Creamy Cajun Pasta with Smoked Sausage

This creamy cajun pasta is totally satisfying and packs a lot of flavor.  It feels indulgent, but clocks in under 375 calories per serving, for a family-pleasing dish.

This Easy Creamy Cajun Pasta with Smoked Sausage is satisfying and packs a lot of flavor. It feels indulgent, but clocks in under 375 calories serving, for a family-pleasing dish.  recipe at TidyMom.net

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I have a confession to make.  I’m not much of a cookbook person.  I have stacks of gorgeous cookbooks, but for what ever reason, I just don’t head to them that often when I’m looking for a recipe.  But every now and then a cookbook lands in my kitchen that speaks my language.   That’s what happened when I received Kate and Sara’s new cookbook 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites.

I’ve been a fan of Our Best Bites for years.  I know if I make something from them, it will turn out. So I was super excited to see that their newest cookbook would be full of recipes that are lighter on the calories.

What I love about this cookbook is the recipes and instructions are easy to follow with basic, easy to find ingredients. The only thing missing, that I would have liked to see, was prep and cook time.

You can find tasty healthy choices for breakfast, soups, salads, snacks, main dishes (including meatless) and even dessert. You could easily pull off a whole meal from this book 😉 

400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites cookbook

Before I even had a chance to sit down and look through 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites, Allison went through it and earmarked everything she wanted us to make.  If she said it once, she said it ten times… “This is MY kind of cookbook! I love everything in it!”

The cookbook is full of recipes that you wouldn’t recognize as lower calorie, and large drool worthy pictures of every recipe.  You just know every recipe is going to be good!

earmarked recipes in 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites.

Allison decided the Creamy Cajun Pasta with Smoked Sausage would be the first recipe we’d make.  You would never guess that this recipe clocks in at around 360 calories per serving!! My husband had no clue and devoured it along with left overs the following day!

I made a few slight modifications to the recipe.  The first being the pasta.  As much as I wanted to use the really pretty Trottole pasta, giant, tightly coiled noodles, I couldn’t find it at Wal-Mart.  So I picked up Radiatori, an elegant ruffled, ridged shape noodle.

The second, was an error on my part, but didn’t effect calories or flavor.  Being the fabulous multi tasker that I am, I was trying to get dinner on the table extra fast and thought I’d go ahead and get the pasta cooked while I read and prepped the rest of the recipe.  Well, had I read the recipe more closely, I was supposed to boil the pasta in water with the diced tomatoes.  Since I had already cooked my pasta in water only, I just added the diced tomatoes on their own.  Had I boiled them in the pasta water, until the water was absorbed, it probably would have yielded a little more of a creamy tomato pasta.

Since this recipe will be making appearances time and again on our dinner menu, I’m excited to make it again, and cook the pasta in the tomatoes!

I’m thrilled that I have a pasta dish that I can feel good about serving my family.

This  Creamy Cajun Pasta with Smoked Sausage is satisfying and packs a lot of flavor. It feels indulgent, but clocks in under 375 calories serving, for a family-pleasing dish.  recipe at TidyMom.net

Creamy Cajun Pasta with Smoked Sausage

A family pleasing creamy pasta dish that is totally satisfying and packs a lot of flavor.

Ingredients:

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 pound smoked pork sausage, halved and cut into 1/4″ slices
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 colored bell peppers, halved and sliced
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups water
8 ounces pasta (I used radiatori)
2 cups 1% milk
3 ounces low-fat cream cheese
1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Preheat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook 2-3 minutes or until it starts to release oil and is browning. Add the onions and cook until fragrant. Add the garlic and sliced bell peppers and cook until the peppers are tender-crisp. Remove from heat and transfer the sausage and peppers to a large plate. Set aside.

Return the pan to heat and add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then quickly add the pasta, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Cook until the pasta is al dente and the liquid is absorbed.

While the pasta is cooking, place the milk, cream cheese, Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and flour in the jar of a blender and blend until smooth.

Heat the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. When melted, add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Add the creamy mixture from the blender and cook until smooth and thickened.  To test sauce thickness, dipped into the sauce, if you can trace your finger down the back of the spoon and that spot stays clean, it's done.

Remove sauce from heat and add Parmesan cheese. Stir until melted and smooth.

Add the peppers and sausage to the pasta/tomato mixture and stir to combine. Add the garlic sauce and combine.

Season to taste with additional Cajun seasoning and serve immediately.

Calories: 366
Fat: 18
Carbs: 32
Protein: 17
Fiber: 2.6
WW Points Plus: 9

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More Low Cal Pasta Recipes you might enjoy

Skinny Fettuccine Alfredo from Gimme Some Oven

Zucchini Ribbon Pasta with Creamy Lemon-Basil Sauce from Our Best Bites

Creamy Garlic Pasta from Buns in My Oven

Rotini Pasta in a Creamy Butternut Sauce from Barbara Bakes

{Low Cal}Three Cheese Chicken Penne Bake from TidyMom

 

Disclaimer:  I was sent a copy of 400 Calories or Less with Our Best Bites, but was not required or asked to write about it.  My love for this book and all the recipes are all my own!!