It’s 115 degrees here in California (no, that’s not an exaggeration) and I’m inside craving some warm pasta. What the heck? I figured instead of indulging in my usual Italian Pasta Skillet, I’d make something a little different! I came up with what I like to call Lightened Up Cajun Pasta Skillet. A mixture of chicken broth and half and half cut down on the calorie count while a homemade cajun spice mixture allows you to control the spiciness.
I started off making this Lightened Up Cajun Chicken Pasta Skillet by mixing together my cajun spices; Mix up your cajun spices and you’ll reserve about 2 tablespoons for your cream sauce mixture. If you don’t want to mix your own cajun spies, store bought is fine, I’d recommend Tony Chachere’s or Old Bay. Keep in mind, store bought will be spicy!
After you’ve mixed your seasoning and reserved some for later, generously coat your chicken. Heat a small pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and sear your chicken. Welcome to the highway to flavor town, ya’ll. Delicious, seasoned, warm chicken! Cook until chicken is done, reaching 165 degrees farneheit internally at its thickest. point.
Once the chicken is fully cooked, we’ll start the sauce. This sauce is SO YUMMY. I used minced Roasted Red Peppers but if you have canned Fire Roasted Tomatoes those would be just as good. Add those, plus a finely chopped onion to a pan. Cook until onion is translucent, then add your cajun seasoning, and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes.
Once the onions are translucent and everything has really melded together, add flour and stir again (the flour helps thicken up the sauce). Once the flour can no longer be seen, add chicken broth, and half and half. This is why we call this ‘lightened up’ Cajun Chicken Pasta! Most recipes call for heavy cream, and our arteries can do alot, but they just can’t do many nights of pasta in heavy cream sauce. Add some parmesan to make it cheesy (we didn’t say we’d omit the cheese, okay? stop judging us!) and stir until a thick consistency.
Once done, add your pasta, slice your chicken on top, and there you have it! Lightened Up Cajun Chicken Pasta. We garnished ours with a little extra parmesan, and some parsley. Cilantro would be great on this if you like it, though!
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A delicous and easy skillet dinner for the calorie concious looking for an indulgentpasta dinner!
- 2-3 chicken breasts 3 oz each, adjust for amount of servings needed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tbsp paprika smoked paprika works great as well
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp oregano
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper adjust to your liking, up to 2 tbsp if you like spicy
- 1/2 cup minced onion
- 1/2 cup minced roasted red pepper canned and drained fire grilled tomatoes work as a subsitute
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp flour
- 1/2 portion of cajun mixture noted above use the other half to coat chicken on both sides
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 2.5 cups cooked pasta I used cavatappi. Add additional if feeding more.
Mix cajun seasoning. Separate; you will use half to coat chicken, the other half for the cajun sauce.
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in skillet on medium heat. Generously coat chicken with cajun seasoning. Sear chicken on both sides in skillet until chicken is fully cooked, and 165 degrees internally. Remove chicken from skillet.
Add 1 tbsp olive oil to pan (no need to wipe it clean) and add minced onion and roasted red pepper. Cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes, then add remaining cajun seasoning. Continue to cook until onion is translucent. Add flour, and stir until absorbed.
Add chicken broth, and half and half. Stir until thickened. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese if desired for cheesy consistency. Remove from heat. Add pre-cooked pasta, and stir.
Slice chicken and add on top of pasta. Sprinkly with parmesan and parsley or cilantro if desired.