Home Recipes Rattlesnake Pasta

Rattlesnake Pasta

Shake up your meal with this tasty rattlesnake pasta! I love how this dish comes together in a snap but tastes like I spent hours in the kitchen. It’s my go-to when I want to impress my family.

You toss penne pasta with Cajun-seasoned chicken, bell peppers, spicy jalapeños, and a creamy Parmesan sauce. It’s heaven on a plate! 

Rattlesnake pasta with chicken, bell peppers, jalapeños, and Parmesan sauce.
WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.

It’s so easy to make, too! Serve it with crusty bread and a side salad.

It’s a restaurant-worthy meal right at home.

Why You’ll Love This Rattlesnake Pasta

There’s so much to love about this recipe, I’m not even sure where to begin.

  • Big on Flavor: It’s creamy, zesty, and savory, with bold, exciting flavors in every bite.
  • One-Pot Wonder: You can make it in a single pot, minimizing cleanup. It’s a convenient all-in-one meal.
  • Make It Your Own: Easily customize the proteins, pasta shape, vegetables, and spice level.
  • Quick and Easy: With just a few simple steps, it comes together in a snap for a fast weeknight dinner.
Rattlesnake pasta with chicken, bell peppers, spicy jalapeños, and creamy Parmesan sauce in cast iron skillet.

Ingredients

Here’s everything you need to make this satisfying pasta:

  • Penne Pasta: It captures the creamy sauce and tender chicken in every bite.
  • Chicken Breast: It’s lean and pairs well with Cajun spices.
  • Olive Oil: You use it for sautéing the chicken and veggies.
  • Cajun Seasoning, Salt, and Black Pepper: They infuse the dish with authentic Louisiana flavors.
  • Veggies: Peppers and onions add color and texture to the dish.
  • Butter: It creates a nice roux as the base for the sauce.
  • All-Purpose Flour: It thickens the sauce so it sticks to the pasta.
  • Milk or Half-and-Half: To make the dish nice and creamy. Or use heavy cream to up the decadence even more.
  • Parmesan Cheese: It brings a nutty flavor to the luscious sauce.
  • Fresh Parsley: The finishing touch! It adds a nice pop of color to the pasta.
Chicken, bell peppers, jalapeños, and Parmesan sauce in rattlesnake pasta.

How to Make Rattlesnake Pasta

Making this pasta is so easy! Just follow these steps:

  1. Cook the pasta. Cook the penne pasta in salted boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Season the chicken. Season the chicken breast pieces with Cajun seasoning.
  3. Cook the chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the seasoned chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, for about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Sauté the vegetables. Add more olive oil to the skillet. Sauté the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onion, garlic cloves, and jalapeño peppers until tender-crisp, for about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet.
  5. Make the sauce. Melt the butter in the skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth. Simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the grated Parmesan, salt, and pepper until melted and smooth.
  6. Combine and serve. Add the cooked pasta, chicken, and sautéed vegetables to the skillet with the sauce. Toss gently to coat. Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley.
Rattlesnake pasta served on a white plate.

Tips For the Best Rattlesnake Pasta

For a true restaurant-worthy feast, follow these tips and tricks:

  • Don’t overcook the pasta! Boil the pasta until just shy of al dente. Otherwise, it’ll become mushy when tossed with the sauce and other ingredients.
  • Try a pickled twist. Opt for pickled jalapeño slices instead of fresh ones for added tanginess.
  • Give it a flavor boost. Add roasted garlic into the sauce for a mellow, sweet garlic flavor.
  • Put some elbow grease into it. For maximum flavor, grate Parmesan cheese fresh off the block.
    .
  • Give it an extra garnish. Sprinkle sliced green onions on top before serving for some color.
  • Kick up the heat. Dial up the amount of jalapeños and Cajun seasoning to make the pasta spicier.
  • Try simple swaps. Swap the chicken for shrimp, crawfish, or andouille sausage. Use penne, fettuccine or rotini pasta. Add mushrooms, spinach, or sun-dried tomatoes. Top with toasted breadcrumbs for crunch.
Creamy rattlesnake pasta with chicken, jalapenos, bell pepper and chicken.

How to Store

If you have leftover pasta, here’s how to keep it nice and fresh:

To Store: Allow the pasta to cool completely, then transfer to an air-tight container. Store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

I don’t recommend freezing it, as the creamy sauce may separate and become grainy when thawed. The texture of the pasta and vegetables may also become mushy. Nobody wants that!

To Reheat: Reheat on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally. Throw in a splash of milk or cream to revive the sauce. You can also microwave individual portions in 30-second intervals until heated through.

Rattlesnake Pasta

Course: Main CourseCuisine: American
Servings

8

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

30

WANT TO SAVE THIS RECIPE?
Enter your email below & we'll send it straight to your inbox.
minutes
Calories

460

kcal

Rattlesnake pasta is a restaurant-worthy dish you can make at home! Penne is coated in a creamy, spicy, cheesy sauce you’ll flip for.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb penne pasta

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided

  • 1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning

  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced

  • 1/2 red onion, sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2-3 jalapeño peppers, sliced (remove seeds for less heat)

  • 4 tbsp butter

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups milk or half-and-half

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  • Cook the penne pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  • While the pasta cooks, season the chicken pieces with the Cajun seasoning. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, for about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  • Add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil to the skillet. Add the bell peppers, onion, garlic and jalapeños. Sauté until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the skillet.
  • Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk until smooth.
  • Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until it starts to thicken, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper until melted and smooth.
  • Add the cooked pasta, chicken, and sautéed vegetables to the skillet with the sauce. Toss gently until everything is well coated.
  • Serve the rattlesnake pasta hot, garnished with chopped parsley. Enjoy the creamy, spicy flavors!

Notes

  • Adjust the spice level by using more or less jalapeños, or substituting with milder peppers like poblanos.
  • For extra flavor, use a combination of Parmesan and Asiago or Romano cheeses in the sauce.
  • Add a splash of white wine or chicken broth to the sauce for more depth of flavor.
  • Substitute shrimp for the chicken for a seafood version.

Did you like the recipe?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 4.8 / 5. Vote count: 11

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Thanks!

Share on social media:

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

Leave a Comment