One-Pot Wonder: A Bold and Flavorful Cajun Twist on Pasta that Will Leave Your Taste Buds Begging for More! Add a Cajun twist to your pasta with this easy one-pot recipe! Cajun Ninja Pastalaya is packed with chicken, sausage, and bold flavors in just 30 minutes.
- Publisher: Lofty Recipes
- Cuisine: American
- Category: Pasta Main dish, Cajun/Creole
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Servings: 7
- Calories: 540 calories
Cajun Ninja Pastalaya
About this recipe
Cajun Ninja pastalaya is a delicious and flavorful dish that combines elements of Cajun cuisine with Italian pasta. It's essentially a Cajun-style jambalaya but with pasta instead of rice.
The dish is typically made with smoked sausage, chicken, onions, bell peppers, and garlic, which are sautéed in a Dutch oven or pot with a variety of herbs and spices like Cajun seasoning, thyme, basil, and oregano, to name a few.
Once the meat and vegetables are cooked down and the flavors are well combined, a can of diced tomatoes and chicken broth are added to the pot to make a flavorful base for the dish. The cooked pasta is then added to the pot and simmered for a few minutes so that it can absorb all the delicious flavors of the sauce.
The end result is a rich and flavorful pasta dish with a slightly spicy kick from the Cajun seasoning and cayenne pepper. It's often topped with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley for added flavor and texture.
Cajun Ninja pastalaya is a hearty and filling meal that's perfect for feeding a crowd, as it makes a generous amount. It's a great dish to serve for a casual dinner party or a family gathering, as it's easy to prepare and always a crowd-pleaser.
Recipe origin and background
The origin of Cajun Ninja pastalaya is rooted in the traditional cuisine of Cajun and Creole communities in Louisiana. Cajun cuisine is known for its bold flavors, with a focus on dishes that feature smoked meats, seafood, and spicy seasonings.
Jambalaya is a classic Cajun dish that's traditionally made with rice, smoked sausage, chicken, and seafood, along with vegetables like onions, bell peppers, and celery. The dish is seasoned with a mix of spices, including cayenne pepper, thyme, and paprika, among others.
Cajun Ninja pastalaya is a variation on the classic jambalaya, with pasta substituted for rice. This may have been influenced by Italian immigrants who settled in Louisiana and brought their pasta-making traditions with them.
Over time, Cajun cooks may have experimented with incorporating pasta into their traditional recipes, leading to the creation of dishes like pastalaya.
Today, Cajun Ninja pastalaya is a popular dish in Louisiana and beyond, with many variations and interpretations of the recipe. The dish has also gained popularity through social media and online cooking communities, where cooks and chefs share their own takes on this flavorful and unique dish.
Why try this Cajun Ninja Pastalaya recipe?
You should definitely try the Cajun Ninja pastalaya recipe because it's a delicious and unique dish that combines the best of two worlds: Cajun and Italian cuisine.
The dish is bursting with flavor, thanks to the combination of spicy Cajun seasoning and the savory and aromatic herbs like thyme, basil, and oregano.
The smoked sausage and chicken provide a deliciously meaty and hearty flavor, while the bell peppers and onions add a delicious crunch and sweetness to the dish. The addition of canned tomatoes and chicken broth creates a thick and flavorful sauce that perfectly coats the linguine or fettuccine pasta.
What does Cajun Ninja Pastalaya taste like?
Cajun Ninja pastalaya has a rich and complex flavor that is both savory and slightly spicy. The smoked sausage and chicken provide a meaty and hearty flavor, while the bell peppers and onions add a delicious crunch and sweetness to the dish.
The combination of herbs and spices like Cajun seasoning, thyme, basil, and oregano, give the dish an earthy and aromatic flavor profile. The cayenne pepper adds a subtle heat that is balanced out by the other flavors in the dish.
The sauce in the dish is made from canned tomatoes and chicken broth, which creates a thick and flavorful base that perfectly coats the linguine or fettuccine pasta. The pasta itself provides a tender and slightly chewy texture that complements the other elements of the dish.
What is in Cajun Ninja Pastalaya?
- Linguine or fettuccine pasta: This is the base ingredient of the dish and provides a sturdy and delicious foundation for all of the other flavors.
- Chicken breast: This adds protein and a subtle flavor to the dish.
