This one pot Cajun chicken pasta is creamy, spicy, and quite simply delicious. Plus it’s completely dairy free! This easy pasta recipe is perfect for weeknight cooking when you want something easy but without compromising on flavour.
Lately I’ve been obsessed with strong, bold flavours. And while watching the most recent series of Queer Eye in which at lot of the food centred around Cajun cuisine, I found myself drooling wanting to bring some of these spices into my kitchen.
Yes I get most of my food inspiration while watching television.
Cajun cuisine is something that doesn’t seem to be very popular in Australia, or definitely not mainstream, so I in no way claim this to be authentic, it’s just simply inspired by the spices that are the backbone of Cajun cooking.
For the spice mix in this recipe, I’ve made my own by raiding my well stocked spice rack (an essential thing in my pantry!). I made a big batch of the spice mix meaning I now have a jar of it on hand whenever I want to season anything or make yet another batch of this creamy pasta.
You can certainly buy a premade spice blend from the supermarket, but I always find those often have sugar added, and when you make it yourself you can control just how spicy you like it and tweak it to your flavour preference.
I love this recipe because it’s a pot of creamy cajun chicken pasta that has all the cosy, comforting vibes and none of the dairy. It’s creamy, spicy, smokey and just so easy. It really is one of my favourite easy dairy free dinner ideas.
This recipe is one of those big pots of comfort food you can place in the middle of the table and just let people serve themselves. It’s the kind of food I love making when my family comes to visit because it’s low fuss so I don’t feel stressed in the kitchen, and everyone can get as much as they want so no one leaves hungry.
This is one of those dinners that you don’t really need a lot of ingredients for (apart from spices if you’re making your own blend), but the end result makes you feel like a whole lot more went into it!
- Pasta – I really like penne for this dish, but I’ve also used rigatoni. The tube style works because it can hold alllll the sauce!
- Chicken breast or thigh fillets – I usually prefer to use chicken thighs, but I used chicken breast in the version I photographed due to supply issues of groceries in these current times, and it was equally delicious. Use what you prefer!
- Cajun seasoning – as mentioned I make my own blend which is written in the notes section of the recipe card below, but you could also use your favourite store bought blend to make this recipe even easier.
- Onion & Garlic – just using a small brown onion for extra flavour along with garlic to build flavour.
- Chicken stock – again use your favourite, good quality chicken stock.
- Coconut milk – the version from the can for the creamiest texture.
- Fresh herbs – I use a combination of parsley and basil to give this dish a delicious freshness.
Like the title of this recipe suggests, you just need one pot to make this recipe. I love to use my enamel cast iron dutch oven as it’s perfect for this sort of recipe. The one in my pictures that I use I picked up on sale at TKMaxx as I’m still saving up to get a Le Creuset! But really, any large sized pot will work for this recipe.
Start by boiling your pasta for about a minute less than your package instructions as we want it to be just underdone to avoid overcooking when we add it back to the sauce.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and set it aside. Pop your pot back on the heat and add in the chicken pieces and some of the cajun seasoning. Keep cooking the chicken, using a wooden spoon to move it around the pan and prevent sticking, until it’s cooked all the way through and then remove it from the pan onto a bowl or plate and set aside.
Add a little more oil to the pot and saute the onions. You want to scrape the bottom with the wooden spoon and make sure to pick up any little bits of chicken and spices that remain. Once the onion is soft, add in the garlic.
To the pot, add in your chicken stock, coconut milk and remaining cajun seasoning, mixing well and then bringing to a boil.
Add back the cooked pasta and mix through for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens and the pasta is coated. Add the chicken back to the pot and stir through to heat.
Depending on if your chicken stock was salt reduced or not, you may need to season the pasta, so give it a taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Finish the pasta off by chopping up some fresh herbs and stir through the pasta right before serving.
You could of course also add in a bit of parmesan, but we’re keeping things dairy free here and to be honest, I don’t think it needs anything else!
More one pot recipes:
One Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
- 500 grams penne pasta
- 500 grams chicken breast or thigh fillets chopped into 2cm pieces
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning divided (see notes)
- 1 small brown onion finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking
- Fresh herbs like basil and parsley chopped to serve
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large, heavy based pot over high heat, bring some salted water to a boil and cook the pasta 1 minute less than package directions. You want the pasta to be just slightly undercooked. Drain and set aside.
- In the same large pot, heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat, and sauté the chicken pieces with 1 tablespoon of the Cajun seasoning until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the pan and add in the diced onions. Sauté, using a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits of chicken and seasoning from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
- To the pot, add the chicken stock, coconut milk and additional tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. Mix together and bring to the boil.
- Add the pasta and mix through for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickens and the pasta is coated. Add the chicken back to the pot and stir through to heat.
- Take the pot off the heat and stir through the fresh herbs before serving. Taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Nutritional information is provided as a guide only and is calculated using automated online tools, therefore we cannot guarantee the accuracy. We encourage you to make your own calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe.