Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta in Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce (Lightened up) will have you saying goodbye to restaurant versions and hello to this Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe at a fraction of the cost and calories!

This Cajun Chicken Pasta is unlike any other Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe.  It is kicked up a level with the most amazing creamy, flavor bursting Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce and juicy, spice rubbed melt in your mouth chicken!   It’s full of fresh, colorful veggies, and you can customize the heat of the pasta by adding more or less cayenne pepper.  This is one pasta that is sure to be a new family favorite! 

My Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe first appeared over at Real Housemoms where I’m a contributor. 

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Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe Video

cajun chicken pasta in a large skillet being picked up with serving tongs.

Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe

When I stare at a restaurant menu, it’s the creamy, comforting pastas that always seem to jump off the page — they start waving, then screaming my name.  I have tried to create several of these dishes at home from my Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta to my Million Dollar Baked Penne to my Spaghetti Bolognese,Shrimp Fettuccine and Chicken Parmesan.

Still, this spicy comfortlicious Cajun Chicken Pasta is what usually wins my order.  The tender, flavorful chicken and crisp tender vegetables in a creamy sauce – they just get me. So in attempts to satisfy my cravings, I whipped up this better-than-any-restaurant Cajun Chicken Pasta in the most intoxicating delicious sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce ever (adapted from my favorite Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo and Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Pasta – and now I can’t stop craving this pasta!

overhead view of ingredients needed for cajun chicken pasta alfredo.

Cajun Chicken Pasta Ingredients

The star of this dish is the creamy cajun alfredo sauce. It is DIVINE. Here’s everything you’ll need to make the chicken, pasta, and cajun pasta sauce:

  • Fettuccine noodles: Fettuccine is traditionally served with cajun chicken pasta alfredo in restaurants for good reason – the long silky noodles beautifully cradle the rich sauce and the noodles are thick enough (as opposed tot spaghetti or angel hair) to stand up against the peppers and chicken.  
  • Olive oil: Use quality oil for the best flavor.  You may also substitute with your favorite cooking oil.
  • Chicken breasts: Use boneless skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.
  • Herbs and spices: I flavored this dish with Cajun seasoning (naturally!), salt, pepper, and cayenne.
  • Bell peppers: You will need two small to medium bell peppers.  I usually go for one red and one orange or yellow, but you may use any color combo you like.   
  • Red onion: Half of one red onion will do the trick.  I don’t recommend substituting the red onion as its sweet flavor beautifully complements the heat.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes: Use the kind that are packed in oil.
  • Garlic: You can use more or less garlic according to your personal taste.
  • All-purpose flour: I use all-purpose flour but I’m sure gluten free flour would work as well. 
  • Chicken broth: Is more flavorful than just milk or heavy cream. Make sure you use low sodium broth so the cajun alfredo sauce isn’t too salty.
  • Milk: I used low-fat milk.
  • Cornstarch: Thickens the sauce without needing to add more cheese or cream.
  • Tomato paste: Enhances the tomato flavor and makes for a richer sauce.
  • Cream cheese: I used ⅓ less fat cream cheese.
  • Parmesan: Infuses the sauce with its fantastic salty, nuttiness to transform it into an Alfredo-esque sauce.  For best results, use ONLY freshly grated Parmesan cheese.  It is much more flavorful and melts into silky oblivion unlike powdered or pre-shredded cheese.
top view of creamy cajun chicken pasta in a skillet.

How to Make Cajun Chicken Pasta

So fortunately this crazy delicious version is much lighter than your traditional Cajun Chicken Pastas – and you would never even know it!  The velvety, flavor bursting sun-dried tomato sauce contains no butter or heavy cream but instead is made with only 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil then creamified with light cream cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Its silky creaminess will leave you speechless as you shove the heavenly smothered noodles into your mouth all peppered with thinly sliced Cajun chicken and bell peppers.

