Syn Free One Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta
I adore a good ‘one pot’ pasta recipe…because I absolutely hate doing the washing up! I know that washing dishes is a necessary part of doing a lot of cooking (which I do!) but that really doesn’t stop me hating it. So, any recipe which means I essentially just have a chopping board and a sauce pan to wash up is a massive winner in my books! Add into the mix that this Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta is absolutely to die for, and I was a happy bunny when I got to tuck into it!
If you’re unfamiliar with ‘one pot’ pasta recipes, essentially it does what it says on the tin – you cook everything in one pot! That’s not to say that everything goes in at the same time (although if you were to simplify things a lot then they could!), instead there are a couple of stages. What it also means is that the water (actually it’s chicken stock) used to cook the pasta also then becomes the sauce for said pasta…it’s essentially a ‘self-saucing’ dish, which is quite satisfying in itself! That ‘self-saucing’ element is one of the reasons that this dish is so creamy and so packed full of flavour!
To make this dish even more creamy, I stole a technique from my carbonara recipe, and mixed an egg with some quark and stirred it in when the heat was turned off at the very end of the recipe. As it does with carbonara, the egg cooks from the residual heat without turning into scrambled egg, and along with the quark creates a silky smooth sauce. If you don’t have quark to hand you can use fromage frais too, and you’ll have the same outcome.
This recipe is of course completely syn free, which only serves to make it even more enjoyable! It’s a quick dinner option too, taking about half an hour in total, so it’s ideal for those mid-week evenings where you fancy something stodgy but without the guilt of a cheeky takeaway! With this recipe you do have to keep an eye on it though, as you’re using less water than you would do to simply boil pasta until its cooked. This is because you aren’t draining the water out when you’re done, after all it’s your delicious sauce, so you have to get the balance exactly right to cook the pasta and create a sauce. This also means that you have to stir it quite a lot to stop it sticking to the bottom, but trust me the 10 minutes or so of paying attention to the stove is well worth it!
I stirred in some cheese along with the egg and quark when I made this dish, which I’ve included in the recipe, but that is optional. I used it as party of my HexA to make sure that this stayed syn free, if you don’t have your HexA left to use, or simply don’t fancy cheese, then don’t let that put you off though because it’s certainly not essential!
When I was thinking about this recipe, and working out exactly what to put in and what to include, I considered making my own Cajun spice seasoning. Whilst that’s really quite simple to do, and if you want to do so this recipe is gorgeous, I wanted to make sure that this recipe was accessible as one of those every day, whenever you fancy it, kind of meals, and so having all of the necessary spices to make a Cajun seasoning from scratch isn’t exactly ‘every day’! I decided to use the delicious Schwartz Cajun Seasoning instead on this occasion which was just as tasty and about a thousand times less effort! I did use quite a lot of seasoning in this recipe, but as always with seasoning a dish it really does have to be up to your own personal tastes. If you like quite a strong Cajun taste then follow the quantities in this recipe, but if you want a more mild effect then simply adjust accordingly. No matter how much seasoning you do use in the end though, this recipe will be really delicious.
When it comes to stirring in the egg at the end of this recipe, you really do have to make sure that the heat is turned off on the stove and that there is no new heat being applied to the saucepan. If there is, not only will your egg turn into scrambled egg, but your quark will split and trust me, neither of those things are tasty! Just be patient, take the saucepan off the heat, stir together your egg and quark (and the cheese if you’re using it), tip it over the top and quickly stir it through until the sauce thickens up. It’s about making sure there is an even distribution of heat to the egg, as opposed to a direct source of heat to any individual bits of mixture. If you do it like that, you will have a sauce, and not scrambled egg!
As usual I’ve used Muscle Foods chicken for this recipe, which you can pick up as part of my exclusive deal here. If you’re using regular supermarket chicken you may have to increase how many pieces you use, as Muscle Foods chicken breasts are twice as big!
A creamy, syn free, delicious Cajun spiced pasta!
- 400g - 500g Penne Pasta
- 2x Muscle Foods Chicken Breasts (cut into small cubes)
- 2x Red Peppers (sliced thinly)
- 1x Onion (sliced thinly)
- 4tbsp Cajun Seasoning (plus extra for dusting)
- 1L Chicken Stock
- 1x Egg
- 2tbsp Quark/Fromage Frais
- 35g Grated Cheddar Cheese (optional)
- Salt & Pepper (to taste)
- Fry Light
- In a large saucepan, fry the chicken breast with two tablespoons of Cajun seasoning until cooked through. Remove from the saucepan and set to one side.
- With more Fry Light add the peppers and onion and rest of the Cajun seasoning. Cook until soft.
- Pour in the pasta and then add chicken stock until the pasta is just covered.
- Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring regularly. As the stock reduces continue adding more, little by little, until the pasta is cooked and the chicken stock has thickened to a shiny sauce coating the pasta. Mix in the chicken.
- Remove the pasta from the heat.
- Mix together the egg, quark and cheese if you're using it. Pour into the pasta and quickly begin to mix this into the pasta making sure to coat it all. Continue to mix until the sauce thickens, this is how you know the egg has cooked.
- Portion out the pasta and top with a small spoon of quark and a sprinkling of Cajun seasoning.
- Enjoy straight away!
Syn free on Slimming World. If using cheese this must be accounted for as part of your HexA or synned.
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