Creamy Cajun chicken pasta is a favorite that I’ve been making for years!  Chunks of smoky Andouille sausage, bright bell peppers, and Cajun-spiced chicken are tossed with cream, tomatoes, and fettuccine and topped with green onion.  Perfect for Mardi Gras celebrations, but too good to not make all year round!

Cajun chicken pasta in large pan with metal tongs.

Editor’s Note: Originally Published on May 14, 2018.  Updated with full process shots and expanded info.

Every now and then I like to put a non-Italian twist on pasta.  Especially when it involves spice!

I did this with my Cajun shrimp and sausage pasta, blackened chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, and this creamy Andouille and chicken pasta is yet another example.

The rich culture and flavors that abound in New Orleans cuisine have always intrigued me.

I’ve only been to Mardi Gras once but the food, music, and energy still resonate with me – there really is no place like it!

By combining brightly colored bell peppers, Cajun seasoning, and Andouille sausage, I’ve attempted to capture some of the essence of New Orleans in an easy pasta recipe.

I’ve been making this dish for years and it’s always a huge hit with my family.

They love the smokiness of the Andouille and you really can’t go wrong with a tomato-cream sauce.

Ingredients shown: bell peppers, onions, chicken stock, cream, tomatoes, chicken, sausage, pasta, and green onions.

How to make it

Each number corresponds to the numbered written steps below.

  1. Slice 1 large onion and 2 bell peppers (use any color you like).  Slice green onions on a bias into 1-inch long pieces.  Also, slice 3/4 pounds of Andouille sausage on a bias into 1/4-inch thick pieces.  Bring a large pot of salted water (2 tablespoons kosher salt) to boil.
  2. Pat dry and season 1 1/2 pounds of chicken thighs on both sides with a total of 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning.

Creamy Cajun chicken pasta recipe process shot collage group number one.

  1. Heat a large pan to medium heat and sear the chicken in 3 tablespoons of olive oil until cooked through (about 5-6 minutes per side).
  2. Place the chicken on a plate or cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm.  Slice the chicken into bite-size pieces before adding to the sauce in step 10 below.
  3. Add the Andouille sausage to the same pan and cook for a couple of minutes per side or until some color develops.  Remove the sausage and set aside tented as well.  Note: Packaged Andouille sausage is already cooked so you only need to sear it for a few minutes.
  4. Add the peppers and onions to the pan and saute for about 7 minutes or until they take on some color and soften.  If needed, add a touch more olive oil for the saute process.  At this time begin boiling the fettuccine pasta to 1 minute less than al dente.

Recipe process shot collage group number two.

  1. Once the peppers are soft add the chicken stock to the pan.
  2. Also, add tomatoes and bring to a simmer. With a wooden spoon scrape up all of the brown bits from the pan.
  3. Add the cream and bring to a simmer.  Note:  It’s best to add the cream first and let the sauce come to a simmer and thicken (about 5 minutes) before adding the sausage and sliced chicken to the pan, but it’s not critical.   As you can see I did just that in pic 9 below.
  4. Add the sliced chicken and sausage to the pan.   Add the remaining Cajun spice (4 teaspoons) to the sauce and bring to a simmer to let it thicken.

Recipe process shot collage group number three.

  1. Add the pasta to the pan and mix well.  Cook for 1 minute or to just al dente then remove the pan from the heat.  Add a 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and mix well.  Taste test and adjust salt, pepper, and Cajun spice if required.
  2. Finally, add the green onions and mix once more, then serve immediately.  If the pasta is at all dry use some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out.  Enjoy!

Black bowl with Cajun chicken pasta.

Top tips for creamy Cajun chicken and Andouille pasta

  • The sausage.  Part of what gives this dish its Louisiana flavor is the Andouille sausage.  Andouille is also used in other Cajun classics, like gumbo. If you can’t get your hands on Andouille, you can substitute with other types of sausage.  A good alternative would be chorizo – it’s also smoky, just like Andouille.  You can also use Italian sausage without fennel in a pinch.
  • The seasoning.  Cajun seasoning is a blend of paprika, cayenne, onion and garlic powders, pepper, oregano, and thyme.  Most premade Cajun seasonings will also include salt but if you make your own homemade Cajun seasoning you can control the sodium level.
  • Taste test. Before serving, be sure to taste test.  Depending on the type of Cajun seasoning and cheese used, you may need to adjust the salt level.
  • Save your pasta water.  Any time you’re making a creamy sauce it’s important to reserve pasta water.  Creamy sauces can dry out quickly and may need some pasta water to bring them back to a creamy consistency.
  • The peppers.  I used red and yellow bell peppers but this Cajun chicken pasta with andouille would be great with other types of peppers.  Feel free to experiment!  Possibilities include adding a Long Hot or two to kick up the spice factor.  I use these in my spicy pepper bucatini and they’re fantastic!  If you can find purple bell peppers, consider using a combo of green, purple, and yellow bell peppers as a nod to the colors of Mardi Gras!
  • More New Orleans inspo.  If you can find crawfish tails they would be a great addition to this pasta, especially if looking to up the New Orleans authenticity.  Shrimp can also be added.  I’ve made this with shrimp many times and I simply season the shrimp with the Cajun spice and saute them in butter before tossing with the pasta, Andouille, and chicken.

Cajun fettuccine pasta in pan with Andouille sausage pieces in the front of pic.

