This Mini Meatball Cajun Pasta takes simple homemade chicken meatballs turned into a one pot meal! This comfort food dinner recipe is ready in 30 minutes!
This simple one pot meal turns easy chicken meatball pasta into a dish that will ignite your taste buds and please the entire family. Pasta makes its way to our dinner table at least once a week. Pasta itself is quick, easy and simple to make - not to mention cheap and filling. Some of our family favorites are a one pot Asian Ground Chicken Noodles and this tasty Cajun Shrimp Pasta. This Cajun Chicken Meatball Pasta is a bit of a morph between the two - the ease of a one pot pasta dinner with the delicious cajun spice.
This meatball pasta starts with homemade chicken meatballs. I form mini meatballs as I love to have a bit of meatball and pasta in every bite - plus they cook quicker and are less likely to be over-cooked. If you’re serving meatball pasta to kids, I think mini meatballs are the way to go as they’re just the perfect size. My favorite part of this Cajun Chicken Meatball Pasta is that there’s no need to cook the pasta separately - you prepare it in the chicken broth as part of the recipe. This not only infuses the pasta with flavor but provides a flavor base for the entire dish!
Recipe Tips and Notes:
- When mixing the chicken meatballs, you have a bit of an option on how spicy you want to make them. If you’re a fan of spice, add in cayenne pepper. I recommend 1 teaspoon. However, if you’re not a fan of spice or will be serving to little ones, you can omit the pepper completely and still retain the flavor of the dish with the cajun seasoning.
- For tender meatballs, be sure to combine all of the ingredients well but avoid over-mixing.
- Some cajun seasonings can be spicy, so choose one based on your preferences. I happen to love the Slap Ya Mama or Tony Chachere brand, and both are super easy to find in the spice aisle!
- You can use pork, beef or turkey meatballs as well but I think chicken suits the recipe best.
- I like to serve this one pot cajun pasta with sliced sourdough bread. I also find that it pairs nicely with a bright, green side salad or Roasted Green Beans to get a nice side of veggies in too!
Mini Meatball Cajun Pasta
- 16 Ounces Ground Chicken
- 1 ½ Cups Panko Breadcrumbs
- 1 Large Egg
- 2 ½ teaspoons Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper OPTIONAL or to taste
- 3 tablespoons Minced Garlic
- ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 8 Ounces Penne pasta
- 1 Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Cup Pepper Jack Cheese freshly shredded
- 3 Tablespoons Butter
- ½ Cup Parmesan Cheese freshly grated
- 3 Cups Chicken Broth
- In a large bowl, mix the ground chicken, breadcrumbs, egg, 1 teaspoon of the Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper if using, 1 tablespoon of finely minced garlic, black pepper and salt together until combined.
- Form the meat mixture into mini meatballs and set aside on a plate.
- Heat a large skillet or soup pot over medium heat and add olive oil.
- Cook half of the meatballs, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Remove them from the pan and cook the remaining meatballs. Remove them as well and set aside.
- Add the butter to the pan and cook the remaining garlic for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until pasta is cooked through.
- Once cooked, turn the heat down to low and pour in the heavy cream, the remaining cayenne pepper powder, remaining Cajun seasoning, pepper-jack cheese and parmesan cheese and stir to combine.
- Then add the cooked meatballs and stir gently until the meatballs are coated in sauce and cheese.
- Serve immediately. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.