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Forget the jarred sauces and frozen meals – this blackened chicken alfredo pasta is an easy homemade recipe that will wow the whole family! Not only is this blackened chicken alfredo bursting with flavor, but it’s a total crowd pleaser and a satisfying meal. 

Tender white meat chicken gets a zesty blackened crust from a combination of spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, and garlic powder. It’s served over fettuccine or penne pasta coated in a lusciously creamy alfredo sauce made with fresh parmesan cheese, heavy cream, and a touch of that signature blackening seasoning.

Skillet blackened chicken alfredo pasta recipe.
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This is one of my favorite pasta dinner recipes, modeled after my super popular Cajun Shrimp Pasta. I’ve made my garlic infused Alfredo sauce and homemade pasta so many times that I wanted to take it to the next level with tender bites of blackened chicken using my homemade Cajun seasoning blend

And if you love recipes with a Cajun or Creole flavor, be sure to check out my Seafood Gumbo, Crawfish Étouffée, or Instant Pot Jambalaya.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Pounding the chicken breasts to an even thickness ensures quick, fool-proof cooking time
  • Using a screaming hot skillet creates that signature blackened crust
  • The Cajun spice level can be customized to your taste
  • Infusing the homemade alfredo sauce with blackened seasoning amps up the Cajun notes
  • Using reserved pasta water to thin the sauce creates a luscious, velvety texture

This easy pasta dinner checks all the boxes – it’s packed with protein, has a kick of spice, delivers ultimate cheesy comfort, and is ready in under an hour. The bold flavors and creamy alfredo sauce are sure to have everyone going back for seconds!

How to Make Blackened Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Here’s a quick overview of the cooking process, or scroll down for the full recipe card:

Step 1: Cook pasta in salted boiling water. Be sure to reserve half to one cup of salted pasta water just before you drain the pasta in case you need to thin the sauce.

Step 2: Flatten the chicken. While pasta is cooking, smash or roll the chicken breasts in between two pieces of plastic wrap until they are about 1/2 inch thick.

Side-by-side blackened chicken pasta recipe photos showing pasta being added to boiling water and chicken breasts getting pounded thin.

Step 3: Coat both sides of the chicken breasts in 2 tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning mix.

Step 4: Cook the chicken. In a large sauté or cast iron pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. When oil is super hot, add the seasoned chicken breast. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until browned. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and loosely tent with foil.

Side-by-side blackened chicken pasta recipe photos showing Cajun seasoning coating chicken breasts and then them cooking in a pan.

Step 5: Add butter and garlic to the pan and reduce heat to low. Allow to cook until the butter is infused with the garlic, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream, stir, and allow to come to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.

Step 6: Finish sauce. After the cream sauce has simmered, remove the pan from the heat and add in the finely grated parmesan cheese and teaspoon of Cajun seasoning.

Side-by-side blackened chicken pasta recipe photos showing melted butter and garlic in a pan and then an alfredo sauce with Cajun seasoning.

Step 7: Add the cooked and drained pasta to the sauce.

Step 8: Stir to combine and thin with reserved pasta water, if needed.

Side-by-side blackened chicken pasta recipe photos showing cooked pasta being added to a cream sauce and then the pasta has been coated in the sauce.

Add the sliced chicken along with any juices that may have accumulated on plate. Serve and enjoy!

Pro Tips for Perfect Blackened Chicken Alfredo

  • Bring chicken to room temp before cooking for quickest, most even results.
  • Use olive oil or butter to sear the chicken and get the blackened, crispy exterior.
  • Customize the heat level with more or less cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes.
  • In order to get the parmesan to melt instantly, grate it from a block using a microplane.
  • You can even start with rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken tenders for an ultra-quick shortcut. 
  • No matter which way you make it, this blackened chicken alfredo is restaurant quality yet totally homemade and budget-friendly. It’s sure to become a new comfort food favorite!

How to Reheat Leftovers

Gently rewarm the pasta and sauce together on the stovetop in a covered pan over low heat. 

You can also reheat in the microwave in one minute increments at 50% power. 

You always want to reheat pasta recipes with cream sauces with a “low and slow” process.

Southern blackened chicken parmesan pasta recipe.

FAQs

How spicy is this dish?

That’s up to you! Adjust the amount of cayenne and black pepper to taste. Start with less if you prefer a milder heat.

What is blackening seasoning?

Blackening seasoning is a spicy Cajun/Creole blend usually containing paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, oregano, and thyme. It’s used to create a blackened crust.

Can I use a different pasta shape?

Absolutely! Fettuccine, linguine, or penne all work great with this creamy alfredo sauce. Use your favorite.

What if my sauce is too thick?

Easily thin it with a splash of the reserved pasta cooking water or milk until it reaches your desired consistency.