  1. To make we first smother our chicken in Cajun seasoning combined with olive oil.  You can let your chicken sit while you prepare your vegetables OR refrigerate up to overnight.
  2. Next, cook your chicken until nicely browned on each side then remove from the pan.
  3. Add bell peppers, onion and ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning to the pan without cleaning it out so you can scrape up any yummy golden chicken bits.  Saute just for 1 minute so the peppers remain crisp-tender.
  4. Next, we’re going to make our luscious sun-dried tomato sauce by sauteing sun-dried tomatoes and garlic in our skillet.
  5. Next we add flour to create a roux. The roux thickens the sauce but to make it even thicker without making it “flour-y”, we whisk cornstarch with milk and add to pan.  This is a fabulous trick that I use in almost every pasta and is a great replacement for heavy cream.
  6. Finally we add tomato paste,  Cajun seasoning, cream cheese, and Parmesan cheese for a multi-dimensional flavorful sauce.
  7. Add chicken, peppers, pasta, toss to coat and EAT! 

How Spicy is Cajun Chicken Pasta?

As far as the heat level goes, I’ve added the option to add cayenne pepper to your chicken and an additional 1 teaspoon Cajun spice to your chicken to give it a touch more heat but even with this heat, I would consider it family friendly.  I would only omit the cayenne pepper if you have little ones but if you aren’t sure, you can always leave it out and add a very light dusting of cayenne pepper to your pasta for more heat.  But everyone should top their Cajun Chicken Pasta with a bright, fresh lime juice – heaven I tell you!

Now excuse me while I go satisfy my Cajun Chicken Pasta cravings and dive mouth first into this pasta.

I highly recommend you do the same.

Tips for Making Cajun Chicken Pasta

  • Salt pasta water.  You should always salt your pasta water – it is the one chance you have for the flavor to penetrate the pasta and enhance the subtle pasta flavor – you can taste the difference.  Use 1 tablespoon salt for 6 quarts of water.
  • Don’t overcook pasta. I recommend testing your pasta 2 or 3 minutes before the box recommends – pasta should be al dente– meaning it should still be a little firm in the center/ have a “bite” to it.  
  • Stop pasta from cooking.  If your pasta is done before your sauce, then rinse in cool water to prevent it from continuing to cook.  Don’t worry about the pasta being cold because the sauce will warm it right up once combined.
  • Thin sauce if needed.  The sauce can become too thick if its simmered at too high of heat or for too long.  But don’t worry, it’s SO easy to fix!  Simply stir in a little reserved pasta water after you combine it with the fettuccine until it reaches desired consistency. For an extra decadent pasta, add additional heavy cream to thin.
cajun chicken pasta in a large skillet being picked up with serving tongs.

Recipe Variations to Try

  • Can I use a different protein?  I know this is Cajun CHICKEN Pasta, but that doesn’t mean you can’t turn it into Cajun Shrimp Pasta – or even smoked sausage!
  • Can I make it vegetarian?  You can make this pasta vegetarian by omitting the chicken – although you will miss the succulent morsels!  You can add in firm tofu or extra veggies such as mushrooms or zucchini.  If you skip the chicken, be aware you are skipping 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning (from the marinade), so you may want to add additional Cajun seasoning to the sauce.
  • Can I add different veggies?  Although bell peppers are a favorite in cajun chicken pasta alfredo, you can still use different veggies such as zucchini, asparagus, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, green beans, etc. You can also add roasted bell peppers – yum!

HOW LONG IS CAJUN Chicken PASTA RECIPE GOOD FOR?

Cajun Chicken Pasta should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.  When properly stored, it is good for up to three days.

HOW DO I REHEAT CREAMY CAJUN Chicken PASTA?

This Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe reheats well so you can enjoy leftovers for days!  Just be aware you always want to make sure your pasta is cooked al dente, especially if you are going to be reheating. 

  • Microwave:  Add a splash of chicken broth, water or milk to your individual serving; no need to stir it in, yet.  Microwave for one minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30 second intervals until warmed through.
  • Stove:  For larger portions, reheat pasta on the stove.  You will need to add a splash of chicken broth or milk to thin the sauce as it will have thickened in the refrigerator. 

