If you're a fan of spicy flavored recipes, this is the perfect recipe for you. We've packed a lot of incredible flavor into this creamy cajun pasta with chicken sausage recipe that your tastebuds will be playing jazz, clicking heels, and singing out loud. This recipe is packed with protein as it's made with protein pasta, delicious chicken sausage, and is perfect as a meal prep, quick weeknight meal. You will absolutely LOVE this one
Pasta recipes are never bound to just one season, that's why I like to have a variety of them year round on my site, and ready for you to make for any occasion.
What are the ingredients for this recipe?
While this recipe does call for a few ingredients to make it, they're all absolutely worth it, and all of them are easily found in your pantry, cabinet, or at the store.
- Pasta: I opted for a higher protein pasta from Barilla, but you can use whichever pasta you have on hand.
- Chicken Sausage: I like using chicken sausage here as it's a little leaner than pork. My preferred brands for chicken sausage are Bilinski, Aidells, or AmyLu.
- Cajun Seasoning: McCormick is the Cajun Seasoning I love to use the most.
- Shallot: Shallots add such a great flavor to any dish
- Bell Peppers: We're big fans of orange and red peppers, so that's what I used
- Tomato paste:
- Half and Half
- Manchego Cheese: Manchego cheese adds a nice flavor profile and gives it the light creaminess we're going for in this recipe.
- Pasta Water: Pasta water is great to add to pasta sauces and dishes as the starch from the pasta thickens the dish as it sets and cooks.
- Salt and Pepper
See the recipe below for specific information about quantities
How do I make this recipe?
There are a few different steps to make this recipe, but it ultimately comes down to layering all of the ingredients into one pot, aside from cooking the pasta in its own pot.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente, strain then set aside, leaving ¼ cup of pasta water for the sauce. In a large frying pan on medium heat, cook the sausage until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Spoon out the sausage into a separate bowl.
To the same pan, add in the garlic and shallot then cook until fragrant. Add in the tomato paste, bell peppers and cajun seasoning, stirring to combine.
Pour in the half and half and stir and pasta water, bringing the cream to a rolling boil. Pour in the pasta and add in the grated Manchego cheese, stirring to combine.
Add the sausage back in and stir to incorporate. Top with additional Manchego and garnish with optional red pepper flakes and serve.
HINT: To make the sauce a little creamier, you can add 2 tablespoon of butter to the pan right before pouring in the half and half and pasta water.
Recipe Swaps and Substitutions
This recipe is a very adaptable and substitution-friendly dish. I've listed out a few of my favorite swaps and subs below for you to make this friendly for all dietary needs:
- Pasta: you can use regular pasta if you so desire, or you can opt for a gluten free version like Banza, Jovial, or any other brand you like.
- Cheese: swap for a vegan or dairy-friendly version to add to the sauce, or you can simply leave out.
- Half and Half: swap out for almond milk.
- Sausage: if you like regular pork sausage, go for it! Chorizo, or plant-based sausage would work great here too.
Recipe Variations and Serving Suggestions
If you want to vary a few of the ingredients in this dish, here's what I would suggest:
- Sausage: You can swap it out for chicken, ground turkey or beef, or even add in some salmon
- Cheese: Use a different kind of cheese instead of Manchego like cheddar, gouda, or a pepper jack.
Some of my favorite ways to serve this dish are:
- Meal Prep: Make an entire batch of this for 3-4 days of lunches. It's a great grab and go option for busy days.
- Pot Luck: Guaranteed, this will be the star of any pot luck dinner or upcoming holiday celebration.
- Baked: Add the pasta to a casserole dish and top it with cheese of choice, bake for 15 minutes and serve.
Kitchen Equipment and Tools
For this recipe, we'll need pretty standard tools and kitchen equipment when it comes to making the pasta and baking it. You'll need:
- Medium Frying Pan - to make the sauce, brown the sausage, and build the dish itself
- Large pot
- Wooden spoon
- Measuring cups and spoons
How do I serve this recipe? Can I freeze it?
IF you have leftovers (and that is a big if...) you can put the remainder of the dish into a container and place in the fridge. This will stay for up to four days.
This pasta dish is also very freezer friendly! Place the entire batch in a large container and store in the freezer for another day. Thaw in the fridge the day before you want to serve it. It's a great option for nights where you don't want to cook.
Hungry for More?
Looking to round out your menu this week? Check out these other recipes:
Creamy Cajun Pasta with Chicken Sausage Recipe
- 1 large pot
- 1 frying pan
- 1 strainer
- 1 wooden spoon
- 1 tongs
- measuring cups and spoons
- 2 links chicken sausage sliced thin
- 1 large shallot minced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- ½ cup red bell pepper finely diced
- ½ cup orange bell pepper finely diced
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- ½ cup half and half
- ¼ cup manchego cheese grated
- 1 lb fusilli pasta cooked
- ¼ cup pasta water
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente, strain then set aside, leaving ¼ cup of pasta water for the sauce.
- In a large frying pan on medium heat, cook the sausage until browned, approximately 5 minutes. Spoon out the sausage into a separate bowl.
- To the same pan, add in the garlic and shallot then cook until fragrant. Add in the tomato paste, bell peppers and cajun seasoning, stirring to combine.
- Pour in the half and half and stir and pasta water, bringing the cream to a rolling boil.
- Pour in the pasta and add in the grated Manchego cheese, stirring to combine.
- Add the sausage back in and stir to incorporate.
- Top with additional Manchego and garnish with optional red pepper flakes and serve.