Chicken fajita pasta
(Only had one pepper when I went to make it )
3 chicken breasts, diced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 pack fajita mix
5 cups milk
4 cups penne pasta
1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
Cheesy Chicken Fajita Pasta Delight
- 3 chicken breasts, diced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 green bell pepper, sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 pack fajita mix
- 5 cups milk
- 4 cups penne pasta
- 1 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
- Sour cream (optional, for serving)
1. Marinate the Chicken:
- In a bowl, combine diced chicken with half of the fajita mix seasoning. Toss well to coat the chicken evenly. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes.
2. Cook the Pasta:
- Cook the penne pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
3. Sauté the Vegetables:
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced red, green, and yellow bell peppers, and the onion. Sauté until the vegetables are tender and slightly caramelized, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the sautéed vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
4. Cook the Chicken:
- In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of olive oil. Add the marinated chicken and cook until it’s browned and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside.
5. Prepare the Fajita Sauce:
- In the same skillet, pour in the milk and the remaining half of the fajita mix seasoning. Stir well to combine and let it simmer over medium heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3-4 minutes.
6. Combine Pasta, Vegetables, Chicken, and Sauce:
- Add the cooked pasta, sautéed vegetables, and cooked chicken back into the skillet with the fajita sauce. Stir everything together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Add Cheese:
- Sprinkle the shredded pepper jack cheese over the pasta mixture. Cover the skillet and let it sit for a couple of minutes until the cheese melts and becomes gooey.
- Garnish the cheesy chicken fajita pasta with freshly chopped cilantro. Serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream on top if desired.
Q1: Can I use a different type of pasta for this recipe? A1: Yes, you can definitely use a different type of pasta if you prefer. While penne works great for this recipe, you can use fettuccine, spaghetti, or any other pasta of your choice.
Q2: Can I use a different cheese instead of pepper jack cheese? A2: Absolutely! Feel free to experiment with different cheeses. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Mexican cheese blend would work well in this recipe.
Q3: Is there a way to make this dish spicier? A3: Yes, you can add some chopped jalapeños or a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sautéed vegetables for extra spice. Adjust the spice level to your preference.
Q4: Can I make this recipe ahead of time? A4: While it’s best served fresh, you can prepare the components (cooked pasta, sautéed vegetables, and cooked chicken) ahead of time and assemble the dish just before serving. Reheat gently to avoid overcooking the pasta.
Q5: How long does the leftover Cheesy Chicken Fajita Pasta Delight last in the fridge? A5: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Make sure to reheat gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of milk to maintain creaminess.
Q6: Can I make this dish vegetarian? A6: Absolutely! You can skip the chicken and add extra vegetables like mushrooms, zucchini, or spinach to make it a delicious vegetarian fajita pasta. You might want to adjust the seasoning accordingly.
Q7: What side dishes pair well with Cheesy Chicken Fajita Pasta Delight? A7: A fresh green salad, garlic bread, or a side of Mexican rice would complement this dish beautifully. Guacamole and salsa are also great accompaniments.
Q8: Can I freeze Cheesy Chicken Fajita Pasta Delight? A8: It’s not recommended to freeze dishes with dairy-based sauces as they can separate and become grainy upon thawing. The texture might not be as enjoyable after freezing.
Q9: How can I make this recipe gluten-free? A9: To make this recipe gluten-free, use gluten-free pasta and ensure the fajita mix seasoning you use is gluten-free. Most seasoning packets are gluten-free, but it’s always best to check the label.
Q10: Can I adjust the spice level of the fajita mix seasoning? A10: Yes, you can adjust the spice level by using less of the fajita mix seasoning if you prefer a milder flavor. You can also add more if you like it spicier. Taste as you go to find your desired spice level.