This chicken fajita pasta recipe is a tasty twist to traditional steak fajitas that the whole family will love. This easy dinner is made with chicken breasts, fresh veggies, Ro-Tel tomatoes, and al dente pasta, and cooked in a creamy fajita sauce seasoned with various spices and fajita seasonings.
Enjoy this family favorite fajita chicken pasta as a complete meal, or serve it alongside a simple green salad.
We love Tex-Mex dinner recipes and why not make a fajita-style pasta too?
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
- Chicken - Boneless skinless chicken breasts are easy to cook for this easy pasta dish, although you could use boneless chicken thighs or even rotisserie chicken or leftover shredded chicken.
- Fajita Veggies - Using a tricolor choice of colorful bell peppers (red bell pepper, yellow pepper, and green bell pepper) provides a lovely display of color in this creamy chicken fajita pasta. I’ve also included Ro-Tel tomatoes for a kick of heat. Jalapeno peppers would also provide extra heat to this dish if you like.
- Aromatics & Seasoning - This chicken fajita chicken recipe wouldn’t be the same without the delicious flavors provided by diced yellow onion, garlic (minced and powder), broth, onion powder, salt, fresh cracked black pepper, and a packet of fajita seasoning. You could easily make your own homemade fajita seasoning.
- Heavy cream - This adds extra flavor to the dish and also thickens the sauce.
- Pasta - I’ve used gluten-free penne pasta as my choice of dry pasta, but you can use even spaghetti like I did in my Chicken Tetrazzini or any other kind you prefer. Barilla tastes no worse than any regular gluten pasta, this is the real deal! Also one of my go-to pasta lately is the red lentil pasta - tastes like real pasta and as a bonus has plant-based protein included.
- Garnish - Sliced green onions and fresh cilantro are great garnish options for serving this one-pot chicken fajita pasta.
Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet or pot over medium high heat.
The skillet or pot should be deep enough to cook the pasta with 2 cups of broth.
Once the oil is hot and sizzling, add chicken and cook until no longer pink.
Drain chicken juices.
Place back on the stovetop and sprinkle ½ of the fajita seasoning over the chicken. Stir to combine.
Continue cooking chicken until cooked through (a couple of minutes).
Transfer the cooked chicken onto a plate while you move to the next step.
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet and saute onions, and bell peppers with the remaining fajita seasoning.
Cook for about 5 minutes (or until peppers start to become wilted but still keep shape).
Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the veggies to a separate plate.
Reduce heat to medium-low (important as we will be adding cream now and it can curdle with high heat).
Add broth, chicken base, heavy cream, Rotel tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, and pasta.
Stir to combine. Bring liquid to a gentle boil.
Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer for 10-13 minutes stirring a couple of times during this time.
Cook the pasta al dente.
Pasta will continue to cook later on as well so it is important to not overcook it at this point.
The starch from cooked pasta helps to thicken the sauce.
You’ll still have sauce/liquid in the pan, and it is fine, the pasta will absorb more moisture as it stands (plus you're going to return the other ingredients to the skillet now).
Stir in veggies and chicken. Let cook on low for 2-3 minutes.
If you are a cheese fan add your favorite shredded melty cheese or parmesan now (You'll need about ½-3/4 cups). Stir to combine.
Remove from the heat and serve with fresh herbs (cilantro and scallions) and black cracked pepper.
This recipe is approximately for 4-6 servings.
- Gluten-free pasta - I love using Barilla pasta but there are so many other brands to choose from. Other pasta types: angel hair pasta, fettuccine or any kind of spaghetti, elbows, rotini.
- A heavy-bottom Dutch oven or a large wide skillet can be used for this ''one-pot'' pasta recipe. Anything that will fit this amount of pasta with broth that it is cooked in.
- Chicken breast meat tends to dry out quickly, so be careful that you don’t overcook the meat. You only need a couple of minutes until the chicken releases the water (don't forget to pat dry it prior too) and then add fajita seasoning and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Instead of fajita seasoning, you can use a homemade fajita mix of ground spices and herbs. And if you don't have any of these, just mix up at least some spices such as ground paprika and cumin or coriander, salt, and black pepper. Or cheat a little and use Taco, burrito, or whatever packet seasoning mix instead.
- It is always better to undercook the pasta if not sure, as it will continue to cook in the sauce.
- Cut the chicken pieces into uniform sizes so that they all cook evenly simultaneously.
- This dish isn’t very hot but rather mildly spicy. If you enjoy more heat in your food, consider adding canned green chilies or fresh ones in addition to those already in the Ro-Tel tomatoes. I'd add some fresh jalapenos, green chilies, habaneros, or other hot peppers that I can get my hands on. The spicy kick from these not only adds a smoky flavor but also stimulates the digestion of food consumed with it.
- Thicker sauce - If you're new to cooking the pasta in the same pot with sauce and all the liquids then I'd tell you it's easier than you think! Just keep an eye on your pasta until it's al dente and lower the heat. The delicious flavors of the creamy sauce will be absorbed by the pasta as it cooks. The pasta will also absorb more sauce as it sits in the sauce so that this creamy pasta meal isn’t runny. The starch from pasta cooking liquid (in our case the broth) actually helps to thicken the sauce. Have you tried my Creamy Chicken Pasta which is also cooked with the same method?
