Lightened Up Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

by jenna on January 9, 2012

Please make this for dinner tonight.

I made this dish for the first time about three and a half weeks ago but didn’t blog about it because it was one of those fast, impromptu dinners that came together around eight o’clock after two glasses of wine. Blogging while drinking can be a very, very dangerous thing. It can also be amazing. Would it be wrong to admit that wine pretty much fueled my entire book? Cause it did. But anyway, back to this pasta dish! Adam and I had it for dinner a few weeks ago and we both absolutely went crazy for it. We had a little bit of a heavier version though—way more cream….three tablespoons of butter….lots and lots of cheese on top. Don’t get me wrong, it was great (mind-blowing delicious actually but what’s not when made with massive amounts of cream and butter?), but it was time for something lighter.

Meet my friend, Tony.

Tony is the star in this dish. Have you ever tried Tony Chachere’s before? If you haven’t, you are totally missing out! It adds a kick to everything and works like magic in this dreamy, creamy sauce.

This sauce stays on the lighter side with the addition of only a fourth of a cup of cream, but doesn’t skimp on any flavor! I was shocked at how similar this dish was to the heavier one I initially made and loved. I literally cut the amount of cream in half and couldn’t even tell. Sorta ridiculous.

I also think that especially with pasta dishes, it’s all about the serving size. A small amount of this flavorful pasta satisfies because it’s made with the real deal. You could also add cooked shrimp to this, which is what I’m going to try next time I make it!

Y’all are going to love this creamy spicy pasta….mmmmm we just can’t get enough.

Lightened Up Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

serves 3

Print this recipe!


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized chunks

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 shallot, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tsp Cajun seasoning, divided

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/4 cup cream

6 oz dry linguine pasta


Cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain and set aside.

In a a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken and 1 tsp cajun seasoning blend and cook until the chicken has just cooked through—about six minutes.

Transfer the cooked chicken to a plate and add the minced shallot and garlic to the hot skillet (add a little more oil if necessary). Saute until the shallot is tender and then add the tomatoes, cream and additional cajun seasoning. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for a couple minutes. Add chicken back to sauce.

Add linguine to the pan and toss to combine. Serve pasta with a grating of Parmesan cheese if desired.


20 minutes


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{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga January 9, 2012 at 4:12 am

I need to try that creole seasoning. I’ve seen it but never picked it up but I will now.

And dinner recipes at 8pm that are impromtu..those are usually the best ones, the winners that end up being fabulous.

Too bad the lighting is horrible, there’s no food staging, and I have a hungry family at 8pm…that’s why I never take pics of our dinners anymore. hah!

Your pics are gorgeous!


Julie @ Table for Two January 9, 2012 at 4:36 am

I’ve had the pleasure of dousing Tony’s on a lot of my cajun cooking whenever I do it. It’s so good!! Impromptu dinners are the best. They’re usually the best creations because you aren’t overthinking it! I love cajun creamy pastas like this — yours looks yum!


Heather (Heather's Dish) January 9, 2012 at 4:56 am

creole pasta sounds so amazing right now…and i’m always down with the lightened up part!


Kathryn January 9, 2012 at 5:03 am

This sounds like such a perfect combination of flavours and I love the fact that it’s lightened up – it looks perfectly delicious!


Clare January 9, 2012 at 5:06 am

Looks and sounds amazing!! Must try this, though I’m not sure if we get this in Ireland



Joelle (on a pink typewriter) January 9, 2012 at 5:30 am

Oh my gosh! This sounds aaaaamazing. I love Cajun chicken and fettucine.. If I can’t use cream, though, can you think of a replacement? Almond milk would be too runny I’m guessing…


jenna January 9, 2012 at 4:36 pm

hmmm could you use milk? Unfortunately almond milk might leave a little almondy taste or break in the sauce. If you are trying to veganize this, you might want to travel down the road of nutritional yeast sauce (which Angela from Oh She Glows does wonderfully!).


