Mar 6, 2013

Skinny Cajun Chicken Pasta





Confession: my mom and I are having ourselves a Twilight Series movie marathon today. An event I'm unapologetically excited about. It's a cold and blustery day here in NC, so we're draped in blankets holed up inside my childhood home, drinking coffee, and making googly eyes at Edward as he struts his brooding vampire stuff across the Pacific Northwest. Ok, so maybe I'm the one googly eying Edward. Mom's more demure about it, but she can't fool me. You can't be a part of our family and be Team Jacob. You also can't be a part of our family and not love pasta. Banishment to Volterra would be imminent. 

I'm a sucker for almost every kind of pasta, but I rarely let myself indulge. Mostly because carbs aren't my friend, but also because I have zero self-control when it comes to cream sauces and spice...or cheesy teen vampire movies, but that's neither here nor there. In an effort to have my cake and eat it too, I'm always revamping (no pun intended) my favorite pasta recipes into lighter versions...and this Skinny Cajun dream is no exception. It's creamy, flavorful, and packs a good spicy punch without breaking your daily calorie allowance in one hearty bowl. Pair it with a crisp glass of Riesling and a few hours of teen vampire angst and I'd say you've got yourself a solid afternoon. Mom and I can vouch for that. ;)

Skinny Cajun Chicken Pasta 
Serves 6-8
Ingredients: 
1 box uncooked linguini noodles (I used Barilla Pasta Plus w/fiber, protein, & omega-3s)
3 - 4oz  boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp. Weber Kickin' Chicken seasoning (or just use a mixture of crushed red pepper flakes, onion powder, & garlic powder)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium red pepper, thinly sliced
1 medium green pepper, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 Tbsp. light butter (I used Land O'lakes Light Butter)
1 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup of fat free half & half
3 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
1 Tbsp flour
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning (I used Tony Chachere's Lite Creole Seasoning)
1/2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
sea salt to taste
freshly grated parmesan cheese for topping (optional) 

Directions: 
1/ Cook pasta according to directions on the box and set aside.
2/ Season chicken breasts with the Kickin' Chicken seasoning and grill. Once nicely grilled, chop into 1" cubes and set aside.
3/ Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and saute the peppers and onions until tender, about 4-5 minutes. Toss in garlic, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes and cook for an additional 3-4 minutes. Season with the freshly cracked pepper and sea salt to taste. Once the veggies are cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside.
4/ Place the sautee pan back on the burner and reduce heat to medium-low. Melt the tablespoon of butter and whisk in the tablespoon of flour until a paste is formed (you are essentially making a roux). Cook the roux for about a minute, then add in the cup of chicken broth and the cajun seasoning. Stir together. Then add in the half & half and stir together. Let mixture cook for 2-3 minutes until it thickens just a bit, then stir in the cream cheese.
5/ Add the cooked veggies, diced chicken, and cooked pasta to the sauce in the sautee pan. Toss together. Serve hot and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and a few slices of crusty bread. Enjoy!   
  

17 comments:

  1. I can't believe this is skinny!!! it looks absolutely wonderful!!

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  2. Yum!! I will be trying this next week. :) Thanks for sharing.

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  3. I absolutely love cajun chicken pasta and make it at least once a month. But I have not seen it with these ingredients. I think I am going to have to give it a try!!

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  4. I absolutely love cajun chicken pasta and make it at least once a month. But I have not seen it with these ingredients. I think I am going to have to give it a try!!

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  5. This looks incredible!!! Adding to my list of recipes to try!

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  6. YUMM!! And the pictures look amazing!

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  7. What beautiful pictures!

    http://therealfoodrunner.blogspot.com

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  8. You got some gooood photog skills, girl! :-)
    You're making my mouth water over here.

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  9. Oh my! This looks absolutely delicious! I cannot wait to try it! thank you for sharing!

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  10. Looks delicious! Have you ever visited the skinnytaste website? Your recipe looks so much like one of her recipes- it's one of my absolute favorites! Check it out:
    http://www.skinnytaste.com/2012/02/cajun-chicken-pasta-on-lighter-side.html

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  11. Oooh, I'm so hungry right now . . . not a good time to stumble across this post! :) But man, that looks good!

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  12. Oooooh this might just have to be my next roommate dinner!

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  13. This "revamp" looks delicious! ;)

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  14. Holy moly that looks restaurant worthy! Yummo, with capital Y!
    Cortne

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  15. I am the same - mad about pasta but its not good for my hips - also love Twilight series...
    That Pasta sounds so yummy, wished I never seen how good it looks cause now I want to try it :)
    And yeah its cooler here in Australia too - not cold enough for bed socks but getting there!

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I appreciate your feedback, friends! I read every comment and try my hardest to respond to each one, but if your email address isn't attached to your blogger profile, you might find my response in the comment thread instead. As always, thanks for reading!

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