- Smoked sausage: This provides a smoky and savory flavor to the dish.
- Bell peppers: This adds a sweet and slightly tangy flavor to the dish, as well as a bright and colorful appearance.
- Onion: This provides a savory and slightly sweet flavor to the dish and helps to tie all of the ingredients together.
- Garlic: This adds a pungent and slightly spicy flavor to the dish and helps to enhance the other flavors.
- Tomatoes: This adds a slightly sweet and tangy flavor to the dish, as well as a fresh and juicy texture.
- Chicken broth: This provides a rich and savory flavor to the dish and helps to keep the pasta and other ingredients moist.
- Cajun seasoning: This is a blend of herbs and spices that provides a spicy and flavorful kick to the dish.
- Salt and pepper: These are basic seasoning ingredients that help to enhance the other flavors and bring the dish to life.
Equipment required for this recipe
- Large pot or Dutch oven: This is used to cook the pasta and other ingredients. If you don't have a large pot or Dutch oven, you can use a deep skillet or a wok.
- Large sauté pan: This is used to cook the chicken, sausage, onions, bell peppers, and garlic. If you don't have a large sauté pan, you can use a large skillet or a wok.
- Wooden spoon or spatula: This is used to stir the pasta and other ingredients as they cook. If you don't have a wooden spoon or spatula, you can use a regular spoon or spatula.
- Measuring cups and spoons: These are used to measure the pasta, chicken broth, Cajun seasoning, and other ingredients. If you don't have measuring cups and spoons, you can use a scale to weigh the ingredients.
- Knife and cutting board: These are used to chop the onions, bell peppers, garlic, and tomatoes. If you don't have a cutting board, you can use a clean and sturdy plate.
- Tongs: These are used to flip and stir the chicken and sausage as they cook. If you don't have tongs, you can use a fork or a spatula.
- Serving dish: This is used to serve the finished dish. If you don't have a serving dish, you can use a large bowl or plate.
How to make Cajun Ninja Pastalaya
Make a delicious Cajun Ninja Pastalaya recipe in just 30 minutes! This one-pot wonder is packed with chicken, sausage, and Cajun flavors.
- 1 pound smoked sausage, sliced
- 1 pound chicken breasts, diced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 pound linguine or fettuccine pasta
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Chopped parsley for garnish
- In a large Dutch oven or pot, cook the sliced sausage over medium-high heat until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the diced chicken to the pot and cook until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add the chopped onion, green and red bell pepper, and minced garlic to the pot. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the can of diced tomatoes (undrained) and chicken broth to the pot. Add the Cajun seasoning, dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano, and cayenne pepper. Stir to combine.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
- While the mixture is simmering, cook the linguine or fettuccine pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Once the mixture has simmered for 10 minutes, add the cooked sausage and chicken back to the pot. Stir to combine.
- Add the cooked pasta to the pot and stir to combine. Let it cook for an additional 5 minutes to let the pasta absorb the flavors.
- Serve hot, topped with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
Enjoy your Cajun Ninja pastalaya!
How to serve Cajun Ninja Pastalaya
- Portion the pastalaya into individual serving bowls or plates. Make sure each serving has a generous amount of pasta, sausage, chicken, and vegetables.
- Garnish the dish with chopped fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. This adds a fresh and bright flavor to the dish, as well as a touch of salty richness.
- Serve with a side salad or garlic bread. A fresh green salad or warm garlic bread can help balance the richness of the pastalaya and provide a refreshing contrast to the savory and spicy flavors of the dish.
- Serve with a cold beverage. Cajun Ninja pastalaya has a spicy kick to it, so a cold beverage like a beer or iced tea can help cool the palate and provide a refreshing accompaniment to the dish.
- Enjoy with friends and family. Cajun Ninja pastalaya is a dish that's meant to be enjoyed with others, so gather around the table and savor the delicious flavors together.
Rated: 4.9 of 5.0 from 926 reviews.
Recipe Tags: Cajun Ninja Pastalaya, Cajun Ninja Pastalaya Recipe, Recipe, Top rated
What to serve Cajun Ninja Pastalaya with
Cajun Ninja pastalaya is a hearty and flavorful dish that can be complemented by a variety of sides and accompaniments. Here are some options to consider:
- Garlic bread: Warm and crispy garlic bread is a perfect accompaniment to the rich and savory flavors of the pastalaya.
