Creamy Cajun Chicken Broccoli Pasta

Creamy Cajun Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Recipe


  • Salt
  • 1 pound penne or other small pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cutlets
  • 2-3 tablespoons Cajun seasoning (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) Wisconsin parmesan cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oven to 200°F (93°C). This will be used to keep the chicken warm while preparing the rest of the dish.
  2. In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil.
  3. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some cooking water, and set it aside.
  4. Return the cooking water to a boil. Add the broccoli and boil until just tender and bright green, about 2 minutes. Immediately plunge the broccoli into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and set aside.
  5. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken generously with Cajun seasoning.
  6. In a large skillet, heat olive oil until shimmering. Arrange the seasoned chicken in a single layer and sauté, flipping once, until the internal temperature reaches 155°F (68°C), about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the skillet, cover with foil, and transfer to the preheated oven to keep warm.
  7. Wipe the skillet with a paper towel and return it to the stove. Over medium-high heat, melt butter and heat until foaming. Stir in minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  8. Whisk in the white wine and bring to a simmer. Allow the sauce to reduce by half, approximately 2 minutes.
  9. Whisk in the heavy cream and simmer until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Fold in the shredded parmesan cheese. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Add the reserved pasta to the skillet and toss gently to coat. Arrange the blanched broccoli over the pasta.
  11. Top with the cooked chicken and garnish with additional parmesan cheese.
  12. Serve immediately, and enjoy your creamy Cajun chicken and broccoli pasta!

Note: Adjust the Cajun seasoning according to your spice preference. You can start with 2 tablespoons and add more if needed.

Popular questions and their answers related to creamy Cajun Chicken and Broccoli Pasta Recipe

Q: Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe? A: Yes, you can use any small pasta of your choice, such as fettuccine, rigatoni, or farfalle.

Q: Is there a substitute for dry white wine? A: If you prefer not to use wine, you can substitute chicken or vegetable broth for a similar depth of flavor.

Q: Can I use pre-shredded Parmesan cheese? A: While pre-shredded Parmesan is convenient, using freshly grated Parmesan will provide a richer and creamier texture to the dish.

Q: How spicy is the Cajun seasoning, and can I adjust the heat level? A: The spiciness of Cajun seasoning can vary. Start with 2-3 tablespoons, and adjust according to your spice preference. You can always add more later if desired.

Q: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A: While the dish is best served immediately for optimal creaminess, you can prepare components in advance and assemble just before serving. Reheat gently to avoid drying out the pasta.

Q: What sides pair well with Cajun Chicken and Broccoli Pasta? A: Common sides include a simple green salad, garlic bread, or a side of sautéed vegetables.

Q: Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? A: Yes, you can substitute chicken thighs for breasts. Adjust the cooking time to ensure they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Q: How do I store leftovers? A: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop with a splash of cream to maintain creaminess.

Q: Can I freeze this dish? A: Cream-based dishes may not freeze well due to potential texture changes. It’s recommended to enjoy this meal fresh.

Q: What can I do if the sauce is too thick? A: If the sauce becomes too thick, you can thin it with a little reserved pasta cooking water or additional cream until reaching the desired consistency.

Certainly! Elevate your Creamy Cajun Chicken Broccoli Pasta with these helpful tips to make it even more delightful:

  1. Quality Cajun Seasoning:
    • Use a high-quality Cajun seasoning or make your own for the best flavor. Adjust the amount based on your spice preference.
  2. Sear the Chicken:
    • Searing the chicken before cooking it in the creamy sauce adds a delicious caramelization and depth of flavor. Ensure the chicken is cooked through but still juicy.
  3. Freshly Grated Parmesan:
    • Grate Parmesan cheese fresh for a richer and more intense flavor. It will melt seamlessly into the sauce, creating a creamier texture.
  4. Add a Splash of White Wine:
    • Deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine after searing the chicken. This adds complexity to the sauce and enhances the overall taste.
  5. Use Homemade Chicken Broth:
    • If possible, use homemade chicken broth for the pasta sauce. It imparts a more robust and authentic flavor.
  6. Experiment with Pasta Shapes:
    • Choose a pasta shape that complements the dish. Penne, fettuccine, or rigatoni work well, capturing the creamy sauce and Cajun-seasoned chicken.
  7. Add Sun-Dried Tomatoes:
    • For an extra burst of flavor, add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes to the dish. They provide a sweet and tangy element that pairs well with the Cajun spices.
  8. Fresh Garlic and Onions:
    • Use fresh garlic and onions for the sauce. Sauté them until aromatic to build a solid flavor base for the dish.
  9. Steam Broccoli Just Right:
    • Steam the broccoli until it’s vibrant green and still has a slight crunch. Overcooked broccoli can become mushy and lose its appeal.
  10. Finish with Fresh Herbs:
    • Sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or cilantro over the finished dish for a pop of color and a hint of freshness.
  11. Adjust Creaminess with Milk:
    • Adjust the creaminess of the sauce by adding a splash of milk if needed. This helps achieve the desired consistency without compromising flavor.
  12. Garnish with Lemon Zest:
    • Add a touch of brightness by garnishing the pasta with a sprinkle of lemon zest just before serving. It lifts the flavors and adds a citrusy aroma.
  13. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes:
    • If you love extra heat, sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes over the finished dish for a spicy kick.
  14. Prep Ingredients Ahead:
    • Prep ingredients like chopping vegetables and marinating chicken ahead of time for a quicker and smoother cooking process.
  15. Pair with a Light Salad:
    • Serve the Creamy Cajun Chicken Broccoli Pasta with a light side salad dressed in a lemon vinaigrette for a refreshing contrast.

Remember to taste as you cook and adjust seasonings to your liking. These tips will enhance the flavors and textures, making your Creamy Cajun Chicken Broccoli Pasta truly delightful! 🍝🌶️🧀

Certainly! Achieving the perfect Creamy Cajun Chicken Broccoli Pasta involves attention to detail and some cooking secrets. Here are some tips to help you master this dish:

  1. Balanced Cajun Seasoning:
    • Achieve a balanced Cajun flavor by blending your own seasoning or choosing a high-quality Cajun spice mix. Adjust the quantity based on your spice tolerance.
  2. Velvety Cream Sauce:
    • Create a velvety cream sauce by allowing the cream to simmer gently without boiling. This helps it thicken naturally and coat the pasta evenly.
  3. Patience with Roux:
    • Take your time when making the roux (butter and flour mixture). Let it cook until it reaches a light golden color, enhancing the flavor of the sauce.
  4. Chicken Searing Technique:
    • Sear the chicken over medium-high heat to develop a golden crust. This adds a depth of flavor to the dish. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan for effective searing.
  5. Freshly Grated Parmesan:
    • Grate Parmesan cheese just before using it. Freshly grated cheese melts more smoothly and contributes to a richer, creamier sauce.
  6. Perfectly Cooked Pasta:
    • Cook the pasta al dente, ensuring it retains a slight firmness. Overcooked pasta can become mushy when combined with the creamy sauce.
  7. Homemade Chicken Broth:
    • If possible, use homemade chicken broth for a more flavorful and nuanced taste. It can elevate the overall quality of the dish.
  8. Balance Creaminess with Milk:
    • Adjust the creaminess of the sauce by adding a splash of milk if needed. This ensures the sauce is rich without being overly heavy.
  9. Fresh Vegetables Matter:
    • Use fresh broccoli for a vibrant color and crisp texture. Steam it just until tender to maintain its freshness and prevent it from becoming too soft.
  10. Citrus Zest for Brightness:
    • Add a touch of citrus zest, such as lemon or orange, to brighten up the flavors of the creamy sauce. It adds a refreshing note to the dish.
  11. Layered Seasoning:
    • Season each component (chicken, sauce, and veggies) separately with salt and pepper. This helps ensure that every layer of the dish is well-seasoned.
  12. Controlled Heat:
    • Control the spiciness by adjusting the amount of Cajun seasoning and adding red pepper flakes gradually. This way, you can tailor the heat to your preference.
  13. Simmer to Perfection:
    • Allow the pasta and chicken to simmer in the sauce for a few minutes. This helps them absorb the flavors and ensures the dish is cohesive.
  14. Garnish Thoughtfully:
    • Garnish the finished dish with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro for a burst of color and a hint of freshness.
  15. Serve Immediately:
    • Creamy pasta dishes are best served immediately after preparation to enjoy the perfect texture and temperature.

By incorporating these secrets, you’ll be well on your way to creating a Creamy Cajun Chicken Broccoli Pasta that’s absolutely delightful! 🌶️🍝🧀

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