CAN I FREEZE CREAMY CAJUN Chicken PASTA?

I do not recommend freezing Cajun Chicken Pasta because the creamy sauce can break and become a funny texture.  The bell peppers will also become mushy when frozen. 

WHAT TO SERVE WITH CAJUN Chicken PASTA

We love this creamy cajun pasta with a big salad, crusty bread and/or any of the following:

Looking for More Easy Pasta Recipes?

cajun chicken pasta in a large skillet being picked up with serving tongs.

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Cajun Chicken Pasta in the most amazing flavor bursting creamy Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce! The juicy spice rubbed chicken melts in your mouth and the pasta is 10000x better than any restaurant at a fraction of the cost and calories!

Cajun Chicken Pasta in Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce

This Cajun Chicken Pasta is unlike any other Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe. It is kicked up a level with the most amazing creamy, flavor bursting Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce and juicy, spice rubbed melt in your mouth chicken! It’s full of fresh, colorful veggies, and you can customize the heat of the pasta by adding more or less cayenne pepper. This is one pasta that is sure to be a new family favorite!
Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

Cajun Chicken Pasta

  • 16 oz. fettuccine noodles
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts (2-3 chicken breasts)
  • 2-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, divided*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)*
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, , thinly sliced, or half of each
  • 1/2 large red onion, sliced

Sun-dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons oil from sun-dried tomatoes jar
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomato halves, drained and finely chopped
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I use lowfat)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 oz ⅓ less fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Garnish

  • lime juice, freshly squeezed (HIGHLY recommended)
  • cayenne pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Cook fettuccine in salted water according to package directions just until al dente. Reserve ⅓ cup pasta water then strain and set aside.
  • Chicken: In a small bowl, mix 2-3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper, ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional) with 1 tablespoon olive oil and rub evenly all over chicken breasts. Let chicken sit while you prepare your vegetables OR refrigerate up to overnight.
  • Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once very hot, add chicken and cook, undisturbed for 3-5 minutes, or until nicely browned (or blackened if you prefer) on one side. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook for approximately 5-7 more minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Remove to a cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.
  • Peppers: Add enough olive oil to remaining oil in pan to equal 1 tablespoon olive oil. Heat over medium high heat. Add peppers, onions and ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning and saute for one minute. Remove to a plate.
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo: Wipe out skillet and heat 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil over medium heat. Add sun-dried tomatoes and garlic and saute for one minute. Sprinkle in flour and continue to cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Turn heat to low and stir in chicken broth. Whisk cornstarch with milk and add to pan along with tomato paste, ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer and continue to cook and stir until sauce is thickened (but not overly thick), approximately 5 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low and stir in cream cheese until melted, followed by Parmesan cheese until melted. Add pasta, peppers and toss evenly to coat, adding desired amount of reserved pasta water a little at a time to reach desired consistency. Top pasta with chicken or toss chicken with pasta.
  • Garnish individual servings with plenty of freshly squeezed lime juice, Parmesan and fresh parsley if desired. If you like it spicier, sprinkle a little cayenne dusting over top but be careful – a little cayenne goes a long way. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Don’t miss the “how to make” recipe video at the top of the post!
*3 teaspoons Cajun seasoning and ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper is adult palate friendly without being overly spicy in my opinion. If you have little ones or don’t like spicy at all, I would recommend omitting the cayenne pepper and possibly only using 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning for chicken.

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40 Comments

  1. Kara says

    Hi Jen! Your plain Sun-Dried Tomato Alfredo is my husband and my favorite so I can’t wait to try this! Love all your recipes!

    • Jen says

      You are too nice, thanks Kara! I LOVE hearing you are enjoying my recipes! I am super excited for you to try this one as well!

        • Jen says

          Hi Michelle, the oil is the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes. You can also use olive oil. Enjoy!

