One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

You’ll be so amazed by how easily this dish comes together to make a healthy One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta dish that you can enjoy, guilt-free, any night of the week! 

One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

Okay, who grew up eating at Chili’s Grill and Bar? Well, let’s just say I grew up eating there a *little too much*. I think I’ve tried just about everything on the menu and absolutely loved it all my teen years. Those teen years were also the days that I could pretty much eat any amount of calories and carbs without any repercussions. If I ate the things I did then, I’d probably be lying in bed with the worst stomach ache and gain 10 pounds in one sitting. So to avoid that but enjoy my childhood nostalgia, I’ve created a One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta. 

One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

One of my most favorite carb-loading orders was Chili’s Cajun Chicken Pasta. It was the creamiest, cheesiest pasta dish topped with cajun crusted chicken and a giant slice of Texas-style garlic toast. Woah. So dang good.

Here, I’ve lightened up that recipe in this oh-so-easy one-pot pasta dish. No loads of butter and heavy cream here. Yes, there is a little dairy (you can use non-dairy milk if you are dairy intolerant), but all in all, we are using just real, clean ingredients. You won’t even believe how delicious this pasta is and you are going to want to keep eating more and more!! It’s got big, bold cajun spices and a lovely creamy sauce. 

One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

For another classic, one-pot dish, try my One-Pot “Yummy Pasta!”

One-Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta

Serves: 4
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time27 mins


  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1.5 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (1/2 tsp is spicy. If you want mild, go for 1/4 tsp. If you are serving kids omit the cayenne).
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 12 ounces penne pasta (I use Jovial Brown Rice Pasta)
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups milk almond milk is okay for dairy-free option
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 roma tomato, seeds scooped out and diced fine
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced, green parts only
  • 2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese (optional)


  • In a small bowl, combine the paprika, cayenne, thyme, rosemary, oregano and 1 tsp kosher salt. Stir until well combined and set aside.
  • Place chicken breasts on a cutting board and cover with parchment or saran wrap. Using a meat mallet or the bottom of a skillet, pound chicken until it is a uniform 1/4 inch thickness. 
  • Season both of the chicken breasts all over with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Now, take about 1 teaspoon of the prepared spice mixture and evenly sprinkle on both sides of the chicken breasts (reserving the remaining mixture for later).
  • Heat oil in a large skillet with sides (I use a 3 qt. Saucier) over medium-high heat. When hot, but not smoking, sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes a side. Transfer cooked chicken to a cutting board and let rest while you make the pasta.
  • Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and garlic to the same skillet and saute, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes. (If your skillet is dry, add an extra tsp of oil.) 
  • Add the pasta, broth and milk. Season with salt and the remaining seasoning blend. Bring the contents in the pot to a gentle simmering (you don't want it to be boiling). Cook, simmering and stirring often until pasta is al dente and liquid is absorbed and creamy, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Finish with lemon juice and taste, adjust salt and pepper, as desired. Serve in a bowl and top with sliced chicken, roma tomatoes, green onion and shredded parmesan (optional). Enjoy!


  • Reply
    July 31, 2022 at 2:25 am

    5 stars
    I love this recipe (and all the one pot recipes on this site). To save time and energy(back in the first trimester with number 3), I’ll sometimes just use ground turkey or beef and cook it with the spices you would otherwise put on the chicken. It’s delicious and easy either way!

    • Reply
      January 20, 2023 at 12:03 am

      Thanks for this recommendation! Going to try it with ground Turkey.

  • Reply
    June 26, 2022 at 8:07 pm

    5 stars
    The entire family loves this! Joining the dinner rotation 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa K
    April 30, 2022 at 4:27 pm

    My boyfriend orders this all the time at Chili’s so I gave it a try! This is by far better then the Chili’s version!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2021 at 4:08 am

    This is one of my faves so I was going to make it for my friend who just had a baby. It will be enjoyed same day but any advice for reheating it come actual dinner time to make it creamy again? Would ya add some broth?

    • Reply
      December 2, 2021 at 8:07 pm

      Hi Julie!! yes, adding 1/4 cup of broth (you may need 1/2 cup) and reheating on the stovetop is best!! turns out great and creamy!!

  • Reply
    August 10, 2021 at 11:17 pm

    5 stars
    The whole family loves this one!

  • Reply
    Annie Hillerman
    July 29, 2021 at 12:56 pm

    5 stars
    My family LOVED this recipe. Will definitely put this on my regular rotation!!

  • Reply
    March 8, 2021 at 11:38 pm

    Hi! Can I sub shrimp here instead of chicken? Just less cook time then a chicken would be?

    • Reply
      March 11, 2021 at 12:12 pm

      yes it’s great with Chicken!!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2021 at 12:09 am

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and substituted kielbasa sausage for chicken!! So good!!

  • Reply
    February 8, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    5 stars
    I’m pregnant and I’ve been craving pasta. This satisfied my craving! Super creamy and so flavorful!

  • Reply
    February 5, 2021 at 12:58 am

    5 stars
    This recipe was great! We love spicy food and this hit the spot. Definitely make it again.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2021 at 5:56 pm

    5 stars
    Made this last night and we loved it! I used chicken tenderloins (no pounding necessary!), and since I can’t do dairy I used a mix of plain oat milk and unsweetened almond milk. Love that it is one-pot, too!

    • Reply
      March 24, 2021 at 12:11 am

      Do you think just plain oat would be ok? We have a nut allergy and a dairy allergy! 😂 makes dinners fun!

      • Reply
        March 24, 2021 at 4:57 pm

        Hi! I think it should work just fine as long as you find the Oat Milk brand that you buy doesn’t taste too sweet!

  • Reply
    January 30, 2021 at 10:06 pm

    Have you used the Jovial grain free pasta? Any idea if it would hold up in this recipe?

    • Reply
      January 31, 2021 at 8:45 pm

      yes it works great here!!

  • Reply
    October 26, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    5 stars
    I love this dinner! It tastes amazing even without dairy. Plus, I only have to wash a few dishes!!

    • Reply
      October 26, 2020 at 9:32 pm

      I am so happy you love it!!! It’s one of my personal favorites, too!

  • Reply
    October 19, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    This was absolutely delicious! Made it with almond milk and regular penne and it was extremely creamy and perfect. As always, Alex has created another flawless recipe.

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