30-Minute Dinner/ Chicken Recipes/ Dinner/ meat/ pasta

Chicken Fajita Pasta

15 February 2021 | Last Updated: 10 March 2021 By Aleksandra

If you love chicken fajitas this chicken fajita pasta is a must-try for you. It features perfectly seasoned juicy chicken with sweet colorful sauteed bell peppers and onions. This is a quick and easy pasta dish with all the flavors of chicken fajitas. It’s made with only 8 ingredients and will be ready in 30 minutes tops! You’ll love it!

A close up picture of chicken fajita pasta in a frying pan.

What are Fajitas?

Fajitas is a popular Tex-Mex dish. The name is referring to a piece of skirt steak, that is cut into thin strips, as the real fajitas are made from beef. Chicken Fajitas (Fajitas de Pollo) is a popular variation of the dish. It’s most often served with flour tortillas, sauteed/grilled bell peppers and onion and such condiments like guacamole or pico de gallo.

We are making a spin on this recipe by using chicken breast instead of beef and tossing the fajitas with cooked pasta!

Where the Fajitas come from?

The name Fajitas originated from the Spanish word ‘faja’ meaning belt or a strip. Skirt steak used to be given to Mexican cowboys, working on ranch lands in South and West Texas, as part of their pay. They needed to find a way to cook this flavorful but tough piece of meat, so it was either quickly grilled or cooked over a campfire, then cut into strips against-the-grain. The dish became more and more popular in 1970′ – 1980′ in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

Chicken fajita pasta on a green plate, lemon quarter and fajita seasoning on the side.

Ingredients:

  1. Chicken breasts
  2. Frying oil – use vegetable oil for frying
  3. Bell peppers – preferably colorful
  4. Red onion – adds one more beautiful color
  5. Fajita seasoning – The key to the most amazing chicken fajitas is a spice mix! Ditch filled with artificial ingredients and sugar seasoning packet and make your own homemade fajita seasoning and you will be blown away! It’s made with only 6 ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry (chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, cumin). Other recipes where you can use it: vegetarian quesadillas, Mexican zucchini boats, chicken fajita quesadillas, sheet pan chicken fajitas.
  6. Pasta of your choice – I used fusilli but penne or any short pasta type would also be great. Do not use spaghetti or similar pasta types.
  7. Broth – the best is chicken broth. I usually love all things cheesy but this time I’ve found this dish is so much better when kept light with a simple sauce made with broth, lemon juice, and all the juices left on the pan from cooking the vegetables.
  8. Lemon juice – brightens up the whole dish! You can also use lime juice but I’ve found that lemon juice works here a little bit better.
Labeled ingredients for chicken fajita pasta.

If you use store-bought seasoning, there is a couple of things you need to pay attention to:

  • they usually already contain salt and pepper so go easy on them when seasoning the dish
  • their taste can be different from my spice mix and it also varies from brand to brand so you may need to add a different amount of the spice – adjust it to your liking
  • some spices contain cornstarch which is a thickening agent, if your spice contains it, don’t cook the sauce for too long or it will be too thick

How to make it differently:

  • use different protein: shrimp or steak would be great
  • make it vegetarian: omit the chicken, sub vegetable broth for chicken broth
  • use different vegetables: chopped carrots, tomatoes, peas, broccoli, green beans, all would be great
  • add more heat: you can add chopped jalapeno pepper or some red pepper flakes
  • make it cheesy: as written before, after trying this dish both ways, I actually prefer to kept it light, so I made it without the cheese, but you can add shredded cheddar, pepper jack cheese, Mexican cheese blend, or even cream cheese if you wish

How to make chicken fajita pasta:

  1. Cook the pasta.
  2. Cut the chicken into strips, bell peppers and onion into slices.
  3. Cook the chicken with spices until nicely browned.
  4. Cook the peppers and onion.
  5. Add broth and lemon juice to create a sauce.
  6. Toss the chicken with vegetables and cooked pasta.

Step by step instructions:

Start with cooking the pasta al dente according to the package instructions.

Chicken strips with spices in a bowl. Chopped bell peppers and onion on a chopping board.

STEP 1: Combine the spices with 2 tablespoons of frying oil. Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch (1.5cm) strips. Season with salt and pepper and rub with the spice mix.

STEP 2: Cut the bell peppers into 1/4 inch (7mm) strips and the onion into thin slices.

Pan-fried chicken strips in a pan. Bell peppers and onions in a pan.

