One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta
This One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta is easy to make in under 30 minutes and boasts all the spicy and vibrant flavors you love in chicken fajitas! Juicy chicken fajita pieces, onion, peppers, garlic and pasta get tossed in a lightened-up creamy sauce in this hearty and satisfying dish! Perfect for busy weeknights and absolutely scrumptious!
Mexican and Italian-American flavors come together to make this easy and creamy lightened-up One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta!
We have here:
- Fajita seasoned and seared juicy chicken pieces.
- Feed-good veggies and aromatics. Bell peppers, red onion, garlic and red chilies bringing their A-game!
- Fusilli. Any short pasta shape like farfalle, penne, macaroni works!
- A creamy, robust tomato flavored lightened-up sauce made without heavy cream. It’s beautifully seasoned and spiced with all the classic flavors you love in chicken fajitas.
- Fresh coriander stirred in at the end to brighten up everything and round out the flavors!
What sets this chicken fajita apart from others is the smoky-sweet and charred notes from Old El Paso smoky BBQ fajita seasoning mix! It’s divine in this pasta dish and gives the chicken and pasta sauce a unique smoky flavor. That said any fajita seasoning, store-bought or homemade, works brilliantly in this epic weeknight winner!
Let’s make this flavor-packed One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta!
Why This Recipe Works
- One pot meal! All you need is one pot or pan to make this hearty and healthy chicken fajita pasta dish!
- DELICIOUS flavors! The creamy sauce coating the chicken and pasta is beautifully seasoned and full of the smoky-sweet, spicy and charry flavors you love in chicken fajitas! It will tantalize your tastebuds!
- High protein. One serving of this hearty pasta dish boasts 51 grams of protein thanks to the chicken and wholewheat pasta! It will keep you full and satisfied for hours!
- Customizable. Make it as spicy or mild as you like, use a different protein, make it veg, use and any type of short-cut pasta shape you love or have on hand. These are just a few customizations you can make to make YOUR dream version of a chicken fajita pasta dish!
- Meal prep friendly. Double the ingredients to enjoy this delicious pasta dish for an easy dinner during the week!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutes
- Veggies and aromatics: Red onion (substitute with yellow onion or shallots), bell pepper (I used a mixture of red, yellow and green), garlic and fresh red chilies for a spicy kick of heat. I used Thai Bird’s Eye red chilies but you can use any type. Adjust the quantity of chilies to taste or omit them for a milder fajita pasta dish.
- Chicken: I used diced boneless and skinless chicken breasts but boneless and skinless chicken thighs can be used too if preferred.
- Pasta: I used wholewheat fusilli for more protein and fiber to keep me full longer. However, any type of regular or gluten-free dried short-cut pasta shape will work.
- Old El Paso Smoky BBQ Fajita Seasoning Mix: To season the chicken and pasta sauce. I love the smoky, slightly sweet and charry BBQ flavor it gives this dish even though it is a mild fajita seasoning mix. However, feel free to use any type of store-bought or homemade mild, medium, or hot fajita seasoning you love.
- Passata: Known as tomato puree in the USA, this is a medium-thick sauce made entirely of tomatoes. Substitute with fresh or diced canned tomatoes, which can be blended into a puree using a blender or food processor before you start cooking.
- Seasonings: We have salt, black pepper, smoked paprika and ground cayenne and crushed red pepper flakes for heat to season this One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta dish.
- Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges: This is a semi-soft cheese that becomes creamy and smooth once melted in pasta dishes, especially when melted with milk and reserved pasta water. Substitute with light or regular cream cheese if unavailable.
- Unsweetened Almond Milk: Feel free to use any type of plant-based, low fat or whole milk if preferred.
- Pasta Cooking Water: Don’t forget to reserve some before draining the pasta!
- Coriander (Cilantro): Fresh coriander rounds out the spicy and creamy flavors in the sauce.
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Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Chicken Fajita Pasta
- Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta al-dente according to package instructions in a large pot (or the same large deep sauté pan you’ll use to make the pasta dish) of boiling salted water. Reserve some pasta cooking water, then drain and set aside.
- Cook the chicken. Season the diced chicken with fajita seasoning and salt. Heat olive oil in a large deep sauté pan and add the chicken. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until lightly seared and almost fully cooked.
- Sauté the veggies and aromatics. Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic and chilies and sauté until slightly softened and fragrant.
