When I was a younger, there was an awesome chef that used to come on public access television. His name was Justin Wilson. Chef Wilson’s specialty was Cajun cuisine – and I was fascinated by him, his brand of humor, and his Louisiana accent! He would put tons of garlic and pepper in just about everything which is what made him one of my favorites. Those two things make my taste buds super happy! Chef Justin Wilson passed on in 2001 at 87 years young, but I credit him for beginning my obsession with Cajun/creole food and for being one of the people that inspired me to become a chef.
Back when I started watching Justin Wilson, I was just starting out and I didn’t have the money for a VCR (remember those) and DVR hadn’t been created, so if there was a chef on tv and wanted the recipe, I had to sit there and try to write everything down as close to accuracy as possible. Without a doubt, I would miss several steps or ingredients – who wouldn’t? Nonetheless, I’d still go in the kitchen and try to piece together and recreate the recipes I had seen on tv. Oddly enough, I think this may have been one of the things that made me such a good cook. I was forced to recreate dishes not knowing all of what went in them and still make them taste amazing. That’s kind of how this particular recipe came about. I had bits and pieces of a Justin Wilson recipe and I had to make it work. I’ve been making this dish for over a decade now and it has certainly evolved. Through trial and error, I finally came up with something that I really love. So here it is…my recipe for Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta.
Check out the video tutorial of it here on our YouTube channel.
Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta
- 8 oz linguine
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 2 tbs of sodium-free Cajun seasoning
- 1 tsp creole seasoning salt
- 1 tbs of unsalted butter
- 1-2 tbs of grapeseed oil
- 8 ounces sliced baby Bella mushrooms
- ½ cup of fresh diced red onion
- 1 small red bell pepper sliced
- 1 small yellow bell pepper sliced
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper seasoning (Add more or less depending on how spicy you like it.)
- 2 to 3 cloves of fresh minced garlic
- 6 ounces of sliced cherry, grape, or any small size tomatoes
- ½ tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicier)
- ½ tsp smoked paprika (this is for flavor – not heat)
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tbs olive oil plus more for the pan
- 2 tbs unsalted butter (I like Irish butter)
- 2 ½ cups of half and half cream or more for taste (feel free to use full heavy cream if you don’t mind the fat and calorie content or you can also use 1:1 ratio milk (whole or skim) and cream)
- ¾ cup of grated Parmesan and more for garnish
- Juice squeezed from half a lemon (about 1 tbs)
- sea salt and pepper to taste if needed
- ¼ cup fresh parsley
- Cook pasta according to package instructions.
- Wash, pat dry, and cut chicken breast in half via butterfly method.
- Season chicken with sodium-free Cajun seasoning and creole seasoning salt
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat add grapeseed oil and butter to a pan.
- Add chicken breast to the pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes per side depending on thickness. Once chicken is cooked, move to a plate or cooking sheet and cover tightly with foil.
- In the same pan that you cooked the chicken in, add the sliced bell peppers, mushrooms, onions, and chili pepper flakes to the pan. Cook for two minutes.
- Add the garlic and sliced grape tomatoes to the pan and cook for an additional one minute. Be sure to stir so that you don’t burn the garlic.
- Remove veggies from the pan and set to the side.
- Reduce heat to medium low and add half cream, butter, the onion and garlic powder, juice of half a lemon (about 1 tablespoon), and Parmesan cheese. Taste the sauce to make sure the seasoning is perfect. Now would be the time to add additional seasoning if needed – like salt and pepper for taste. stir everything to mix well. Bring to a low simmer.
- Add the cooked pasta and cooked veggies to the sauce and toss. Heat everything through.
To plate, add pasta and sauce to a bowl or place. Slice the chicken breast and place on top of pasta. Garnish with parsley and grated parmesan cheese
- This recipe works amazing with shrimp or smoked sausage
- Don’t let your cream (or milk) come to a rolling boil. It can easily burn or separate.