parmesan and Parsley:
    • Stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley. Mix until well combined and the cheese is melted.
  3. Serve Hot:
    • Serve the Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese and parsley if desired. Enjoy!

Cook Notes and Variations

Cook Notes:

  • Pasta: Rotini pasta is used for this recipe, but you can substitute with penne, fettuccine, or your favorite pasta shape.
  • Chicken: Ensure the chicken is cooked thoroughly and browned for the best flavor.

Variations:

  • Spicy Version:
    • Add a pinch of red pepper flakes or extra Cajun seasoning for a spicier dish.
  • Vegetable Addition:
    • Add sautéed bell peppers, spinach, or mushrooms to the sauce for extra flavor and nutrition.
  • Shrimp Variation:
    • Substitute shrimp for the chicken for a delicious seafood version.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use half-and-half instead of heavy cream?

Yes, you can use half-and-half instead of heavy cream. The sauce will be slightly less rich and creamy but still delicious.

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2. How do I store leftovers?

Store any leftover pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

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3. Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the sauce and cook the pasta ahead of time. Store them separately in the refrigerator and combine them just before serving.

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4. What can I serve with Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta?

This dish pairs well with a fresh green salad, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables.

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5. Can I use store-bought Cajun seasoning?

Yes, store-bought Cajun seasoning works perfectly for this recipe. You can also make your own by combining paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.

The Comfort of Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is a comforting and flavorful dish that brings warmth and satisfaction with every bite. The combination of tender chicken, perfectly cooked pasta, and creamy Cajun sauce creates a dish that is both hearty and delicious. This recipe is perfect for family dinners, gatherings, or anytime you crave a comforting and flavorful meal.

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Tips for Success

  1. Season Generously: Ensure the chicken and sauce are well-seasoned for the best flavor.
  2. Use Fresh Ingredients: Fresh garlic, onion, and parsley add the best flavor to the dish.
  3. Cook Pasta Al Dente: Cooking the pasta until al dente ensures it holds up well when mixed with the sauce.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is a delicious and comforting dish that is perfect for any occasion. With its combination of tender chicken, creamy sauce, and perfectly cooked pasta, this recipe is sure to be a hit with family and friends. Whether you’re making it for a cozy dinner or a special gathering, this dish is simple to prepare and full of delicious flavors. Give this Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe a try and enjoy a satisfying and hearty meal. Happy cooking!

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