- Stir in the passata and seasonings. Mix well to combine, then stir in a little reserved pasta water to help deglaze the pan.
- Add the cheese. Turn the heat down to low and make a small hole in the center of the pan. Add the Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges and a splash of reserved pasta cooking water. Mix the cheese gently in the same spot until it breaks down. Then add the unsweetened almond milk and stir until a creamy sauce forms. Mix to combine the sauce with everything else.
- Add the pasta. Mix until the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce.
- Mix through the coriander. Mix to combine, then switch off the heat.
- Serve! Divide evenly onto plates and garnish with more coriander. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Add pasta cooking water as needed. If the pan looks dry at any point, a splash of reserved pasta water will help to cook everything. It will also help loosen up the sauce if it thickens to much. Add a little at a time so as to not overdo it.
- Adjust spice level to taste. This One Pot Chicken Fajita is a spicy recipe as written. Omit or use less of the fresh red chilies, ground cayenne and crushed red pepper to make it milder. In addition, use a sweet smoked paprika instead of a hot one. To make it hotter, use more of the spicy ingredients and a medium or hot fajita seasoning mix.
- Make it for meal prep. Double the recipe ingredients by clicking ‘2x’ in the recipe card below to make 4 servings instead of 2. Cook as indicated. Divide evenly in meal prep containers and cover once cooled. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until hot throughout.
- Use a different protein. Shrimp/prawns, sliced pork tenderloin (fillet) or beef strips such as sliced flank or skirt steak would taste great in this lighter creamy fajita pasta dish!
- Make it vegetarian. Use a plant-based meat protein substitute or add pinto or black beans. You can also add more veggies such as sliced mushrooms (portobello, chestnut, and button mushrooms are some great options), baby corn, zucchini, baby spinach, tomatoes, etc.
- Make it vegan. Same as for making it vegan but use vegan laughing cow cheese wedges (available at Whole Foods Market) or any other dairy-free light or regular cream cheese.
- For a creamier sauce. Use whole milk instead of unsweetened almond milk.
- Make it cheesier. Top off your plate with a sprinkling of freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese. Or stir in ¼ cup of either into the sauce.
- Make it gluten-free. Use a gluten-free pasta. I can vouch that red lentil and chickpea pasta both work well in this chicken fajita pasta dish.
- Make it lower in calories. Use 150 grams / 5.3 ounces pasta instead of 160 grams / 5.64 ounces to reduce the calories slightly but still have a filling high protein meal.
I haven’t personally tried freezing this pasta dish but I believe you can. Once completely cooled, transfer to freezer friendly airtight sealed containers. Store if the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge. To reheat, sprinkle with a little water and reheat on high in the microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until hot throughout.
If you prefer a creamier and more indulgent sauce, stir in ⅓ cup of heavy cream instead of making a lighter creamy sauce with Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges and unsweetened almond milk.
Sure! You can use a plant-based meat protein substitute, shrimp or prawns, sliced flank or skirt steak, or sliced pork tenderloin (fillet) instead.
MADE THIS RECIPE? If you make this recipe, leave a comment and review it below with a STAR rating! I always appreciate your feedback and it helps other readers that are thinking of making the recipe. Take a photo and be sure to tag it with @thatspicychick on Instagram and hashtag it #thatspicychick and I’ll be sure to share.
