Cajun Chicken Alfredo
This Cajun Chicken Alfredo recipe first appeared on Savory Experiments, where I am a contributor.
Cajun Chicken Alfredo is a simple, delicious pasta recipe to make at home! Whether you’re feeding kids, treating yourself to date night at home or you just want a comfort food recipe, this Cajun flavor chicken with creamy pasta sauce is easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Love Cajun recipes? Don’t miss out on Crawfish Etouffee and Chicken and Sausage Gumbo!
When we were consuming this pasta after I made it the first time, I turned to my husband and told him this recipe was worthy of being a last meal.
While we don’t make recipes like this often at home, this is a favorite pasta for us all because, well, it’s really just that tasty.
Why I love this recipe:
There’s something incredibly comforting about a creamy pasta dish, and this Cajun Chicken Alfredo recipe is no different.
It’s a definite treat, and it looks fancy, but it’s actually quite simple to make at home when you have the necessary ingredients.
It’s also an incredibly easy dinner for any home cook to make for the whole family.
This recipe offers triple threat flavor combinations—perfectly cooked pasta, Cajun spice, juicy chicken and a decadent, creamy Cajun Alfredo sauce that’s lick-the-bowl good.
Yes, this Cajun Chicken Alfredo a total treat, and yes, it should be enjoyed as such. Mmkay?
Other pasta recipes you might enjoy: Chicken Pesto Pasta | Spicy Sausage Ground Turkey Pasta Sauce | French Onion Steak Pasta | Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo | Lemon Salmon Pasta | Classic Cacio e Pepe | Steak Alfredo
Need more mealtime inspiration? Check out my Dinners Recipe Index for ideas.
What you need to make this recipe:
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- Pasta pot
- 3.5 qt. braiser (or another higher-sided saucepan with a large surface area that will fit both the alfredo sauce and the pasta)
- Rubber spatula or wooden spoon
- Box grater
You’ll also need some ingredients. This recipe calls for a LOT of dairy products, so plan on visiting your grocery for those items. However, these are all simple ingredients that should be easy to find!
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Fettuccine pasta—this is the classic pasta for Fettuccine Alfredo. If it’s not your favorite, use another type of pasta that makes you happy. I think bow ties would be an excellent choice, especially if you’re serving kids.
- Chicken breasts—we purchased the boneless, skinless variety for this recipe. I also sliced them in half because they were thick. Doing this helps the chicken cook more evenly and also cook more quickly.
- Cajun seasoning—this is a mixture of several different spices, and you should be able to find this in the spice aisle at your local grocery store! There are lots of brands and different levels of spice. If you want to make homemade Cajun seasoning, have at it! However, that’s not a necessity for this recipe.
- Salted butter—this serves as our base for the sauce.
- Fresh garlic—this aromatic adds just a bit more flavor to the cream-based sauce
- Heavy cream—also known as heavy whipping cream. It’s thick, luscious and provides a TON of flavor to our dish. There is no substitute.
- Whole milk—this thins out our sauce a bit without skimping on flavor. While you could substitute it for lower fat milk, I don’t suggest that since Alfredo sauce is meant to be decadent, and this will provide the most flavor.
- Grated parmesan cheese—please purchase the real deal and not the shelf-stable kind. The cheese counter at our local grocery sells containers of freshly grated parmesan, and I bet yours does, too.
- Fresh parsley—for garnish
- Salt and pepper—these are a maybe, if your sauce needs a little extra seasoning
Did you know that Cajun seasoning and Creole seasoning are similar, but slightly different? You’ll see spice and herb variations from brand to brand. As a rule of thumb, Cajun seasoning has more peppers while Creole seasoning has more herbs combined with those peppers.
Our favorite brand is Tony Chachere’s and their salt-free Creole seasoning is what we keep in our house, though we also make Homemade Creole Seasoning, too.
How to make Cajun Chicken Alfredo
First and foremost, cook the pasta. I always read the pasta’s packaging and set a timer accordingly. You want the pasta to be cooked but still have some shape. (This is called al dente.) Drain it in a colander, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent it from sticking and set it aside.
If your chicken breasts are super thick, cut the chicken in half. This is called butterflying a chicken breast and will allow them to cook faster, as well as more evenly.
Season the chicken with the Cajun seasoning on both sides. It’s going to look like a lot, but trust me when I say this adds a ton of flavor!
Melt the butter in a large pan over medium heat. (We want the pan or skillet to have higher sides so that our sauce has space to cook.) Don’t turn up the heat past medium high heat because we don’t want any burned bits making our Alfredo sauce bitter.
Cook the chicken on both sides until browned and cooked through. Use an instant read meat thermometer* (affiliate link) to take the chicken’s temperature—the thickest part of the chicken should read 165°F.
Remove the chicken from the pan, and let it rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing into bite-sized pieces. This will ensure the chicken is juicy!
Pro tip: Use the same skillet for the chicken and the sauce! As the chicken cooks, a layer of Cajun seasoning and chicken will stick to the bottom of the pan. As long as this doesn’t burn, we want it because the garlic and the cream sauce will pull up the flavor and incorporate it into the sauce.
