It’s one of those dishes that is undeniably from Louisiana and brings people together to share our one true love, GOOD FOOD
In case you are a little confused of what pastalaya is, it’s just jambalaya but instead of the rice, we use pasta! It’s packed with flavorful meats and veggies to create a meal that will make you say – Mais yeah sha, dat’s delicious!
When I make this dish, it immediately reminds me of LSU tailgates with my dear friends and family. I don’t get to visit them nearly as often as I would like, but this is a great piece of home that I can have with me across the country.
This recipe is adapted from the Cajun Ninja. If you haven’t heard of him, he’s from my hometown in Thibodaux, Louisiana and makes the greatest YouTube videos of his Cajun recipes. Go check him out!
We’ll take a pound and a half of boneless and skinless chicken thighs, seasoned with Tony’s and then pan fry on medium-high heat for 8 minutes. Make sure your pan is nice and hot before adding your chicken.
Let them sizzle and wait it out. Flip over and cook for another 8 minutes on medium heat.
Meanwhile, take one link of sausage. You can use original, spicy, turkey, beef, combination- whatever you like!
If we were home in Louisiana I would probably use some homemade deer sausage YUM.
For this recipe, I used all beef. Slice into 1/2 inch slices and then half each slice. In a 5 quart Dutch oven (or larger), add these and brown for 10 minutes to throw off grease and get some browned crispies (definitely the correct terminology)
While both of your meats are cooking, we’ll get started on the veggies. Look at you with all of the multitasking!
Dice one yellow onion, green bell pepper, and two stalks of celery. I like to add these to my food processor for just a few seconds for even smaller, itty bitty pieces of veggies.
Remove sausage from the Dutch oven and blot the pot with a paper towel to remove grease and do the same with the sausage. GREASE BE GONE
Add 1/2 of veggies to the stock pot and cook on medium-low.
In the pan that was used for the chicken, add the rest of the veggies and cook down for 5 minutes. Once all of the pan drippings have lifted, move the veggies to your Dutch oven where the rest of the party is.
Note: If you buy precooked chicken (aka rotisserie) you can put all of your veggies in the Dutch oven in the beginning. I only split them to get the remnants of the chicken to add more flavor.
Now let your veggies cook down, and down, and down, until they are nice and soft and mushy- right around 25 minutes. I know it’s a long time but watch Netflix or do some squats (you know what you’d rather do)
Now we’ll add in some seasonings to the veggies- beef bouillon cubes, Tony’s, minced garlic, hot sauce, and Kitchen Bouquet
Add in a can of cream of chicken and stir to incorporate. This will be very thick and dark, it’s ok!!
Add in your cooked and chopped meats and stir all together, then add in water and stir.
Note: I think this is the hardest part. Trying to shove down the noodles to make sure everything will be cooked properly for no crunchy noodles. It usually takes me a few minutes to make sure everything is tucked in correctly, but I’m also a perfectionist so there’s that.
Bring to a boil and immediately cover completely and place in the oven for 1 hour.
Now you can enjoy your relaxing hour while your house slowly smells like Louisiana!
Once the hour is up, remove from the oven and keep covered for 10 minutes. Then uncover, mix, and serve with the best cornbread!
- 1 pound smoked sausage (or homemade if you have it)
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 green bell pepper
- 2 stalks celery
- 3 beef bouillon cubes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 tablespoon Tony’s + more for serving
- 1 tablespoon Louisiana Hot Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Kitchen Bouquet
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 box pasta, bow tie or your pasta of choice
- Preheat oven to 300
- Season chicken with Tony’s and cook on a heavy bottomed skillet or cast iron for 8 minutes on medium-high, then flip and cook for another 8 on medium. Remove from pan, let cool, and then cut into small pieces.
- Chop sausage of choice into 1/2 inch slices, and then halved.
- Add to a 5 quart (or larger) Dutch oven and brown sausage for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and blot grease from the pan and the meat.
- Dice the onion, bell pepper, and celery and then pulse in a food processer for a few seconds if desired.
- Add half of the veggies to the Dutch oven and the other to the skillet used for chicken. Cook on low-medium for 5 minutes
- Once pan drippings have lifted from the chicken skillet, transfer all of the veggies into the Dutch oven.
- Cook down mixture for 25 minutes
- Add beef bouillon cubes, minced garlic, Tony’s, hot sauce, and Kitchen Bouquet and cook down for 5 minutes. (Crumbling bouillons before adding to the pot helps to cook down)
- Add in cream of chicken and meats and stir to combine
- Add in water and stir to combine
- Add in pasta and stir to combine, making sure that all pasta is either under liquid or touching liquid.
- Bring to boil and then immediately cover and place in oven.
- Cook for 1 hour
- Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes covered
- Stir and serve with cornbread!