STEP 3: Heat 1 tablespoon of frying oil in a big frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken strips in an even layer. Don’t stir for the first 1-2 minutes letting the chicken brown, then turn over and cook until the chicken is cooked through (don’t cook the chicken for too long or it will be tough). Transfer the chicken to a plate.

STEP 4: Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the peppers and onion. Cook for a couple of minutes over high heat, until the peppers are lightly browned.

Broth is being added to the pan. Cooked pasta, chicken and vegetables are being tossed together in a pan.

STEP 5: Add the broth and lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are tender but still a little bit crunchy. The broth should reduce its volume by about a half (it shouldn’t evaporate completely – if that’s the case – add more broth).

STEP 6: Add the chicken back to the pan, toss with the vegetables, and cooked pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

Chicken fajita pasta in a frying pan.

Storage/make-ahead:

This pasta dish reheats very well. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 days in a tightly closed container. You can also freeze it, although I would recommend freezing just the chicken and vegetables. Frozen pasta is very mushy. You could also freeze raw chicken and veggies. Thaw in the fridge, cook and serve with freshly cooked pasta.

Chicken Fajita series:

I have a couple of chicken fajita-themed recipes on my website! If you love chicken fajitas, try them all!

A recipe for chicken fajitas is included in almost every recipe since this is just cooked chicken with bell peppers and onions – this is the basic recipe that you could serve in many different ways – in this recipe we’re serving it with pasta.

You can also make:

  • Sheet pan chicken fajitas – chicken and veggies are baked instead of pan-fried.
  • Chicken fajita quesadillas – tortillas filled with cheesy chicken fajitas.
  • Chicken Fajita bowls – use the basic recipe for chicken fajitas but serve the chicken and veggies over rice instead of pasta.
  • Chicken Fajita pasta bake – make the recipe as is, transfer to a baking dish, top with cheese (cheddar cheese, pepper jack cheese, or Mexican cheese blend), and bake until the cheese is melted.
  • I’ve also made chicken fajita pizza, which is also pretty delicious! Top your pizza dough with pizza sauce, then raw spiced chicken and veggies, and shredded cheese, bake until golden.
  • Fajita seasoning – I used this simple spice mix for all my chicken fajitas-themed recipes!

Did you make this recipe? RATE THE RECIPE or tell me in the COMMENTS how you liked it! You can also add a photo of your dish. It would make me very happy and will help other readers. Thank you!!

Chicken Fajita Pasta

Aromatic and well-spiced chicken pasta with sweet sauteed bell peppers and onions. A quick and easy pasta dish with all the flavors of chicken fajitas.
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Chicken fajita pasta in a frying pan.
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Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 servings
Calories 620kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons frying oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons homemade Fajita seasoning see notes for the recipe
  • 1 lb (450g) chicken breast, 2 large or 3 small breasts
  • 3 bell peppers preferably different colors
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice or lime juice
  • 6 oz (170g) pasta penne or fusilli

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta al dente according to the package instructions.
  • Combine the spices with 2 tablespoons of frying oil.
  • Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch (1.5cm) strips. Season with salt and pepper and rub with the spice mix.
  • Cut the bell peppers into 1/4 inch (7mm) strips and the onion into thin slices.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of frying oil in a big frying pan over high heat. Add the chicken strips in an even layer. Don’t stir for the first 1-2 minutes letting the chicken brown, then turn over and cook until the chicken is cooked through (don’t cook the chicken for too long or it will be tough). Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  • Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan, then add the peppers and onion. Cook for a couple of minutes over high heat, until the peppers are lightly browned, then add the broth and lemon juice. Cook for a couple of minutes until the vegetables are tender but still a little bit crunchy. The broth should reduce its volume by about a half (it shouldn’t evaporate completely – if that’s the case – add more broth).
  • Add the chicken back to the pan, toss with the vegetables and cooked pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Enjoy!

Notes

  • Homemade Fajita seasoning: combine 2 tablespoons chili powder (this is a spice mix not pure chili, and 1 tablespoon EACH: cumin, paprika, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  • If you use store-bought seasoning, there is a couple of things you need to pay attention to:
    • they usually already contain salt and pepper so go easy on them when seasoning the dish
    • their taste can be different from my spice mix and it also varies from brand to brand so you may need to add a different amount of the spice – adjust it to your liking
    • some spices contain cornstarch which is a thickening agent, if your spice contains it, don’t cook the sauce for too long or it will be too thick
  • Calories = 1 serving (1/3 of the recipe). This is only an estimate!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Tex-Mex-inspired
Keyword chicken fajita pasta

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