Can this be made ahead?

It’s best freshly made, but you can prep the components ahead. Cook the sauce and pasta separately and reheat gently when ready to serve.

What sides go well with it?

Garlic bread, a fresh salad, or roasted veggies would all pair nicely on the side.

Can I use a different protein?

You can substitute the chicken with shrimp, scallops, steak, pork tenderloin, or chicken thighs.

How do I store leftovers?

Let cool completely then store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

Blackened chicken alfredo pasta recipe.

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Blackened Chicken Alfredo Pasta

Prep15 minutes
Cook20 minutes
Total35 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Tender chicken gets a zesty blackened crust and is served over creamy fettuccine alfredo for the ultimate restaurant-quality pasta night at home.

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 

To cook the pasta:

To cook the chicken:

  • 2 small boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tablespoons Cajun seasoning see note below
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

Alfredo Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese finely grated, see note below
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning see note below
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Instructions 

  • Cook 8 ounces pasta in salted boiling water. Be sure to reserve half to one cup of salted pasta water just before you drain the pasta in case you need to thin the sauce.
  • While pasta is cooking, smash or roll the chicken breasts in between two pieces of plastic wrap until they are about 1/2 inch thick. Coat both sides of the chicken breasts in 2 tablespoons of the Cajun seasoning mix.
  • In a large sauté or cast iron pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. When oil is super hot, add the seasoned chicken breast. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes or until browned. Flip and cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and loosely tent with foil.
  • Add butter and garlic to the pan and reduce heat to low. Allow to cook until the butter is infused with the garlic, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream, stir, and allow to come to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • While the cream mixture is simmering, slice the chicken into thin strips or small bites.
  • After the cream sauce has simmered, remove the pan from the heat and add in the finely grated parmesan cheese and teaspoon of Cajun seasoning. Add the cooked and drained pasta. Stir to combine and thin with reserved pasta water, if needed.
  • Add the sliced chicken along with any juices that may have accumulated on plate. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Cajun seasoning blend: Highly recommended you make my Cajun seasoning blend as a store bought version might be too salty. 
  • Chicken breasts: Pound or roll the chicken breast to create a thin, even thickness but also to break down the tissue. This makes the cooking process faster but also makes the meat fork tender. Anytime you’re cooking meat, the best practice is to allow it to come to room temperature before cooking. So, if time allows, let your chicken sit at room temperature for about an hour before making this recipe.
  • Chicken Cooking tip: Ensure the oil is hot in the pan before you add the chicken. Any time you’re trying to get a good sear on meat, you have to ensure the oil is hot enough to seal the outside of the meat with a nice crispy outer layer without burning it. This is a skill every home cook should learn to perfect.
  • Resting time: As with most meats, I highly recommend allowing the meat to rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices in the chicken to redistribute. Also, any juices that accumulate on the plate can be added back to the final pasta dish.
  • Pasta cooking tip: Whenever you add pasta to a dish where you will continue to cook, or even warm, it in a sauce, you want to ensure your pasta is cooked al dente as it will continue to cook once added to the sauce. 
  • Parmesan cheese: In order for the cheese to melt instantly in the sauce, you must grate it from a block using a microplane or you must finely mince pre-grated cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 952kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 66g, Saturated Fat: 37g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 21g, Trans Fat: 0.5g, Cholesterol: 201mg, Sodium: 2732mg, Potassium: 573mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 4040IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 685mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

This recipe was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated with helpful information, ingredient and process photos, as well as recipe tips. Don’t worry – the recipe hasn’t changed!

Hi! I’m Krissy.

I love to create the BEST versions of your favorite recipes. If you love to cook, love to eat, or just have a deep appreciation for good food, you're in the right place! Stick around... I have hundreds of recipes for you to make.

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35 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Very easy to make. Didn’t make a single adjustment but used store blackening. My son said it was his favorite meal I’ve ever made!

  2. Wow is this simple and Yummy! Thanks Krissy. My family loved this dinner. Absolute Fantastic!!!!

    Sincerely,
    Melissa B

    1. 5 stars
      Substituted shrimp for chicken, tossed in some mushrooms, and it was great. Will be faithful to the chicken recipe later this week. Thank you for the recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe sounds and looks amazing and I will be trying it!!! Already copied it along with your others!! Thanx soooo much 4 sharing!!☺

  4. This recipe appears to be broken. There is no ingredient list or instructions. I really want to try this though. Can you please fix it?

      1. This is a tasty meal! I substituted gluten-free penne, but otherwise stayed true. I have so much and wonder if I can freeze leftovers?

        1. Hey! Sorry I’m late to reply. You should have texted me. 🙂 The leftovers would totally freeze. You just have to make sure you fully thaw before reheating, and then reheat low and slow so as to not ruin the alfredo sauce.