Allie H. February 19, 2013 at 2:15 pm

If you didn’t want to use heavy cream you could always use plain/Greek yogurt, it would be lighter but still just as flavorful


Gina @ Running to the Kitchen January 9, 2012 at 5:32 am

Tony & I have never met, but I’m eager to become friends with him soon! This looks delicious! There is nothing like a creamy tomato pasta for quick comfort πŸ™‚


Lisa January 9, 2012 at 5:33 am

My husband puts that stuff on everything! I use it a lot to cook with also


becca January 9, 2012 at 5:34 am

This sounds AWESOME. I’m a vegetarian though – do you think it would work to substitute tofu or temphe for the chicken?


jenna January 9, 2012 at 4:37 pm

You can try! I would use extra firm tofu and bake it prior to using it so you have that chewy texture.


Maarit January 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Or get some mushrooms and zucchini!?


HRCK the Herald January 9, 2012 at 6:18 am

I have not met Tony yet, but I think it’s time to make his acquaintance! This looks delicious per usual, Jenna! And what’s not to love about a 20 minute recipe…


Erin January 9, 2012 at 6:50 am

I need to try that seasoning. All I have is a generic store brand version. I actually have a lightened up version of cajun alfredo myself, but I love the addition of fresh tomatoes!


Bev Weidner January 9, 2012 at 7:02 am

AAAND I’m dying. In love.


Estela @ Weekly Bite January 9, 2012 at 7:04 am

I love Tony’s spices!! Can’t wait to make this for my family πŸ™‚


Kristin Murdock January 9, 2012 at 7:07 am

Oooh looks great. Might have to try it this week!


Melissa January 9, 2012 at 7:07 am

Looks like I’ll be trying this one soon! We just used Tony Chechere’s on our steak last night! Love it!


Hilliary @Happily Ever Healthy January 9, 2012 at 7:18 am

Oh wow this sounds delicious! Loving the fact that it is lightened up!


Cait's Plate January 9, 2012 at 7:26 am

Creole seasoning makes everything better.

PS – do you use a prime lens mostly when taking your pictures?


jenna January 9, 2012 at 7:37 am

mmmm…..i love creamy spicy chicken pastas!! so cozy and fast to make!


Sarah @ See Sarah Bake January 9, 2012 at 7:49 am

Looks like I need to make friends with Tony! I have a lighten shrimp creole dish that I love, so I’m sure this one will be a hit too!


Teri January 9, 2012 at 8:04 am

Love Tony’s! This sounds really tasty, though I might want to add some of the butter and cream back in. πŸ˜‰ (I have to eat low carb as I’m hypothyroid, so I’d be lowering the pasta amount for me and probably slightly upping the butter/fat and protein to make up for the lost pasta calories.)

Looks delicious!


amy walters, aDESIGNdock January 9, 2012 at 8:13 am

Love your quick impromptu recipes best! Their perfect for party of one meals πŸ˜‰


Urban Wife January 9, 2012 at 8:16 am

Sometimes I sub half-and-half for cream, since I usually don’t have it in the fridge (read: dangerous). This sounds like an easy Monday night dinner. Thanks for sharing!


Katie January 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

Yes Tony Chachere!! My dad is friends with the actual Tony Chachere…so I grew up with this spice in abundance! This looks deeelicious.


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic January 9, 2012 at 8:48 am

I have not met Tony yet! This sounds divine.


Cat @Breakfast to Bed January 9, 2012 at 9:17 am

do you think you could use reduced fat cream cheese instead of cream? mostly because that’s what I always have in the fridge.


Krystina (Organically Me) January 9, 2012 at 9:48 am

This reminds me of the cajun chicken pasta at Cheesecake Factory, which my boyfriend got once, before he realized it was over 2,000 calories.


Barbara January 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Whoa!! That many calories?!! I’ve had that dish a couple times…yikes!! πŸ™‚


Mary @ Bake Break January 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

Looks wonderful! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚


Deanna B. January 9, 2012 at 11:20 am

I think some bell peppers would be a very welcome addition to the pasta. I love Cajun pastas but I never eat them because there is no way for me to justify that many calories. (See: PW’s recipe). I’m so excited for a lightened up version.


Tabitha (From Single to Married) January 9, 2012 at 11:30 am

mmm… I’ll have some of that please!


