HomeDinnerCreamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup Recipe

Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup Recipe

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Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup Recipe

Introduction to Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup

Comfort food at its finest, Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup is a hearty, flavorful dish that combines the best of both worlds: the spice of Cajun cuisine and the creaminess of Italian pasta dishes. This soup is perfect for those chilly nights when you need something warm and satisfying. Follow this guide to create a delicious, soul-soothing meal that will impress your family and friends.

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Ingredients Needed

To make this rich and flavorful soup, gather the following ingredients:

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Main Ingredients

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta (penne, rotini, or similar)
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)

Seasonings and Spices

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preparing the Chicken

Seasoning the Chicken

Start by cutting the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. In a bowl, toss the chicken with 2 tablespoons of Cajun seasoning until evenly coated. This step ensures that each piece is packed with flavor.

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Cooking the Chicken

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken pieces and cook until browned and fully cooked, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and set it aside.

Sautéing the Vegetables

Onions and Garlic

In the same pot, add a little more olive oil if needed. Add the diced onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Then, add the minced garlic and cook for another minute, until fragrant.

Bell Peppers

Add the diced red and yellow bell peppers to the pot. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the peppers begin to soften. This adds a nice texture and sweetness to the soup.

Building the Soup Base

Adding Tomatoes and Broth

Pour in the can of diced tomatoes, including the juice, and the chicken broth. Stir well to combine the ingredients.

Seasoning the Soup

Add 1 teaspoon each of dried oregano and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir the mixture and bring it to a simmer.

Incorporating Cream and Parmesan

Adding Cream

Reduce the heat to low and slowly stir in the heavy cream. This will give the soup its creamy texture and rich flavor.

Adding Parmesan

Gradually add the grated Parmesan cheese, stirring constantly to ensure it melts smoothly into the soup. The Parmesan adds a wonderful depth of flavor and a slight saltiness that complements the Cajun spices.

Cooking the Pasta

Choosing the Right Pasta

Select a short pasta like penne, rotini, or similar shapes. These types hold up well in the soup and are easy to eat with a spoon.

Cooking the Pasta in the Soup

Stir the uncooked pasta into the soup. Increase the heat to bring the soup back to a simmer. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, usually about 10-12 minutes, until al dente. The pasta will absorb the flavors of the soup as it cooks.

Final Assembly and Simmering

Combining Chicken with Soup

Once the pasta is almost cooked, add the cooked chicken back into the pot. Stir to combine all the ingredients.

Final Simmering

Let the soup simmer for a few more minutes to ensure everything is heated through and the flavors meld together.

Serving Suggestions

Garnishing the Soup

Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with freshly chopped parsley. This adds a pop of color and a fresh, herby flavor.

Suggested Sides

Serve the soup with crusty bread or garlic bread to soak up the delicious broth. A simple green salad with a tangy vinaigrette also pairs well to balance the richness of the soup.

Variations and Customizations

Protein Alternatives

You can substitute the chicken with shrimp or sausage for a different take on the dish. Adjust the cooking time accordingly, as shrimp cooks faster and sausage may need a bit longer to ensure it’s fully cooked.

Vegetable Additions

Feel free to add other vegetables such as spinach, kale, or mushrooms. These additions can enhance the nutritional value and add more texture to the soup.

Tips for Success

Preventing Curdling

When adding the heavy cream, make sure the soup is not boiling to prevent the cream from curdling. Stirring the cream in slowly while the soup is at a lower temperature helps maintain a smooth consistency.

Ensuring Perfect Pasta Texture

Cook the pasta just until al dente to avoid it becoming too soft. The pasta will continue to absorb liquid even after the soup is done cooking, so it’s best to slightly undercook it if you plan to store leftovers.

Health Benefits of Ingredients Used

Chicken

A great source of lean protein, essential for muscle repair and growth.

Bell Peppers

High in vitamins A and C, which support immune function and skin health.

Tomatoes

Packed with antioxidants like lycopene, beneficial for heart health.

Parmesan Cheese

Provides calcium and protein, supporting bone health.

Herbs and Spices

Oregano and thyme offer anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.

Conclusion

Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup is a delightful and comforting dish that brings together the spicy flavors of Cajun cuisine and the creamy richness of Italian cooking. This recipe is versatile and can be customized to suit your taste preferences. By following the steps and tips provided in this article, you’ll be able to create a delicious, hearty meal that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds. Enjoy making and sharing this wonderful soup with your loved ones!

FAQs

1. Can I make this soup ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the soup ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove, adding a little extra broth or cream if needed.

2. Can I freeze Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup?

Freezing this soup is possible, but the texture of the cream and pasta might change upon thawing. If you plan to freeze it, consider cooking the pasta separately and adding it when reheating.

3. What can I use instead of heavy cream?

For a lighter version, you can substitute heavy cream with half-and-half or whole milk. Keep in mind that the soup will be less creamy.

4. How can I make this recipe gluten-free?

Use gluten-free pasta and ensure that your Cajun seasoning and chicken broth are gluten-free.

5. What type of pasta works best in this soup?

Short pasta shapes like penne, rotini, or elbow macaroni work well in this soup, as they hold up nicely in the creamy broth and are easy to eat with a spoon.

By following this guide, you’ll be able to create a delicious and comforting Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup that will surely become a favorite in your household. Enjoy!

Source: closetcooking.com

Yield: 6

Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup Recipe

Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup Recipe

Comfort food at its finest, Creamy Parmesan Cajun Chicken Pasta Soup is a hearty, flavorful dish that combines the best of both worlds: the spice of Cajun cuisine and the creaminess of Italian pasta dishes. This soup is perfect for those chilly nights when you need something warm and satisfying. Follow this guide to create a delicious, soul-soothing meal that will impress your family and friends.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 pound boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce (gluten-free for gluten-free)
  • 8 ounces of pasta (such as ditalini or shells) (gluten-free forgluten-free)
  • 1/2 cup heavy/whipping cream (optional)
  • 1/3 cup parmigiano reggiano (parmesan cheese), grated
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • cayenne, salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add the chicken, seasoned with the cajun seasoning, and cook until golden brown, about 2-4 minutes per side, before setting aside.
  2. Melt the butter in the same saucepan before adding the onion, celery and bell pepper and cooking until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, thyme, and cajun seasoning, and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the broth, chicken, diced tomatoes, worcestershire sauce, and pasta, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the pasta is al-dente tender, about 7 minutes.
  5. Remove the chicken, slice or shred it, and return it to the pot.
  6. Turn off the heat, add the cream and parmesan, mix and let the cheese melt into the broth.
  7. Add the lemon juice, parsley and green onions, and season with cayenne, salt and pepper to taste before enjoying!
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