More Tasty Pasta Recipes You’ll Love
One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta
Juicy chicken fajita pieces, onion, peppers, garlic and pasta get tossed in a lightened-up creamy sauce in this tasty One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta dish! Ready in under 30 minutes and perfect for busy weeknights!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Mexican-inspired
- 300 grams / 10.6 ounces Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless – cut into bite-sized pieces
- 9 grams Old El Paso Smoky BBQ Fajita Seasoning Mix (or use any store-bought or homemade fajita seasoning – note 1)
- ¼ TSP Fine Sea Salt (use ½ TSP if using kosher salt)
One Pot Fajita Chicken Pasta:
- 15 grams / 2 Garlic cloves – minced
- 30 grams / 8-10 fresh Red Chilies (optional, I used Thai Bird’s Eye red chilies, omit for milder dish – note 2*)
- 80 grams / 1/3 medium Red Onion – thinly sliced
- 124 grams / 1 medium Bell Pepper (any color) – sliced, then sliced in half if the pieces are large (I used ½ a red bell pepper, and ¼ each of a yellow and green bell pepper)
- 160 grams / 5.64 ounces Wholewheat Fusilli (or any short-cut regular or gluten-free pasta)
- 15ml / 1 TBSP Olive Oil
- 100 grams / ≈ 1 cup Passata (substitute with tomato puree)
- ¼ TSP Fine Sea Salt, to taste
- ½ TSP freshly cracked Black Pepper, to taste
- ½ TSP Smoked Paprika (hot or sweet)
- ½ TSP Crushed Red Pepper Flakes, to taste (note 3*)
- ¼ TSP ground Cayenne, to taste (note 3*)
- 9 grams Old El Paso Smoky BBQ Fajita Seasoning Mix
- 50 grams / 3 Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges (note 4)
- 60ml / ¼ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (or any type of plant-based or regular milk)
- Pasta Cooking Water, as needed
- 6 grams / 3 sprigs Coriander (Cilantro) – chopped
- To Serve: Reserved chopped coriander
- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop the garlic, red chilies, red onion, and bell pepper(s) indicated in the ‘ingredients’ section.
- Season the chicken: Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add to a medium bowl. Season with fajita seasoning and fine sea salt. Mix well to coat.
One Pot Fajita Chicken Pasta:
- Cook the pasta: Cook the pasta al-dente according to package instructions in a large pot (or the same large deep sauté pan you’ll use to make the pasta dish) of boiling salted water. Reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water, then drain and set aside. (I like to run water cold water over the pasta to prevent it from sticking and cooking further.)
- Cook the chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large deep sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and cook for 3-4 minutes, until lightly seared and almost fully cooked.
- Sauté the veggies and aromatics: Add the bell pepper, onion, garlic and chilies and sauté for 1 minute or until the bell pepper has slightly softened and the garlic and chilies are fragrant.
- Add the passata and seasonings: Stir in the passata, fine sea salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper, ground cayenne and remaining 9 grams of fajita seasoning until combined well. Add 2 tablespoons of reserved pasta water to help deglaze the pan and mix well to combine.
- Stir in the cheese and milk: Turn the heat down to low and make a small hole in the center of the pan. Add the Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges and 2 tablespoons of reserved pasta cooking water. Mix the cheese gently with the water in the same spot until it breaks down. Then add the unsweetened almond milk and stir until a creamy sauce forms. Mix to combine the sauce with everything else.
- Add the pasta: Add the pasta and mix until evenly coated in the sauce. If the sauce thickens too much, add a splash of the reserved pasta water and continue cooking until it clings onto the pasta.
- Mix through the coriander: Add most of the coriander (reserve some for garnish) and mix through to combine. Switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates and garnish with the remaining coriander. Serve immediately.
- Old El Paso Smoky BBQ Fajita Seasoning Mix. I love the smoky, slightly sweet and charry BBQ flavor this fajita seasoning flavors the chicken and the sauce for this pasta dish. Feel free to use any type of store-bought or homemade mild, medium, or hot fajita seasoning you love.
- Fresh Red Chilies: Use less or more to taste, or omit the them completely for a milder dish.
- Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges: This is a semi-soft cheese that becomes creamy and smooth once melted in pasta dishes. Substitute with light or regular cream cheese if unavailable.
- Ground Cayenne and Crushed Red Pepper: Adjust quantity to taste based on your heat level preference. Or omit for a milder dish.
- Storing and reheating leftovers. Store in airtight sealed containers in the fridge for 3-4 days. Reheat in the microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until hot throughout.
- Meal prep option. Double the recipe ingredients by clicking ‘2x’ at the top of the recipe card to make 4 servings instead of 2. Cook as indicated. Divide evenly in meal prep containers and cover once cooled. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days. When ready to eat, reheat in the microwave on high for 1.5-2 minutes, stirring halfway through, until hot throughout.
- See ‘Variations’ and ‘FAQs’ section in the post above if you’d like to customize this fajita pasta dish.
- Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
- Calories: 648
- Sugar: 14.2g
- Sodium: 1292.3mg
- Fat: 15.3g
- Saturated Fat: 3.4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 1.9g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 71.5g
- Fiber: 9.9g
- Protein: 50.9g
- Cholesterol: 109.5mg
Keywords: one pot chicken fajita pasta, healthy chicken fajita pasta, chicken fajita pasta, creamy chicken fajita pasta
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