We’re in for a special treat today. Miss Christina has stopped by with a delicious dinner recipe to share!
Cajun Chicken Pasta with Asparagus… Enjoy!
Celebrate Spring with this spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta with Asparagus. You can whip this up in 20 minutes or less!
Christina from FoodApparel.com here. HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! I love St’ Patrick’s Day because, well, firstly, I love a good hearty meal, and I think that the Irish just have that one down. I can always enjoy me some shepherd’s pie, corned beef (homemade, of course – waaaaay better), gravlox, boxtys, you know, the works.
I also love St. Patrick’s Day because finally I feel like I can start crawling out of my winter cave and into Spring! I was just admiring the little shoots of grass coming up in my lawn this morning. And although the weather here likes to play tricks on us and still toss a cold day out once-in-a-while, I know generally that the warm weather is calling for me! (Can you tell I’m NOT a winter person? 😉 )
The celebration of green is in full swing – in my yard, and in the produce aisle in my grocery store. And maybe I’m just a weirdo, but when I see those ads featuring asparagus, I know that good stuff lies ahead.
I used to hate asparagus growing up, but that’s because I don’t think I’d ever had it fresh and cooked properly. I grew up in a small town where it was hard to come by fresh and diverse produce. But, oh man, I LOVE ASPARAGUS. And especially in this Cajun Chicken Pasta.
I got the original recipe idea for this meal from a friend. I just love the simplicity of the chicken and the asparagus, and the little bit of complexity with the spices. Garlic, cayenne, basil…..you just can’t go wrong with that combo!
A few of my complaints with the originally recipe though – it was literally SWIMMING in butter. Now, I like me some butter, but I also want to live past 50 so I thought this was a little overkill. I have scaled the fats back quite a bit and adjusted the cook time and instructions so that everything is perfectly al dente (no soggy stringy asparagus here!).
The result is a delicious noodle ever so lightly coated with a spicy cajun sauce, accompanied with a hearty amount of chicken and asparagus. You can still make some slight adjustments according to your taste. Double up on the asparagus if you are feeling extra healthy. If you want the sauce to be a little heartier, substitute cream in place of the milk. If you are in love with cheesy goodness, top with a little shredded Parmesan (never hurts!).
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, or olive oil
- 1 pound chicken, diced (2-3 chicken breasts)
- 1/2 to 1 bunch asparagus, cleaned, bottoms snapped, and quartered
- 6 ounces linguine, cooked and drained (or other long noodle)
For the Cajun Seasoning (combine all ingredients):
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
For the Basil Cream Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, minced (or 1 teaspoon additional dried basil)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1/2 cup milk, can substitute part or all with heavy cream if desired
- Before starting, make sure you dice chicken, wash and quarter your asparagus, and mix together your cajun seasoning.
- Cook noodles as per package directions, and set aside, coating in a little butter or olive oil to avoid sticking (you may cook noodles concurrently with making the topping and sauce).
- Melt butter (or warm olive oil) in a large frying pan over medium high heat.
- While butter is warming, coat diced chicken in cajun seasoning.
- Saute diced chicken in pan for 5 minutes, turning frequently, until all sides are browned.
- Turn heat down to medium.
- Add quartered asparagus.
- Cook for 3-5 minutes, or until asparagus starts to turn bright green.
- Add fresh basil (or dried), salt, garlic (or powder), and milk (or heavy cream).
- Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
- Pour over cooked noodles, and serve warm!
If you want it a little saucier, feel free to add a little more butter and milk – no harm done. I love using linguine for my noodle, but it’s also great with spaghetti (or even go angel hair or fettucine for more extreme on each end).
I hope that you have warm weather heading your way and give this recipe a try sometime! Enjoy these other recipes from Food Apparel…