Instant Pot Cajun Chicken Pasta is an easy and simple one pot pasta dinner so apt for busy weeknights. This one pot penne is loaded with flavors. You'll have smoked andouille sausage & juicy chicken all coated in a super creamy Cajun garlic sauce. You'll love this easy creamy Cajun chicken pasta, it's irresistible!
Do check out our collection of easy Instant pot recipes!
Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta
This Cajun chicken pasta instant pot recipe is restaurant quality good. You can easily customize this recipe, make it more spicy or creamy or even add shrimp as per your liking.
You can also add smoked spicy Cajun or creole sausage instead of andouille sausage and make it cheesy by adding ¼ cup of grated parmesan. I'll mention all the subs below in details.
Cajun chicken and sausage pasta instant pot recipe also stores well and is always a huge hit.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Find the Ingredients with actual measurements at the bottom of the post. The list below is just a reference.
- Smoked Andouille Sausage: We used Zatarain's smoked andouille sausage. You can sub it with spicy smoked Cajun or Creole sausage. They taste fantastic as well.
- Chicken: Boneless skinless chicken breasts is what we used in this recipe. If you prefer dark meat you can sub the chicken breasts with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
- Pasta: Penne, rotini, Fuseli, bow tie - all of these would work well in this recipe. I personally prefer either penne or rotini pasta.
- Aromatics: Onion & garlic. Do not use red onion. It'll overwhelm the flavors of this one pot creamy chicken pasta recipe.
- Veggie: Red bell pepper. The red bell pepper will add such a wonderful note of sweetness and bright flavor. It goes very well with the creamy Cajun sauce.
- Tomatoes: Diced tomatoes with chopped jalapeno or fire roasted diced tomatoes work best in this Cajun creamy chicken pasta recipe.
- Seasoning: Homemade salt free Cajun seasoning is our favorite. You'll love this seasoning. The flavors are well balanced, it's mildly spicy and has all the right notes of the best Cajun seasoning ever. It stores well too and you can make a small batch! We also used some extra sweet paprika in this recipe to add some color and smokiness. You can skip the extra paprika if you want to.
- Cheese: Softened cream cheese and heavy cream. You can sub the heavy cream with half and half if you want to cut back on calories. You can also add about ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese to make the creamy sauce cheesy and more creamy. We did not add any parmesan cheese.
- Better than Bouillon: This stuff is so good. I used the chicken base stirred in warm water to form an instant flavorful stock. You won't buy store bought chicken stock again.
- Liquid: Warm water.
- Cooking fat: Extra light olive oil is what we used. You can also sub the oil with butter to make this chicken Cajun pasta instant pot recipe richer.
- Dump & start option: If you are pressed for time you can skip all the sautéing and covert this recipe into a dump and start instant pot recipe. Just dump everything in the pot except the cream cheese and the heavy cream. Pressure cook and than mix in the cheeses.
- More flavor: Sautéing the Cajun seasoned chicken and the diced smoked sausage would add incredible flavor. You can also add about 3 tablespoons crispy bacon bits at the end to take this Cajun chicken pasta recipe over the top.
- Spicy flavor: Add about ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes while sautéing the chicken. This will make the dish spicy.
- Adjust the Cajun flavor: We prefer an intense flavor so we added 2 tablespoons homemade Cajun seasoning. If you prefer milder flavor add about 1 or 1.5 tablespoon Cajun seasoning.
- Add Veggies: You can add your favorite veggie along with the red bell pepper like - asparagus, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, baby spinach. Add the asparagus, thinly sliced zucchini, broccoli & baby spinach at the end and allow the residual heat to cook them down to perfection. Do not pressure cook these veggies as they would become mushy!
How to make Cajun Chicken Pasta in Instant Pot?
Find the detailed step by step recipe along with measurements + Video at the bottom of the post.
Step #1 Sauté sausage and chicken
- Brown Sausage: Set the instant pot on SAUTE mode set at NORMAL heat. Brown the sliced sausages. Set them aside.
- Sauté seasoned chicken: Sauté the seasoned chicken in the remaining oil until golden around the edges. Set them aside.
Step #2 Deglaze pot
- Sauté aromatics: Sauté the aromatics, bell pepper in the remaining oil. Add Cajun seasoning and sauté for 30 secs.
- Deglaze pot: Add stock and deglaze the pot very well by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will loosen any stuck food particles and prevent the burn error.
Step #3 Pressure cook
- Layer Ingredients: Layer the pasta in a single layer in the instant pot. Layer the sautéed sausages and chicken on top of the pasta. Do not stir or mix. Layer the diced tomatoes on top of the sausages and chicken. DO NOT stir or mix.
- Pressure cook: Pressure cook everything on High for 4 mins followed by a quick pressure release.
Step #4 Make creamy sauce
- Creamy sauce: Mix in softened cream cheese and warm heavy whipping cream into the pasta to form a Cajun flavored creamy pasta sauce. You can add about ¼ or ½ cup grated parmesan cheese if you like. We didn't add any cheese. Serve hot and enjoy!
What goes with Cajun Chicken Pasta?
This Cajun chicken pasta instant pot recipe is a comforting one pot meal all by itself. We love to serve it with a side of steamed veggies like:
- Instant pot steamed broccoli.
- Instant pot beets.
- Instant pot steamed carrots.
- Instant pot green beans no steamer basket.
- A simple side salad.
- Roasted veggies.
- Corn bread.
- Any crusty bread like French Baguette or a sour dough.
Leftovers and Storage
Fridge: You can store this Cajun chicken sausage pasta in an air tight container for up to 5 days in the fridge.
