Chili's Copycat Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta recipe made from scratch! It is a restaurant-quality that you can make right at home!
Cajun chicken alfredo pasta is one of my favorite things to order at Chili's restaurant. And today, I want to share how I make this Chili's pasta dish at home using only ingredients you probably already have on hand.
This Chili's copycat cajun chicken pasta recipe is delicious! The Cajun chicken breast is so flavorful, juicy, and tender, while the homemade alfredo sauce is both creamy and silky smooth, and not at all gritty.
What is Cajun Chicken Pasta
It's a penne pasta dish served with creamy melt-in-your-mouth alfredo sauce and cajun chicken breast.
The Ingredients to Make the Creamiest Penne Pasta with Chicken and Alfredo Sauce:
To make this cajun chicken alfredo pasta, you will need only a few simple ingredients. Here's an overview of what you'll use:
- Chicken breast. Find chicken breasts that aren't too big, 8-9 oz per piece is a perfect size.
- Cajun seasoning. You can use store-bought or homemade Cajun seasoning. In this recipe, I used this homemade cajun seasoning with no added salt.
- Penne pasta
- Heavy whipping cream
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese. Be sure to use fresh block parmesan cheese and grate it at home. Do not use pre-grated parmesan cheese, like from Kraft to avoid grainy alfredo sauce.
- Fresh garlic
- Unsalted butter
- Lemon zest
- Salt and black pepper to taste
CHECK OUT MORE PASTA RECIPES:
- INSTANT POT PENNE PASTA
- ONE-POT PENNE PASTA
- CANNED TUNA PASTA
- WHITE SAUCE PASTA
- BRATWURST PASTA RECIPE (IN A BUTTERY BEER SAUCE)
How to Make Cajun Chicken Pasta:
This cajun chicken pasta with alfredo sauce recipe is easy and very inexpensive to make. It requires multiple steps but not complicated. So, here are some important steps to follow:
Step 1. Marinate the Chicken Breast
- Trim any membranes or fat from the breasts with a knife.
- Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, place inside a gallon zip-top bag and seal the bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Use a meat mallet, rolling pin, saucepan, or skillet to slightly flatten the breast to an even thickness from end to end, between ¼ to ½-inch.
- Season the chicken with 1 tablespoon of cajun seasoning and ½ teaspoon of kosher salt (skip the salt if you are using a store-bought cajun seasoning). Marinate in the fridge for 15-30 minutes.
Step 2. Cook pasta according to package instructions
Step 3. Cook Cajun Chicken Breast
- To start, pre-heat a grill pan to high heat for about 3-5 minutes.
- Next, lower the heat to medium-high and lightly grease the pan with oil or cooking spray.
- After that, add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes on the first side without moving until it developed nice grill marks.
- Last, flip the chicken breast and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Set aside and let it rest.
Or you can bake the cajun chicken breast in the oven at 425° for about 15-18 minutes depending on the thickness or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.
Step 4. Make the Alfredo Sauce
Perfect Alfredo sauce requires the right technique with the best ingredients. Make sure that you have everything ready before you start cooking. Also, use fresh parmesan cheese instead of pre-shredded/grated cheese then bring it to temperature by letting it sit on the counter for 15 minutes.
- First, melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- After that, gradually add heavy cream and lemon zest. Cook, continue whisking constantly for about 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Next, reduce the heat to the lowest heat and slowly add freshly grated parmesan and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
I hope you will enjoy this creamy pasta recipe! If you try it, don’t forget to rate and leave a review on the recipe card/comment box below.
Cajun Chicken Alfredo Pasta
For Alfredo Sauce
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1½ cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, (at room temperature)
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped green onion
- a sprinkle of cajun seasoning
- Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness (between ¼ to ½-inch).
- Place the chicken pieces in a large Ziploc bag then season with cajun seasoning, salt, and oil. Marinate for 15-30 minutes in the fridge.
- Preheat the grill pan for 3 minutes or until hot. Lightly grease the pan with oil or cooking spray.
- Grill the chicken breast for 3 minutes, undisturbed. Flip and cook for 3 minutes or longer, until no longer pink and the internal temperature registers at 165°F.Transfer the chicken to a plate and let it rest.
- Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook just until fragrant for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Gradually stir in heavy cream and lemon zest. Whisking constantly for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.
- Reduce the heat to the lowest heat. Slowly add freshly grated parmesan, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens to coat the back of a spoon. Add more parmesan cheese if needed and according to your liking.
- Season with salt and pepper if necessary.
- Stir in pasta, toss to combine. Serve with grilled cajun chicken breast, chopped tomatoes, chopped green onion, and a sprinkle of cajun seasoning.