  2. Dorothy Dunton says

    Hi Jen! One look at that first picture and I’m craving this!! Nagi turned me on to sun dried tomatoes and now I use them often! Gary made two loaves of rustic kalmata olive and sun dried tomato bread yesterday and that’s what I ate for dinner, just that! 🙂

    • Jen says

      mmmmm, your rustic kalmata olive and sun dried tomato bread sounds divine! I would eat that just for dinner too! LOVE Nagi! I get to see her next week so I am super excited 🙂 Thanks Dorothy!

      • Dorothy Dunton says

        Hi Jen! You get to see Nagi next week…WOW! Are you going to Australia or is she coming to CA? I can imagine the fun you two will have!! 🙂 Trust you will let your blog follows in on it!

        • Jen says

          Hi Dorothy! Nagi is doing all the traveling and coming all the way to CA – I’m so excited! I could listen to her accent for days 🙂 If you follow me or her on Instagram, then I am sure we will post some pics 🙂

  3. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet says

    I’ve been obsessed with adding peppers to my pasta dishes! So good! I can’t wait to make this cajun pasta – my Hubby will love it!

    • Jen says

      Hi Anna, this pasta is peppers galore so it sounds right up your alley 🙂 I hope both you and your husband love it and the sun-dried Alfredo too! Thank you! xo

  4. Jackie says

    Hi Jen

    I made this recipe and it was delicious!!! I usually don’t care for chicken breast, I’m more of a chicken thigh person, but I tried it with the chicken breast and the chick breast was moist, I was surprised bcuz usually when I cook chicken breast it is dry but yours wasn’t. Also with that 1/3 fat cream cheese it took awhile for it to melt, and I used it at room temp. Did I do something wrong for it to take awhile to melt.

    • Jen says

      Hi Jackie, I am thrilled you enjoyed this recipe and that your chicken breasts were moist! As far as the cream cheese goes, it just must be a difference in brands – I’ll add to soften it to the recipe instead of room temperature. Thanks for the feedback! Have a great weekend!

  5. Amelie Moore says

    I SO can’t wait to try this, wish I could eat it off the screen!!! I have loved the recipe. I have tried, and this one tops it all I’m sure!! I’m a huge pasta fan, and this fits the bill on all sides!!!! I’m so excited to make it!! going to the store! Must.make.this.now.

    • Jen says

      Hi Amelie, I love hearing you have enjoyed the recipes you have tried, thank you so much! I hope you love this one too!!! xo

    • Jen says

      Thank you so much Gayatri, I hope you can make the pasta soon!

  6. Karen says

    Jen, I love everything about you! – your strength, your love for your husband and your love for food, not only in the awesome ingredients but your enthusiasm! Thank you. I made the Cajun Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Pasta last night – SUPERB! and definitely so glad I added a good amount of fresh lime that you suggested – it was the best finishing touch!

    • Jen says

      Karen, you are the sweetest, thank you SO MUCH! I am sure I would say the same about you if I knew you 🙂 Thank you for following along and for trying my recipes – that means so much to me! I’m so glad you loved this recipe and added the fresh lime – mmmm! Thanks Karen for making my day! xo

  7. Layne says

    Yum! Jesse says there was the perfect amount of spice and it reminded him of his fav pasta at Cheesecake Factory. Comfort food at its best!

    • Jen says

      Yes! I was going for the Cheesecake Cajun Pasta with a spin so I am so happy that’s what this pasta reminded him of 🙂 Sounds like you have had a lot of fun cooking and eating this week – I love seeing what recipes you have picked to try, so fun!

  8. suzanne says

    Cajun Chicken pasta Just went to number one…..this meal is heaven!!!!!! Deeeeeeelish

    • Jen says

      WAHOO!!! LOVE hearing that Suzanne, thank you, thank you!!!

  9. BlueMist says

    This looks delicious. What Cajun seasoning are you using? I have Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning and have checked a few others, but they all have salt as the first ingredient. You are adding salt along with the spice so I am wondering if I have the wrong thing. I don’t mind salt but I don’t want to ruin the recipe by oversalting it.

    • Jen says

      sorry for the late response, we have had a family wedding and all the craziness that goes with it! I use McCormick Cajun seasoning and it has garlic then salt listed in the ingredients but I would hate for you to have to buy more seasoning if you already have some. I would suggest leaving out the salt in the sauce and then you can add it to taste at the end. Hope this helps!