To make the whole dinner in Tex-Mex style, combine the main dish with various sides within the same ''category''. To name a few:
Freezing And Storing Instructions
This Chicken Fajita Pasta is best enjoyed right after making it. Most of the cooked food should be consumed within 1 ½ or a maximum of 3 hours.
This will ensure that you get the right amount of nutrients and value from freshly cooked meals.
- To Store. Store the pasta in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. The longer pasta sits in the fridge, the more liquid (sauce) it absorbs.
- To Reheat. When reheating, add a splash of milk, broth or cream. But don’t boil the whole thing, just simmer it on low over the stovetop.
- To Freeze. Not the best candidate for freezing, the pasta absorbs too much liquid as it sits and the creamy sauce will lose its texture after thawing.
Fajita sauce is made with a combination of simple Mexican flavours and spices such as onion and garlic powder, cayenne pepper, chili powder, cumin, and paprika, in addition to chicken broth and a cup water. The sauce is then either thickened with cream or a roux mixture for best results.
You can use milk, plant-based milk instead of heavy cream in pasta. However, milk will not give you the same creamy result as it would heavy cream. What I would do in this case is add a tablespoon or two of flour when adding the oil and butter to create a roux. The sauce should thicken better this way.
Classic fajita calls for skirt steak that’s cut into thin strips of meat. In fact "fajita" means "little belt" from the word "faja" for strip or belt, and the diminutive "ita." Nowadays, fajita recipes also use chicken and shrimp as the main source of protein.
Yes. Cutting the meat before cooking helps to speed up the cooking time and also allows you to serve uniform pieces of meat with the rest of the ingredients.
Traditional fajitas can be enjoyed with a large variety of toppings such as sliced avocado, salsa, sour cream, grated cheese, sliced jalapenos, chopped cilantro, and homemade guacamole. For this one pot chicken fajita pasta, I’ve used sliced green onions and minced cilantro.
Easy Tex-Mex Style Recipes
We love everything Southwest and Mexican Style food recipes, tacos, fajitas, wraps, chilis, taco salads, you name it! Try these:
- Easy Steak Fajita Tacos - steak and tacos, just melt-in-your-mouth--delicious-kinda-flavor!
- Easy Shrimp Fajita - a single skillet, mouth-watering dish that’s loaded with irresistible flavors, tender shrimp, and seasoned veggies.
- Taco Salad With Catalina Dressing - the salad is great but the Catalina dressing even greater!
- Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme - the all-time favorite Taco bell copycat Crunchwrap Supreme recipe with ground beef and more.
- Crock Pot Chicken Chili With Cream Cheese - Perfect for 4 servings and any leftovers can be refrigerated, it tastes better on the next day!
And of course, tacos...
Taco dinner boards are fairly easy, cheap, delicious, and most importantly healthier than the restaurant.
If you want more Taco Bar ideas I have a great one-stop-shop kinda deal for you, check out my Easy Taco Dinner Party Board recipe over here.
Don't forget the drinks! Learn how to make a margarita in this Skinny Watermelon Margarita recipe or this delicious spicy frozen margarita recipe (by the way, you can use your favorite fruit or berries here!).
Thinking About Dessert? Try These!
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Chicken Fajita Pasta
- 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or chicken thighs (cut into bite-size pieces)
- 2 ½ tablespoon fajita seasoning (divided)
- 1 large yellow onion (diced)
- 1 red bell pepper (cut into strips)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (cut into strips)
- 1 green bell pepper (cut into strips)
- 1 tablespoon (heaping) of garlic (minced)
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon Bouillon chicken base
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1 10 ounce crushed tomatoes with green chilies (such as Rotel tomatoes)
- 8 ounces gluten-free pasta (uncooked)
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- green onions (sliced for garnish)
- fresh cilantro (minced for garnish)
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet or pot over medium high heat. The skillet or pot should be deep enough to cook the pasta with 2 cups of broth.
- Once the oil is hot and sizzling, add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Drain chicken juices.
- Place back on the stovetop and sprinkle ½ of the fajita seasoning over the chicken. Stir to combine. Continue cooking chicken until cooked through (a couple of minutes). Transfer the cooked chicken on to a plate while you move to the next step.
- Add remaining olive oil to the skillet and saute onions, bell peppers with remaining fajita seasoning. Cook for about 5 minutes (or until peppers start to become wilted but still keep shape).
- Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the veggies to a separate plate.
- Reduce heat to medium-low (important as we will be adding cream now and it can curdle with high heat). Add broth, chicken base, heavy cream, Rotel tomatoes, garlic powder, onion powder, and pasta. Stir to combine. Bring liquid to a a gentle boil.
- Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer for 12-15 minutes stirring a couple of times during this time. Cook the pasta al dente. Pasta will continue to cook later on as well so it is important to not overcook it at this point.
- You’ll still have sauce/liquid in the pan, and it is fine, the pasta will absorb more moisture as it stands.
- Stir in veggies and chicken. Let cook on low for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve with fresh herbs (cilantro and scallions) and black cracked pepper.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)
This recipe has been inspired and adapted from this recipe.