Rattlesnake Pasta: A Spicy and Savory Dish for Pasta Lovers

Rattlesnake pasta is a spicy and creamy pasta dish that has gained popularity in recent years. It is a fusion of Cajun and Italian cuisine that is sure to tantalize the taste buds of anyone who tries it. The dish is named after the spicy cajun seasoning that is used to flavor the pasta, which is said to be as potent as a rattlesnake’s bite.

A plate of sizzling rattlesnake pasta with peppers, onions, and creamy sauce, topped with slivers of grilled chicken

The history of rattlesnake pasta is not clear, but it is believed to have originated in the Southern United States. The dish is a favorite among foodies and has been featured on many restaurant menus across the country. The key ingredients used to make rattlesnake pasta include chicken, pasta, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and a creamy alfredo sauce.

Key Takeaways

  • Rattlesnake pasta is a spicy and creamy pasta dish that combines Cajun and Italian cuisine.
  • The dish is named after the spicy cajun seasoning used to flavor the pasta.
  • The key ingredients used to make rattlesnake pasta include chicken, pasta, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, and a creamy alfredo sauce.

History of Rattlesnake Pasta

A chef tosses pasta with spicy peppers and grilled chicken in a sizzling pan, creating a flavorful dish known as Rattlesnake Pasta

Rattlesnake pasta is a popular pasta dish that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Although it is not clear where the dish originated from, it is believed to have been first served in the southern United States, particularly in Louisiana.

The dish is said to have been inspired by the Cajun and Creole cuisine of Louisiana, which is known for its bold and spicy flavors. It is believed that rattlesnake pasta was created as a way to combine the flavors of Cajun-style pasta with a creamy alfredo sauce.

The exact origins of the dish are unknown, but it is believed to have been first served in the early 2000s at a restaurant in Louisiana. Since then, the dish has become increasingly popular and can now be found on menus in restaurants across the United States.

Rattlesnake pasta is typically made with penne pasta, chicken, and a creamy Cajun alfredo sauce. The dish gets its name from the spicy Cajun seasoning, which is said to resemble the bite of a rattlesnake. The dish is often served with a side of garlic bread or a salad.

Overall, the history of rattlesnake pasta is relatively unknown, but it is clear that the dish has become a popular staple in American cuisine. Whether you are a fan of spicy Cajun flavors or creamy alfredo sauce, rattlesnake pasta is a dish that is sure to satisfy your taste buds.

Key Ingredients

A sizzling skillet of rattlesnake pasta with colorful bell peppers and tender slices of snake meat

When it comes to making rattlesnake pasta, there are several key ingredients that are essential to achieving the perfect balance of flavor and texture. In this section, we will look at the proteins, vegetables, pasta types, and sauces that are commonly used in rattlesnake pasta.


The protein component of rattlesnake pasta is typically chicken, although some recipes may call for shrimp or other seafood. The chicken is usually seasoned with a blend of cajun spices, which gives it a slightly spicy and smoky flavor. To prepare the chicken, it is usually cooked in a skillet or on a grill until it is fully cooked and slightly charred.


In addition to chicken, rattlesnake pasta also contains a variety of vegetables that add flavor and texture to the dish. Common vegetables used in rattlesnake pasta include red and green bell peppers, red onions, and garlic. These vegetables are usually sautéed in a skillet until they are tender and slightly caramelized.

Pasta Types

The pasta used in rattlesnake pasta is typically a long, thin noodle such as fettuccine or linguine. These types of pasta are ideal for rattlesnake pasta because they allow the sauce and other ingredients to cling to the noodles, creating a harmonious blend of flavors with each bite.


The sauce used in rattlesnake pasta is usually a creamy alfredo sauce that is made from heavy cream and parmesan cheese. To give the sauce a slightly tangy and spicy flavor, many recipes call for the addition of cajun seasoning and a splash of lime juice. The sauce is typically prepared by combining the ingredients in a saucepan and heating them over medium heat until the sauce is thick and creamy.

