One pot meals are always a big hit for moms, as they mean less washing up at the end of the meal! And in our house, pasta is always a universal favorite for kids and adults alike. This cajun-inspired dish can be jazzed up with more or less spice and seasoning, depending on who’s eating it. And you can add any meat you like, from chicken to andouille sausage to crawfish! But the base recipe is simple enough to prepare, and it always seems to get attention.
I always suggest doing your veggie prep first, as it makes the whole process much simpler and keeps you from going crazy at the end. Since pasta doesn’t take very long to cook properly, you can really overcook it if you take too long with the slicing and dicing. I tend to always have pre-prepared veggies in my fridge so it makes the whole process much easier. But if you’re doing it from scratch, you need to make sure your pasta is ready for when the rest of the sauce and veggies are.
I always begin with a bit of olive oil heated in a large skillet, and I add in the peppers and a small amount of cajun seasoning, cooking over medium-high heat for several minutes until the peppers are nicely softened. I then add in the spinach, and stir it around until it is wilted.
Once the veggies are perfect, I add in my cream cheese, milk and the rest of my cajun seasoning, allowing the sauce to melt and thicken before I add in my cooked pasta.
I recommend allowing the pasta to cook for a final few minutes in the sauce to allow it to be fully coated and delicious.
The end result is nothing short of delicious. I sometimes add some breadcrumbs and/or parmesan on top and broil it in the oven for a minute or two for some extra pizzazz. But it’s just delicious on its own.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ⅓ cup sliced red pepper
- ⅓ cup sliced yellow pepper
- ⅓ cup sliced green pepper
- 1 cup baby spinach leaves
- 1 block softened cream cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 3 cups cooked penne pasta
- 2-4 tsp cajun seasoning - depending on your own preference
- In a large skillet, stir together olive oil, 1 tsp cajun seasoning, and peppers. Cook over medium-high, stirring frequently, for 7-8 minutes until they begin to soften.
- Add in spinach, and cook another 2-3 minutes until spinach is wilted.
- Stir in cream cheese, milk, and any remaining cajun seasoning, then let sit for cheese to start melting. Continue stirring, and once you have a thick, creamy sauce that bubbles slightly, turn heat down to medium.
- Add in noodles, stir to coat completely, and cook for a final 2-3 minutes.
- Serve warm.
This is a great base recipe, but you can really make it great by adding your favorite meats, such as chicken, andouille sausage or even crawfish or shrimp! Add some parmesan, green onions, breadcrumbs or other toppings and broil in the oven for a pretty alternative.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 258 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 5g Cholesterol: 12mg Sodium: 2244mg Carbohydrates: 37g Fiber: 4g Sugar: 2g Protein: 10g