- Salad: A fresh green salad with a light vinaigrette can help balance the richness of the pastalaya and provide a refreshing contrast to the spicy and savory flavors.
- Cornbread: Sweet and savory cornbread can be a great option to add a bit of crunch and texture to the meal.
- Roasted vegetables: Roasted vegetables, such as asparagus, Brussels sprouts, or zucchini, can provide a healthy and flavorful side dish to the pastalaya.
- Bread rolls: Fresh, warm bread rolls can be a simple and delicious option to serve alongside the pastalaya.
- Coleslaw: A tangy and refreshing coleslaw can be a great complement to the spicy and savory flavors of the pastalaya.
My recommendations and tips
- Use high-quality ingredients: Since Cajun Ninja pastalaya relies heavily on the flavors of the meats, vegetables, and seasonings, using high-quality ingredients is important. Choose fresh and flavorful sausage and chicken, ripe tomatoes, and fresh herbs and spices.
- Follow the recipe closely: The Cajun Ninja pastalaya recipe has been tested and developed to ensure the perfect balance of flavors and textures. It's important to follow the recipe closely and measure your ingredients accurately to achieve the best results.
- Adjust the heat level to your taste: If you're sensitive to spicy foods, you may want to reduce the amount of cayenne pepper or other spicy seasonings in the recipe. On the other hand, if you love spicy foods, feel free to add more cayenne pepper or hot sauce to the dish.
- Let the flavors develop: Cajun Ninja pastalaya tastes even better the next day, as the flavors have a chance to meld together and develop. Consider making the dish a day ahead of time and letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight to allow the flavors to fully develop.
- Experiment with different pastas: While the recipe calls for linguine or fettuccine pasta, you can experiment with different pasta shapes and types to create your own unique version of the dish. Consider trying penne, rotini, or even spaghetti to see how the different shapes and textures impact the dish.
- Serve with your favorite sides and accompaniments: As mentioned earlier, there are many different sides and accompaniments that can complement and enhance the flavors of Cajun Ninja pastalaya. Consider your own personal preferences and the tastes of your guests, and choose sides that will create a well-balanced and satisfying meal.
Potential ingredients substitutes
- Pasta: Instead of linguine or fettuccine pasta, you can use any other long pasta such as spaghetti, bucatini, or even short pasta like penne or fusilli.
- Chicken breast: You can use other cuts of chicken like thighs or drumsticks. You can also use other proteins like shrimp, crawfish, or andouille sausage.
- Smoked sausage: If you can't find smoked sausage, you can use any other type of sausage like Italian sausage or chorizo. You can also use sliced ham or bacon.
- Bell peppers: If you don't have bell peppers, you can use other vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or mushrooms.
- Onion: You can use other types of onions like shallots or red onions. You can also use leeks or scallions.
- Garlic: You can use garlic powder or minced garlic from a jar if you don't have fresh garlic.
- Tomatoes: If you don't have fresh tomatoes, you can use canned diced tomatoes or tomato sauce.
- Chicken broth: You can use vegetable broth, beef broth, or even water if you don't have chicken broth.
- Cajun seasoning: If you don't have Cajun seasoning, you can make your own by mixing paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper.
- To make the dish spicier, you can adjust the amount of cayenne pepper and hot sauce you use. If you're not a fan of spicy food, you can omit these ingredients altogether or use less of them.
- It's important to use a large, deep skillet or a Dutch oven to make this recipe as it requires cooking the pasta and the other ingredients together. If you don't have a large enough skillet, you can divide the recipe in half and make it in two batches.
- This recipe is versatile and can be customized to suit your preferences. You can swap out the proteins or vegetables, adjust the seasoning, or even add some cheese to the dish.
- Leftovers of this dish can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. When reheating, add a splash of chicken broth or water to prevent the pasta from drying out.
- If you're not familiar with Cajun cuisine, it's a style of cooking that originated in Louisiana and is known for its bold flavors and use of spices like cayenne pepper, paprika, and garlic. It often features seafood, sausage, and rice, but this recipe puts a unique twist on the traditional Cajun flavors by using pasta instead.
Give this Cajun Ninja Pastalaya recipe a try and impress your friends and family with its bold and delicious flavors. It's a guaranteed crowd-pleaser that will become a favorite in your recipe collection!