Chicken Fajita Pasta is a fun and easy pasta dish, great for family dinner. The rich creamy sauce spiced with fajita seasoning coats the chicken and penne pasta, while sweet onion and red bell pepper add a texture and a hint of sweetness to the meal.
A meal that brings the flavors of chicken fajitas and cheesy pasta with cream sauce together. The Mexican chicken pasta recipe makes a great easy weeknight dinner. It will quickly become a family favorite!
Fajita Chicken Pasta: An Easy Dinner!
This marriage of Chicken fajitas and pasta in cream sauce is a dreamy couple. The fajita seasoning makes the cream sauce more exciting, and the creamy pasta soothes the fire and makes the dish more hearty. This is fun comfort food.
No fussing with wraps and toppings with this chicken fajita dish. Simply scoop some of the pasta into a dish and dinner is served. If you want a to serve courses, a simple green salad with Avocado Lime Ranch dressing to start the meal and a Strawberry Pie or Banana Bundt Cake would be perfect.
How to Make Chicken Fajita Pasta
Let's make this simple creamy chicken pasta recipe. As you will see it is quite easy to prepare. Printable recipe card can be found below.
The recipe makes 4 servings.
Prep time: 5 mins Cooking Time: 12 mins see below*
*The dish only takes just over 15 minutes to make if you have cooked pasta on hand. If you need to cook pasta, it will take a couple more. Start cooking the chicken, veggies and sauce just as you put the pasta in the water and it should only take about 20 minutes total.
Ingredients for this easy pasta dish
Here are all the ingredients you need to make this creamy spicy penne recipe with chicken and peppers.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- ¼ teaspoon of Kosher or sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (avocado or any other high heat oil is fine)
- 1 sweet red pepper, sliced (feel free to use yellow bell pepper or even green bell pepper if you prefer)
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced *** optional (or ¼ teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 teaspoon fajita seasoning, homemade or store bought (if you don't have this on hand, Taco seasoning or Cajun Seasoning are good stand-ins)
- ¼ cup heavy cream or half and half for lighter dish
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese or Mexican blend (shredded)
- 8 oz dry pasta, cooked al dente (if starting with uncooked pasta, plan enough time to allow for water to come to boil and cooking)
You will also need a large pot. I used a large extra deep skillet, but a Dutch oven would also do the trick. There is a black version of the pan I use on Amazon.
I prefer to cook pasta separately. The texture is better over cooking in same pan together.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then set aside.
Place a Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot pour in oil. Add bell peppers and onion slices, then toss with the seasoning and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring a few times.
Reduce burner to medium. Add chicken breast chunks then add minced garlic to the pan. Sauté for about 6 minutes, until chunks of chicken are cooked.
Turn off the burner and stir in the cream and cheese.
Once the cheese is smoothly melted, toss in the penne and stir to combine.
Top with a little chopped cilantro or green onion to serve. Other traditional fajita toppings like sour cream and freshly diced tomatoes are also tasty additions.
Make it a One-Pot Meal
For one pot chicken fajita pasta, add 2 ½ cups of reduced sodium chicken stock after sautéing the chicken and bell peppers with garlic. The dry pasta is then cooked covered in the pot until al dente. There should be very little chicken stock liquid remaining, but if you have a lot drain some before adding the cream and cheese.
While penne pasta can be used for making a one pot chicken fajita pasta, you may prefer using a variety, such as rotini since the pasta cooks faster.
There are of course many additions, swaps or other changes that can be made to the meal to suit your needs. Here are just a few.
- For a healthier version, swap sour cream or Greek yogurt for the cream. A couple tablespoons of cream cheese is also an option. You will want to add a couple tablespoons of low sodium chicken broth to the mixture.
- Rather than the penne featured here, try fettuccini noodles, bow ties or rotini pasta.
- Make it gluten-free. Simply swap gluten free pasta for the standard variety and you should be good, as none of the other ingredients typically have gluten in them.
- Toss in some drained and rinsed canned pinto or black beans for added protein and fiber for the dinner or as an extender when you have less chicken.
- Use leftover rotisserie chicken. Simply add after frying the peppers and onions.
- Grilled chicken and vegetables. You can grill the meat peppers and onions for this dish if you like. Grill them slightly charred and it will add a delicious smoky flavor then quickly toss with pasta and sauce ingredients over medium heat.
- Add diced tomatoes to the pasta, whether fresh tomatoes or a can of Rotel tomatoes they will make a spicy pink sauce. A splash of tomato sauce or some medium salsa are also options.
- If your family loves spicy food, add some green chiles or a generous dose of hot sauce to the recipe.
Leftover Fajitas Pasta
Simply take the fajita meat and veggies, reheat in pan and skip right to the step of adding cream. Then continue along with the rest of the directions.
Can't Take the Heat?
If you have family members with palates particularly sensitive to heat, a BBQ seasoning may be a good swap for the fajita spice. Another option would be to swap in the spices; ½ teaspoon of chili powder, ½ teaspoon Italian Seasoning, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder and ¼ teaspoon of onion powder, for the fajita blend.
How to Store Chicken Fajita Pasta Leftovers?
Let them cool to at least close to room temperature before putting in the fridge. Cover well or store in an airtight container and refrigerate. The leftovers should last 3-4 days and are great reheated or eaten cold right out of the container. Don't ask how I know that...lol.
Freezing is also an option. Package them with as little air as possible and the pasta should be good in the freezer for a couple months.
Yes, if your prefer boneless chicken thighs they would work fine in this meal.
There are a few options; sour cream, evaporated milk or use Milk or chicken stock with a few tablespoons of cream cheese added.
More Easy Chicken and Pasta Recipes to Try
- Blackened Chicken is easy to prepare and versatile.
- Make Spicy Cajun Chicken Pasta with Sausage when your family is craving some spicy comfort food.
- Chicken and Pasta with Fresh Tomato Cream Sauce is a great meal for garden tomato season.
- Spicy Chicken Pasta and Peas with Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce Taste and See
- For a super easy dinner make Instant Pot Salsa Chicken
- Easy Chicken Pasta with White Wine Sauce Certified Pastry Aficionado
- Ground chicken could be easily swapped for beef in my Taco Pasta.
- Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo is a hearty dinner the whole family will love!
- Another easy slow cooker dinner to cook is my Crockpot Pizza Casserole smothered in mozzarella cheese. It has all the flavor of pizza plus pasta.
Chicken Fajita Pasta
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon oil classic olive, avocado or any other high heat oil
- 1 sweet red pepper sliced (or orange, yellow or green bell peppers)
- 1 sweet onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced *** optional
- 2 teaspoon fajita seasoning or taco seasoning
- ¼ cup heavy cream or half and half for lighter dish
- ¼ cup Mexican cheese blend cheddar, Colby or Pepper Jack are also good choices
- 8 oz dry pasta cooked al dente
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper, then set aside.
- Place large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once hot pour in olive oil. Add the peppers and onion slices (and garlic if using), then toss with the seasoning mix and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring a few times.
- Reduce stove to medium heat and add the chicken to the pan and cook stirring occasionally for about 6 minutes, until chunks of chicken are cooked.
- Turn off the burner and stir in the cream and cheese. Once the cheese is smoothly melted, toss in the pasta and mix to coat.