Sunday, August 26, 2012

Cajun Chicken Pasta

As sort of a last minute "we have a super busy weekend" event, we went out to On The Border for dinner last night. My husband and I nearly died when our two entrees and two kids meals cost $40 after tip. I mean, we sort of saw it coming, but we just eat out so rarely anymore that it was a shock!Gosh, it was so painful on the old wallet!

I've been holding on to this recipe for Chili's Cajun Chicken Pasta for awhile. After our super expensive dinner out, I decided to give a copy cat recipe a try. It was really quite fast, and even with having to buy the spices, it was pretty cheap! The cream, noodles, chicken and tomatoes only cost about $6. Not so bad, right? We EVEN had leftovers -- enough for someone to eat for lunch the next day, which is a miracle for us!

I changed the original recipe up a little. Here is how I made it,

1 package of precooked chicken breast strips
2 teaspoons cajun seasoning 
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups heavy cream 
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning 
1 teaspoon black pepper 
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 
1 box penne pasta, cooked and drained 
2 roma tomatoes, diced 
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, fresh shredded, to taste (I intended to use parmesan, but discovered I was out. Cheddar worked just fine in place.)
Directions: Cook noodles as directed. In a separate pan, heat heavy cream, two tablespoons of butter and seasonings (only use half of the cajun seasoning) over medium heat. Stir occasionally. Dice tomatoes. When the cream mixture begins to bubble, add the cooked noodles. While your noodles as sauce are warming through, microwave the chicken strips. Once they are heated through, sprinkle liberally with cajun seasoning. Transfer noodles to a bowl and top with tomatoes. Sprinkle these liberally with cajun seasoning also. Place chicken strips on top, sprinkle with cheese and serve. YUM!

This dish is a little on the spicy side, but all of my family really loved it. Even the baby! Of course, we were all very happy to eat such delicious food at home for $6 instead of out for $40!