Apr 15, 2019

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken and Andouille Sausage

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
This pasta combines poached, shredded chicken and sautéed slices of Andouille sausage with a creamy, chicken stock based roux seasoned with an assortment of Cajun spices.

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This creamy Cajun pasta recipe combines poached, shredded chicken and sautéed slices of Andouille sausage with a creamy, chicken stock based roux seasoned with an assortment of Cajun spices. This dish is similar to the classic Cajun dish gumbo – it’s started with a roux with shredded chicken and sausage, but rather than being served with rice this recipe has the added benefit of penne pasta.

The sauce is cooled down by the cream in the sauce as well as the garnish of green onion on top. The chicken is poached so that it is tender enough to be shredded and incorporated into the sauce.

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken and Andouille Sausage recipe from cooking with cocktail rings closeup

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken and Andouille Sausage

 

What’s in this creamy cajun pasta

Chicken

Chicken breasts are simmered in stock until cooked through then shredded. While I prefer using chicken breasts if I am shredding the meat, boneless, skinless chicken thighs can be used as well. Shredded store-bought rotisserie chicken can be used as a shortcut.

Chicken stock

Cooking the chicken in stock gives it more chicken flavor though it can be simmered in water instead. Chicken stock is also added to the roux to create the sauce which is then finished off with cream.

Seasonings

The sauce is seasoned with a homemade Cajun seasoning blend. I use paprika, thyme, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper to develop a complex, slightly spicy flavor in the creamy sauce.

Roux

A roux is a mixture of fat, in this recipe I use butter, and flour. I use it to create the base of the cajun cream sauce in this recipe. It works to thicken the sauce easily.

Shallots

Shallots have a mild, slightly sweet flavor. If needed yellow or red onion can be swapped in. The general rule of thumb is 3 medium shallots equal 1 medium onion. The shallots are cooked in the butter and mixed with the spices before the flour is added to make the roux.

Heavy cream

Heavy cream is the thick part of the milk that rises to the top with between 36-40% fat. Whipping cream has slightly less with 30% fat. 

Andouille sausage

Andouille sausage is a smoked pork sausage that is prominent in Cajun cuisine. This pasta gets just a little kick from the cayenne and Andouille sausage as well as a slight smoky flavor.

Bell pepper

Bell peppers are sweet with mild flavor. They don’t have any heat but add a sweet flavor, especially when sautéed. The colors of bell pepper differ based on maturity – it comes down to the time of harvesting. Bell peppers are a backbone of Cajun cooking, especially paired with onion and celery – referred to as the “holy trinity”.

Collard greens

Collard greens are commonly used in Southern cooking. The tough greens hold up well to simmering – even cooked over time they don’t get mushy. They can be swapped with Tuscan kale in this recipe.

Pasta

I use penne pasta in this recipe because the noodles hold the sauce well. It can be substituted with other noodles of choice.

Green onions

Green onion is used to garnish this pasta to both add color and a mild, fresh flavor.

sautéed collard greens with andouille sausage and green bell peppers

How to make this creamy cajun pasta

  1. Cook the chicken. Add the chicken breasts and stock to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cover, letting cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  2. Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan and let sit until cooled to the touch. Shred the chicken and set aside.
  3. Make the spice mixture. In a small bowl stir together the paprika, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne and thyme.
  4. Make the roux. In a large saucepan over medium heat add the butter and melt. Add the shallots and sauté until tender. Add the spices then stir in the flour and stir to combine, letting it cook the spices are fragrant.
  5. Finish the sauce. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture has thickened. Whisk in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir the shredded chicken into the sauce.
  6. Make the sausage and collard green mixture. Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the sausage and peppers, cooking until the sausage is golden brown on both sides. Then add the collard greens and sauté until the collard greens are wilted.
  7. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return the penne pasta to the pot.
  8. Stir together and serve. Add the Cajun sauce as well as the sausage and collard greens and stir to combine. Divide among serving bowls and garnish with green onion.

 

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken and Andouille Sausage recipe from cooking with cocktail rings sauce

Other recipes you may enjoy

Here are a few Cajun and creole recipes to try if you enjoy this recipe!

 

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken and Andouille Sausage recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken and Andouille Sausage

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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the shredded chicken:

  • ¾ pound chicken breasts, sliced into 2” strips
  • 2 cups chicken stock

For the creamy Cajun sauce:

  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, diced
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed

For the sausage and collard green mixture:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 ounces smoked Andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 2 packed cups chopped collard greens

For serving:

  • ¾ pound penne pasta
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions

Instructions:

For the shredded chicken:

  • Add the chicken breasts and stock to a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cover, letting cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and let sit until cooled to the touch, about 10 minutes. Shred the chicken and set aside.

For the Cajun sauce:

  • In a small bowl stir together the paprika, oregano, smoked paprika, cayenne and thyme. In a large saucepot over medium heat add the butter and melt. Add the shallots and sauté until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the spices then stir in the flour and stir to combine, letting it cook the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds to a minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the chicken stock and bring to a boil and simmer until the mixture has thickened. Whisk in the cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir the shredded chicken into the sauce.
  • For the sausage and collard green mixture:
  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the sausage and peppers, cooking until the sausage is golden brown on both sides, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add the collard greens and sauté until the collard greens are wilted.

For serving:

  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Add the penne and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return the penne pasta to the pot. Add the Cajun sauce as well as the sausage and collard greens and stir to combine. Divide among serving bowls and garnish with green onion.

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  1. As soon as I saw this on instagram today I knew I needed to make this for dinner! The combination of a spicy and creamy hearty meal was just what we needed for dinner. It was easy and inexpensive to make. I like chicken and my husband loves andouille sausage so it was the perfect combination. It made enough for a second meal. This would be the perfect dish for a large group dinner. We will definitely be adding this to our regular dinner rotation!