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Spicy, creamy vegan cajun pasta made in just one pot with 8 simple ingredients.
Vegan Cajun Pasta
One-pot meals are my absolute favorite thing in life right now. They are incredibly easy, foolproof, and truly the perfect dinner to make after a long day of work and/or parenthood.
I am determined to come up with as many one-pot pasta dishes as possible...and this cajun "chicken" pasta is my newest creation! It's creamy, spicy, super flavorful, and so delicious.
This recipe calls for simple ingredients like onions, cajun seasoning, tomato paste, cream cheese, penne, and vegan chicken.
How to Make Creamy Cajun Pasta in One Pot
Grab a big pot or a pan - one that has a lid and is large enough to cook an entire pound of pasta.
Saute the diced onions in vegan butter (or oil) for a couple of minutes, then add in the vegan chicken.
Once the chicken is browned, mix in the cajun seasoning and cook for another minute. I love sauteeing spices in oil like this as it really brings the flavor out!
Next, add in the pasta and vegetable stock. Bring the pot to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook until the pasta is al dente. If the pasta has soaked up all of the stock and is still not tender, add in a little more liquid.
Once the pasta is ready, it's time to stir in the tomato paste and cream cheese. I love the Go Veggie cream cheese, or this homemade vegan cream cheese! Feel free to add some additional vegetable stock if the sauce is not saucy enough! Add salt if needed.
Top with some green onions and vegan parmesan if you're feeling fancy.
And bam, that's it, dinner is served. All in all, this recipe takes 20-25 minutes to whip up!
Let's Talk: Vegan Chicken
To make this recipe a true one-pot meal, I decided it needed some vegan protein. Since traditional cajun pasta is usually made with chicken, we're going that route here, as well.
I have found a couple of types of vegan chicken I like: Gardein Chick'n Strips and Morningstar Chik'n Strips. Both of these brown well and neither break down into a mushy mess when simmering. Which is exactly what we need in this recipe! The Gardein strips are larger, so I cut them in half after browning.
If you're not into "faux meat", I recommend using chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) instead. Add them into the recipe the same time you would as the chicken.
- To make this recipe gluten-free, use your favorite gluten-free pasta. The Gardein Chicken Scallopini is a great vegan gluten-free "chicken".
- If you want to add in some veggies, go ahead! This recipe would be delicious with broccoli and/or cauliflower. Cut them into florets, and then add them in when the pasta is cooked about halfway.
- If you cannot find cajun seasoning at the store, here is a homemade version!
Storage & Reheating
Not only is this vegan cajun pasta a quick & easy dinner recipe, but it is also great for meal prepping. I recommend making it extra saucy by adding ¼-1/2 cup of additional veggie stock since the pasta will soak up a lot of the liquid in the fridge.
Store any leftovers or meal prepped pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up 4 days. To reheat, simply pop it in the microwave for a minute or two.
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One-Pot Vegan Creamy Cajun Pasta
- 16 oz penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter - or oil
- ½ yellow onion - diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
- 4 cups vegetable stock - or broth
- 4 oz vegan cream cheese
- 10 oz vegan chicken strips
- In a large pan or pot, melt the vegan butter on medium heat. Saute the onions for 2-3 minutes, then add in the vegan chicken strips and cook until browned on both sides (about 6-8 minutes.)
- Stir in the cajun seasoning and cook for another minute. This really brings out the flavors!
- Pour in the pasta and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil on high heat, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and let simmer for about 11-13 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente.
- Turn the heat off. Mix in the tomato paste and cream cheese. Stir in additional vegetable stock if needed.
- Serve warm! Top with green onions and vegan parmesan if desired.