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.


  • 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


  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.


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

Keywords: cajun, pasta, sausage