Monday, July 6, 2009

Cajun Chicken Pasta

We love this Cajun Chicken Pasta dish! It's great, because it is very versatile not only in the heat, but also in what you add [or don't add] to the sauce! If I am making this for the littles, then I usually cut back on the heat a bit. However, if it's a grown-up only dish, I kick it up a bit.

You can use store bought [pre mixed] Cajun seasoning for this, or make a mix of your own. I have done both with great successes every time!

Cajun Chicken Pasta
  • 5 oz. linguine [or any long pasta], I used spaghetti in the picture, because it is what I had on hand!
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken boobs, cut into pieces [you can do strips, but I usually do 1" cubes.]
  • 1 1/2 tsp. - 2 T. cajun seasoning [I never measure it, I go by color! When you are shaking in the bag, over the chicken, if it's really red, it's going to be spicy, if it's just coating and slightly turning the chicken pink, it'll be much milder!]
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper [you can add more, and different colors if you like]
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • mushrooms, sliced or chunked [you can omit this if you want, but I love 'em!]
  • 1 1/2 c. evaporated milk, Shirley J cream sauce base, heavy cream or 1/2 & 1/2. *
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil [or if you have fresh, that's awesome]
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. lemon pepper [don't skip this]
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder [optional, you can skip for less heat]
  • fresh Parmesan cheese
  1. In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until al dente; drain.
  2. Place chicken and cajun seasoning in a ziploc bag; shake to coat.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat, saute chicken in olive oil until no longer pink. [About 5-7 minutes.]
  4. Add peppers, garlic and onions. Cook until tender. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
  5. Reduce heat, and stir in cream/milk/Shirley J. Season the sauce with basil, lemon pepper, salt, pepper & chili powder. Bring to a boil.
  6. Turn to simmer and let simmer until heated through and spices have combined.
  7. Toss with the cooked pasta & top with fresh Parmesan cheese.

*All options for this sauce work great! To make it a more healthful dish, use cream sauce base, evaporated milk [my fave], or 1/2 and 1/2.

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