College Recipe Cafe

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta: Quick and Delicious Post Workout Meal

Pan-Fried Cajun Chicken and Penne Pasta Tossed in a Creamy Red Pepper Sauce.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Past: Post Workout Recovery MealMakes:  3 to 4 Helpings  Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time:  10 minutes

What should we eat after we exercise?

From what I understand, it’s a good idea to eat a combo of carbs and protein within 30 minutes after a workout to help our tired muscles recover.

Here at the Cafe, we’re all for doing whatever it takes to prevent sore muscles so we added this super quick and delicious post-workout recipe.

It has protein-rich chicken breast, carb-packed pasta, and a creamy sauce that makes the entire meal look, and taste 100 times better than a protein bar or shake!

Of course, the heavy cream in the sauce won’t help develop your six pack abs, but it does add body to the delectable sauce – and we think you deserve that kind of reward for hitting the gym, or treadmill, or cubii – or whatever you do to keep fit!


Music: Feelin Good by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license
Source: Artist:

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Creamy cajun Chicken Pasta

Makes:  3 to 4 Helpings  Prep Time: 10 minutes  Cook Time:  10 minutes
Recipe adapted from:
Open Printable Recipe


1 large chicken breast (cut into strips)
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Pinch or two freshly ground black pepper
6 oz. Penne pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup cream (35%)
pinch or two salt
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan Cheese
Flat-leaf parsley (optional)


In a medium bowl,  toss chicken strips with Cajun seasoning, olive oil and black pepper.  Set in the refrigerator to marinate. While chicken is marinating, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

To cook chicken, heat a skillet over medium heat.  Add marinated chicken strips to pan and spread them out evenly in the pan. Let cook, without stirring, for 1 minute.  Turn each chicken strip over to cook the other side, without stirring, for 1 minute.  Stir and continue to cook chicken strips until they are no longer pink on the inside, about 1 minute longer. Remove cooked chicken from the pan and set aside.

While the skillet is still hot, add diced red pepper to pan. Cook and stir to slightly soften, about  2 minutes. Pour in broth. Combine browned bits in the pan with the broth. Reduce the broth until streaks appear in the pan when you swipe a wooden spoon through the broth (see the video above for a visual), about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in cream. Season with salt and stir again. Add cooked chicken and pasta. Stir to coat with sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and parsley (if using).


Brent Garell testing the food at College Recipe CafeBrent Garell (hey that’s me!) is the guy behind College Recipe Cafe. He is the author of The Cook-a-Palooza Experience and 15-Minute Money Saving Meals for Students. He teaches cooking classes at local colleges and online at Cooking Pro Jumpstart.

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