Amanda January 9, 2012 at 11:39 am

I’m a New Orleans girl and theres rarely a day that goes by that I don’t use Tonys! Roasted veggies, soup, eggs, chicken, seafood…you can’t go wrong! Looks great!


Leanne January 9, 2012 at 12:08 pm

This looks perfect for a quick weeknight dinner. I love Tony’s! My BFF and her husband introduced me to Tony’s several years ago. I can’t wait to share this recipe with her, she will love it.


Megan (Megan's Miles) January 9, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Yum – looks delicious!! Thanks for sharing the lightened up version!


Jenni January 9, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Out of curiosity, how did you determine your serving size? Did you set out to make 3 servings – or did you find there was just enough left over for one more meal/person?


jenna January 9, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Because we got three square meals out of this. Usually I’ll aim for 2 oz of pasta per person and 1 lb of chicken serves 3-4 people quite nicely.


Angela @ Happy Fit Mama January 9, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Tony may be my new best friend. Sounds amazing with chicken or without. Adding it to the menu for this week right now!


Julie - StressStories January 9, 2012 at 1:29 pm

Uhhh that looks great! Very similar to a dish I usually make for my husband and I, only I add leeks.
It’s funny how we seem to believe that these “15 minute meals” or things that are just thrown together are not worth sharing, but they totally are! We all need those good ideas for fast or late night dishes πŸ™‚


Michelle | Gold-Hearted Girl January 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

This is so up my alley…dinner tonight!


Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf January 9, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I have a container of Tony’s I’ve only used once. I really need to dust it off and start tossing it in everything! πŸ˜‰


Lauren January 9, 2012 at 3:06 pm

YUM! I could swim in that pasta sauce!


Caitlin January 9, 2012 at 3:22 pm

Yum- easy and delish. I can’t wait to try this!


Meghan @ Struggle Muffins January 9, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Methinks I’d like to meet this Tony character. And this meal. Pronto. Sounds like a great – warm yet light – winter dinner πŸ™‚


Deborah January 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm

I love easy meals like this, and this sounds amazing!


jenna k January 10, 2012 at 12:14 am

yummy! so glad bama won tonight! i’m east tennessee born and raised (and just graduated from tennessee), but the only school i loathe is florida, so i’m so happy about tonight’s turnout! πŸ™‚


Donna P January 10, 2012 at 5:32 am

Any friend of Tony’s is a friend of mine!! Thanks!


Cait H. January 10, 2012 at 5:55 am

This was SO good. I didn’t expect to be able to find the creole seasoning, but I totally did – and we loved it! I made this recipe for dinner last night and it was a big hit. Can’t wait for lunch leftovers today πŸ™‚ PS. Your blog basically keeps me and my boyfriend fed.


Rebecca @ How the Cookies Crumble January 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Love Tony’s! Especially on sweet potatos! The spicy and sweet! Yum! It’s great on roasted veggis too!


Amanda January 11, 2012 at 6:04 am

Made this last night with shrimp and a local Cajun spice blend. So good!


Emily January 12, 2012 at 7:14 am

I made an adaptation of this recipe idea last night and blogged about it this morning. I linked back to you since it was all your idea. FANTASTIC!! Thanks!!


Kelsey January 12, 2012 at 8:38 am

I made this last night. It was ooooberrrrr good. Dreaming of it again now..


Lauren January 12, 2012 at 10:48 am

Jenna this was so good! Eating the leftovers now πŸ™‚ I doubled the recipe with my sister so we could both have dinners for our husbands and ourselves. It was nice to be able to use the whole can of diced tomatoes, whole box of pasta, whole shallot, etc. Thank you for another winner! Making your creamy chicken chili tonight-basically one of our favorite dinners around here-and I get asked to bring it to friends’ houses. I so appreciate having delicious, easy dinner recipes, so keep em coming! πŸ™‚


Abbey January 13, 2012 at 6:58 am

I made this for dinner last night and my husband could not stop raving about it all night!!! It was so good — it is getting added into our dinner cycle! I also loved how super easy it was. Thanks for the recipe!


