This Cajun chicken pasta is a Chili’s copycat recipe that’s made with grilled Cajun chicken breast served over creamy pasta, then finished off with fresh tomatoes. An easy dinner that tastes even better than the restaurant version!
Creamy chicken pasta is always a hit at my house, and this take on one of Chili’s most popular dishes is no exception. It’s the perfect way to bring a restaurant favorite to your dining room table!
Chicken and pasta are mainstays around here. In fact, either chicken or pasta show up on our dinner table multiple nights each week. One of our favorites is creamy Cajun chicken pasta. This is a copycat dish from Chili’s restaurant, and is arguably one of their best and most popular dishes.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA?
The first step is to grill your Cajun spiced chicken breasts. There are a few ways you can prepare the chicken for your this dish. It can either be grilled on an outdoor grill, indoors on a grill pan, or sauteed in a skillet. Chicken thighs can be substituted in place of breasts, if desired.
While the chicken is cooking, I boil my pasta and make the creamy sauce. The chicken gets arranged over the top of the pasta, and the finishing touch is a sprinkling of fresh diced tomatoes, green onions and shredded parmesan cheese.
Tips for Cajun chicken pasta
- For this dish, any short pasta will work if you don’t have penne on hand.
- No green onions? Try chopped parsley or basil instead.
- This dish tastes best if you make it with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
- You can also try making this recipe with Cajun shrimp instead of chicken.
WHAT IS CONSIDERED A SHORT PASTA?
Any pasta that is smaller or “shorter” in size such as penne, is considered a short pasta. Pasta such as spaghetti wouldn’t work because it’s not a short pasta. Other short pastas are elbow macaroni, cavatappi, rigatoni, etc. I love using penne in this dish because the ridges on the pasta really help that creamy sauce cling to each noodle.
CAN YOU MAKE YOUR OWN CAJUN SEASONING?
Homemade Cajun seasoning is a delicious and easy spice to make on your own. It’s made with a blend of garlic powder, herbs and spices. I definitely recommend making your own if you can, as I think it has a much better flavor than the store bought kind.
HOW TO MAKE CAJUN SEASONING
You can use store bought Cajun seasoning for the recipe, or make your own. To make Cajun seasoning, combine 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika, 1 1/2 tablespoons salt, 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon onion powder, 1 tablespoon dried oregano, 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme. Mix everything together and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.
I’ve always loved taking the family out for a nice dinner from time to time. However, I also love when I can capture one of our favorite dishes without having to go out and get it from a restaurant. Cajun chicken pasta has definitely made it onto our favorites list!
MORE PASTA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
Cajun Chicken Pasta Video
Cajun Chicken Pasta
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning plus more for garnish
- 10 ounces penne pasta
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2/3 cup diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons sliced green onions
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions.
- Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and season on both sides with Cajun seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Preheat a grill, grill pan or skillet to medium high heat.
- Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 5-6 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Cut the chicken into slices.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the sauce.
- In small pot, combine the heavy cream, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 4 minutes.
- Stir the parmesan cheese into the sauce, cook until melted.
- Toss the pasta with the sauce and arrange the chicken on top. Sprinkle with Cajun seasoning, tomatoes, green onions and shredded parmesan, then serve.