Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken
and bell peppers / spinach
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.
- 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
- Paprika, sweet - 1 Tbsp
- Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
- Thyme, dried - 2 tsp
- Cayenne pepper (opt) - 1/8 tsp
- Make Cajun spice mix - Combine paprika, garlic powder, thyme and cayenne pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Onions / Bell peppers / Garlic - Prep as directed. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Halve and then season and tenderize. Rub both sides with Cajun spice mix. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Chop spinach. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Slice chicken and serve over pasta. Enjoy!
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.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.0 Helpful
Next time, I'll double the spice, and at some directly to the sauce as well. Now it's a bit bland0 Helpful
Upgraded this to 5 stars on making it a second time. This time we were trying to use up some leftovers and used vegan sour cream instead of creamer and that made for a great sauce. We also replaced the spinach with chard and threw the chard stems in with the bell peppers and onions. Delicious!0 Helpful
I'd give it five stars of I could, with the following changes: Put salted water on, then preheat oven to 350. Coat chicken breasts in salt, pepper, and Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasonings. Bake in oven for 30 - 35 minutes, rest, then slice. Meantime, chop onions and bell peppers. Follow stove top instructions above, but add salt and pepper each time you add veggies. At the end, incorporate a fair amount of fresh grated Parmesan. So so good!!! Tender, juicy chicken, flavorful but not spicy dish, and everything ready at the same time.0 Helpful
The pasta was great, we didn't love the chicken - too much thyme. We used coconut cream instead of heavy cream which worked really well.0 Helpful