While the chicken rests, add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Lower the heat to the lowest setting, and pour the cream and milk into the pan. Add in the grated parmesan cheese, and stir until smooth and creamy. Don’t let the cream come to a boil because it can curdle.
Heat it slowly until the sauce thickens. You’ll know it’s done when it coats the back of a spoon. You can swipe your finger through it without the rest running off.
Give it a taste and add extra salt, pepper or Cajun seasoning, if necessary. You can also sprinkle cayenne pepper if you want a bit more heat with your dish.
Transfer the cooked pasta to the skillet, and toss until it’s coated. This is why we’re using a high-sided skillet—to ensure that there’s enough space for both the pasta and sauce!
Serve the pasta topped with the sliced chicken breasts. Garnish with parsley and a sprinkling of extra Cajun seasoning, and enjoy immediately.
Serve with garlic bread and a side salad for a complete meal!
Storage, make ahead and freezing options
If you’ve got leftover cajun chicken pasta alfredo, store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 2-3 days tops. I suggest storing the chicken and the pasta separately, as they’ll take different times to reheat.
To reheat the leftovers, add a drizzle of whole milk to the sauce before popping in the microwave. Heat in 30-second increments until warm again.
I have not tried freezing this recipe, but have read mixed results about freezing cream-based sauces. I do not recommend freezing leftovers at this time.
Frequently Asked Questions
It’s a fun take on classic Fettuccine Alfredo, a total comfort food recipe that’s loved by many. It involves pasta and a sauce that’s made with cream, butter and cheese.
I don’t recommend making any substitutions to this recipe. However, you can swap out the pasta shape or type. If you like whole wheat noodles, use those. If you’re gluten free, use your favorite GF noodles.
If you want to make additions, consider adding half a pound of smoked Andouille sausage and sliced red bell peppers for extra flavor and color. Slice the smoked sausage and add it at the end with the chicken. Cook the peppers in the skillet until softened after the chicken and before the garlic. Remove them before you make the sauce in the skillet and add at the end.
You sure can. Combine equal parts garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, smoked paprika, kosher salt and oregano. Sprinkle in a little cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes, too.
Quick Tips and Tricks
- This is not a low-fat recipe. It’s not meant to be one, so please, do not make substitutes to try to make it “healthier.” Chicken Alfredo Pasta is meant to be decadent—so enjoy it!
- Grate your own cheese or purchase the grated stuff from your grocery’s cheese counter. Please don’t use a shelf-stable cheese in this recipe. The real deal cheese that has to be kept refrigerated is the kind you want to purchase.
- You can use Creole and Cajun seasoning in this recipe. They have the same flavor profiles. However, both can get super salty, so read the label before you purchase. Our favorite brand has a salt-free variety, and that’s what we keep at our home.
- Cook it faster! Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces before you season and add the chicken to the pan to cook. While it won’t be as pretty as these images, it’s still as tasty!
Cajun Chicken Alfredo
Cajun Chicken Alfredo is a simple, delicious pasta recipe to make at home! Whether you’re feeding kids, treating yourself to date night at home or you just want a comfort food recipe, this Cajun flavor chicken with creamy pasta sauce is easy to make and ready in less than 30 minutes.
- 1 lb. fettucine pasta, uncooked
- 1 ½ lbs. chicken breasts (boneless, skinless)
- 1 ½ tablespoons Cajun seasoning
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 ½ cups grated parmesan cheese*
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Follow the instructions on its packaging. Drain in a colander, drizzle with a little olive oil to prevent sticking and set aside.
- Slice the chicken breasts in half if very thick. Season liberally with Cajun seasoning on both sides.
- Heat the butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat.
- When the butter bubbles, add the chicken, and sear on both sides until browned and cooked through, about 5-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
- Remove the chicken from the skillet, and set aside. Slice into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the garlic, cooking until fragrant and lightly colored, about 1-2 minutes.
- Lower the heat to low, and pour in the cream and milk. Add the grated parmesan cheese, and stir until smooth and creamy, about 4-5 minutes.
- Give the sauce a taste, and add extra salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Add the pasta to the sauce, and toss until coated.
- Serve the pasta in bowls, then top with the Cajun chicken breasts.
- Garnish with parsley and more Cajun seasoning, if desired, and enjoy immediately.
How to store: Transfer to an airtight container and store in the fridge for 2-3 days. Store the pasta and chicken separately. When reheating, prepare to add a little extra milk to the pasta sauce since it will coagulate in the fridge. Reheat in 30-second increments in the microwave.
I do not recommend freezing this alfredo sauce.
How to make your own Cajun seasoning: Combine equal parts garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, smoked paprika, kosher salt and oregano. Sprinkle in a little cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes, too.
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Serving Size:1 serving
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1119Total Fat: 68gSaturated Fat: 40gTrans Fat: 2gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 333mgSodium: 2296mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 2gSugar: 7gProtein: 76g
Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.
This looks amazing. Thanks for sharing the recipe!
Thanks, San! It’s really dang comforting and delicious. I hope you’ll try it sometime soon!