This chicken pasta recipe is fast and flavorful. It’s made with simple spices and a pinch of chilli flakes to give it a cajun like flavor, plus there is sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and crème fraîche which make it an irresistible comfort food dish.
Simple, fast comfort food
This is one of those dishes you can cook up quickly while you boil the water and cook the pasta. I used volanti, but any cut of pasta works here. Use what you love. The only real cooking that needs to be done for the sauce is searing the chicken, then sautéing the garlic, and finally adding the rest of the ingredients, plus a little of the pasta cooking water to create a rich and creamy sauce. Quick and easy, in under 30 minutes.
Creamy chicken pasta for the soul
And when I say comfort food, it really is comfort food — or at least I associate anything made with a cream sauce this way. A dish like this is something I like to reward myself after a long bike ride, an intense pilates class, or simply after a long day at the office where I just want to enjoy a delicious and creamy pasta dish, a glass of my favourite red wine and listen to some chilled out lounge music.
Variations of this recipe
This is one of those dishes I have tried to transform into something just as flavourful but in a vegetarian version. But it simply tastes better the way I make it here (salmon also tastes quite nice). I choose to use my own seasoning mix to give the sauce a simple cajun-like flavour. Smoked paprika, oregano, thyme and chilli flakes do the trick here, but you could also replace these with half a tablespoon of store-bought cajun seasoning.
Looking for other creamy pasta dishes?
How about trying my recipe for Creamy Smoked Salmon Pasta with Peas or Pasta with Oyster Mushrooms, Prosciutto and Fresh Sage.
Cajun-Style Chicken Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomatoes & Crème Fraîche
- 250-300 g chicken breast or turkey breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 200-250 g dried pasta of choice, plus 1/4 cup reserved pasta cooking water
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon grainy Dijon mustard
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes halves (packed in oil), drained and chopped (45 g)
- 150 g container crème fraîche
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (mild)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- couple handfuls baby spinach (optional)
- sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese, to taste (optional)
- handful fresh basil, to garnish
Boil a large, salted pot of water for the pasta. Cook until al dente (according to package instructions), reserving some of the pasta water (60-80 ml).
Meanwhile, using a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper and fry for 3-4 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from pan and set it aside.
Reduce the stove's heat to medium. Add the garlic and the red pepper flakes to the skillet and sauté for 30 seconds, until the garlic is fragrant. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, and Dijon mustard and cook for another 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
Add the crème fraîche, seasonings and lemon juice to the pan. Stir until the sauce is smooth.
Return the chicken to the pan along with a little pasta cooking liquid (until sauce is desired consistency (ca. 60 ml). Let it cook for one more minute. Stir in the baby spinach (if using) and add the pasta. Toss to combine.
Transfer into serving bowls and garnish with fresh basil. Serve with grated parmesan on the side. Enjoy!
- I like short pasta for this recipe, like rigatoni, volanti (seen here) or orecchiette.
- Cajun seasoning is made from paprika, chili or cayenne, thyme, oregano, powdered garlic and onion. Sometimes cumin as well. If preferred a store bought cajun mix can be used rather than the seasonings in this recipe.
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