This chicken fajita pasta recipe features chicken thighs, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and fajita seasoning. It is also made in one pot which makes cleanup easy.
What is Chicken Fajita Pasta
This chicken fajita pasta makes a remarkable dinner on a weeknight since it is easy to prepare and includes only one pot. Basically, this pasta recipe includes traditional fajita filling of chicken, peppers, onions, and fajita seasoning tossed with pasta rather than being stuffed into tortillas as with chicken fajitas.
For the pasta, a shorter cut works the best to ensure that you get mouthfuls of both pasta and veggies in every bite. Some possible choices include shells, macaroni, fusilli, penne, bow ties, and more. You can also use regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free pasta as you desire. All will work well in this pasta recipe.
Ingredients and Substitutions:
- Bell Peppers (any color)
- Onion (white or red)
- Oil (olive oil or any preferred cooking oil)
- Skinless, boneless chicken thighs (chicken breast can be used, but will dry out easier)
- Mexican seasoning mix (I am using my homemade Taco seasoning; fajita or chili seasoning work too)
- Broth (chicken or vegetable broth)
- Diced tomato (canned or fresh)
- Crushed tomato (or tomato pasta sauce)
- Pasta (like penne or any other short shape)
How to Make Chicken Fajita Pasta
1. To make this pasta, you should begin with either a large pot or Dutch oven. Simply heat half of the oil in the pot and then brown half of the bell peppers and onions until well coloured and cooked through. You can use whatever peppers you like. Consider trying a mixture such as green bell pepper if you like some earthy flavour, and red, orange, and yellow peppers for a sweeter flavour.
2. Then remove the sautéed onion and bell peppers from the pot and set aside.
Cooking the Chicken
3. Next, heat the remaining oil and similarly cook the chicken to ensure that it gets more colour. Once of the chicken is cooked, add the taco seasoning. The taco seasoning can be a store bought version or you could even use a homemade taco seasoning if you like.
Making the Sauce
4. Next, add the chicken broth in order to pull some of the charred bits from the bottom of the pot as this will add flavour to your sauce. Also add canned diced tomatoes or fresh chopped tomatoes and tomato puree along with your choice of pasta.
5. Stir and make sure most of the pasta is immersed in liquid. Then, cook the mixture over medium-high heat just until the pasta is al dente and the flavors have mingled. Depending on the type of pasta you are using, the timing will vary, but it should generally take between 8 and 13 minutes. Just follow the package directions for your particular pasta as a guide for timing. Then, you can taste the pasta as you boil it until it is perfectly al dente.
6. Finally, stir the onion and bell pepper slices back into the pot. Along with some optional shredded cheese and chopped cilantro.
Serving the Chicken Fajita Pasta
Once done, you can serve the pasta in bowls along with the typical fajita garnishes. These can include shredded cheddar cheese, avocado, and cilantro, but you could also extend it to homemade or store bought salsa, sour cream, or green chilies.
For the taco seasoning in this recipe, you can feel free to use store bought to make preparation even easier, but homemade taco seasoning is easy to make and may save you a few dollars if you have all of the ingredients on hand already to make it.
Taco seasoning generally contains ingredients like chili powder, cumin, garlic, and more. My version of taco seasoning is naturally gluten-free and includes all of those ingredients along with cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, onion powder, paprika, and oregano. If you make up a large batch of it, it can store in a cool, dark cupboard so that you have it on hand as you need it for either this pasta recipe or your homemade fajitas and tacos.
The wonderful thing about homemade pasta recipes is that there is always room to modify them if needed. Here are some ideas regarding how you could modify the recipe if needed.
- If you don't have chicken thighs on hand or would prefer higher protein meat, you could replace them with boneless skinless chicken breasts instead. Steak would also work well here, although you may want to cook it separately and toss it into the pasta at the end to ensure that it doesn't become overdone.
- If you don't have enough bell peppers for this recipe, you could bulk them up with other fresh veggies such as mushrooms, poblano peppers, or corn.
- You may replace the chicken broth with other cooking liquid such as beef broth, vegetable broth, or even water.
- While taco seasoning is great, other flavourful seasonings such as fajita seasoning and chili seasoning will work just fine in this pasta dish.
- You may like a little heat in your fajitas. If so, you can add some red pepper flakes or chopped fresh jalapenos into the dish when you cook the veggies.
- If you would like to serve your family a baked pasta, consider pouring the pasta into a baking dish, topping it with cheddar cheese, and baking it in a 350 F oven until the cheese melts. Then, you can serve the pasta with your favourite fajita garnishes.
Other Pasta Recipes You'll Love:
One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- ½ onion sliced
- 2 bell peppers in slices
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs in strips (4-5 thighs)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning or fajita or chili seasoning mix
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup diced tomatoes or 1 large fresh tomato, diced
- ½ cup tomato puree
- ½ lb short pasta regular, whole wheat, or gluten free
- Heat a large pot or Dutch oven on high. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Then sear the onion and bell pepper slices. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. Remove sautéed vegetable and set aside.
- Add the other tablespoon of oil and sear the sliced chicken thighs until outsides are well browned
- Season with taco (fajita or chili) seasoning mix. Then deglaze the pot with the chicken broth.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato puree, and pasta. Push down to make sure the pasta is immersed.
- Bring to a boil, then close the lid and cook on medium heat until most of the liquid is absorbed and the pasta is al dente (8-13 minutes).
- Stir the sautéed onion and bell peppers back in and let heat through. Then serve immediately topped with shredded cheese, avocado, and cilantro.
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