One Pot Creamy Cajun Sausage & Veggie Pasta

An easy one pot creamy cajun sausage and veggie pasta made healthier and a little lighter! via chelseasmessyapron.comAn easy one pot creamy cajun sausage and veggie pasta made healthier and a little lighter! via chelseasmessyapron.com

An easy one pot creamy cajun sausage and veggie pasta made healthier and a little lighter!

ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Via chelseasmessyapron.com

ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Via chelseasmessyapron.com

The weekend calls for easy dinners AND creamy pasta dishes, right?! Well, this dish is both — a super simple and a creamy carb-filled dinner. The good news is, though, this dish is healthier and lighter than your typical cream-filled pasta dinners.

If I’m going to have a creamy pasta I want it to be filled with flavor and actually taste creamy, so you can trust me when I say this recipe is not sacrificing at all in the flavor department. Although there are quite a few healthier swaps, I think you’ll be amazed how close it tastes to a creamy pasta dish that is 2 or 3 times the calories that this dish is.ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Recipe via chelseasmessyapron.com

ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Recipe via chelseasmessyapron.com

While this dish still has more calories than, say, a cream-less pasta dish would have, the cream part is made a lot lighter and healthier. Instead of butter, this recipe uses olive oil (healthy, good-for-you fats) and instead of using a heavy cream, we use low-fat milk. 1% milk verses heavy cream is a huge calorie savings. AND, instead of using all milk as the cream base, you’ll use quite a bit of chicken broth which is very low in calories.

As far as cheese goes, you’ll use low-fat cream cheese (or neufchâtel cheese) and less Parmesan cheese than a typical creamy alfredo. But by using the cream cheese and Parmesan (even if it’s less than a typical alfredo) you’ll still get that amazing “white cream sauce” flavor. The spices also add a lot of depth to the cream sauce without changing the calories.

ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

And, of course, I can’t forget to mention all of the veggies that get “snuck” into this dish making it a healthier option. Onion, garlic, bell peppers, and mushroom all add a lot of flavor to the dish but also get you a good serving of veggies in.

For the sausage, you can use whatever you like best, but if you’re trying to stick to lighter/healthier options, use a skinless turkey sausage. I LOVE turkey sausage — it’s seriously tasty and also so much better for you.

ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Recipe chelseasmessyapron.com

ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Recipe chelseasmessyapron.com
Now that we’ve talked ingredients, let’s talk about the method of the recipe. There are really two different ways you can make this meal.

If you’re wanting a one pot dish with more veggies + sausage to pasta ratio then follow the recipe and video.

However, if you want this dish made a little bit faster and to have more volume (more pasta to veggie/sausage ratio), this recipe ALSO works super well as a two pot dish. You’ll make it all the same, but cook the pasta in a separate pot. The extra cream base that would have gotten absorbed into the dry pasta noodles instead becomes enough of a cream base to generously coat all of the additional pasta. The reason this way is faster is the pasta can cook WHILE you cook the veggies and sausage instead of after.

This second method is also good if you’re not a fan of cooking pasta outside of boiling water.

It’s totally up to you how you want to make this dish — we’ve made it both ways several times and love either way 🙂

EASY ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

EASY ONE POT Creamy cajun sausage pasta and veggies made healthier for you! Recipe from chelseasmessyapron.com

 

 

 

One Pot Creamy Cajun Sausage & Veggie Pasta

An easy one pot creamy cajun sausage and veggie pasta made healthier and a little lighter!

Course: Dinner

Cuisine: American

Servings: 6 servings

Calories: 504 kcal

Author: Chelsea

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup + 2-3 tablespoons olive oil separated
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 bell peppers 1 red and 1 green
  • 1 container (8 ounces) white sliced mushrooms
  • 1 package (13 ounces) Skinless Turkey Sausage
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cups 1% milk (2% or whole will work, but not skim)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2-4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 ounces cream cheese reduced-fat or regular
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta*
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • Optional: fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Grab a large NONSTICK (must be nonstick and at least 12 inches for this dish to work properly) skillet and place over medium high heat.

  2. Prep the veggies: dice the onion, mince garlic, remove the stems & seeds and then thinly slice the bell peppers. Slice the Sausage into coins. *SEE NOTE*

  3. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, a diced yellow onion, and the minced garlic to the skillet. Stir for 1-2 minutes. Add in the bell peppers, mushrooms, and sausage. Cook stirring frequently until the veggies are tender and sausage is browned, about 7-8 minutes.

  4. Remove this mixture to a plate or bowl.

  5. In the same pan, add in the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and the flour. Briskly whisk until a dough forms. Cook for 1 minute. Add in the chicken broth and milk whisking constantly. Add in the cajun seasoning (to taste and spice preference; not all cajun seasonings are the same heat), oregano, salt & pepper (to taste), and cream cheese. Whisk until smooth.

  6. Bring the mixture to a boil and then pour in the uncooked pasta. Stir to coat. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 12-14 minutes, stirring occasionally, and if needed add in an extra 1/4-1/2 cup chicken broth or milk.

  7. Once the pasta is al dente, add back the veggie + sausage mixture, the parmesan cheese, and if desired, fresh parsley. Stir and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

*Alternatively use 1 (16 ounce) box of pasta *NOTE: if you want this dish done faster and to produce a larger quantity (and don’t mind using 2 pots), boil the pasta separately and drain. Make everything else as directed and toss the cooked pasta with the veggies + sausage and cream sauce.

 

More One Pot Dinner Recipes:

One Pot Healthy Sausage Parmesan Pasta

One Pot Tortellini and Spinach Sausage Dish

Easy One Skillet Chicken Enchilada Pasta

One Skillet White Bean Sausage Gnocchi