Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is a spicy, full of flavor pasta dish! Quick and easy weeknight dinner is always something I have on my mind. And I just love chicken and sausage combination because they are so creamy and delicious together.
Creamy Cajun chicken pasta is one of my favorite ways to make dinner on busy weeknights. Oh, so creamy and somewhat spicy, this family favorite chicken pasta recipe comes together in only 30 minutes! This easy pasta recipe an excellent way to cook boneless and skinless chicken breasts when you are short on time.
What kind of sausage do I need?
Smoked sausage. I used smoked sausage in this Cajun chicken pasta recipe. But you can definitely use the other options below.
Andouille. You may have heard about Andouille, which is another great choice. It’s a pretty spicy sausage. They make it from smoked pork and it makes perfect sense with cajun spices!
Spanish chorizo. I also like Spanish chorizo, seasoned with smoked paprika. It would be such a good companion to Cajun chicken.
What kind of pasta do I need?
Penne, linguine or rigatoni. Although I made mine using tried and true Penne pasta, you can also use linguine or rigatoni here. It depends on what you have or what kind of pasta dish look you are aiming for.
Can I make it gluten free?
Brown rice or red lentil penne. You can substitute gluten free brown rice pasta or red lentil pasta if you don’t eat grains!
Salted or unsalted butter?
Unsalted is a better choice. Salted butter isn’t consistent so you won’t know how much salt you need in addition, and most recipes expect that you’re using unsalted.
How to make Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta Step by Step
Cook chicken breasts whole. Please do not cut them before cooking. Cooking them whole will it guarantee a beautiful seared chicken look. And it will also make the chicken taste better!
Chicken is easier to slice after it’s cooked. Besides, it’s easier and less messy to slice chicken when you already cooked it. Once browned, remove it from pan and slice into strips.
Slice sausage thinly. Next, brown the sausage in the same pan. Slice the sausage and I do recommend to slice it thinly. Lastly, remove cooked sausage from the pan. When I removed it, I put it next to my chicken on the same plate.
Slice the mushrooms. After you cook the sausage, add sliced mushrooms to the pan. Then brown them for about 5 more minutes. Remove mushrooms from the pan to make room for sauce.
How to make Creamy Cajun Sauce:
- First, add chicken broth, heavy cream, Worcestershire sauce and bring to a slight simmer. Now add all your seasonings: Cajun seasoning, Paprika and Garlic powder.
- Next sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese to thicken the sauce. Taste the creamy Cajun sauce and add salt to your liking.
Why didn’t my Parmesan melt?
- Any pre-grated cheese will almost never melt properly. Many pre-grated cheese have additives ( such as wood pulp, cellulose) that prevent the cheese from clumping together. Unfortunately, this is exactly what will disrupt your cheese from melting. As a result, I never cook with pre-grated Parmesan.
- Heat can be the culprit. Just make sure your concoction is not boiling before you add the Parm. During the “mingling” period, did you let the mixture get up to temp to the point of having bubbles appear at the edge of the pan? If yes, then reduce the heat and add Parmesan.
- You should add only add a bit of cheese at a time. Make sure the first handful of cheese is melted before adding another. Otherwise it can be too much for the mixture to handle.
Lastly, add cooked pasta into the sauce and stir well to coat pasta. Taste everything at this point and adjust any seasoning (salt and Cajun seasoning).
Once you mix pasta with the sauce, add sliced chicken, sausage chunks and mushrooms. Next reheat the dish on low heat.
Enjoy this Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta with a glass of wine!
What goes well with Cajun Chicken Pasta?
It’s perfectly delicious to eat this creamy Cajun Chicken recipe without anything on the side. It’s a great stand alone meal! However, you might also enjoy it with Arugula Salad, Warm Quinoa Salad or Spinach Salad in Honey Mustard Vinaigrette.
And how about Buttery Mashed Potato Pie? Use this Cajun chicken sauce leftovers on top of the mashed potatoes!
Can I make it in advance?
Yes, you can! First, prepare everything except for the pasta. Then, cook the pasta fresh when you are ready to serve. Finally, add it to your other ingredients after re-heating them.
Keep your Cajun Chicken Pasta refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to enjoy.
