Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta

This is a recipe I adapted from one of Todd Wilbur's "Top Secret Restaurant Recipes" books. We were having a Cajun themed food night at my in-laws years ago, and I found a recipe from the Cheesecake Factory that was called " Cajun Jambalaya Pasta". The ingredients weren't our cup of tea, but I just swapped some of them out, and over the years I have really perfected it and made it my own.

When I took it to our family gathering everyone loved it. It was absolutely delicious and when they asked what it was called I said, "Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta"...and that name stuck. It's one of those recipes that can be caloric if you eat too much of it, but it's filled with good stuff so you feel kind of good about stuffing your face. It's got some heat so if you aren't a fan of might want to stay away.

Here is what you need:

1 TB of coconut or olive oil, 2 chicken breasts, 3 bell peppers, 1 red or white onion, (or you can use a bag of Bird's Eye pepper stir-fry mix) 2-3 cans of Italian tomatoes (shown below), 1 cup chicken stock, and the following spices:
1/2 tsp each of white pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder, onion powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 box of whole grain penne pasta

I did put one can of these new spicy red pepper tomatoes...this recipe is very adaptable.

I like to start by measuring out all of the spices and putting them in a bowl aside so I'm not tipping little spice jars over while I'm cooking.

Normally I lay the chicken out the night before to thaw, and I poach it for 20 minutes (exactly!), pull it out to rest and shred it to add later. BUT-I forgot to do that so I busted out my Pampered Chef Deep Covered Baker.

I put the hard as a rock frozen chicken inside and cooked it in the microwave. I start with 10 minutes and continue in 10 minute increments until it's cooked through.

As it's cooking I chop up the bell peppers.

I then chop up the onion.

I prepare my cup of chicken stock. If you have ready made chicken stock you obviously skip this step.

After the chicken cooled down a bit, I shredded the chicken up.

Now we are ready to get these veggies going. I put a TB of coconut oil (or olive oil) in the pan to heat.

I then add the gorgeous veggies and saute them a bit. Get them the way you like them.

Go ahead and throw in the chicken, and the spices on top of that.

Time to pour that chicken stock all over the top.

Then throw in the tomatoes with the juice.

Now cook this over medium heat and then reduce and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes. This is when you want to get your pasta going. Make sure you cook it al dente!

Give it a good stir here and there. You will know when it's ready. Your stomach will start grumbling!

Throw the pasta (or rice!) in a bowl, and top with the mixture. This isn't a super thick sauce, but it does coat the noodles very well. Use the bread to soak up the bottom of the bowl!

My hubby likes a little cheese added to his.

This is a Chillmoms original recipe! Make it my way or make it your own by changing out the meat, adding different veggies, changing the pasta or rice, or thickening up the sauce with a TB of corn starch!

Mmmmmmm...wish I had some right now!

 am sharing this on Trim Down Thursdays on &


  1. Looks and sounds delish! I will definitely have to give it a try! Hopped over from Katherine's. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I will have to visit you as well!

  2. the mix of husband would love this my kids would not!
    they will have to learn to like it... i am going to try this recipe....easy enough..maybe I'll cut the cayenne in half....
    i am your newest follower from the hop..pls follow back if you can.

    1. My kids are the same exact way! I end up making a little kid friendly batch on the side with the chicken & tomatoes and a few friendlier spices. I hate to be a short order cook but I get tired of eating their 5 dishes all of the time! :)

  3. wonderful combination, yummmy. Thank you for linking up to the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop linky party. Hugs and wishes for a lovely week ahead. P.S. The new giveaway has started!

    1. Thanks Katherine! I love all of the links in the blog party!