Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

This Cajun Chicken Pasta is an easy, one-pot stovetop dinner made with lots of vegetables and spicy chicken in a creamy sauce.  The hands-on cooking time is around 20 minutes, which means with a little advance prep (chopping vegetables and chicken), this can easily be a weeknight dinner, or a quick dinner any time.  The recipe is also easily halved to make dinner for 2.

I used this recipe from Southern Living for my inspiration, but made several modifications to lighten up the dish.  For the cream sauce, I used fat free evaporated milk instead of half-and-half, and the result was great.  It had a creamy texture without being heavy.  I also eliminated the butter in favor of cooking spray and a small amount of olive oil for the vegetables.   I reduced the amount of pasta and added more vegetables.  There is a lot of flexibility with the vegetables to add more or change it up to use up what you have on hand.  The result is a lighter version of Cajun Chicken Pasta that is simply delicious!


Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

Yield: 4 servings

Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole wheat linguine or fettucine
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small strips
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning (divided), adjust to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 large bell peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1 (8 ounce) package sliced mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (12 ounces) fat free evaporated milk
  • chopped green onions, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken evenly with 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning and salt.
  3. Spray a large saute pan with cooking spray and heat oven medium-high heat. Add chicken, and saute for 5 to 6 minutes or until done. Remove chicken to a plate, tented with foil.
  4. In the same saute pan, add olive oil and heat over medium heat. Add red onion, peppers, mushrooms and garlic to pan and saute for 9 to 10 minutes, or until vegetables are tender and liquid evaporates.
  5. Return chicken to skillet and mix with vegetables. Add evaporated milk and 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes. Add linquine, toss to coat
  6. Garnish with green onions, as desired, and serve immediately.
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Comments

  1. This sounds absolutely delicious. I love Cajun seasoning and having a dish made lighter and healthier is always such a good thing! Thanks for sharing.

  2. This does look like it is seasoned perfectly. Sometimes there can be just two much cream and it does have a tendency to choke out a lot of the flavor of the veggies and the meat. I rarely have Cajun pasta but that needs to change-delicious entree!

  3. Definitely happy to try the lighter version. Looks delicious.

  4. I love this kind of dinner entree! Both beautiful and flavorful! Looks yummy!

  5. It is chicken, it is pasta, it is veggies and it is delicious. It is one whole meal in one easy to prepare dish. This is a winner. Great for busy weekday dinners =)

  6. Looks yummy! And these are ingredients I always have in my kitchen. I’ll have to try this sometime. Thanks for sharing :)

  7. I love that you’ve lightened this dish. It really can be so heavy, and I have been wanting to make it for so long but I couldn’t bring myself to make one of those overly rich versions I usually see. Thanks for posting! :)

  8. I love how bright and vibrant the colors are in this dish. I’m glad you made it lighter too-I’ve been looking at the original version and don’t want to eat that many calories or fat so this looks perfect!

  9. What a great recipe, this looks super delicious! :)

  10. Hi Alida,
    I wonder why I could never succeed making this Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta
    How did you do it? I’ll try again for sure and this time I’ll refer to your recipe as my guide :)
    Thanks also for the tempting food photos. Looks like they were made by professional. Have you ever heard about food photography site called http://www.foodporn.net ?
    Your pics should be on the Food Porn home page, that’s for sure!

Trackbacks

  1. […] often use evaporated milk in place of cream or half and half to lighten up recipes (like in this Lighter Cajun Chicken Pasta) so why not Mac and Cheese.   Another tip when adding the cheese to this recipe, it is important […]

  2. […] added fat and calories.  I have used evaporated milk to lighten up several other dishes, including Cajun Chicken Pasta, Lighter Mac & Cheese, and Apricot White Chocolate Scones, to name a few.  It’s just one of […]

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