More delicious chicken pasta recipes to enjoy
- Chicken Pasta in Pesto White Wine Sauce
- Seared Chicken Pasta in Chardonnay Parmesan Sauce
- Pasta Bolognese in Creamy Vodka Sauce
How about this insanely popular Creamy Chicken Pasta with Bacon recipe?
Creamy Cajun Chicken and Sausage Pasta
- 3 tablespoon butter, (unsalted and divided)
- 1 lb. chicken breasts
- 6 oz. smoked sausage, (sliced into ¼ inch pieces)
- 8 oz. baby Bella mushrooms, (sliced)
- Cajun seasoning, to taste
- Italian seasoning, to taste
- Salt and pepper, (to taste, optional)
Creamy Parmesan Sauce:
- 4 cloves garlic, (minced)
- 1 cup chicken broth, (sodium free)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, (freshly grated for best results)
- sea salt, (to taste)
- 8 oz. penne pasta
- Boil pasta in salty water according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
Chicken, sausage and mushrooms:
- Generously season chicken with salt, pepper, Cajun and Italian seasonings. Do not slice it yet – you will be cooking it whole. Slice sausage into ¼ inch circles and slice mushrooms.
- In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon butter and melt it over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add whole chicken breasts and cook for about 4-5 minutes on each side until browned for a total of 8-10 minutes. Remove chicken onto a plate and slice into strips.
- Add sliced sausage pieces and brown them on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on each side until darker in color around the edges. Remove from the skillet onto a plate.
- Deglaze the pan with a splash of water and add 2nd tablespoon of butter and sliced mushrooms into the skillet (add more butter as well, if needed). Saute until your mushrooms should look nice and moist, and dark. Once cooked, remove them from the pan as well.
- To make the sauce, add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to the pan, allow it to melt and then cook garlic in it until slightly browned – only for a couple of minutes. Next add chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce and heavy cream and bring to a light simmer. Add Cajun seasoning, paprika and garlic powder and mix into the sauce.
- Add Parmesan cheese and whisk to blend for 2-3 minutes to thicken the sauce. Taste the sauce and add salt to taste.
- Add cooked pasta into the sauce and mix in well. Next add the chicken, sausage and mushrooms back into the pan and allow them to reheat for 2-3 minutes. Close the lid to help the heat stay in. Serve immediately!
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only. This information comes from online calculators. Although whatsinthepan.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
You might also enjoy this amazing Chicken Spinach and Bacon Alfredo Pasta. This recipe is so easy to make in only 30 minutes!
Do you buy cajun seasoning here in Canada? Or make it? What are the spices used to make cajun spice?
If you can’t find it, you can try this seasoning I often use instead: https://whatsinthepan.com/homemade-chipotle-seasoning/
I suggest instructing to cook chicken thoroughly (165°) rather than “8-10 minutes”. Took me quite a bit longer than “30 minutes”. The sauce came out way too liquid for a 6 person portions. I think 1½ Cups of heavy cream was too much. I really like the ingredients and idea of this recipe. I will try it again and maybe not have my 11 year old as a helper. Thank you Olya
Can you use a different pasta? Do not care for penne
Absolutely! Bow tie pasta would be great here.
I used it . It was Awesome!!
I use Farfalle every time!
We seriously love this recipe! I’ve made it several times. Once used shrimp instead of chicken, and it was just as good. I tend to do more of the seasoning, doubling the Cajun seasoning, and adding a little extra garlic as well. Awesome recipe!
I love your love for this recipe, Kara! Thank you
Mrs. C says
Great recipe! I did have to make it more toddler friendly by using only a 1/2 tsp of paprika & Cajun seasoning, outside of that change the recipe was delicious & my family loved it! Thank you!
My pleasure! Great tip on toddler friendly spice level.
Can I use regular broth if that is all I have?
Very good recipe! Like the addition of the mushrooms.
Thank you Tee!
Rebecca Shockley says
My whole family loves this recipe. it is the right consistency and so yummy and creamy
So happy you love the recipe consistency, Rebecca!
Can you make this without mushrooms? Perhaps substituting something else? Maybe bell peppers and onions? My daughter loves Cajun pasta but she hates mushrooms.
if you daughter doesn’t like the texture of mushrooms, zucchini maybe better, or bell peppers.
Can you freeze It at all
Not a freezer friendly food unfortunately – creamy sauce will disintegrate upon thawing.