Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!

Disclosure: This Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage post was sponsored by al fresco, but the recipe and opinions are entirely my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Spiced!

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!Ah, the grass is growing and the birds are chirping.  The temperatures are starting to rise, and that can only mean one thing…well, two things.  Summer is coming, and festival season has returned to Louisiana!  From pirate festivals in Lake Charles to crawfish festivals in Breaux Bridge, you can hardly go a weekend without a festival of some sort in Louisiana.  The annual Gonzales Jambalaya Festival was just held this past weekend, and one of the highlights of the festival was the jambalaya cooking contest.

While I wasn’t able to make it down to the Jambalaya Festival this year, I did chuckle at the rules for the cooking contest.  The festival allows for 128 entrants divided into 8 rounds.  That’s a lot of jambalaya!  But get this: for the preliminary rounds, cooking ingredients must include 30 pounds of chicken and 10 pounds of rice.  Multiply that by 128, and that’s a lot of chicken and rice!  And it gets better as the semi-finals require 45 pounds of chicken and 15 pounds of rice.  And the finals?  You guessed it.  60 pounds of chicken and 20 pounds of rice.  And that doesn’t include the hundreds of onions, bell peppers and stalks of celery that go into all that jambalaya!  I’m thinking the Jambalaya Festival needs to go on my list of places to visit next year.

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!Jambalaya is a staple in Louisiana kitchens, and legend has it that jambalaya was invented when Spanish troops took possession of Louisiana in 1763 following the French & Indian War.  Their attempts to recreate paella with local ingredients led to what is now known as jambalaya.  Jambalaya is often served at large events (tailgates, church dinners, etc.), and that means jambalaya pots must be quite large.  (For the record, entrants in the jambalaya cookoff must supply their own iron pot and paddle.  Not spoon.  Paddle.)

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!I often add andouille sausage to the pot whenever I make jambalaya.  Andouille, a requirement for many Cajun dishes, is a smoked sausage made with garlic, peppers, onions and seasonings.  It’s delicious!  When Laura and I first moved up here to upstate New York, I was sure I was going to have to order my andouille online.  However, andouille is much easier to find in the stores these days, and I recently stumbled across al fresco’s Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage.  This sausage is made with lean chicken so it includes 70% less fat than pork sausage.  al fresco makes 10 flavors of fully-cooked chicken sausage, and we love grilling up those sausages along with veggies for a quick summer meal.  (Their Buffalo Style with Blue Cheese flavor is one of our favorites!)

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!I’ve really been in the mood for a good pot of jambalaya lately, so I grabbed a pack of al fresco’s Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage.  Back home, I decided to mix things up a bit and use pasta instead of rice.  (I also chose to cook this jambalaya indoors in a skillet rather than in a gigantic pot outdoors.  I’m not sure I know enough people to help me eat that big of a pot of jambalaya!)  This Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage was a huge hit in our house.  This Cajun Pastalaya starts with the Holy Trinity of Cajun cooking (onions, bell peppers and celery) to develop flavor.  Add in al fresco’s Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage along with some pasta, and you’ve got the makings for one delicious weeknight meal!

Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage

One cooking tip that I picked up when I lived back in Louisiana is to always brown the sliced andouille sausage.  al fresco’s Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage is already fully-cooked, so that makes this step nice and easy.  Just slice up the sausages and cook ’em in a bit of olive oil until both sides begin to brown.  That extra little step adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the final version.  This Cajun Pastalaya doesn’t involve rice, so it wouldn’t qualify for the jambalaya cookoff…but I’m here to tell ya that this recipe is a keeper!  It can be made in about 30 minutes total, so it’s perfect for dinner on a busy weeknight.  And Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage reheats really well for a quick lunch the next day.  (I speak from experience here!)

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!In case you didn’t make it to the Jambalaya Festival this year (or even if you did), you can still whip up this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage for dinner this week!  Enjoy!

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!

Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 709kcal

Ingredients

  • 16- oz. penne pasta
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 12-oz. package al fresco Smoked Andouille chicken sausage
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper diced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • ½-1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ½-1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
  • ¼ cup green onions chopped

Instructions

  • Using a large stock pot, cook the pasta in salted water until al dente; drain pasta and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to a deep skillet and place over medium-high heat. Slice the sausages and place in skillet. Cook for 7-9 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until sausages are browned on both sides. Remove sausages from skillet and set aside.
  • Using the same deep skillet, add olive oil and place over medium heat. Once hot, add garlic, onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, or until vegetables have softened slightly.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, Cajun seasoning, oregano, smoked paprika, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and chicken stock. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat then reduce to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and stir sausage, cooked pasta and chopped parsley into skillet.
  • Divide pastalaya into bowls and garnish with chopped green onions before serving.

Mix up the weeknight dinner routine with this Cajun Pastalaya with Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage!

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24 Comments

  1. Whoa! That’s a ton of chicken and rice. Definitely need to add to the bucket list.That would be some amazing good eats. In the meanwhile, I’ll enjoy some of your cajun pasta. Love these chicken sausages – they look perfect in the pasta too!

    1. Haha! Tell me about it, Kathy. Can you imagine how much chicken and rice they go through over the course of the weekend? Insane! But I bet there would be plenty of delicious jambalaya down there! 🙂 But since Louisiana is a bit far away, I’ll settle for a good pastalaya here at home. Yum!

  2. My mouth dropped open when I read 30 pounds of rice. Holy cow! I always new they took their jambalaya seriously in Louisiana, but that’s REALLY serious. Since I’ve never made jambalaya (I know–I need to get with it!) I think this pasta would be a way to ease into the process. Have a great week, David!

    1. So that’s 30 pounds of rice…per competitor! Multiply by 128 competitors, and you’ve got nearly 4,000 pounds of rice in the first round alone. That’s what I call a legit food festival! 🙂 Jambalaya is one of my favorite summer meals, and the pasta is a fun way to put a twist on it. Cheers, my friend!

  3. Seeing as I adore chorizo sausage I think I’m most definitely going to like andouille sausage David. And I love how there’s an al fresco Smoked Andouille Chicken sausage because that means Lynne is more likely to eat that (she’s not a fan of pork). Great recipe. Love how it’s quick and easy for a weeknight too!

    1. Yes! You are totally right about the chorizo-andouille sausage comparison, Neil. While the seasonings are different, both are sausages packed with a ton of flavor…and that’s why I love it! I’m not sure if you can get al fresco products over there in Scotland, but definitely keep an eye out for ’em…their Andouille Chicken Sausage is a favorite of ours! Thanks so much, my friend!

  4. Oh my…that contest requires a staggering amount of ingredients! But I’m a big fan of jambalaya and would gladly try a bite of most of them, haha!

    Your version looks right up my alley! I’ll have to look for that sausage – love that it lightens the dish up a bit.

    1. I’m pretty sure I would be right there in line with ya, Marissa! Err, lines. Like 128 lines…in the first round of competition alone. That’s a heck of a lot of jambalaya! 🙂 And definitely keep an eye out for al fresco’s Andouille chicken sausage. It’s a great way to lighten up this classic Cajun dish! Cheers, my friend!

  5. I’m not really familiar with the Cajun cuisine (Except Jambalaya. And seemingly, at least 50% of your recipes haha), but this Jambalaya festival sounds like a lot of fun (And apparently, a lot of food). And this pastalaya? I honestly didn’t realize that the name refers to pasta until I saw the first picture:) And you know my love for pasta and experiments with it, so I’m in. Super delicious!

    1. Haha! You’re indeed right that I love my Cajun food around here, Ben. I’m not sure I’d put it at 50%, though. I mean there has to be room for the Italian recipes, too. And desserts. And lavender. 🙂 I do indeed know about your love for fun pasta dishes…and I’m pretty sure you would love this one! Those Cajuns know how to mix flavors!

