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Chicken and Sausage Pasta combines the classic coziness of Italian pasta and the lively, rich flavors of Southern cuisine, ideal for those evenings when your time is limited but compromise on flavor is not an option. In just 30 minutes, you’ll bring the boldness of Cajun seasoning, the heartiness of chicken and sausage, and the comfort of creamy pasta to your dinner table.

Chicken and Sausage Pasta in a black and white deep skillet photographed from the top.

This recipe blends the spicy kick of Andouille sausage with mild, succulent chicken for a welcome contrast. The rich creamy sauce, enriched with heavy cream, Parmesan cheese and the smoky depth of fire-roasted tomatoes coat the tender pasta and bring all of the flavors together. Topped with fresh parsley for a burst of color and freshness, it’s a dish that’s as visually appealing as it is tasty, a perfect, easy-to-prepare dish for family dinners or gatherings.

Chicken and Sausage Pasta Ingredients

Chicken and Sausage Pasta Ingredients on a granite surface.
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: Choose chicken breasts that are firm and have a consistent, pale pink color.
  • Andouille Sausage: Look for sausages that are firm with a glossy exterior, avoiding any that look dull or dry.
  • Cajun Seasoning: Pick a blend with a good mix of spicy, savory, and aromatic elements. Freshness is key for the best flavor. (More on this below.)
  • Penne Pasta: Choose pasta that has a rough surface texture for better sauce adherence.
  • Butter: For a richer sauce, choose high-fat European style butter.
  • Olive Oil: Look for extra virgin olive oil in dark bottles that protect it from light, and check for a harvest or best-by date.
  • Garlic: Choose garlic bulbs that are firm, with intact, dry skin and no soft spots.
  • Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes: Look for cans where tomatoes are the main ingredient, with minimal added seasonings.
  • Heavy Cream: Heavy cream, which has a higher fat content (about 36-40%) compared to whipping cream (about 30%). This higher fat content provides a thicker, richer texture for a more luxurious sauce.
  • Parmesan Cheese: Choose a high quality version like Parmigiano-Reggiano or Grana Padano. It should feel hard and grainy, have a nutty and slightly salty taste, and a rich, aromatic smell. 
  • Fresh Parsley: Look for parsley with vibrant green leaves, no signs of wilting, and a fresh, herbal scent.

Balancing Saltiness

Cajun seasoning blends can vary significantly in their salt content. If the brand you’re using is new to you, consider starting with a smaller amount and taste as you go. If your blend is less salty, you may need to add a bit more seasoning or a pinch of salt to achieve the flavor you’re after. 

Chicken and Sausage Pasta in a ceramic bowl photographed from the top.

Recipe Options

  • Sausage Variation: Substitute Andouille sausage with milder Italian sausage or kielbasa for a less spicy flavor, or opt for turkey or chicken sausage for a lighter option.
  • Seasoning Swap: If Cajun seasoning is unavailable, create a similar blend with equal parts paprika, garlic powder, and a pinch of cayenne pepper.
  • Alternative Pasta: Try fusilli or rigatoni instead of penne.
  • Tomato Replacement: Regular diced tomatoes can replace fire-roasted ones; add a generous pinch of smoked paprika for smokiness.
  • Cream Choices: Opt for half-and-half for a lighter sauce, but expect a change in texture and richness.
  • Cheese Alternatives: Try Pecorino Romano for a sharper, saltier flavor, or Asiago for a milder, nuttier taste in place of Parmesan.
  • Herb Options: Basil or chives can be used in place of fresh parsley for a different herbal touch.

4 Recipe Tips

  1. Sauté Chicken and Sausage Separately: To ensure even cooking, sauté the chicken and sausage in separate batches. This prevents overcrowding for a better sear on the meat.
  2. Reserve Pasta Water: Set aside some pasta water before draining. Its starchy quality is perfect for adjusting the sauce’s thickness if needed.
  3. Season to Taste: After combining all ingredients, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Sometimes the dish might need an extra pinch of Cajun seasoning or salt.
  4. Finish with Freshness: Add the fresh parsley right before serving to maintain its vibrant color and fresh flavor.
Chicken and Sausage Pasta in a ceramic bowl photographed at an angle.

