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Chicken Fajita Pasta

This Chicken Fajita Pasta is a spin on your classic Mexican fajitas. It's a comfort food dish the entire family will love! Crisp veggies, moist spicy chicken pieces and pasta all in a zesty sauce. Winner winner chicken dinner!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: bell peppers, Comfort Food, fajitas, onions, Pasta
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 727kcal
Author: MaryAnn Dwyer

Ingredients

Brine

  • 1 1/2 lbs. chicken breasts
  • 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • 6 cups cold water

Mexican Spice Blend

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice

Fajita Pasta

  • 3 cups medium pasta shells, uncooked
  • 7 Tbsp. butter, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium orange bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, if desired
  • crumbled Cotija cheese, for serving, if desired

Instructions

Brine

  • Fill a bowl with 6 cups cold water and 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Add chicken pieces. Mix well. Let chicken sit in brine for 30 minutes.

Mexican Spice Blend

  • In a small bowl, mix chili powder, garlic and onion powders, cumin, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes until well blended. Set aside.
  • Drain the brine from the bowl and pat the chicken dry and cut into 1 1/2-2-inch pieces. Add chicken pieces to a large bowl. Sprinkle chicken with the Mexican spice mix. Pour the lime juice over the chicken and with a rubber spatula, toss the chicken pieces until well coated. 

Fajita Pasta

  • Add two tablespoons of butter to a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and onions to the skillet and cook for four minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and continue to cook for one minute, stirring often. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon to a large bowl and set aside.
  • Add another tablespoon butter and one tablespoon olive oil to the skillet. Add the chicken and cook over medium heat, stirring often until no longer pink inside. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl with the veggies. Set aside.
  • Cook the pasta in a pot of salted water al dente according to package directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Whisk in the chicken broth until smooth. Add the heavy cream, kosher salt, pepper, remaining two teaspoons of Mexican seasoning and red pepper flakes and continue whisking until the sauce begins to thicken, about 8-9 minutes.
  • Add the veggies, chicken and the drained pasta. Toss until well combined. Serve immediately with crumbled Cotija cheese, if desired.

Notes

I used a combination of four different colors peppers. You can use any color you prefer. The dish just looks so pretty with all four colors.
I like to cook my onions and peppers just for about 5 minutes over medium heat so they're still a bit crunchy.
You can use any small/medium-ish size pasta for this recipe. I used medium shells.

Nutrition

Calories: 727kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 166mg | Sodium: 3775mg | Potassium: 1002mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3729IU | Vitamin C: 110mg | Calcium: 108mg | Iron: 4mg