This spicy chicken chipotle pasta is the perfect dinner for any weeknight. Creamy, smoky, and packed with bold Mexican flavors you will make this recipe over and over!
About the Recipe
If you’re looking for your next favorite pasta sauce recipe, the spicy chicken chipotle pasta is the dish for you. It is flavorful, fulfilling, and perfect to prepare ahead.
This recipe shouldn’t be confused with the copycat of the well-known recipe from the Cheesecake Factory. Though that’s a savory dish, this is a Mexican pasta recipe and it is somehow different.
The creamy pasta sauce contains a few delicious ingredients. Including tomato sauce, heavy cream, garlic, and chicken stock.
All these ingredients come together to make a flavorful pasta sauce that’s unlike any other. Chipotle peppers have a unique flavor that’s characterized by smokiness, sweetness, and heat.
As such, this smoke-dried ripe jalapeño pepper has become a staple seasoning in many Mexican and Mexican-inspired dishes like Baked Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas.
About The Ingredients
Before we move on to the Mexican spicy chicken chipotle pasta recipe, I want to break down the ingredients for you. It’s important to understand the magic element each ingredient has to create one of the most delicious pasta sauces you’ll ever taste.
- Chicken breast. This is one of the main ingredients of the recipe because it’s always good to have a little protein with your pasta. You can add it to the sauce in cubes as I do in my recipe, or you can grill it on the side and slice it to place it on top of the pasta.
- Fresh pasta. Without pasta, there is no spicy chicken chipotle pasta. I use fresh fettuccine in this recipe, but you’re free to use whatever type of pasta you prefer. Such as spaghetti, elbow pasta, fusilli, etc.
- Tomato sauce. This ingredient is very important for the sauce. It adds tanginess, acidity, and a sweet kick to the recipe.
- Heavy cream. This one is a must because it brings creaminess and delicious richness to the sauce. And it also helps to balance the spiciness.
- Chicken stock. This ingredient adds more depth of flavor and it allows us to balance the sauce so it’s not overly thick. This way, all the flavors can shine and you can truly enjoy it.
- Chipotle peppers. Now, this is the start of the show! As mentioned before, chipotle chilies bring a unique flavor to this recipe. It’s smoky and sweet, not to mention it provides spice. On the Scoville scale, chipotle peppers have between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU. So, it provides medium heat. The more you use, the spicier it will be.
- Cheese. No pasta recipe is complete without cheese! In my recipe, I recommend parmesan or Cotija cheese. However, you can use what you have on hand or the kind of cheese you prefer. Whether that’s mozzarella, pecorino romano cheese, etc.
- Seasons. Cumin powder, garlic, salt, and pepper bring more flavor to the sauce and help create a good balance. Feel free to adjust those to your taste.
- Olive oil + butter. You can add both or only one, we think the combination adds more flavor to the recipe.
Now, are you ready to try this Mexican spicy chicken chipotle pasta? Let’s see how to make it step by step…
Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta (step by step 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, 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. Drain 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.
Serve your spicy chicken chipotle pasta with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley on top and enjoy!
- I am using fresh pasta here. This type of pasta absorbs more liquid when tossed with the sauce, so if you want to use dry pasta make sure you allow the sauce to simmer longer so 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 our recipe for pasta fresca and make your own!
- Out of heavy cream? Try any substitute for heavy cream in pasta.
- Vegetables. You can add some diced vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, 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.
- Cut the spicy. Add only one chipotle en adobo and don’t season the chicken with chipotle powder if you want to tone down the spiciness.
- Cheese. 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, or fusilli.
How To Store And Reheat
This recipe for spicy chicken chipotle pasta is the perfect prep meal for those busy nights. I like to double the recipe and store it in glass containers with a tight lid. It will last up to 4 days in the fridge!
I don’t recommend freezing it as the texture of the creamy sauce changes and defrosted pasta is something I prefer to avoid. But, if for whatever reason you want to try, read this post with tips for freezing creamy pasta recipes.
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
- 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.
- 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!
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