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!
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.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.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.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.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