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Cajun Chicken with Pumpkin Alfredo

About the author

FitMenCook

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.

Calories 460
Protein 46g
Fat 13g
Carbs 39g
Total Time 30 minutes

Spice it up this fall with my cajun spiced chicken breasts, and use leftover pumpkin puree to create one of the most delicious homemade pasta alfredo dishes you’ve ever tried!

By using pumpkin, we lower the amount of fat calories (since it acts a sauce thickener instead of milk, cheese and butter), and boost the flavor! It’s a delicious comfort-food makeover just in time for the fall.

Remember to customize this for your tastes and your dietary goals.  For instance, swap the whole wheat fettuccine for shirataki fettuccine to reduce the amount of carbohydrates.

Enjoy this meal with a garden salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, shaved carrots, cucumbers, green (or red) onion and your favorite low-calorie vinaigrette.

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Cajun Chicken with Pumpkin Alfredo

Ingredients

Ingredients for 5 servings:

  • 1 1/4 lb chicken breasts
    • Vegetarian substitute: extra-firm tofu; seitan
  • Cajun rub
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1 teaspoon (smoked) paprika
    • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    • pinches of sea salt & pepper
  • 8oz whole wheat fettuccine
    • Substitutes: brown rice pasta; shirataki fettuccine or spaghetti
  • Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
    • 2/3 cup skim milk (or milk of choice)
      • Vegetarian substitute: almond milk; coconut milk
    • 1 cup canned pumpkin
    • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
    • tablespoons of pasta water until you reach desired consistency (I used 5 tablespoons)
    • 1 1/2 cups raw spinach leaves
    • sea salt & cracked pepper to taste
  • Garnish
    • fresh chopped parsley
Steps
  1. Set oven to 420F/216C.
  2. Rub the chicken breasts well with seasonings.  Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or on a baking rack, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes.  Tip: for the final 2 minutes of baking, broil the chicken breast to blacken the edges and top of the chicken breast.  After baking, allow the breasts to cool, then chop them into pieces.
  3. Cook fettuccine according to the instructions given and reserve some of the pasta water.
  4. Set a (nonstick) skillet on medium heat and add olive oil and garlic.  Cook for about 2 minutes and do NOT burn the garlic.
  5. Reduce the heat, then add milk, pumpkin and 1/2 cup parmesan.  Mix together until you have a consistent, smooth alfredo sauce.  Add the cooked fettuccine and fold everything together.  Add tablespoons of pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
  6. Toss in the raw spinach and cook until the spinach has wilted.
  7.  Add the chopped chicken breasts, then garnish with parsley and the remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan.  Season to taste with sea salt & pepper.

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Calories
460
Protein
46g
Fat
13g
Carbs
39g
Sodium
Fiber
5g
Sugar
5g
About the author

FitMenCook

My name is Kevin. My life changed when I realized that healthy living is truly a lifelong journey, mainly won by having a well-balanced diet and enjoying adequate exercise. By experimenting in the kitchen and openly sharing my meals, I learned that healthy eating is hardly boring and that by making a few adjustments, I could design a diet that could help me achieve my personal fitness goals. Our bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.