How to Store and Reheat

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, gently warm it in a saucepan over medium heat, adding a splash of water (ideally leftover pasta water that you’ve refrigerated) or broth if the sauce has thickened. Avoid freezing, as the creamy sauce may separate, affecting the pasta’s texture.

More Decadent Pasta Recipes

How to Make Chicken and Sausage Pasta

Start by coating chicken chunks with Cajun seasoning in a bowl and setting them aside. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water until al dente, then drain it, saving some of the pasta water.

In a skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat, then add garlic, cooking until fragrant. Add the seasoned chicken to the skillet, cooking until done, and then transfer it to a plate. Next, brown the sausage in the same skillet, then move it to the plate with the chicken.

Pour the fire-roasted tomatoes into the skillet, let the liquid reduce, then lower the heat and stir in heavy cream and Parmesan cheese until the sauce thickens.

Combine the cooked pasta, chicken, sausage, and their juices back into the skillet, heating everything through. Adjust the sauce’s thickness with the reserved pasta water if needed, and season to taste. Serve the pasta garnished with fresh parsley.

Chicken and Sausage Pasta

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Calories: 681
Servings: 4 people
A fusion of bold Cajun spices and creamy textures, this pasta dish perfectly balances hearty meats with smooth, rich sauce for a satisfying meal.

Ingredients  

  • 1/2 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts  cut into bite size chunks
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning or more to taste (recipe note #1)
  • 8 ounces penne pasta or other short pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/2 pound Andouille sausage sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese about 2/3 cup
  • chopped fresh parsley for garnish, optional

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl combine chicken chunks and Cajun seasoning and toss to coat. Set aside.
  • Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water according to package directions until firm to the bite (al dente). Drain, reserving 1 cup of cooking water.
  • While the pasta cooks, heat butter and olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add garlic; cook and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chicken; cook and stir until just cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate with a slotted spoon (leave any excess fat behind).
  • Add sausage to skillet and cook and stir until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to plate with chicken.
  • Add tomatoes with liquid to same skillet and bring to boil; cook and stir until liquid is reduced by half, 2-3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in heavy cream and parmesan cheese; bring to simmer. Cook and stir until cheese has melted and sauce thickens, about 3 minutes.
  • Add drained, cooked pasta, chicken, sausage and any accumulated juices to skillet; cook and stir until well combined, heated through and sauce has thickened to your desired consistency. Or, if you prefer a thinner sauce, add reserved pasta water a little at a time as desired. Taste for seasoning and add more Cajun seasoning if you like. Transfer to serving platter or individual pasta bowls and garnish with parsley (if using) and serve.

Notes

  1. The amount of salt in Cajun seasoning varies widely by brand, so start out with a bit less than the recipe calls for and add more taste. If you’re using a salt-free seasoning (my preference), add 1 1/2 teaspoons of seasoning and 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of fine sea salt. This way, you can add more of each to taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 681kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 139mg | Sodium: 811mg | Potassium: 614mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1181IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 171mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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6 Comments

  1. Valentina says:

    Hi Marissa. Love how warm and cozy this dish is — and how quickly it comes together. The layers of flavors in the pan are luring me in! 🙂 ~Valentina

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks so much, Valentina!

  2. Ben | Havocinthekitchen says:

    While chicken isn’t a common pasta additions in Italy, I personally love it. And combined with the sausage and Cajun flavours, this dish looks and sounds fantastic!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      Thanks so much, Ben! I appreciate your kind comment.

  3. David @ Spiced says:

    5 stars
    This pasta dish is right up my alley! I love pasta, and I love Cajun flavors, so I know this will become a family favorite. Yum!

    1. Marissa Stevens says:

      I love to hear that, David! Thank you.