To be honest, Cajun food is one of the most flavorful foods in the US. It is the result of the French Canadian immigrant’s influence on this southern state’s recipes. It is rustic, hearty, and spicy.
This copycat Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta does not disappoint. It has all the spicy cajun flavors but is mellowed down with a cream-based pasta sauce. “Chili’s Pasta,” as my kids call it, is more for grown-ups than for children.
Cajun seasoning can be quite spicy, and unless your kids are used to eating spicy food, this might be too much for them. If you want to make Cajun Chicken Pasta Chili’s style but without all the heat, you might want to make your own Cajun Seasoning and leave out the cayenne pepper.
What Ingredients Do You Need?
- Spaghetti – or any pasta of your choice. I like to use whatever pasta I have on hand.
- Boneless, skinless chicken breast halves – I like white meat, but if you prefer dark meat, use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.
- Cajun seasoning – I use store-bought, but if you have little ones, you might want to make your own and leave the cayenne pepper.
- Butter – whenever you make cream-based sauces, do not use oil to saute the veggies. Use butter to keep all the ingredients in the same family.
- Half and a half – is used in this recipe instead of whipping or heavy cream. Half and half are thinner, but we are not adding chicken broth as we would if we were using heavy cream.
- Garlic and onion – I use this pair in almost all my savory recipes. I think they enhance the flavor of any dish.
- Salt and pepper to taste – add them to the sauce after adding the Parmesan cheese. Remember, Parmesan is slightly salty.
- Parmesan cheese – because what would pasta be without it, right?
- Roma tomato – or any chopped tomato. It is added fresh at the end. No need to cook it with the sauce.
- Parsley – I use parsley or basil, whatever I have on hand.
How To Make Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta?
This recipe is really quick to make.
- You almost need to do several tasks at once. First, season the patted dry chicken breasts on both sides with the Cajun seasoning.
- Boil the pasta according to package instructions while browning the chicken in 2 tablespoons of melted butter for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the breasts from the skillet and set them aside.
- Drain the pasta and set it aside. Make the sauce by sauteing the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter on the same skillet you used to cook the chicken.
- Pour the half and half into the skillet and mix well, scraping the bottom of the pan. Simmer gently for about 3 minutes until slightly thicker. Add the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.
- Mix in the cooked and drained pasta into the sauce and cook until the pasta is heated through. Serve with sliced chicken, chopped tomatoes, parsley, and extra Parmesan cheese on top.
What Is Cajun Seasoning Made Of?
- 3 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 teaspoon mild chili powder
- 3 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 teaspoon white pepper
What To Serve With Cajun Chicken Pasta?
Whenever I make this recipe, I like to serve it with Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing. I think they go well together.
For dessert, I will either make Pecan Pie Cheesecake, Chocolate Orange Cake, or Blackberry Cobbler. There are so many great recipes on our blog. You could make a different dessert every day for a long time!
This recipe is really fast and simple, but if you want to make it faster, try cooking the chicken the day before. You can also make the sauce and keep it in the fridge, but don’t cook the pasta until ready to serve it.
- Try adding veggies like bell peppers and broccoli.
- Shrimp or lobster are great substitutes for chicken if you want to change it up a bit.
- Try adding roasted bell peppers instead of chopped tomatoes.
- If vegan, use Portobello mushrooms instead of chicken and coconut cream instead of half and half.
Can You Freeze Cajun Chicken Pasta?
I wouldn’t recommend it. I think pasta dishes don’t usually thaw very well. Pasta may become mushy, and cream sauces separate when thawed. It will refrigerate well but not freeze well.
Store and Reheat Instructions
Store any leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. I recommend removing the chopped tomato because since it is not cooked, it might become too soft if stored.
To reheat, place leftovers in the microwave and cook one minute at a time, mixing it in between to ensure it reheats properly.
- Do not overcook the pasta. Keep it al dente.
- Keep the sauce light. Do not reduce it too much because it will become thicker once you add the pasta and cool down.
- If you feed this meal to children, make your own Cajun seasoning and skip the cayenne pepper.
Copycat Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta
- ½ package of spaghetti (6-8oz)
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1 ½ tablespoon Cajun seasoning
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 pint half and half
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons of white onion, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- ⅓ cup shredded Parmesan cheese plus more to serve
- 1 diced Roma tomato
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board, pat them dry and rub them with the Cajun seasoning on both sides. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and brown the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions, drain and set aside. In the same skillet, you cooked the chicken, melted the other two tablespoons of butter, and saute the minced garlic and onion for about a minute.
- Pour in the half and half, season with salt and pepper, and simmer (not boil) for about 3-4 minutes. Add the Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Cook for about a minute or until pasta is hot again. Serve in individual bowls and top with the sliced chicken, chopped fresh tomato, and chopped parsley.