Overall, the key to making delicious rattlesnake pasta is to use high-quality ingredients and to balance the flavors and textures of each component of the dish. With the right combination of proteins, vegetables, pasta, and sauce, you can create a flavorful and satisfying meal that is sure to impress your family and friends.

Preparation Techniques

Cooking Pasta

Cooking pasta is an essential part of making rattlesnake pasta. To cook the pasta, you should bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to the water and then add the pasta. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, stirring occasionally. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Preparing Rattlesnake Meat

Rattlesnake meat is the star of the dish, and it needs to be prepared properly to ensure that it is tender and flavorful. Start by removing the skin and bones from the meat. Cut the meat into small pieces and season it with salt, pepper, and Cajun seasoning. Heat some oil in a skillet and add the meat. Cook the meat until it is browned on all sides, stirring occasionally.

Sautéing Vegetables

Sautéing vegetables is another important step in making rattlesnake pasta. To sauté the vegetables, you should heat some oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions, sliced bell peppers, and minced garlic to the skillet. Cook the vegetables until they are tender, stirring occasionally. Once the vegetables are cooked, you can add them to the skillet with the rattlesnake meat.

Overall, these preparation techniques are straightforward and easy to follow. By following these steps, you can create a delicious and flavorful rattlesnake pasta dish that is sure to impress your guests.

Recipe Variations

A steaming plate of rattlesnake pasta with a creamy sauce, tender chunks of snake meat, and colorful peppers and onions mixed in

Rattlesnake pasta is a versatile dish that can be customized to suit individual preferences. Here are a few recipe variations to try:

Vegetarian Options

For those who prefer a vegetarian version, substitute the chicken with vegetables such as zucchini, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Tofu or tempeh can also be used as a source of protein.

Spicy Variations

For those who like it hot, add extra jalapeños or red pepper flakes to the dish. Alternatively, try using spicy Italian sausage instead of chicken.

Cheese Alternatives

For those who are lactose intolerant or vegan, try substituting the Parmesan cheese with nutritional yeast or vegan cheese. Alternatively, omit the cheese altogether and add extra garlic and herbs for flavor.

Experiment with different variations to find the perfect combination of flavors and textures that suit your taste buds.

Pairing Suggestions

A plate of rattlesnake pasta sits on a rustic wooden table, surrounded by vibrant green herbs and colorful peppers, with a fork resting beside it

Wine Pairings

When it comes to pairing wine with Rattlesnake Pasta, a full-bodied red wine is often a great choice. A Cabernet Sauvignon or a Malbec can complement the spicy flavors in the dish. If you prefer a white wine, Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio can be a good match. However, be aware that the creaminess of the pasta can sometimes overpower the wine, so it’s best to choose a wine with a strong flavor.

Side Dishes

Rattlesnake Pasta is a flavorful dish that can stand on its own, but it can also be served with a variety of side dishes. A simple green salad with a light vinaigrette can help balance out the richness of the pasta. Roasted vegetables, such as asparagus or broccoli, can also be a great addition. If you’re looking for something more substantial, garlic bread or cheesy garlic bread can be a delicious accompaniment.

Bread Selections

Bread is a great way to soak up the sauce in Rattlesnake Pasta. A crusty baguette or Italian bread can be sliced and served alongside the pasta. Garlic bread or cheesy garlic bread can also be a popular choice. For a healthier option, whole-grain bread can be used instead.

Nutritional Information

Rattlesnake pasta is a delicious and flavorful dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish. However, it is important to consider the nutritional content of this dish before consuming it regularly.

One serving of rattlesnake pasta (approximately 1 cup) contains an average of 600 calories. This is a high-calorie count and can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. Additionally, one serving contains approximately 40 grams of fat, which is a significant portion of the recommended daily intake.

On the positive side, rattlesnake pasta is a good source of protein, containing approximately 30 grams per serving. It also contains some fiber, with approximately 3 grams per serving. However, it is important to note that this dish is not a significant source of vitamins or minerals.

