This flavorful chicken chipotle pasta makes for the ideal weeknight dinner. With its creamy, smoky, and bold Mexican flavors, you’ll find yourself coming back to this recipe time and time again!
About the Recipe
Discover your next favorite pasta sauce recipe with the spicy chicken chipotle pasta. It’s packed with flavor, fulfilling, and great for preparing ahead.
Don’t mistake it for the famous Cheesecake Factory copycat; this Mexican pasta dish brings a unique twist to the table.
The creamy pasta sauce is made with a delicious blend of tomato sauce, garlic, heavy cream, and chicken stock.
These ingredients combine to create a unique and flavorful pasta sauce that stands out from the rest. The distinctive taste of chipotle peppers adds a special touch, characterized by smokiness, sweetness, and heat.
Therefore, the smoke-dried ripe jalapeño pepper has become a crucial seasoning in numerous Mexican and Mexican-inspired dishes, such as Baked Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas.
Ingredients For Chicken Chipotle Pasta
Before we proceed to the Mexican spicy chicken chipotle pasta recipe, let’s discuss the ingredients. Understanding the unique role each one plays in making this incredibly delicious pasta sauce is essential.
Chicken breast: Chicken breast is a key ingredient in this recipe, providing essential protein alongside the pasta. You have the option of adding cubed chicken to the sauce, as I do in my version, or grilling it separately and then slicing it to place on top of the pasta.
Fresh pasta: Fresh pasta is an important component of the spicy chicken chipotle pasta dish. I use fresh fettuccine in my recipe but feel free to use your preferred type of pasta, such as spaghetti, elbow pasta, fusilli, and so on.
Tomato sauce: The tomato sauce plays a vital role in this recipe, contributing tanginess, acidity, and a sweet kick that enhances the flavors.
Heavy cream: For a creamy and rich sauce, heavy cream is a must. It not only brings a delightful creaminess but also helps to balance out the spiciness.
Chicken stock: Adding chicken stock further enhances the depth of flavor and prevents the sauce from becoming overly thick, allowing all the flavors to shine and be enjoyed fully.
Chipotle peppers: The star of the show is undoubtedly the chipotle peppers, which add a unique, smoky, and sweet flavor to the dish, along with a moderate level of spiciness (between 2,500 and 8,000 SHU on the Scoville scale). The more chipotle peppers you use, the spicier the dish will be.
Cheese: To make this dish complete, don’t forget the cheese! In my recipe, I recommend parmesan or Cotija cheese but feel free to use any cheese you have on hand or prefer, such as mozzarella or pecorino romano cheese.
Seasoning: Seasoning like cumin powder, garlic, salt, and pepper is essential to bring out the best flavors in the sauce and create a harmonious balance. Adjust the amounts according to your taste preference.
Olive oil or butter: For added flavor, you can use either olive oil, butter, or both. The combination of the two enhances the overall taste of the recipe. Feel free to experiment and find what suits your palate best.
Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta Recipe
First, get a large stockpot and fill it with water to cook your pasta later. This way, it will start heating up as you prepare the sauce.
Take tomato sauce, cream, garlic, and chipotle chilies, and put them in a food processor or blender. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and blend until you achieve a smooth sauce. Set this sauce aside for later.
Season the chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, and chipotle powder. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking by adding more chili powder, cumin, pepper, and so on.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and let it melt. Put in the chicken and cook over medium heat until it’s browned on all sides, which should take around 5 minutes.
Drizzle the chipotle sauce over the mixture and blend. Let it simmer for 4-5 minutes, then adjust the seasonings according to your preference.
Salt the water in the pot and cook the pasta following the package instructions. Drain and combine it with the chipotle cream sauce and chicken in the pan.
Toss the pasta in the creamy chipotle sauce for 30 seconds until well coated. Serve the spicy chicken chipotle pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and chopped parsley on top. Enjoy!
Variations of Chipotle Pasta
Vegetables: Enhance your dish with a variety of diced vegetables like asparagus, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, or peas. Simply sauté them briefly before the chicken, set them aside, and then return them to the pan to simmer along with the sauce and complete the cooking process.
Cut spiciness: If you prefer a milder taste, reduce the spiciness by using just one chipotle en adobo, and avoid seasoning the chicken with chipotle powder.
Cheese: For an extra burst of flavor, incorporate 1/2 cup of Mexican cheese blend or mozzarella into the pasta when mixing it with the sauce.
Pasta formats: Experiment with different pasta formats, such as spaghetti, pappardelle, rigatoni, macaroni, or fusilli, to find the one that best complements your dish. Enjoy the delightful variety of flavors and textures!
What’s the calorie count of Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta? The Cheesecake Factory version has over 1200 calories per serving, while this homemade alternative contains just over 913 calories.
The WSJ’s test revealed that Chipotle’s Tomatillo Red Chili Salsa has Scoville units ranging from 2,730 to 3,420.
This spicy chicken chipotle pasta recipe is ideal for quick meals on busy nights. I prefer making a double batch and storing it in sealed glass containers. It stays fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days!
Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta
- 1 lb Chicken breast (cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 1 ½ lb Fresh pasta (read notes)
- 2 Chipotle peppers in adobo (or more, to taste)
- 1 cup Tomato sauce
- 1 ½ cup Heavy cream
- 1 cup Chicken stock
- 2 Garlic cloves (peeled)
- ½ tsp Cumin powder
- 1 ½ tsp Chipotle powder
- 2 tbsp Olive oil (to taste)
- 1 tbsp Butter
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- Put tomato sauce, cream, chipotle chilies, and garlic into a blender. Add 1 cup of chicken stock and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- Season the chicken with chipotle powder, cumin, salt, and pepper. In a large pan, heat the olive oil and add 1 tablespoon of butter, allowing it to melt. Add the chicken and cook over medium heat until it's browned on all sides (approximately 5 minutes).
- Combine the chipotle cream sauce with the chicken in the pan. Let it simmer for 3-4 minutes and adjust the seasonings to your taste. Then, turn off the heat.
- While the chicken and sauce are simmering, cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Once it's done, drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the sauce. Toss everything together until the pasta is nicely coated.
- Serve the dish with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and parsley for added flavor. Enjoy!