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Copycat Chili’s Cajun Pasta RecipePicture this: a mountain of pasta, speckled with colorful veggies, and topped with tender, spicy chicken. Even BETTER than the restaurant!

cajun pasta recipe with chicken in a white bowl

And don’t forget the creamy sauce. Oh, the sauce! It’s like a big ‘ole warm, delicious hug for your pasta. It’s creamy, slightly tangy from the lemon zest, and a bit cheeky with a hint of heat from the wonderful Cajun spices.

It wraps around every piece of this Cajun Pasta Recipe, making sure every bite you take is bursting with flavor.

Now, let’s talk about the chicken, guys. It’s tender, juicy, and coated with a magical mix of Cajun spices. It adds a great kick to the dish, turning a regular pasta dinner into something more.

My husband is reading over my shoulder as I write this. He thinks I’m a goof haha! This spicy pasta dish just makes me happy and I’m pretty sure it’ll do the same for you!

This is one recipe that the entire family is bound to love. Pasta dishes are usually a hit in my house, but this one was extra popular.

Jeremy said it’s one of his new favorite recipes! He’s a fan of some extra spicy flavor so I gave him a little extra helping of the cajun spices. That’s one great thing about this dish: you can adjust the spicy kick all you want!

Cooking the cajun coated chicken in the pan with olive oil is always wonderful. You really start to get that spicy aroma filling your kitchen! I can’t help but sneak a few little bites before the pasta is done!

If this is making you hungry, join me as we explore the delightful world of this Cajun Pasta Recipe. We’ll have lots of fun cooking and even more fun eating. I can’t wait to share this delicious, creamy cajun chicken pasta with you. Ready? Let’s go!

Some of our other favorite pasta recipes we have on our site include: Pizza Pasta Bake, One Pot Ranch Chicken Pasta, and Hearty & Easy Italian Meatball Soup Recipe.

cajun pasta recipe with chicken in a white bowl

WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS:

  1. Easy and Quick: This Chili’s Copycat Recipe can be whipped up in under 30 minutes, perfect for a busy weeknight dinner.
  2. Impressive: Despite its simplicity, the combination of spices and creamy pasta makes this a crowd-pleaser.
  3. Fridge and Freezer friendly: Leftovers (if any!) store well in the fridge or freezer, allowing you to savor this dish over a few days.

INGREDIENTS NEEDED (SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST FOR THE FULL RECIPE CARD):

  • Penne pasta or bow tie pasta
  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Cajun seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • Unsalted butter
  • Yellow onion
  • Fresh Garlic cloves
  • Heavy cream
  • Lemon zest
  • Freshly grated Parmesan
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
  • Roma tomatoes
  • Fresh parsley leaves
  • Green onions
  • Parmesan cheese
ingredients needed to make cajun pasta recipe

HOW TO MAKE CAJUN PASTA RECIPE:

  1. Cook pasta according to the package directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
  2. Pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel. Season with cajun seasoning and rub it all around.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
collage of images showing how to sear the chicken for cajun pasta recipe
  1. Melt butter in the same skillet or saucepan. Add diced onion and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
  2. Whisk in heavy cream, lemon zest, and grated parmesan. Whisk for 2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
collage of images showing how to make the sauce for cajun pasta recipe
  1. For serving, add the savory pasta and chicken to a plate or bowl. Spoon the sauce over the top, and garnish with diced tomatoes, parsley, green onions, and shredded parmesan. Enjoy immediately.
finished cajun pasta recipe served in a white bowl

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS RECIPE:

WHAT KIND OF PASTA WORKS BEST?

Penne, bow tie, or fettuccine are all great options for this dish.

They hold up well to the creamy sauce and blend nicely with the other ingredients.

CAN I USE PRE-COOKED CHICKEN?

Yes, you can. It won’t be quite as infused with cajun flavor that way, but it will certainly save some time!

Just add it at the end when plating the meal, and add the cajun seasoning to the sauce.

HOW CAN I MAKE THIS VEGETARIAN?

Substitute the chicken with bell peppers, canned chipotles in adobo, or mushrooms for a vegetarian version.

cajun pasta recipe served in a white bowl

HOW SPICY IS THIS DISH?

This depends on your cajun seasoning. Most store-bought seasonings offer a medium level of spiciness.

Adjust the quantity according to your heat preference.

CAN THIS DISH BE MADE IN A SLOW COOKER?

Absolutely! Here is how to make this dish in the slow cooker:

  1. Season the chicken with cajun seasoning. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add chicken and quickly sear on both sides. 
  3. Add chicken, butter, onions, garlic, heavy cream, and lemon zest to a 6 to 8 quart slow cooker. Stir. Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. 
  4. Separately cook the pasta until tender. 
  5. Serve chicken and sauce over pasta with all of your favorite toppings.

