Creamy Cajun pasta is one of my favorite dishes, and although I make it all the time, it’s not very healthy. There’s just something so comforting about Cajun-spiced chicken swimming alongside noodles in a smoky, creamy sauce. It always turns out delicious, and I love how easy it is to whip-up a one-pot meal like this at a moment’s notice. By making a few smart ingredient swaps, I recreated this dish so it has less than 400 calories per serving! That’s not even the best part about this Skinny Cajun Chicken Pasta: it not only cooks in less than 30 minutes, but it’s a great way to use up leftover chicken, too!
Should I Use Rotisserie or Homemade Chicken?
In our Skinny Cajun Chicken Pasta recipe below, we give you a choice: whip up a batch of our Everything Roasted Chicken or grab a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Which should you choose? Really, it’s up to you, but we can present the pros and cons of each option.
The major pro in favor of rotisserie chicken is the convenience. Almost every grocery store sells rotisserie chicken (and they’re often on sale if you go towards the end of the day, too). You can grab one on your way home and expend zero effort toward making the protein for this dinner. On the flip side, you’ll really want to check the ingredients label carefully. Many rotisserie chickens are packed full of salt and other additives, which you won’t want to add into your diet.
The con for our Everything Roasted Chicken is, of course, the fact that you have to cook it. You’ll dirty up your kitchen and heat up the house during the summertime, too. On the other hand, you get to control all the ingredients that go into the dish. Plus, our recipe is super simple – it’s only four ingredients – and raw chickens are almost always less expensive than cooked chicken.
In the end, this Skinny Cajun Chicken Pasta will taste delicious with either type of chicken. You know how much time you have to cook and how much wiggle room you have in your grocery budget. Make the best choice for you and your family!
Yield: 8 servings | Serving Size: about 1 cup | Calorie: 382 | Total Fat: 12 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Carbohydrates: 28 g | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 5 g | Protein: 20 g | Cholesterol: 37 mg | Sodium: 238 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 11
- 16 oz whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- l1/4 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 cup chicken andouille sausage (or regular andouille), cut into 1" cubes
- 1 Tablespoon cajun seasoning
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken
- 1 1/2 cups skim milk
- 1/2 cup shredded lowfat parmesan cheese
- 1 Tablespoon cornstarch, arrowroot or tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- Prepare pasta according to package directions. Rinse and set aside.
- In a large, deep skillet or soup pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil.
- Saute onion, peppers, and garlic until softened, taking care not to burn the garlic.
- Add andouille sausage and saute until heated through, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add cajun seasoning and stir in shredded cooked chicken, sauteing until heated through.
- Add penne and stir.
- Slowly add milk and bring to a simmer, cooking another 5 minutes.
- Optional: In a small bowl, combine cornstarch/arrowroot/tapioca starch and whisk with a fork until completely incorporated. Pour into simmering pot and stir to thicken sauce.
- Add shredded parmesan cheese, stir and serve.