Chili’s Copycat Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe

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I love Chili's, but going out to eat can be difficult with kids!  This pasta tastes just like the real thing and it is so easy to make in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Chili's Copycat Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe:
(makes 4 servings)
8 ounces penne pasta, cooked and drained
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 teaspoons cajun seasoning
4 Tablespoons butter
3 cups half and half
1/2 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
Cook penne pasta according to directions on the box.  Drain pasta and set aside.  Place chicken breasts in a resealable plastic bag and sprinkle in cajun seasoning.  Reseal bag and shake thoroughly until chicken is evenly coated.  In a large skillet, saute chicken breasts in 2 Tablespoons of butter, over medium heat, turning occasionally until cooked through.  In a separate skillet, combine half and half, 2 Tablespoons butter, lemon pepper, salt, black pepper and garlic powder over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat when cream mixture starts to bubble.  Pour cream sauce over cooked noodles.  Slice chicken breasts into strips.  Serve pasta on serving plates, top with chicken breast strips, and sprinkle on diced tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
(Recipe adapted from
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  1. Ann Cser says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious!!! Although, the sauce was more like soup than a pasta sauce. I will need to use something to thicken it up a bit.

    • Sarah says:

      I agree. It was tasty, but the sauce was literally like water. My boyfriend was excited for this and was quite disappointed in the sauce. I’d make it again, only if I could thicken it up…

        • Corey says:

          To thicken the sauce use heavy cream instead of half&half and simmer it over roughly medium heat for a while while stirring. That seems to work for me.

    • Carly says:

      I had the same problem. You need to melt the butter first, then sprinkle in a few tablespoons of flour and whisk it till it’s bubbly. Then slowly add the milk, about a half a cup at a time, and keep whisking until it turns into a thick creamy sauce.

  2. Kimbumberly says:

    My husband made this a couple weeks ago and it is by far my favorite meal ever. He is making it again tonight and I cannot wait. He had no problems with the sauce…it was perfect.

  3. Kristin says:

    I made this tonight for dinner. The sauce was so runny that it was like eating soup. There was also far too much sauce for the amount of pasta. Perhaps you should make a roue first by mixing in a few tablespoons of flour? Other than that problem, the meal itself was DELICIOUS. I’m definitely going to be making this one again! I will just have to experiment with the sauce to see what I can do about making it thicker.

    • Mercedes says:

      Mine was always i very watery! I added some flour and i also added some shredded Parmesan cheese to the sauce and when it melted it helped thicken! Also very tasty!

  4. Jessica says:

    absolutly delisious dish i would just recomend adding flour sauce is thin i added a little at a time till i got the consistance i liked :)

  5. Kaitlan says:

    Just made this for dinner and it was amazinnng! I did make a small adjustment that may help those who are saything there is too much sauce or it wasnt thick enough… I used 16oz of heavy whipping cream inatead of half and half. And then after i mixed it with the pasta and chicken, I turned in the shredded parm. PERFECT. Thanks for sharing! Love the recipe!

  6. Amber says:

    Made this tonight, and have to say pretty disappointed in how the sauce turned out :/ I wish I would have read the comments BEFORE I made it because it has great flavor, but I ended up straining out some of the sauce because it was more like noodles, chicken, and soup. Definitely going to give it a 2nd try sometime. Maybe using the whipping cream since I’m gluten free :) I haven’t dabbled with flour thickening since I had to change my diet.

  7. Jasmine J says:

    Just finished making this for my boyfriend and I. We were so excited to finally make it but unfortunately the “sauce”, like others said, was far too runny. What I did to fix this since I didn’t have flour for a roux was put the sauce in the cooked noodles and heat until the sauce was bubbling in the bottom, stirring constantly. The noodles will absorb some of the sauce and help thicken it. I also used the entire box of penne however it’s not necessary if you follow my instructions for thickening. After this the sauce was perfect! Hope this helps!!!! :)

  8. Paige says:

    This pasta was awesome! I accidentally used Mrs Dash instead of lemon pepper (both yellow tops, similar color – oops) but flavor turned out perfect, I think I will make it that way again. My only complaint is the consistency of the sauce was literally like water. Next time I will add some flour or cheese to thicken up but definitely will make again. Thank you.

  9. Cheri says:

    This dish was great, although I had a problem with thin sauce, too. I dissolved about two teaspoons of corn starch in 1/4 cup of water and added to the sauce. Also added about 1/8 cup of parmesan. It took a lot of patience and stirring, but it was worth the effort.

  10. Michelle says:

    Just mix in a tbsp of flour thats been stirred into a couple tbsp of water, add more parmesan and its perfect sauce

  11. Loren says:

    Love this dish and so does the picky husband. A little hint about the sauce: The first time I made it I accidentally picked up the 16 oz half and half and it turned out perfect (though I did add a little splash of extra milk when I realized was short of 3 cups). I’m going to start getting the smaller half and half from now on. And like some if the other ladies said I also add some parmesean to the sauce.

  12. Theresa says:

    I made this last night and noticed that the sauce wasn’t getting thick (didn’t see the other comments until this morning). I kept reading the recipe over and over thinking I missed something :) . I finally added some of the shredded parmesan to the sauce (just eyeballed the amount) and then it thickened up! It came out DELICIOUS!!!!

  13. Maria says:

    The sauce is great used the butter and made a rue before adding the half and half. So yummy! I also didn’t have cajun seasoning so I made one. It came out so yummy! Me and my bf loved it!!

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