I recently celebrated a birthday, and one of the first things I did with a gift card I received was to purchase a new cookbook for my collection. The first recipe I made from that cookbook was this delicious “lightened-up” recipe for Cajun Chicken Pasta. We LOVED it, so I want to share it with you today!
The original version is a popular restaurant item in a famous restaurant, but in this version, it has been lightened up, and prepared as written, will be under 400 calories per 1½ cup serving! It’s absolutely delicious!
Look at all those fresh colorful veggies that are in this dish! The best tip I can give you is to prep them before beginning! If you have all ingredients ready to go, you can prepare the dish while the pasta cooks and it should be ready in about the same amount of time! Also to save time… bring a large pot of salted water to a boil right at the start (for the pasta).
Combine milk, cream cheese and flour in a blender. Mix until well blended. Set aside. This is a “slurry” that will be used to thicken the Cajun sauce later.
Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Prepare chicken and sauce while pasta is cooking.
While pasta is cooking, prepare the chicken. Season chicken pieces with 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. When hot, add chicken (may need to work in batches depending on size of skillet).
Cook chicken about 3 minutes (till golden brown on bottom), then flip and cook other side about 3 minutes. When done, remove the chicken to a plate. Set aside.
Add olive oil to the skillet (same one you cooked the chicken in). Turn heat down to medium. Add the bell pepper and onion slices. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Once veggies are tender, add the mushrooms and tomatoes to skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then add minced garlic, and cook for an additional minute, stirring often. Add the rest of the garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir to blend and continue cooking.
Turn heat down to medium-low. Pour in the “slurry” ( milk/cream cheese/flour mixture) and a cup of chicken broth. Stir well, to blend. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring often, until the sauce has started to thicken.
Add the chicken back into the skillet. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and the rest of the Cajun seasoning (1/4 teaspoon). Stir and cook until chicken has been heated through (1-2 minutes). Once mixed, add the cooked pasta to the skillet, and gently stir and toss, to fully coat pasta and chicken with Cajun sauce.
When heated through, it is ready to serve! Garnish each serving of chicken and pasta with sliced green onions… and serve while hot!
We absolutely loved this meal! So much flavor! I also highly recommend Gina Homolka’s cookbook “The Skinnytaste Cookbook” for anyone looking to cut some calories out of their meals! It is a wonderful cookbook with some delicious recipes!
Have a great day. Be kind out there, people! It’s such a small thing… but your kindness really can have a huge impact on others!
Recipe Source: The Skinnytaste Cookbook” by Gina Homolka, Published 2014, Clarkson Potter/Publishers, pages 187-187.
This "lightened-up" dinner dish is packed with veggies, chicken, pasta, and great flavor!
- 1/3 cup fat-free milk
- 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour (Gluten-free, use sweet rice flour)
- 3 Tablespoons light cream cheese
- 8 ounces penne pasta or linguine (Gluten-free, use brown rice pasta-check label)
- 1 pound boneless , skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
- 1¼ teaspoons Cajun seasoning (divided)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (divided)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium red bell pepper , seeds removed, cut in thin slices
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper , seeds removed, cut in thin slices
- 1/2 medium red onion , thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves , minced
- 8 ounces button mushrooms , sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes , chopped
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 medium scallions (green onions), chopped
- First... prep veggies, gather ingredients, and heat large pot of salted water to boiling.
- Combine milk, cream cheese and flour in a blender. Mix until well blended. Set aside.
- Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain; set aside. Prepare chicken/sauce while pasta cooks.
- Season chicken pieces with 1 tsp.Cajun seasoning, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Spray a non-stick skillet with cooking spray; heat to medium-high. When hot, add chicken. Cook chicken about 3 minutes (till golden brown on bottom), turn, cook other side about 3 minutes. When done, remove chicken to a plate. Set aside.
- Add olive oil to skillet. Turn heat down to medium. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once veggies are tender, add mushrooms and tomatoes. Cook 2-3 minutes, then add minced garlic, and cook for an additional minute, stirring often. Add the rest of the garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper. Stir to blend.
- Turn heat down to medium-low. Pour in the "slurry" (milk/cream cheese/flour mixture) and a cup of chicken broth. Stir well. Cook for a couple minutes, stirring, until sauce has started to thicken.
- Add chicken back into skillet. Add 1/8 teaspoon salt and the rest of the Cajun seasoning (1/4 tsp). Stir and cook until chicken is heated through (1-2 minutes). Once mixed, add cooked pasta to skillet, and gently toss, to coat pasta and chicken with sauce. When heated through, it's ready! Garnish each serving with sliced green onions... and serve hot!
Here’s one more to pin to your Pinterest boards!