Creamy Cajun Chicken "Pasta" | Whole30


Some of my favorite Sundays are for dreaming up new recipes, binge-watching Pretty Little Liars educational shows on Netflix, and getting out of my pj's around noon to get in some sort of movement for the day.

Luckily, my TV is close is enough to my kitchen- and I was able to keep up with my show while turning this "Creamy Cajun Chicken" deliciousness into a reality!


So, here it is... the result of my inner fat kid always thinking and dreaming up something new and delicious to eat.  Without ruining my Whole30 or feeling yucky afterward.

I used my "Paleo Chicken Alfredo 'Pasta'" as inspiration for this dish-- especially for the sauce.  I love that creaminess with the spaghetti squash!  The Cajun chicken part was something I've been hoping to create for awhile, and I'm so glad I did.  The seasoning came out just right-- smokey, "herby", and full of bold flavor, with a mild heat.  Enough to spice up the sauce AND all of that squash perfectly.


I hope you enjoy this as much as I did (I may or may not have eaten it out of the dish while taking pictures).  & Don't forget to check out my "notes" section below- with tips to make this even easier, and a few ideas for making it "your own".

Enjoy!



Makes 6 hearty servings.
Ingredients:
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil or ghee
  • 1 to 2 lbs chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces*
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning blend*
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced*
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced*
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth or water
  • 1 tsp parsley flakes (or a handful of fresh parsley), chopped

Cajun Seasoning Blend:
  • 2 tsp each:  garlic powder, paprika
  • 1 tsp each:  salt, black pepper, onion powder, cayenne, dried oregano, dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Directions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.  Slice the spaghetti squash in half across the width, and scoop out the seeds.  Place the squash, open sides face down, on a lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 40 minutes, or until tender enough to scrape out with a fork.
  2. For the sauce, blend raw cashews, coconut milk, broth,  and 1/2 the Cajun spice in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Set this aside.
  3. While the squash bakes, season the chopped chicken with the other 1/2 of the Cajun spice.  Heat the olive oil or ghee in a large skillet over medium, and cook the chicken until lightly browned and cooked through.
  4. Add the bell peppers, onion, garlic, and mushrooms to the pan, and sauté until the veggies are softened.  Stir in the sauce, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  5. Once the squash is done baking, use a large fork to scrape out your “pasta” and transfer it into a large bowl or serving dish.  Pour the chicken/veggie mix over top, and stir to combine everything.  Give it a final taste & add salt and pepper if needed.  Top with parsley for a little green.
  6. Serve hot!

*Notes:
  • I used half chicken breast tenders (easier to cut than whole breasts) and half chicken thighs.  You could easily swap the meats to include chicken sausage, shrimp, or a mix of them all.
  • Make a homemade Cajun seasoning blend with my easy recipe, and save the extra for mixing into scrambles or seasoning your favorite dishes.  You can also use whatever store bought version you have on hand.  Just double check the ingredients if you're making this on the Whole30.
  • For the sliced bell peppers, I swapped a bag of frozen pre-sliced bell peppers from Trader Joe's.  Saved me an extra step!  :)
  • Feel free to change this up-- try adding diced tomatoes, chopped bacon, hot sauce, or chopped greens.  You could also omit the spaghetti squash and serve the Creamy Cajun Chicken over cauliflower rice or baked sweet potato.

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6 comments:

Christena C. said...

Hey Jessie - I'm wondering how many people this recipe serves approximately. I'd like to make it for a few people I'm having over. Thanks!

Jessie B said...

Great question! I would say about 6 servings. I hope you enjoy it!

Cheryl Putman said...

Jessie, what would you say to someone who is thinking of cooking a spaghetti squash for the first time and is terrified?? The first and last time I tried to rice cauliflower was a wildly frustrating disaster! I had little bits of cauliflower all over my kitchen and me. It was in all over my clothes, under my fingernails, in my hair...I think I even found some in my ears!! I just buy it out of the freezer section at Publix now. This experience has made me afraid to try stuff that all the healthy folk seem to do with ease. I did make zoodles the other day after having my spiralizer, still in the box, for a couple of years, and they were incredible! So, I'm thinking of venturing out there with the spaghetti squash so I can make this recipe. Tips? Suggestions??

Jessie B said...

Hi Cheryl! I totally understand, I felt the same way! Thankfully, frozen pre-rice cauliflower has been invented & is pretty easy to find-that makes like so much easier. For spaghetti squash, I would go into it knowing that the hardest part is often slicing through your squash! This all changed for me by using the right knife-- mine is really sharp and serrated (like a large meat carving or bread knife). Cutting the squash in half "hamburger style" instead of "hot dog style" (across it's width) has been a game changer too. So much easier to cut through & the strands of "spaghetti" come out longer.

Maybe watch a few YouTube videos before you go for it. But in the end, it's really worth it!! Good luck!

Kayla B. said...

This was the most amazing thing I've eaten in a while. Sooooo yummy. Thank you!

Jessie B said...

Kayla~ Comments like yours are the reason I love sharing recipes! SO happy you liked it!!