To make this dish slightly healthier, consider swapping out regular pasta for whole wheat or vegetable-based pasta. Additionally, reducing the amount of cream and cheese used in the dish can help lower the calorie and fat content.

In summary, rattlesnake pasta can be a delicious and satisfying dish, but it should be consumed in moderation due to its high calorie and fat content. By making some simple swaps and adjustments, this dish can be made slightly healthier without sacrificing flavor.

Serving and Presentation

Rattlesnake pasta is a dish that is not only delicious but also visually appealing. The dish can be served in various ways, depending on the occasion and the setting. Here are some tips on how to serve and present rattlesnake pasta:

Family Style

For a casual family-style dinner, the pasta can be served in a large bowl in the center of the table. This allows everyone to help themselves and take as much or as little as they want. A sprinkle of chopped parsley or grated Parmesan cheese on top can add a pop of color and flavor.


When serving rattlesnake pasta for a more formal occasion, it can be plated individually. The pasta can be placed in the center of a large plate, and the chicken and peppers can be arranged around it. A drizzle of sauce on top can add a finishing touch.


To add some extra flair to the dish, a garnish can be added. A few slices of avocado or a sprinkle of chopped cilantro can add a fresh and vibrant touch to the dish.

Side Dish

Rattlesnake pasta can be served as a main dish or as a side dish. As a side dish, it pairs well with grilled or roasted meats, such as steak or chicken. A side salad or garlic bread can also be served to complement the flavors of the pasta.

Overall, rattlesnake pasta is a versatile dish that can be served in various ways. Whether it’s a casual family dinner or a formal occasion, the dish is sure to impress.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

To store leftover Rattlesnake Pasta, transfer it to an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator. The pasta can be stored for up to three days. It is important to note that the pasta may dry out slightly in the fridge, so it is recommended to add a splash of milk or cream when reheating to restore its creaminess.

To reheat Rattlesnake Pasta, there are a few options. One option is to reheat it in the microwave. Place the pasta in a microwave-safe dish and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until heated through.

Another option is to reheat it on the stove. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the pasta and stir occasionally until heated through. This method may take slightly longer than the microwave, but it allows for better control over the heat and prevents the pasta from becoming overcooked.

It is important to note that the longer the pasta is reheated, the more it may dry out. To prevent this, it is recommended to add a splash of milk or cream when reheating. This will help restore the creaminess of the sauce and prevent the pasta from becoming too dry.

Overall, Rattlesnake Pasta is a delicious and easy meal to make. With a few simple steps, it can be stored and reheated for a quick and satisfying meal later on.

Frequently Asked Questions

What ingredients are typically used in making rattlesnake pasta?

Rattlesnake pasta is typically made with penne pasta, chicken, and a creamy Cajun alfredo sauce. The sauce is made with heavy cream, butter, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and Cajun seasoning. Some recipes may also include red pepper flakes, jalapeno peppers, and other spices.

How did rattlesnake pasta get its name?

Rattlesnake pasta gets its name from the spicy kick that comes from the Cajun seasoning, giving it a “bite” like a rattlesnake. Despite the name, there are no actual rattlesnakes in the dish.

What is the recipe for 54th Street’s rattlesnake pasta?

The recipe for 54th Street’s rattlesnake pasta is not publicly available. However, there are many recipes online that claim to replicate the dish. One such recipe can be found here.

Can you describe the steps to prepare a creamy rattlesnake pasta sauce?

To prepare a creamy rattlesnake pasta sauce, start by melting butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add minced garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add heavy cream and bring to a simmer. Whisk in grated Parmesan cheese until the sauce is smooth. Season with Cajun seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt to taste.

What type of pasta is traditionally used in rattlesnake pasta dishes?

Penne pasta is traditionally used in rattlesnake pasta dishes. Its short, hollow shape allows the creamy sauce to cling to it.

What variations of rattlesnake pasta does J Alexander’s offer?

J Alexander’s offers several variations of rattlesnake pasta, including chicken, shrimp, and sausage. They also offer a vegetarian version made with roasted vegetables and a spicy cream sauce.