More creamy pasta recipes

If you love luxuriously creamy pasta dishes as much as I do, you’ve come to the right place.

Here are some of my favorites.  Which one is yours?

  • Pasta alla Norcina – Perhaps the most underrated pasta ever, this dish combines ground sausage in a white wine cream sauce.
  • Chicken Riggies – Rigatoni tossed with chicken, bell peppers, cherry peppers, and fresh basil in a creamy pink sauce.
  • Fettuccine Alfredo – Ribbons of pasta are tossed in a Parmagiano Reggiano and butter sauce.
  • Linguine al limone – Lemon juice, lemon zest, butter and Parmigiano Reggiano are tossed with linguine.
  • Garlic mushroom pasta – Pappardelle is tossed in a creamy garlic mushroom sauce and topped with fresh parsley.
  • Cacio e pepe – Creamy, but without cream!  This 4 ingredient dish combines Pecorino Romano, black pepper, pasta, and pasta water.
  • Rigatoni alla vodka – Onions, white wine, vodka, cream, and tomato combine to make a silky pink sauce that is tossed with rigatoni.
  • Chicken marsala pasta – Mushrooms, prosciutto, and sliced chicken tossed with pasta in a buttery marsala sauce.

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Cajun Chicken Pasta

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Silky ribbons of fettucine are tossed with Cajun chicken, smoky andouille, and bell peppers in a tomato-cream sauce and topped with parmesan and sliced green onion. Perfect for Mardi Gras celebrations or any day of the year!

Ingredients 

  • 1 pound fettuccine or linguine, spaghetti, etc
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 12 ounces Andouille sausage sliced into 1" pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large bell peppers sliced
  • 1 large onion sliced
  • 14 ounces canned plum tomatoes
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 5 large green onions sliced
  • 1 cup reserve pasta water will not need it all

Instructions 

  • Bring a large pot of salted water (2 tablespoons kosher salt) to boil. Season chicken with 2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning on both sides. Heat a large pan to medium heat and sear the chicken in olive oil until cooked through (about 5 minutes per side). Place the chicken on a plate and tent with foil.
  • Add the Andouille sausage to the same pan and cook for a couple of minutes per side or until some color develops. Remove the sausage and set aside tented as well.
  • Add the onions and peppers to the pan and saute for about 7 minutes or until they take on some color and soften. If needed, add a touch more olive oil for the saute process. At this time begin boiling the pasta to 1 minute less than al dente.
  • Once the peppers are soft add in the chicken stock and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. With a wooden spoon scrape up all of the brown bits from the pan.
  • Add the cream and bring to a simmer.
  • Slice the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Once the sauce starts to thicken add the chicken and sausage and continue to simmer. Season the sauce with the remaining Cajun seasoning. Taste test and add extra salt and/or Cajun seasoning to taste.
  • Add the pasta to the sauce and mix to coat. Cook until the pasta is al dente (about 1 minute more) then turn off the heat. Add the parmesan cheese and green onions. Mix together and serve immediately. If the pasta is at all dry add a bit of reserved pasta water. Enjoy!

Notes

  • Use our lower sodium Cajun seasoning or your favorite store-bought brand. 
  • Any sausage (Italian, chorizo, etc) can be substituted for Andouille.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition

Calories: 847kcal | Carbohydrates: 64.8g | Protein: 57.4g | Fat: 40.3g | Saturated Fat: 15.5g | Cholesterol: 167mg | Sodium: 921mg | Potassium: 518mg | Fiber: 3.8g | Sugar: 6.2g | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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This recipe was originally published on May 14, 2018.  It was completely updated on January 31, 2022.

5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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13 Comments

  1. Carol monteleone says:

    Watch all your videos and made this one. It’s wonderful. Loved it and will make it again soon! Thank you!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Carol, thanks for the comment and so happy you enjoyed!

  2. Sharon W says:

    5 stars
    Amazing recipe!! Love this and I will definitely be making it again!!

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Sharon, I’m so happy you liked this pasta! Thanks for the comment!

  3. Jim says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! Love the cajun spice flavor augmented by the andouille sausage. Definitely will add this to my recipe box. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Jason Cheeseman says:

    Fantastic recipe and videos, is it wrong that I watch these whilst working out?!?! I have a question, do you have the recipe for the Cajun mix you make with the measurements?

    Fantastic videos keep them coming and can’t wait for the podcast.

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Jason, nothing wrong with watching while working out! I appreciate the comment and appreciate the support! For the Cajun mix I’d recommend buying Slap Ya Mama or Tony Chachere. I don’t have a recipe and when I do make it I usually use a mixture of different recipes I find online. I have been using the Slap Ya Mama recently and really like it.

  5. Janice Donahue says:

    Going to try this recipe this weekend. Jim, can you let me know where you purchased your aluminum fry pans?

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Janice, all the kitchen equipment I use is in the shop that’s linked on the homepage of the site. It’s in the top-hand navigation next to “About Me” and says “Shop”. Thanks!

  6. Zabi says:

    I love your recipes and have made many! I would love to make this.

    Instead of 14oz plum tomatoes, Can I just use a jar of sauce? and what size?

    1. Jim says:

      Hi Zabi, thank you so much! Yes, you can replace the tomatoes with sauce. I’d use the same amount – roughly 14 ounces.

  7. Bryon says:

    5 stars
    Fantastic Dinner!

    1. Jim says:

      Thanks, Bryon!