Cajun Penne Pasta

Menu PartEntree
Cuisine TypeAmerican
Cajun pasta

Beachwood Elementary School

Clover Park School District

Lakewood, Wash.

Braylynn F., a student at Beachwood Elementary School, won first place in Sodexo’s Future Chef Contest. She first created the Cajun pasta for the school district competition and when it was chosen, she went on to compete in the regionals, where it earned the grand prize. The dish has since been added to the school lunch menu.


2 tbsp. olive oil

2 lb. smoked sausage, sliced 1/2- to 1-in. thick

1 onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 cups chicken broth

1 can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 cup heavy cream

1 lb. penne pasta

3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese; divided


  1. In large saucepot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add sliced sausage and onion; cook 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in garlic; cook until fragrant.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, including uncooked pasta, reserving ½ to 1 cup cheese for topping. Stir mixture until well combined; cover and cook 20 minutes.
  3. To serve spoon into bowls and top with remaining cheese.

Photo courtesy of Clover Park School District

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