ANY ADDITIONS?

A good cajun dish has endless possibilities. I’ve got a few ideas for you here.

  • Bell peppers
  • Canned chipotles in adobo
  • Mushrooms
  • Shrimp
  • Andouille sausage
  • Red bell peppers
  • Black beans
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Lemon pepper
  • Extra Cajun seasoning

ANY SUBSTITUTIONS?

Try these few on for size!

  • Whole milk or half-and-half for heavy cream, however, the sauce will be a little thinner so keep that in mind.
  • Chicken thighs for chicken breasts
  • Gluten-free pasta for regular pasta
  • Lime zest for lemon zest
  • Homemade Cajun spice blend for store-bought
cajun pasta recipe in a white bowl with sliced chicken

HOW TO STORE:

Refrigerator: Store the whole thing in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Reheat on the stovetop with a splash of heavy cream or chicken broth to thin out the sauce.

Freezer: For longer storage, freeze the pasta in an airtight container for up to 2 months. T

haw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop, adding a splash of liquid if needed.

DANA’S TIPS AND TRICKS:

  • Cook Pasta Al Dente: This ensures that your pasta doesn’t turn mushy when mixed with the sauce.
  • Season Your Chicken Well: Rub the cajun seasoning all around the chicken breasts for a flavorful bite.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients for Garnishing: Fresh tomatoes, parsley, and green onions enhance the dish’s overall flavor.
  • Manage Your Heat: Cook your chicken on medium-high heat for a juicy interior and a well-seared exterior.
  • Dry Your Chicken: Pat the chicken dry before seasoning. It helps the spices adhere better and results in a better sear.
  • Go Slow with Spices: Add your cajun seasoning gradually to control the heat level.
close up cajun pasta recipe with sliced chicken

As we wind up, remember that good food is not just about the destination, but the journey. Making this Cajun Pasta Recipe, with its blend of flavors and spices, offers a journey that’s as delightful as the destination.

This dish brings to your table a festival of flavors, perfect for a family dinner, a date night, or even a solo treat. So, get your large skillet ready, gather your ingredients, and let’s set the kitchen on fire (not literally, of course!). Bon appétit!

If you’ve tried this CAJUN PASTA RECIPE, let me know how it turned out in the comments! You can follow me over on PINTEREST, INSTAGRAM OR FACEBOOK to find some more of our mouthwatering recipes! 

This Silly Girls Kitchen Logo
5 from 3 votes

Chili’s Copycat Cajun Pasta Recipe with Chicken

Author Dana at ThisSillyGirlsKitchen.com
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Copycat Chili’s Cajun Pasta Recipe – Picture this: a mountain of pasta, speckled with colorful veggies, and topped with tender, spicy chicken. Even BETTER than the restaurant!
Servings 6 servings

Ingredients
  

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to the package directions on the box. Drain and set aside.
    1 pound penne pasta
  • Pat dry the chicken breasts with a paper towel. Season with cajun seasoning and rub it all around.
    4 boneless, 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Remove chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm.
    1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Melt butter in the same skillet or saucepan. Add diced onion and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add in the minced garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, 1 small yellow onion, 3 cloves garlic
  • Whisk in heavy cream, lemon zest, and grated parmesan. Whisk for 2 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more if needed.
    1 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • For serving, add the savory pasta and chicken to a plate or bowl. Spoon the sauce over the top, and garnish with diced tomatoes, parsley, green onions, and shredded parmesan. Enjoy immediately.
    3 Roma tomatoes, 2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves, 1 tablespoon green onions, Shredded parmesan

Notes

  • Cook Pasta Al Dente: This ensures that your pasta doesn’t turn mushy when mixed with the sauce.
  • Season Your Chicken Well: Rub the cajun seasoning all around the chicken breasts for a flavorful bite.
  • Use Fresh Ingredients for Garnishing: Fresh tomatoes, parsley, and green onions enhance the dish’s overall flavor.
  • Manage Your Heat: Cook your chicken on medium-high heat for a juicy interior and a well-seared exterior.
  • Dry Your Chicken: Pat the chicken dry before seasoning. It helps the spices adhere better and results in a better sear.
  • Go Slow with Spices: Add your cajun seasoning gradually to control the heat level.

Nutrition

Calories: 694kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 45g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 159mg | Sodium: 456mg | Potassium: 915mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1793IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 117mg | Iron: 2mg
Nutrition Disclaimer
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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