One Skillet Cajun Sausage Pasta with Chicken and Peppers

by Kaitlynn Fenley

This cajun sausage pasta is made with orzo, chicken, and peppers. It’s an easy one-skillet meal perfect for weeknight dinners and meal prepping. This Cajun pasta with sausage recipe takes about 45 minutes to cook. It’s reminiscent of jambalaya but made with orzo pasta instead. It’s an instant crowd-pleaser. This isn’t one of those recipes that claims to be “Cajun” but then lacks flavor. I am Cajun, so if you’re looking for authentic Cajun sausage pasta, then this is the recipe for you.

One Skillet Cajun Sausage Pasta

This is one of my all-time favorite one-skillet meals. It’s reminiscent of jambalaya but made with orzo pasta instead. It’s an instant crowd-pleaser.

Cajun food is near and dear to my heart. I am Cajun, and I adore embracing my culture through food. I highly recommend turning up some Cajun or Zydeco music in the kitchen while cooking this for a lovely experience. There is no better way to enjoy chopping onions and bell peppers than with Cajun music setting the vibe.

Cajun Pasta with Sausage

The star of this dish is the sausage, so be sure to use the highest quality sausage you can find—my favorite to use to green onion chicken sausage from my local butcher, Iverstine’s. I suggest going with natural nitrate-free sausage.

I suggest going with a mild sausage because the other ingredients in the recipe add all the salt and spicy heat you need. Here are some of my favorite sausages to use:

Cajun Sausage Pasta with Chicken and Peppers

To make Cajun pasta, you obviously need good Cajun seasoning. Some Cajun seasoning blends are much hotter than others. Also, some contain salt, and some do not. So, you will need to adjust the amount of seasoning as needed.

Since you are seasoning the chicken with the Cajun spices, you can’t really season to taste. If you’ve never cooked with Cajun spices, start with less, then add more after the meal is cooked if needed.

cajun pasta with sausage and chicken in a white, shallow dutch oven skillet. The dish is made with orzo pasta and topped with a few small leaves of fresh basil.

Here are some of my favorite Cajun seasoning blends you can buy online:

Using Fermented Peppers for Cajun Pasta with Sausage

Another star ingredient in this Cajun pasta with sausage is fermented peppers. Now, depending on the peppers you have that are fermented, you may want to reduce or increase the amount called for.

I used 1/4 a cup of chopped fermented peppers, which was quite spicy. Jon and I love spicy food, so I loved it. The fermented peppers I had on hand were a mix of habanero, serrano, and jalapeno peppers.

Also, how much fermented pepper you should use depends on the Cajun seasoning spice blend you are using. Some Cajun seasonings are much spicier and saltier than others; thus, adjust the fermented peppers as needed.

More Dinner Recipes to Try

Cajun sausage pasta with chicken and peppers; the pasta is orzo and the dish is a golden brown color with pops of green from bell peppers and fermented peppers.
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One Skillet Cajun Sausage Pasta with Chicken and Peppers

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This cajun sausage pasta is made with orzo, chicken, and peppers. It’s an easy one-skillet meal perfect for weeknight dinners and meal prepping. This Cajun pasta with sausage recipe takes about 45 minutes to cook. It’s reminiscent of jambalaya but made with orzo pasta instead. It’s an instant crowd-pleaser. This isn’t one of those recipes that claims to be “Cajun” but then lacks flavor. I am a Cajun, so if you’re looking for authentic Cajun sausage pasta, then this is the recipe for you.

  • Author: Kaitlynn Fenley
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: one-skillet
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Cajun

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3/4 pounds sausage, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Louisiana Cajun seasoning* (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon fermented lemon rind, rinsed and minced (or zest)
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 bell peppers, minced finely
  • 1/4 cup fermented peppers, minced (or to taste, these add heat)
  • 1 red onion, minced
  • 2 cups dry orzo pasta
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, toss together the olive oil, chicken, and cajun seasoning. Marinate in the fridge for one hour. Prep the sausage by slicing it thinly.
  2. Add the sausage to the hot skillet and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes on both sides. Remove the sausage from the skillet and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, cook the chicken over medium-high heat until the chicken is browned all over and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet, leave the heat on.
  4. To the same skillet, there should be fat from the chicken and sausage in the pan still and browned bits stuck to the bottom. add the lemon rind, garlic, bell peppers, fermented peppers and red onion. The browned bits in the bottom should deglaze. Cook until soft, quite browned and slightly sticking to the bottom, 15 minutes.
  5. Add the orzo and stir until coated. Deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons lemon juice mixed with 2 tablespoons water.
  6. Add the water, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes stirring often until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.
  7. Stir the basil, chicken and sausage into the orzo. Allow the chicken to warm through, about 3 minutes.
  8. Season with more cajun seasoning or salt and pepper to taste if necessary.

Notes

  • Some cajun seasoning blends are much hotter than others. Some contain salt, and some do not. Adjust the amount of seasoning as needed.

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Kaitlynn Fenley Author, Educator, Food Microbiologist
Kaitlynn is a food microbiologist and fermentation expert teaching people how to ferment foods and drinks at home.

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