  10. Mary Alcaraz says

    Can I make it with fresh tomatoes and olive oil instead of sun dried? I am unable to go to town for a few days and am dying to make this

    • Jen says

      Hi Mary, sorry for my late response as I am just getting back in town from my little brother’s wedding and am super behind! Sun-dried tomatoes have a very distinct flavor so unless you want to make your own or don’t care if the sauce tastes more like tomatoes than sun-dried tomatoes then I would probably wait until you can purchase them. Sorry, I’m sure this isn’t what you want to hear!

  11. Lanette says

    We had this for dinner last night. This is a more labor intensive recipe than I like to cook, so my husband helped me and we had a lot of fun putting this together. The flavor is out of this world. I didn’t use the pasta water to thin it because we enjoyed the flavor and richness without diluting it. It’s definitely a keeper recipe.

    • Jen says

      Awesome Lanette, and way to go getting your husband in the kitchen to help, so fun! I am thrilled this was worth your efforts – that makes me so happy! Thank you!

  12. MoochieMoochie says

    Made this a few nights ago for the boyfriend–it seemed like a good dish to make alot of to have leftovers throughout the week, and it was!! Yummy recipe. I doubled it–maybe almost tripled the sauce. I reccommend making a little more sauce than the recipe provides for, because if you have leftovers the noodles will soak up the deliciousness, and it will end up a little dry! I made the sauce with unsweetened almond milk to cut down on calories and because lactose isn’t really “good” for any adult. Couldn’t tell a difference! I also shredded my chicken breasts after I seared them like the recipe called for, and added a little white wine when the skillet was still really hot for some added depth. This is a really heavy recipe, but if you go with the almond milk it’s very satisfying without making you feel too bulky after! Five stars.

    • Jen says

      I’m sure you have tons of leftovers with doubling the recipe – so relieved its 5 stars! 🙂 Your use of almond milk sounds delicious – always love it when readers can customize a recipe to their needs/liking. Thank so much!

  13. Tracy Allison says

    Hi Jen, your Cajun Chicken Pasta with Sun Dried Tomato Alfredo Sauce is the 2nd recipe of yours that I have cooked. It was really delicious! My son and husband absolutely loved it! I plan to use Slow Cooker Sweet Chili Asian Sesame Chicken recipe today and can’t wait to see how it turns out. I’ve cooked your One Pot Thai Chicken Noodle Soup three times and. my family never gets tired of it! I’ve got several more bookmarked to try out this summer! Thanks for sharing your recipes!

    • Jen says

      Thank you thank you for your awesome message Tracy! I am thrilled you have loved the recipes of mine you have tried so far! Its always fun for me to see what readers choose to make! I hope you continue to have fun exploring my site!

  14. Elizabeth says

    I tried this recipe some weeks back. It was either at the end of June or early July. Either way, it was DELICIOUS! When I cooked the chicken, I added onion powder, only because I like like to use it when I cook chicken. Also, my only “bad” thing was I allowed the alfredo to get too thick; didn’t mean to though. Nevertheless, this is going in the rotation! I may use some different noodles next time. To me, this pasta tasted like a dish from a restaurant!!

    • Jen says

      Thank you for your wonderful comment Elizabeth! I’m so happy this is a “restaurant” tasting pasta! If your Alfredo gets too thick, you can stir in some water to thin it out again 🙂

  15. Brent says

    Can’t wait to make this! Has anyone already done the work to figure out how many calories per serving? Thank you!

  16. KikiCT says

    Another homerun recipe, absolutely delicious and appreciate the healthier take on it. Everyone loved it. Thank you once again Jen, I always know your recipes will taste amazing!

    • Jen says

      Aw, thanks so much for trusting my recipes! I’m so pleased this Cajun Chicken Pasta was another winner!

  17. Lori Owen says

    Love this recipe! The Cajun seasoning is great. A family favourite.

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that Lori, thank you so much!

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