Make Ahead Cajun Chicken Pasta


Penne pasta and chicken in a Cajun sauce then topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. I do not use a thickener with this recipe. Instead I allow the liquid to absorb into the pasta along with all that Cajun flavor by letting this sit ½ hour or more, even overnight in the refrigerator. It can be reheated in just a few minutes.






Cook the pasta according

to the package directions.



Drain thoroughly.



Place the pasta back into the pan.



In a medium skillet melt half

of the butter over medium heat.



Add the cooked chicken,

stir and cook until hot.



In a deep pot add the remaining

butter, half & half, salt, pepper,

Cajun seasonings, paprika,

garlic powder and chicken.



Cook over medium heat until

hot and the butter melts.



Add the cooked pasta and stir. Add the

freshly grated Parmesan cheese and

stir until melted and hot. Remove

from the heat. Let sit for at least

½ hour or in the refrigerator, covered,

overnight. The longer this sits the more

sauce will absorb into the pasta for

a fabulous flavor. You can reheat

in the microwave or on the stove.



Just before serving, top with more

Parmesan cheese and garnish

with paprika and parsley.


Make Ahead Cajun Chicken Pasta



  • 16 oz. penne pasta
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Cajun seasonings
  • 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, divided
  • 6 cups half & half
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for sauce)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
  • paprika for garnish
  • parsley for garnish



  1. Cook the penne pasta according to the package directions, drain thoroughly and return to the pan. Cover to keep warm.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 4 Tbsp. of butter. Add the chicken and cook until hot. Remove from the heat.
  3. In a deep pot add the half & half, 4 Tbsp. of butter, salt, pepper, Cajun seasonings, paprika, garlic powder and chicken.
  4. Cook over medium heat until hot and the butter is melted.
  5. Add the pasta and stir. Add 1 cup of cheese and cook until melted and hot. Remove from the heat.
  6. Let sit, uncovered, for ½ hour or cover and place in the refrigerator over night.
  7. Whether you serve this after ½ hour or reheat later, sprinkle freshly grated cheese on top and lightly sprinkle with paprika before serving.

NOTE: There is no thickener in this recipe. I make this up ahead of time so that the Cajun sauce can absorb into the pasta for a fabulous tasting dish. This is even better reheated the next day.


  1. Looks good! I think you ought to come up with something that involves all manner of random ingredients people might still have in the back of their cupboards, since now that’s where they’re looking these days. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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