This spicy chicken chipotle pasta is the perfect dinner for any weeknight with your family or a dinner party with friends. Creamy, smoky, and packed with bold Mexican flavors you will make this recipe over and over!
I’m thrilled to share a recipe that’s all about adding a little spicy zing to your dinner table – Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta! It’s the perfect dish to warm up those taste buds and bring a delightful twist to your usual pasta nights.
The star of this recipe is the flavorful pasta sauce made with chipotle peppers which are smoked and dried jalapeño popular in Mexican cuisine. These peppers add a smoky, spicy, and slightly sweet flavor to the dish.
Also, the recipe is super easy to make and comfort food that delivers both a bit of heat and a delicious creaminess.
- Chicken. I prefer using chicken breast, but chicken thighs are also a good option.
- Fresh pasta. Without pasta, there is no spicy chicken chipotle pasta. I used fresh fettuccine in this recipe.
- Tomato sauce. To balance the flavor in the chipotle creamy sauce.
- Heavy cream. To bring creaminess and delicious richness to the sauce. And it also helps to balance the spiciness.
- Chicken stock. Or use vegetable stock if you prefer.
- Chipotle peppers. As mentioned before, chipotle chilies bring a unique flavor to this recipe. On the Scoville scale, chipotle peppers have between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU. So, it provides medium heat. The more you use it, the spicier it will be.
- Chipotle powder: To add more heat and flavor to the chicken. This ingredient is optional or can be substituted with paprika.
- Cheese. I used parmesan cheese.
- Seasons. Cumin powder, garlic, salt, and pepper. Feel free to adjust those to your taste.
- Olive oil + butter. You can add both or only one, I think the combination adds more flavor to the recipe.
How to Make Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta Recipe
Start by placing a large stockpot with plenty of water to cook your pasta later. So it will heat up while you are preparing the sauce.
Place tomato sauce, cream, chipotle chilies, and garlic in a food processor or a blender. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and blend until you will have a smooth sauce. Set aside.
Season chicken with salt, cumin, pepper, and chipotle powder.
You can adjust seasonings to your taste adding more chili powder, cumin, black pepper, etc.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and allow to melt.
Add chicken and cook over medium heat until browned on all sides (about 5 minutes).
Pour over the chipotle sauce and mix to combine. Simmer for 4-5 minutes and then adjust seasonings to taste.
Add salt to the pot with water and cook the pasta accordingly to the instructions on the package.
Reserve 1 or 2 cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the chipotle cream sauce and chicken.
Toss for half a minute to coat nicely the pasta with the creamy chipotle sauce.
If you see the sauce get too thick, add a splash of the pasta water you reserved before.
Serve your spicy chicken chipotle pasta with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley on top for presentation. Enjoy!
Tips & Notes
- Fresh pasta absorbs more liquid when tossed with the spicy chipotle cream sauce, so if you want to use dry pasta make sure you allow the sauce to simmer longer so it is less watery.
- Place the water to boil as the first thing to do, so it will be ready to cook your pasta just as you finish the sauce.
- Want to try this recipe using homemade pasta? Head over to my recipe for pasta fresca and make your own!
- Balance the heat in the sauce. Add only one chipotle en adobo and don’t season the chicken with chipotle powder if you want to tone down the spiciness or add more if you want it spicier.
- Whether using chicken breast or thighs, avoid overcooking them. Cook until they are just done to maintain their juiciness. Overcooked chicken can become dry and tough.
Chipotle Chicken Pasta Variations
- Veggies. You can add some diced vegetables to this creamy pasta recipe. Think of asparagus, zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, or peas. Sautéed them a bit before the chicken, remove them, and return to the pan to simmer with the sauce and finish the cooking.
- Cheesy. Add 1/2 cup of Mexican cheese blend or mozzarella to the pasta when tossing it with the sauce for a cheesy kick.
- Pasta formats. You can use other types of pasta shapes such as spaghetti, pappardelle, or short pasta like rigatoni, macaroni, penne pasta, or fusilli.
Store And Reheat
Spicy chicken chipotle pasta can last up to 3-4 days in the fridge, so it makes the perfect prep meal to enjoy on those busy days.
Divide the leftovers into small containers with a tight lid and store them in the fridge. I recommend glass containers because they preserve best the flavor and freshness of foods.
I don’t recommend freezing this spicy chipotle pasta as the texture of the creamy sauce changes and defrosted cooked pasta is something I really don’t like or recommend.
What is chipotle sauce made of?
In this recipe, the creamy pasta sauce is made of canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, cream, tomato sauce, garlic, and chicken stock.
Are chicken breasts or thighs better?
Both options work perfectly for this spicy chicken chipotle pasta recipe, however, I prefer to use chicken breast because is a lean meat and the creamy sauce will add tons of flavor anyway. It is also about balance.
More Pasta Recipes
Did you enjoy this spicy chicken chipotle pasta recipe? Please take a minute and rate it below in the comments. Also, don’t forget to share and follow this blog on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta
- 1 lb chicken breast (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1.1 lb fresh pasta (read notes)
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo (or more, to taste)
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled)
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon chipotle powder (or paprika)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil (to taste)
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Add tomato sauce, cream, chipotle chilies, and garlic into a blender.
- Add 1 cup of chicken stock and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Season chicken with chipotle powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add 1 tablespoon of butter and allow to melt.
- Add chicken and cook over medium heat until browned on all sides (about 5 minutes).
- Add chipotle cream sauce and mix to combine.
- Simmer for 3-4 minutes and adjust seasonings to taste. Turn off the heat.
- Cook pasta as per instructions on the package.
- Drain and add it to the pan with the sauce and toss until pasta is nicely coated.
- Serve with parmesan cheese and parsley.
- Use other types of pasta shapes such as spaghetti, pappardelle, or short pasta like rigatoni, fusilli, or macaroni.
- Check out our recipe for pasta fresca and make your own!
- Adjust the heat in the sauce. Add only one chipotle en adobo and don’t season the chicken with chipotle powder if you want to tone down the spiciness.