Cajun Chicken Pasta

This Cajun Chicken Pasta ticks ALL the boxes: quick, easy, delicious and Syn Free on Slimming World! A simple one-pot chicken pasta recipe that the whole family will love – on the table in 30 minutes.


Cooking pasta in the same pot as the sauce doesn’t just cut down on washing up – though that is always A GOOD THING. The pasta releases starch as it cooks thickening the sauce and making it silky.

This chicken pasta is made irresistibly delicious with a little Cajun seasoning, with butternut squash for added goodness and a little quark cheese for creaminess. I can’t tell you how popular this dish is in our house!

Take a look at the recipe video and step by step tutorial to see how its done.

SLIMMING WORLD CHICKEN PASTA

You won’t believe this flavourful creamy pasta dish is totally Syn Free but it is! I absolutely love this recipe and I make it at least once a week.

You can replace the chicken with turkey breast or prawns if you like – or use leftover roasted chicken (trimmed of any skin and fat).

Any leftovers can be turned into a chicken pasta bake if you like. This recipe is not suitable for freezing but it is so quick and easy to make that it more than makes up for it.


CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA INGREDIENTS

This simple pasta recipe uses a few store cupboard staples and handful of fresh ingredients.

  • Cajun seasoning, garlic powder and a little salt. Add some cayenne pepper if you like it a bit spicy!
  • Skinless chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs
  • Low calorie cooking spray
  • Garlic cloves
  • Onion
  • Chopped tinned tomatoes (canned chopped or crushed tomatoes) in their juice
  • Butternut squash cut into small cubes – other vegetables can be swapped for squash if you like, added in the pot depending on how long they need to cook
  • Dried pasta – I used penne but any similar pasta shape would work. Use wholemeal pasta for added fibre or gluten free pasta if required.
  • Chicken stock (broth) – made using a stock cube or canned
  • Quark cheese to add some creaminess. You can also use Extra Light Cream Cheese for a few added syns. If you are not making a slimming meal you can use cream if you like! 
  • Grated Parmesan cheese (Healthy Extra)
  • Basil to garnish


EQUIPMENT

Here’s what you will need to make this pasta recipe

  • Measuring Spoons
  • Kitchen Knife
  • Chopping boards – dedicate one board for raw meat and poultry and a separate for chopping vegetables
  • Garlic press – one of my most used kitchen utensils!
  • A large lidded chef’s pan – I swear by my Anolon Chef’s Pan
  • A cheese grater – this Microplane grater is very versatile

HOW TO MAKE SLIMMING WORLD CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA

STEP 1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and put in a bowl. Add the Cajun seasoning, garlic granules and salt and mix together.


STEP 2. Spray a large non-stick lidded pan with low calorie cooking spray. Add the chicken and pan fry over medium-high heat until lightly coloured. The chicken doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through at this point.


STEP 3. Add the minced garlic and onions to the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes.


STEP 4. Add the butternut squash and chopped tomatoes, stirring to combine. Make sure the squash is cut into small cubes so that it will cook quickly.



STEP 5. Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.

STEP 6. Add the pasta, stir it to combine with the other ingredients and partially cover the pan, bringing to a boil.

STEP 7. Set a timer for 12 minutes (or however long your pasta needs to cook) and continue to cook, stirring every couple of minutes. Cook until the pasta is cooked  and liquid is slightly reduced. Check the squash is cooked through as well.

STEP 8. Lower the heat and stir in the quark cheese. Add the grated parmesan and basil and stir to combine. 


STEP 9. Check the seasoning and add salt (if needed) and freshly ground pepper and serve.


TURN THIS RECIPE INTO A CHICKEN PASTA BAKE

A great way to use up leftovers – if you happen to have any… Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Put the leftovers in a ceramic ovenproof dish, adding a little water or chicken stock. 

Top with a little extra grated cheese – such as reduced fat mozzarella or cheddar and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden and pasta is heated through.

CALORIES IN CAJUN CHICKEN PASTA

A serving of this recipe is just under 500 calories and 13 SmartPoints on WeightWatchers. This recipe is Syn Free on Slimming World, using some of your Healthy Extra A options for the Parmesan Cheese (you can leave this out if preferred).



Cajun Chicken Pasta

Cajun Chicken Pasta

Yield: 4 Servings

prep time: 10 minutes

cook time: 20 minutes

total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 450 g | 1 pound skinless chicken breasts or skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 garlic cloves , minced
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 400 g | 14oz tinned chopped tomatoes (canned chopped / crushed tomatoes) in their juice
  • 200 g | 7oz butternut squash cut into small cubes
  • 225 g | ½ pound dried penne pasta or similar pasta shapes
  • 620 ml | 2 ½ cups chicken stock (broth) using a stock cube or canned
  • 3 tbsp quark cheese for Slimming World version or cream cheese / heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese (Healthy Extra) plus extra to serve
  • Small bunch fresh basil , chopped
  • Salt and pepper to season to taste

Directions

  • Cut the chicken into bite-sized cubes and put in a bowl. Add the Cajun seasoning, garlic granules and salt and mix together.
  • Spray a large non-stick lidded pan with low calorie cooking spray. Add the chicken and pan fry over medium-high heat until lightly coloured. The chicken doesn’t have to be cooked all the way through at this point.
  • Add the minced garlic and onions to the pan and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the butternut squash and chopped tomatoes, stirring to combine.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the pasta and partially cover the pan, bringing to a boil.
  • Set a timer for 12 minutes (or however long your pasta needs to cook) and continue to cook, stirring every couple of minutes. Cook until the pasta is cooked and liquid is slightly reduced. Check the squash is cooked through as well.
  • Lower the heat and stir in the quark cheese.
  • Add the grated parmesan and basil and stir to combine.
  • Check the seasoning and add salt (if needed) and freshly ground pepper and serve.

Notes

Turn this recipe into a Chicken Pasta Bake

A great way to use up leftovers - if you happen to have any… Preheat the oven to 190C/375F. Put the leftovers in a ceramic ovenproof dish, adding a little water or chicken stock. 

Top with a little extra grated cheese - such as reduced fat mozzarella or cheddar and bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden and pasta is heated through.

Calories in Cajun Chicken Pasta

A serving of this recipe is just under 500 calories and 13 SmartPoints on WeightWatchers. This recipe is Syn Free on Slimming World, using some of your Healthy Extra A options for the Parmesan Cheese (you can leave this out if preferred).