Tired of dinner decisions? Enjoy a 14 day trial to our meal plan service, voted #1 by Lifehacker, and reduce your mental load today.

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken
and bell peppers / spinach

Active: 30 Total: 30
This spicy and creamy pasta is loaded with colorful vegetables. We've given it a pretty significant makeover, but it is inspired by a meal we featured in 2015.
Smarts: The bell peppers are added at the end of cooking so that they retain some crunch. If you’d like them more tender (or if they are in large pieces), you can add them at the beginning of cooking with the garlic.
Tags
Proteins
Cuisines

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
Jerk Chicken:
  • Jerk or Cajun seasoning - 1 Tbsp
  • Brown sugar - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
  • Soy sauce, low-sodium - 1 Tbsp
  • Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 Tbsp
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
  • Chicken breast, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, halved to thin
Creamy Cajun Pasta:
  • Pasta, any fun shape - 8 oz
  • Bell peppers, any color - 2, diced
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Green onions - 2, chopped, green and white parts separate
  • Limes - 1, wedges
  • Tomatoes, diced and preferably fire-roasted (14 oz / 397 g) - 1 can, drained
  • Butter - 3 Tbsp
  • Flour, all-purpose - 2 Tbsp
  • Milk - 1 1/2 cups (sub stock but the sauce will be less creamy)
  • Jerk or Cajun seasoning - 2 tsp
  • Baby spinach - 5 oz

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Just a moment...
% Daily Value
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...

Increase your nutrition smarts

Prep

  1. Make marinade - (Skip if chicken was cooked on Monday.) Whisk together Jerk seasoning (portion for chicken), brown sugar, cinnamon, soy sauce, vinegar, and cooking oil. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Chicken - (Skip if chicken was cooked on Monday.) Slice in half to thin. Combine with marinade. Tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  3. Pasta - Cook pasta according to package directions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  4. Bell peppers / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  5. Green onions / Limes - Chop green onions, keeping green and white parts separate. Slice limes into wedges.
  6. Tomatoes - Drain well.

Make

  1. If chicken wasn’t cooked ahead, heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Brush with some cooking oil and add chicken to heated oil (discard marinade). Cook chicken on both sides, seasoning with some salt and pepper as it cooks, until cooked through (165F / 74C degrees).
  2. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and slice or chop.
  3. Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Add butter. When butter melts, add flour, white parts of green onions, and garlic. Saute until no dry spots of flour remain, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Slowly pour in milk while whisking. Bring milk to a simmer, whisking constantly. Once mixture is simmering, simmer for 2 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly.
  5. Stir in Jerk seasoning, drained tomatoes, spinach, and bell peppers and stir until spinach wilts, 1 to 2 minutes more.
  6. Fold in pasta and green parts of green onions.
  7. Taste pasta and season with some salt and pepper and / or more Jerk seasoning. If you’d like some tart flavor you can squeeze juice from some of the lime wedges into the pasta.
  8. If chicken was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
  9. Fold chicken into pasta or serve it on top. Serve pasta with lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!

Get access to all of our delicious recipes and time-saving meal plans!

Try for free
Learn More

Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving
Just a moment...
% Daily Value
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...
Just a moment...

Increase your nutrition smarts


Reviews

Ratings

Original (76)
Gluten-free (3)
Paleo (3)
Vegetarian (21)

Most Helpful

It is good and comforting, but it’s missing something. I think next time i would either add miso paste, or make it the sauce with tomato paste instead of diced tomatoes and white wine and then milk. I’ll try both :)

By: Nienke
Posted: Jun 23, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
1 Helpful

52 reviews

easy and filling. my two teenage sons devoured it.

By: Kirstin
Posted: Jun 27, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Ok, I have to brag on this recipe! Even after three days, the leftovers are still creamy! I can see how some may say it’s not very flavorful but I thought it was just right with a little Cajun seasoning. Oh, and my husband added a little honey lime glaze to the chicken when he grilled it. The sauce is so simple to make and the recipe comes together quickly. Absolutely going into my weeknight cookbook.

By: Kelsey
Posted: Jun 17, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Not our favorite. Either we needed a more potent seasoning blend or more salt or somthing but it was just SO bland.

By: Beth
Posted: Apr 01, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Loved how many veggies were in this pasta, made it feel really nutritious. The marinade made this chicken so good! We used bowtie pasta, and this dish was very colorful and visually appealing!

By: Katie
Posted: Jan 30, 2022
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

3.5 Tasty chicken, but the sauce was bland.

By: Grace
Posted: Aug 30, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Have now made the paleo and original versions of this dish, both were excellent in their own way. A real hit!

By: Kayla
Posted: Aug 18, 2021
Diet: Paleo
0 Helpful