Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
This Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta couldn't be any more delicious if it tried! Better still, it makes the perfect quick and easy family dinner. Serves 4 big portions, 5 modest.
Cost: £2.50 / $3
Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
12" Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
Pot & Colander (for pasta)
Zip Lock Bag (for marinade)
Jug (for stock & Cream)
Fine Grater (for parmesan)
- 2x 9oz/250g Chicken Breasts
- 1 tbsp each: Lime Juice, Olive Oil, Cajun Seasoning
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 10.5oz/300g Penne
- 1 cup / 250ml Double/Heavy Cream, at room temp
- 1 cup / 250ml Chicken Stock
- 3.5oz / 100g Button Mushrooms, sliced
- 1.7oz / 50g Parmesan, plus extra to serve
- 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
- 1 heaped tbsp Fresh Parsley, finely diced (plus extra to serve)
- 1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning
- 1 heaped tsp Garlic, minced/finely diced
- 2 small Peppers, finely diced
- 1 medium Onion, finely diced
- Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil, as needed
- Lime Juice, to serve (optional)
Butterfly your 2 chicken breasts right through to make 4 even sized breasts (see video for guidance). Combine in a zip lock bag (or bowl with cling film) with 1 tbsp oil, 1 tbsp lime juice and 1 tbsp cajun seasoning, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Marinate for as long as you have time for (up to overnight). If you're pushed for time just rest at room temp as you prep the other ingredients.
Bring chicken to room temp if marinated in the fridge and fry over medium-high heat until nicely charred on each side and white through the centre. Rest on a chopping board until needed, then slice into thin strips just before adding to pasta.
Meanwhile, pop 10.5oz/300g pasta in salted boiling water and cook until al dente. Save a cup of starchy pasta water before draining.
Fry 3.5oz/100g mushrooms until soft in leftover oil from the chicken (or more as needed). Add 2 peppers and 1 onion and continue frying until golden. Add 1 heaped tsp garlic and fry for a couple mins longer. Add 1 tbsp Cajun Seasoning, fry for a minute, then melt in 2 tbsp butter.
Pour in 1 cup/250ml chicken stock, bring to a gentle simmer, then pour in 1 cup/250ml cream. Allow to simmer (stirring occasionally) until it begins to thicken. Add 1.7oz/50g parmesan, 1 tbsp parsley and seasoning to taste. Add pasta and chicken, then stir until evenly combined and the sauce thickened (add a splash of starchy pasta water if you need to thin out the sauce).
Serve with extra parmesan/parsley and a squeeze of lime juice (optional).
a) Marinating - even just 20mins goes a long way, but if you're really pushed for time then just coat in the marinade and fry right away. I recommend bringing the chicken at least close to room temp so it doesn't seize up and go chewy.
b) Spice - different cajun seasonings will have varying spice levels. If you're not too good with spice, I recommend starting with a tsp in the pasta and adjusting accordingly.
c) Pasta - feel free to sub the penne for your pasta of choice!
d) Leftovers - I recommend reheating it in the pan with a splash of milk to help bring the sauce back to life. Microwave will work, but the cream may turn slightly greasy. Either way just make sure the chicken is piping hot.
e) Calories - based on sharing between 4, no extra olive or cheese/parsley.
Calories: 657kcal | Carbohydrates: 36.1g | Protein: 48.42g | Fat: 35.19g | Saturated Fat: 18.33g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2.708g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11.9g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 988mg | Potassium: 621mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 5.67g | Vitamin A: 66IU | Vitamin C: 59.7mg | Calcium: 176mg | Iron: 3.54mg