  6. New Orleans has some of the best food festivals – eh?! Now you have me wanting to head west for next years Jambalaya Festival! I might have to bring my own paddle so I can get some serious taste testing done!
    By the way, “pastayala” how cool a word is that! I cannot stop saying it out loud! And speaking of cool – I am a huge fan of al fresco products – especially their chicken andouille! What a fantastic recipe, David! You could have gone ahead and made this a an iron pot outdoors and Lil Shashi and I would have swung by on our way back from the Pacific Northwest (yes we had to go back there again this year) and helped y’all eat it! 🙂
    Happy Wednesday my upstate NYC friend!

    1. Hey, if you head over to the jambalaya festival next year, then I’ll be right there with ya, Shashi! The food in south Louisiana is seriously some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. (Well, Italy might top it, but that’s Italy. Haha!) So next time you’re flying by, you’ll have to give me a heads up, my friend. I’ll gladly make up a huge batch of this pastalaya in the pot outdoors…as long as you promise to go back for seconds! Haha! 🙂

  7. Dang it, I’ve been MIA in your comment section and I’ve missed some amazing gems! I mean, are you serious with the Smore’s Bars, blueberry crullers, and bacon wrapped corn? I mean (again) you’re blog is on delicious fire!

    I love cajun food. I mean (yes again) Jambalaya is my jam. Hehehehe. That sounded funnier in my head. Wait, is saying something is my “jam” still cool to say? I’m 40 and need all the help with staying relevant and cool. 🙂

    Seriously though, I’m drooling over this post, sorry I’ve been missing!

    1. Haha! Thanks so much, Christina. No worries about being MIA…we just got back from vacation, so I’ve been a bit MIA myself. But the break was certainly nice. Now as far as asking me what the proper terminology is for something being cool these days? Don’t look at me. I just called something “rad” the other day. The only thing worse would have been “tubular, dude!” 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by…I hope you and Kieran have been doing well!

  8. You know, taking a stab at making Cajun food has been on my to-do list for some years now. As has a trip to New Orleans. The trip to New Orleans will take some organizing, but all this dish would take is a trip to the store. And a 30 minute recipe is right up my alley…

    1. I am 100% in support of both of those goals, Frank! New Orleans is an incredible city, and I miss it down there like you wouldn’t believe. But making Cajun food at home is easy! This pastalaya is packed with flavor, and it can totally be pulled off as a weeknight meal. I definitely say you should try your hand at some classic Cajun dishes, my friend!

  9. With 60 pounds of chicken and 20 pounds of rice, it ought to be called the jumbolaya fest. Honestly, you had me at sausage and pasta, but the Cajun flavors sealed the deal.

    1. Haha! Very puntastic of you there, Jeff. But that 60 pounds of chicken and 20 pounds of rice was per contestant…and for the final round. Think of all the other contestants in the other rounds. That’s a lot of jambalaya! I’m all about some Cajun flavors, so this pastalaya is right up my alley. Hope you guys have a great weekend ahead!

  10. I can imagine how good your pasta dish is as I’m a fan of al fresco’s Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausage, actually all their chicken sausages. I used to buy them all the time in New Hampshire but they are hard to get here in my town here in Florida.

    1. Yes! I’m a huge fan of al fresco’s chicken sausages, too, Karen. They have so much flavor while also cutting out a lot of the fat. Have you tried their “Find a Store” for your zip code? Maybe there’s a store hiding down there that you didn’t realize carries ’em! https://alfrescoallnatural.com/find-a-store Hope you had a great weekend, my friend!

  11. Ooooh, David! I love this recipe! I make a lot of rice normally and would love to switch it up with pasta! Also I try to use chicken sausage instead of pork when I can, so this will be perfect for my family! Hope you get to go to Louisiana next year for the festival!

    1. Yes! We love rice in our house, too, but we also love pasta. I mean Laura is half-Italian, so of course pasta is never far away…haha! This Smoked Andouille chicken sausage is definitely one of our favorites, and I love using it in easy meals like this…especially when Cajun flavors are involved! Thanks so much, Laura! 🙂

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