Remember that Creamy Tomato and Spinach Pasta that we all love because it’s so easy and delicious? Well, the other day when I was craving a creamy-pasta-comfort-food dinner, I decided to morph that recipe with another recipe that we all love so much, Easy Oven Fajitas. When the two recipes come together, a real winner is born: Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta.
This Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta is a fast fix that really doesn’t require a lot of ingredients. If you don’t have a well stocked spice cabinet yet, you can simply purchase a pre-mixed packet of fajita spices and use that in place of the individual spices listed below. If you want to take this recipe one step further and make it EXTRA indulgent, I suggest sprinkling pepper jack (or Monterrey jack) cheese on top.
I was lucky enough to get boneless, skinless chicken breast on a super good sale again, but if you can’t get the same amazing price that I did, chicken thighs would be my next choice. They’re usually quite a bit less expensive and are great because they stay nice and tender when cooked.
Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta
P.S. I used my 10-inch Lodge cast iron skillet for this, but it was really full and difficult to stir without spillage. A 12-inch skillet would probably be a better fit.
Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta
FAJITA SPICE MIX
- 2 tsp chili powder* ($0.20)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika ($0.10)
- 1/4 tsp onion powder ($0.03)
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder ($0.03)
- 1/4 tsp cumin ($0.03)
- 1/8 tsp cayenne ($0.02)
- 1/2 tsp sugar ($0.01)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 1 Tbsp cooking oil ($0.04)
- 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (about 0.75 lb.) ($1.30)
- 1 bell pepper ($0.88)
- 1 yellow onion ($0.34)
- 15 oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes ($1.29)
- 4 oz cream cheese ($1.00)
- 8 oz pasta (any shape) ($0.83)
- 2 green onions, sliced ($0.17)
- Combine the spices for the fajita spice mix in a bowl and set aside. Dice the onion and bell pepper, and cut the chicken breast into 1/2-inch cubes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and continue to boil until tender (7-10 minutes, or according to the package directions). Drain the pasta in a colander and set it aside until ready to use.
- While waiting for the pasta to cook, heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the cubed chicken and the fajita spice mix. Sauté the chicken and spices until the chicken is cooked through and slightly browned. Remove the chicken from the skillet to a clean bowl.
- Add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté over medium heat just until they begin to soften slightly on the edges and have a little brown color. Add the canned tomatoes (with juices) and the cream cheese. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the cream cheese melts in and forms a creamy sauce with the tomatoes.
- Finally, add the cooked and drained pasta and cooked chicken back to the skillet. Stir until everything is evenly combined and coated in creamy sauce. Top with sliced green onions and serve.
Step by Step Photos
Begin by preparing the fajita spice mix. In a small bowl, stir together 2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp onion powder, 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 1/2 tsp sugar, and 1/2 tsp salt.
This is the “chili powder” I use. It’s a mild blend of spices with NO heat to it. The heat in the fajita spice mix comes from the cayenne, so if you want it more spicy add more cayenne, or if you want the pasta to be 100% mild, just leave the cayenne out. :) With the 1/8 tsp cayenne that I used the pasta just has a slight kick, but nothing too spicy.
Next, dice one yellow onion and one bell pepper.
And cut one boneless, skinless chicken breast into 1/2-inch cubes. This was a fairly large chicken breast, at about 3/4 lb. You can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if that’s what you have available.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add 8oz. pasta and cook according to the package directions. I wanted to include a photo of this package because every time I use these “flowers” someone asks what the name of the shape is. This brand is the only one that I’ve seen that makes these cute little pasta flowers.
Once the pasta is cooked through, drain it in a colander and set it aside until ready to use. But while the pasta is cooking you can start the rest of the dish…
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 Tbsp cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the diced chicken and the prepared fajita spice mix. Sauté the chicken and spices until the chicken is slightly browned and cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and place it in a clean bowl.
Add the onion and bell pepper to the skillet and sauté for about 5 minutes, or just until the edges soften and begin to turn brown.
Add one 15oz. can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (with the juices) and 4oz. of cream cheese (cut into chunks) to the skillet.
Stir and cook over medium heat until the cream cheese melts in and creates a creamy sauce with the tomatoes.
Finally, add drained pasta and cooked chicken back to the skillet and stir until everything is coated in the creamy sauce. Top with sliced green onions, then serve.
That’s one big skillet of goodness…. I mean Creamy Chicken Fajita Pasta.