Tender chicken breast, bell pepper, onion, garlic, and smoky flavors combine with a rich cheesy sauce tossed with pasta in this easy recipe for Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta. Enjoy this kid friendly one pot meal on a busy weeknight or when you need simple comfort food with lots of flavors!
With tender slices of chicken breast, colorful bell peppers, and a rich and creamy sauce, this easy dinner recipe packs an amazing flavor and texture! The smoky spices and melted cheddar cheese blend together perfectly to create a dish that's both comforting and satisfying. And because it's a one-pot meal, cleanup is a breeze!
The recipe calls for simple, easy-to-find ingredients making it a stress-free option for those hectic weeknights. And to make it even better, this meal is kid friendly as it has a mac and cheese taste and texture with a hint of sweetness that pairs well with all of the flavors!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- The creamy, cheesy sauce in this dish is the perfect blend of savory and smoky flavors.
- Chicken fajita pasta is not only delicious but also packed with nutrients and proteins that will keep you energized throughout the day.
- It's to prepare, requiring only one skillet and a few simple ingredients that are easy to find in any grocery store.
- Easy to customize. You can easily swap out the chicken for tofu or add in additional veggies to make it vegetarian or vegan-friendly.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Unsalted Butter - Used to cook the chicken as well as the vegetables allowing them to release their flavors and create a buttery flavor.
- Chicken Breast - They add a tender and juicy texture to the dish, while also giving it lots of satisfying protein.
- Bell Peppers - Add a pop of fresh garden taste and color to the dish. They're also an excellent source of Vitamin C and fiber!
- Yellow Onion & Minced Garlic - Adds an aromatic and savory flavor to the dish that pairs well with the peppers.
- Salt & Pepper - Both balance and enhance the overall flavor of the dish.
- Spices - A mix of chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar create a sweet and smoky flavor profile throughout the dish.
- Milk - Helps create the creamy sauce that coats the pasta and chicken, adding richness and texture to the dish.
- Farfalle Pasta - The starch component that adds a chewy and satisfying texture that also holds the sauce well.
- Cheddar Cheese - Used to top the dish and create a gooey and cheesy texture, making it indulgent and satisfying.
How To Make Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta
Cook the chicken: To a large skillet, add the butter over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast and saute for 5-6 minutes, flipping halfway through. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the skillet and set it aside.
Cook the vegetables: With the remaining butter in the pan, saute the bell peppers and onions until they begin to soften and release their flavor. Add the chicken back to the skillet, along with the dried spices and garlic. Stir until combined.
Cook the pasta: To the skillet, add the milk and pasta. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through and fork tender.
Garnish and serve: Add the cheese on top and mix it into the pasta. Serve hot, and enjoy!
- To make slicing the chicken easier, partially freeze it for 15-20 minutes before slicing for even slices of meat.
- For a higher fiber option, use whole wheat or gluten-free pasta.
- If you prefer your pasta more al dente, reduce the simmering time by a few minutes and adjust to your desired texture.
- You can add additional vegetables to the dish, such as mushrooms or zucchini, to increase the nutritional value and add more flavor.
- Make sure to stir the pasta frequently while it's cooking to prevent it from sticking together and to ensure even cooking.
- To make this recipe vegetarian, replace the chicken with tofu or chickpeas.
- Use other types of protein, including shrimp, beef, or pork.
- To make it spicy, add a pinch of red pepper flakes or diced jalapeños to the sauce.
- For a lighter version, substitute half-and-half or low-fat milk for the full-fat milk and use reduced-fat cheddar cheese.
- You can experiment with different types of pasta shapes, such as penne or fusilli, to change up the texture and appearance.
- For a more authentic fajita taste, you can marinate the chicken in lime juice and Mexican spices for 30 minutes in the fridge before slicing and preparing.
Storing & Freezing
Storing: Leftover pasta, once cooled, can be stored in an airtight container for up to four days.
Freezing: To freeze, let the pasta cool completely, then freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to one month. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat: The best way to reheat chicken fajita pasta is in a skillet over medium heat. Add one tablespoon of butter and one tablespoon of milk to the skillet to prevent sticking, and stir the pasta until it’s heated through.
Yes, you can use canned chicken or pull the chicken off of a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Just be sure to season it with salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, and brown sugar, according to the recipe.
Yes! We recommend farfalle, but you can use any shape that sticks to the sauce well, including penne, rotini, fusilli, or shells.
Taco seasoning usually contains chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Fajita seasoning is similar but often contains additional herbs and spices like oregano and onion powder.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
- Easy Taco Soup Recipe
- Garlic Butter Chicken Bites
- Creamy Tuscan Garlic Chicken
- Easy Puff Pastry Chicken Pot Pie
- Honey Teriyaki Chicken
- Easy Creamy Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo
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Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (sliced)
- 1 medium red bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 medium green bell pepper (sliced)
- 1 medium yellow onion (sliced)
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1½ tbsp chili powder
- 3 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 5 cups milk
- 4 cups farfalle pasta
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning halfway through. Remove the chicken and set aside, leaving the butter in the skillet.
- Add sliced bell peppers and onions to the skillet, and cook until the peppers are soft and the onion is translucent. It takes about 5-6 minutes
- Add the chicken back into the skillet, then add salt, black pepper, chili powder, cumin, brown sugar, and garlic. Stir until well-coated.
- Pour in the milk and pasta and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the cheese over the top and mix in until completely melted.
- Serve while hot, and enjoy!
- This one-pot pasta recipe is versatile and can accommodate any short pasta shape. However, substituting the penne with linguine or any long pasta may not yield the same result. Long pasta tends to clump together more easily in one-pot pasta recipes, so it's best to stick with short pasta like bowtie or penne.
- To ensure this pasta dish is kid-friendly, I've kept the spice level low. However, if you prefer some heat, you can easily add a pinch of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or a few dashes of hot sauce to your liking.
- In case you find the pasta not creamy, don't worry. Just add a splash of milk later on and continue cooking. On the other hand, if you have too much liquid, simply remove the lid and simmer. The pasta will release its starch into the cooking liquid instead of being drained, which will eventually thicken the sauce as it sits.
*All nutrition information provided is automatically calculated and is an estimate and will vary based on ingredients, brands, and changes in cooking methods listed in the recipe. If you need exact numbers on your ingredients, I would recommend calculating them with your prefered nutrition calculator.
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