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Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken
and bell peppers / spinach

Active: 35 min Total: 35 min

Blackened chicken tops a creamy Cajun-spiced pasta that's loaded with savory peppers and onions in this quick dish. We add a generous portion of greens to make this a healthy, though indulgent, weeknight dinner.

Tags

Ingredients

Servings:
4
Metric
Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken:
  • Onions, yellow - 1/2, chopped
  • Bell peppers, red - 1/2, chopped
  • Bell peppers, green - 1/2, chopped
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
  • Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, halved
  • Spinach, baby - 3 oz, chopped
  • Pasta, fusilli (or other fun shape) - 6 oz
  • Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
  • Tomato paste - 3 Tbsp
  • Heavy cream - 1/2 cup
Cajun Spice Mix:
  • Paprika, sweet - 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Thyme, dried - 2 tsp
  • Cayenne pepper (opt) - 1/8 tsp

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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Prep

  1. Make Cajun spice mix - Combine paprika, garlic powder, thyme and cayenne pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Chicken - Halve and then season and tenderize. Rub both sides with Cajun spice mix. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
  4. Chop spinach. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)

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Make

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to boil. Salt generously and add pasta. Cook until al dente, tender but not soggy. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup (118 mL) of pasta water (for 4 servings; adjust accordingly if customizing).
  2. While pasta cooks, heat a skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Add first part of cooking oil and then chicken. Cook in batches until cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and return pan to the burner.
  3. To the hot pan, add second part of cooking oil and then onions, bell peppers and garlic. Saute until tender, ~4 minutes. Add spinach, tomato paste, heavy cream and reserved pasta water (if pasta is still cooking, just use a measuring cup to scoop water out of the pot) and stir to combine. Simmer until liquids reduce to a thick sauce and spinach is wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Toss in pasta and stir until sauce coats pasta. Season with some salt and pepper.
  4. Slice chicken and serve over pasta. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: 1 serving
Servings Per Recipe 4
Amount Per Serving
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% Daily Value
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Reviews

Ratings

Original (241)
Gluten-free (17)
Paleo (16)
Vegetarian (33)

98 reviews

Made as is & everyone enjoyed. Easy to make for the vegetarian eaters & meat eaters. Might try with purchased Cajun spice mix.but mix was good.

By: Jessie
Posted: Mar 03, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Chicken was delicious. Instead of cream I used chicken stock and some flour. Next time I'll leave the spinach out. It added an unnecessary earthy taste.

By: Colleen
Posted: Mar 03, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Doubled up on spice as I've learned a thing or two over the years of using CookSmarts. Phenomenal meal! Very filling and absolutely tasty.

By: Olu
Posted: Mar 02, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Les sabores combinan muy bien. Es un plato muy completo, con un poco de todo. Yo usé porotos negros porque eran los que tenía en la despensa y funcionó muy bien, agregando un plus en el aspecto del plato.

By: Linette
Posted: Jan 11, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

I was surprised that this ended up being pretty good even with some modifications. I used half cornstarch and half tomato paste. I also used sour cream and milk instead of heavy cream. We did add some mozzarella cheese on top. The prep time was pretty accurate as well.

By: Gabrielle
Posted: Oct 06, 2019
Diet: Gluten-free
0 Helpful

Next time, I'll double the spice, and at some directly to the sauce as well. Now it's a bit bland

By: Nienke
Posted: Jun 17, 2017
Diet: Original
0 Helpful