Angelica January 13, 2012 at 5:09 pm

I just made this and it is AMAZING! my brother absolutely LOVED it πŸ˜€


Kathryn January 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Oh my goodness!!! Thank you for this recipe, my fiance and I just made it and holy shiat was it good, the whole time we were eating we were moaning about how good it was! Can’t wait til we make it again πŸ™‚


Regina January 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Just made this tonight, and it was wonderful! Thanks so much for a delicious recipe!


Julia January 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm

I just got a “honey, I really love you” after serving this to the boy. Thanks for the recipe!!


jenna January 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm

yes!!! πŸ™‚


Kristie January 19, 2012 at 9:06 am

I made this for my husband and daughter (I’m vegetarian) and they both absolutely loved it! I was worried it would be too spicy for my 9 year old but she cleaned her plate. Thanks for a great (and fast) recipe!!!


Ally February 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm

made this tonight for the beau and we both LOVED it! thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚


Jessica February 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm

This was SO TASTY! I made it using half&half and the smart taste thin spaghetti, because we’re doing Weight Watchers. If anyone is wondering, I calculated it at 10 points per serving (VERY FILLING!). We’ll be making this again and again, I’m sure of it πŸ™‚


jenna February 16, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Glad y’all liked it!!


Ashley February 24, 2012 at 7:29 pm

I’ve been wanting to try this, and finally did tonight! It was wonderful!!! I can’t wait to make it again, I may even try it with shrimp in the future.


Lynne March 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm

Planning to make this sometime next week, it looks SO good!!! Only problem, the friend I’ll be having dinner with when I make it doesn’t care for tomatoes. He’ll typically deal with them if they’re cooked into whatever it is (like this dish would be) but I thought I’d be nice to replace them with something else if I could and still have it taste good. Any suggestions? Red bell peppers maybe..? Or should I just make him deal with the tomatoes? Haha…


mary March 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Hi ! I subbed Greek yogurt for the cream and added spinach. So good!


Nicole August 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

I made it with shrimp – delicious!!


Moni Meals August 8, 2012 at 8:41 am

Wow, will try this for sure. Love creole seasoning!


Moni @ {Moni Meals} September 21, 2012 at 8:54 am

delicious and light, looks great–I am obsessed with the seasoning. πŸ˜‰


Kandace October 2, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Do you use canned tomatoes or fresh??



jenna October 2, 2012 at 4:34 pm

canned πŸ™‚


Lianne December 16, 2012 at 5:43 pm

My husband loves dishes like this and saw a link for this posted on a friend’s Facebook wall. He sent the link, we made a quick trip to the supermarket and are digging into this right now… spicy, creamy, yumminess! I need to be sure I keep the ingredients on-hand because this will make a quick and delicious weeknight meal.


Stefanie January 14, 2013 at 4:31 am

Hi Jenna. I just started reading your blog and I love it. I made this dish last night and was a little surprised by how thin the sauce was. I used regular cream, was I supposed to use heavy cream? Thanks!


alison January 23, 2013 at 5:41 pm

hi there! I was just wondering what kind of cream you use in this dish . heavy cream? haven’t used cream in any dish before really so I was not sure! Thanks!:)


karen edwards January 15, 2015 at 8:16 am

I Have not used any cream in a dish either. I was wondering what section of the grocery store that you buy it in.Do you know?


Dana February 23, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Making this…. Now!! Can’t wait !


Dana February 23, 2013 at 6:02 pm

Delish! I added a homemade garlic bread spread slathered over Italian bread. Insanely good. A heavier cab sav paired well with this! πŸ™‚


Amanda January 11, 2014 at 12:52 pm

So I took a chance with your lightened up cajun pasta, we’ve used the vegetable soft taco recipe on your site for the greater part of the last year – seriously it’s a weekly staple, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Such a delight, and talk about simple – took me less than 20 minutes to whip up.

There may or may not have been a little extra cream dribbled in near the end, but you can’t sweat the small stuff πŸ™‚


Bri March 30, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Any suggestions if I can’t find Tony’s? This looks so delish!


Mary S. October 25, 2014 at 6:23 am

Made this last night it turned out GREAT. Used the canned diced tomatoes with bell pepper onion and celery. Drained the can. Also used fat free half and half to cut the cals more. Added a little I can’t believe it’s not butter and flour to thicken the sauce a little. It was perfect!


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