Freezer: You can freeze it for up to 2 months. Use heavy duty freezer safe bags or individual portion size containers to store it. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Note: The pasta always tends to soak up a lot of liquid or moisture when stored in the fridge or frozen. You need to add a few splashes of liquid (water, stock or milk) before reheating the pasta to bring back the creamy consistency.
How to Reheat
Microwave Oven: Add a splash of water or milk and reheat the creamy pasta in a microwave oven safe dish until warm or hot. Serve immediately.
Stovetop: Reheat the cracked chicken pasta in a skillet or a shallow pan with a few splashes milk, stock or liquid over medium high heat until heated through. Stir gently to prevent the pasta from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
More Instant pot pasta recipes you might like
- Instant pot pesto chicken pasta.
- Instant pot salmon pasta.
- Instant pot penne pasta and meatballs.
- Easy instant pot shrimp alfredo.
- Easy instant pot baked ziti.
- Chicken tetrazzini instant pot.
- Instant pot rigatoni and meatballs.
- Velveeta shells and cheese instant pot.
- Instant pot chicken mushroom stroganoff.
- Instant pot chicken fettuccine alfredo with broccoli.
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Instant Pot Cajun Chicken PastaPrint Recipe Pin Rate
Watch Recipe Video
- 8 ounce Penne Pasta (**uncooked. )
- 8 ounce Andouille Sausage (**smoked andouille sausage. You can also use spicy smoked Cajun or Creole sausage. Diced into circles.)
- 1 pound Chicken Breast (**boneless skinless chicken breats diced into ½ inch cubes. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs.)
- 1 cup onion (**yellow onion roughly chopped.)
- ½ tbsp garlic (**minced.)
- ½ cup red bell pepper (**roughly chopped.)
- 15 ounce diced tomatoes (**diced tomatoes with jalapenos from the can or use fire roasted diced tomatoes from the can.)
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil (**extra light or light olive oil.)
- Salt (to taste) (**add according to your own personal taste preference.)
- 2 tbsp Cajun Seasoning (**our homemade salt-free Cajun seasoning is the best.)
- 1 tsp Paprika (**sweet paprika.)
- ½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream (**slightly warmed in the microwave oven.)
- 2 ounce cream cheese (**at room temperature.)
- ½ tbsp Better Than Bouillon (**chicken base.)
- 2 cups Water (**warm water. Stir the better than bouillon in this water to make an instant homemade flavorful stock.)
Saute Sausage and Chicken
- Set the instant pot on Saute mode set at NORMal heat. Add oil, when the oil becomes moderately hot gently release the diced smoked sausage and saute the sausage until both sides turn golden brown. Set them aside once done.
- Coat the diced chicken with 1 tablespoon homemade salt-free cajun seasoning, paprika and a dash of salt. Gently release the seasoned chicken cubes into the instant pot and saute until they turn lightly golden around the edges. Once done set them aside in a separate plate.
- Throw in the chopped onion, bell pepper and garlic into the instant pot and saute until the onion turns soft. Add salt according to your own personal taste preference to quicken the process of sauteing. Add the rest of the 1.5 tbsp Cajun seasoning and saute for 30 seconds. Cancel the SAUTE mode.
Deglaze pot, Layer Pasta
- Add the stock into the pot and deglaze by scraping the sides and the bottom of the pot with the help of a spatula. This will help loosen any stuck food particles and prevent the BURN error. DO NOT rush this step.
- Throw in the penne pasta and spreas them out into a single layer with the help of your spatula. Gently press down the pasta with the help of your spatula so that all the pasta are coated with the liquid. Do not stir or mix. Throw in the sauteed sausage and chicken on top of the pasta. Spread them out into single layer. Do not stir or mix. Add the diced tomatoes on top of the sausage and chicken. Do not stir or mix.
- Secure the lid, seal the valve and PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for just 4 mins. Once the cooking cycle is over the instant pot will begin to beep. Immediately perform a quick pressure release by manually moving the valve from the sealing to the venting position. Open the lid carefully when the metal floating pin on top of the lid drops. Give everything in the pot a good stir and cancel the Pressure cook mode.
Make creamy sauce
- Add the softened cream cheese and the warm heavy whipping cream into the instant pot. Stir well until the cream cheese melts and fuly incorporates to form a creamy sauce. Now, for a rich creamy cheesy Cajun chicken pasta add about ¼ or ½ cups grated parmesan cheese and stir well until the cheese completely melts. We skipped adding parmesan cheese and kept the recipe comratively lighter. Serve the Cajun chicken pasta garnished with chopped green onion and enjoy! Read Notes below for more variations. This post also contains incredible expert tips, ingredient subs and steps photos, just SCROLL UP to view them all.
- Sausage: You can use your favorite smoked sausage like - Andouille, Cajun, Creole or Kielbasa.
- Pasta: Penne, rotini, Fuseli would work well in this recipe. No need to change the cook time.
- Parmesan Cheese: You can add about ¼ or ½ cups grated parm cheese at the end along with the heavy cream to make the sauce even more creamy and cheesy. We did not add any parmesan cheese.
- Pasta consistency: The more the pasta is allowed to sit in the sauce the more it'll suck up the sauce. You have to add splashes of stock, water, milk or cream just before reheating the Cajun pasta to bring back the right creamy saucy consistency.
- Cajun seasoning: Use our homemade salt-free Cajun seasoning for the best flavor. It stores well and tastes amazing! However, if you already have some store bought Cajun seasoning and want to use that up in this recipe than do skip adding any extra salt as store bought Cajun seasoning contains a lot of salt already.