This easy vegan cajun chicken pasta needs just one pot and 30 minutes to make. Can be Top 8 Allergen Free.
What is it about pasta, that just brings so much comfort? Warm pasta is just like a big hug that you need. And this one pot vegan cajun chicken pasta is all the comfort and ease that you need for dinner.
Pasta is an easy way to keep your dinner budget in check while still being able to stretch it and make it go a long way.
While this is a cajun recipe, no worries, the spice level can be turned up or done exactly how you need it.
This easy vegan dinner idea is also great for meal prepping and to feed both vegan and non-vegans alike. Seriously, who doesn’t like pasta!
We’ll give tips in the post for additions to make it go even further and as always, we’ll give tips on making it allergen friendly!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make vegan cajun pasta Top 8 Allergen Free?
Yes! But we do have a few things to go over.
The ingredients in this recipe that are cause for allergen concerns are the pasta, vegan cream cheese, coconut milk and vegan grilled chicken strips.
Let’s start with the coconut milk because that’s the easiest thing to swap. You can replace with any dairy free milk. We do tend to try to replace coconut milk with oat milk because it’s creamier and closer to the coconut consistency than most others.
The pasta can be swapped with any gluten free pasta that says it can cook within 11-13 minutes. If you want to ensure that is cooks properly or if you have never cooked with gluten free pasta before, we’d recommend making the pasta in another pot.
As far as the vegan cream cheese – most contain coconut. We know that the Kite Hill one has no coconut oil but is made from almonds (we also aren’t a huge fan of this one but maybe you are).
If you have allergies to both coconut and almonds, we’d encourage you to make your own nut free, soy free vegan cream cheese at home and follow the swaps for the coconut oil (using soy free vegan butter).
Alternatively, you could omit the vegan cream cheese.
Lastly, we come to the vegan chicken strips. Both the brands readily available (Morningstar Farms and Gardein) both have soy and gluten.
Our best recommendation for the chicken would be to either omit – make your own seitan chicken or tofu chicken at home if you only have one of the allergens or replace with something like oyster mushrooms or chickpeas.
Can I prep this one pot vegan cajun chicken pasta ahead of time?
Yes! You can make this and let cool to room temperature. Store in an air tight container in the fridge for 5-7 days. Reheat over the stove with a splash of dairy free milk or just in the microwave for 30 seconds intervals.
HOW CAN I MAKE THIS OIL FREE?
You can just add more vegetable stock in the beginning. It will change the taste, but if you are used to being oil free then you will likely not mind.
You’ll also want to omit the vegan cream cheese and add another splash of coconut milk.
Lastly, chicken out the alternatives below to swapping the vegan chicken strips.
How can I make this less spicy?
Maybe you like a little spice, but it can quickly become too much for you. No worries, we understand.
You can either completely omit the cayenne pepper or reduce it in half depending on your preference.
I made it too spicy. How can I tame it down?
Been there done that! You have a few options. Add in more vegan coconut milk or cream cheese. Both of these will neutralize some of the spice.
Alternatively, you can add more tomatoes. Acid from the tomatoes cuts down on the spice from the dish.
WHAT SIZE SKILLET SHOULD I USE FOR THIS VEGAN PASTA DISH?
You want a large skillet, approximately 12 inches; however, you don’t want it so large that the sauce is too spread out.
The larger the skillet the more quickly the liquid will reduce. So you want it large enough that it will evenly cook the pasta, but not so large you cook down your sauce too fast.
You could also use a large pot or dutch oven, but try to keep the size the same.
DOES IT MATTER WHAT TYPE OF PASTA THAT I USE?
We are using penne in the photos; however, you don’t only have to use that one.
It does do well with tubular shaped pasta, like penne, and even ones like rotini or shells that can pick up and hold onto all the sauce. Whatever you have on hand will work perfectly as long as it cooks to al dente within 8-10 minutes.
If you have pasta that takes longer then you may need more liquid.
WHAT CAN I SUBSTITUTE FOR CANNED COCONUT MILK?
Canned coconut milk is thick and makes the pasta sauce extra creamy; however if you don’t have that on hand, you can still make this pasta recipe.
If you don’t have canned coconut milk, you can use any dairy free milk. We would suggest oat or soy milk because they tend to be creamier.
What can I substitute for the vegan chicken strips?
Whether you don’t do processed meat alternatives or you can’t find them where you live, there are plenty of options still.
Here’s some ideas:
- crispy chickpeas
- crispy tofu pieces (make our copycat Chick-fil-A chicken and add it to the top after the pasta is done)
- sautéed mushrooms
- crispy cauliflower (added to the top after it’s done)
For the mushrooms, you could add in once your noodles start to soften.
For the remaining, you can either cook those in the skillet first and then set aside and add back in at the end or cook in another skillet while making the pasta.
WHAT SIDES TO SERVE WITH THIS VEGAN CREAMY PASTA DISH?
There are endless possibilities but a side salad and some bread are great starting points.
Here’s some bread ideas:
- Vegan Italian Cheesy Bread Rolls
- Vegan Garlic Bread
- Easy Vegan Dinner Rolls
- Vegan Garlic Knots (photo shown above)
What other vegan pasta ideas could I make?
Who doesn’t love pasta? Especially in colder months, it can be a total comfort food.
If you love this one pot meal idea, then definitely check out our vegan one pot creamy garlic parmesan pasta.
Here’s some more delicious vegan pasta dishes:
- Vegan Mac and Cheese Pasta
- Vegan Pumpkin Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes and Spinach
- The Best Vegan Lasagna
- Vegan Alfredo
- Vegan Cheesy Hamburger Helper Skillet
- The Best Vegan Mac and Cheese
- Spinach and Walnut Pesto Pasta
- Vegan Carbonara
- Vegan Creamy Broccoli and Chickpea Pasta
And if you are looking for some cold pasta ideas, try out:
Pin this one pot vegan cajun chicken pasta for later:
One Pot Vegan Cajun Chicken Pasta
- 12 inch skillet with sides
For the Pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 oz frozen vegan chicken strips, cut into 1 inch pieces (see post for sub ideas)
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 lb uncooked penne pasta
- 1 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup coconut milk (can sub another dairy free milk)
- 2 oz vegan cream cheese (wayfare is our favorite)
- green onions, toping
- Mix all the cajun seasonings together in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Chop the onions and vegan chicken in pieces.
- Add oil to a 12 in skillet with sides and heat over medium heat.
- Add the vegan chicken pieces and the seasonings and stir together for a minute.
- Add in the onions and stir until well coated with the mixture (should turn from white to orange). Let sit for 2 minutes without stirring.
- Stir together again and let cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add in the uncooked pasta, tomatoes, coconut milk and vegetable stock. Stir together well.
- Add a lid and let come to a boil.
- Once boiling, remove lid and stir. Turn heat down to simmer. Put lid back on stir every few minutes until pasta is done, about 10 minutes. The sauce so thicken. *If too much liquid remains, remove lid and turn heat back up to high. Let cook another 3-4 minutes, stirring often until sauce has reduced.
- Add vegan cream cheese in 4 pieces. Stir together until it has melted.
- Add chopped green onions to the top. Serve.
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