College Recipe Cafe

One Pan Cajun Chicken Pasta: Satisfying Post-Workout Eats

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

One Pan Cajun Chicken Pasta

Our aim with this one-pan recipe is to hook you up with a post-workout meal that:

  • can be made in under 25 minutes
  • tastes homemade
  • helps prevent muscles from stiffening up – like Frankenstein’s legs – the next day

To accomplish this feat, our crack-team of recipe testers tossed together protein-packed chicken breast and penne pasta with a simple restaurant-worthy roasted red pepper cream sauce – all in one pan for easy cleanup!

Tossing together cajun chicken and pasta with roasted red pepper cream sauce

Perhaps the cream sauce isn’t the healthiest option after a workout, but it is still better than inhaling chicken nuggets from the clown or king afterwards.

And, the sauce makes each piece of chicken, chicken, chicken taste yummy, yummy, yummy – even more so if you follow the flavor tip below. 👇

Flavor Tip: Make this Cajun Chicken Pasta 1 day ahead, and you will find that the chicken and pasta will absorb every morsel of flavor hidden in the sauce! Kinda like how Frankenstein comes to life by absorbing electricity…kinda! 👌

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One Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

Makes:  3 to 4 Servings  Ready In: 20 to 25 minutes

😋Full Flavor Recipe

🤏Less Flavor Time Saver Recipe

Omits: Chopping and cooking onion, mincing garlic and chopping flat-leaf parsley

Adds: Stirring in 1/4 tsp garlic powder


6 oz. pasta (fusilli or penne works well)
2 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp. Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. each soy sauce and extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 roasted red pepper, from a jar, diced (or dice 1 red bell pepper)
½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
½ cup cream (35%)
2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan Cheese
Flat-leaf parsley, chopped


In a deep 12-inch pan, cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta is cooking, on a cutting board, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces. Evenly sprinkle chicken pieces with Cajun seasoning. Then drizzle chicken with soy sauce and extra virgin olive oil. Toss to coat each piece of chicken. When pasta is ready drain in a colander and set aside.

To cook chicken, heat the same pan over medium heat. Add seasoned chicken pieces to pan. Cook without stirring to brown one side of chicken pieces, about 2 minutes. Turn each piece over to brown the other side. Continue to cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle. Transfer cooked chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Return pan to heat. Add onion. Cook and stir until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute more. Pour in broth. Scrape up any brown bits with a wooden spoon. Reduce sauce until streaks appear in it when a stirring spoon is swiped through, about 4 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Stir in cream and Parmesan cheese. Return cooked pasta and chicken to pan. Toss to coat. Top with a sprinkle of parsley.

🌳 Waste Less: To reduce our consumption of paper towels, we use reusable kitchen bar mops to wipe countertops and clean-up small messes. You’ll find the ones we use on our “must haves” page here.


Brent Garell testing the food at College Recipe Cafe

Brent Garell (hey that’s me!) is the founder of College Recipe Café, author of 15-Minute Money Saving Meals for Students and your guide inside Cooking Pro Jumpstart

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