Spicy Mexican Chicken Pasta
I am so completely embarrassed to admit this: last night was the first night in over a month that Paul and I sat down at our dining room table and ate a home-cooked meal together. This home-cooked meal, Spicy Mexican Chicken Pasta.
Between work travel, evening church activities, band rehearsals, sporting events, half marathon training, we seem to always miss each other when it comes to meal time. We have enjoyed some meals together – some really great meals at some of our new favorite restaurants. But nothing beats getting to sit down as a family around an amazingly flavorful and simple pasta dish.
It seems like dining out should be a treat but lately it feels like dining at home has become a “special occasion” of sorts. I was excited to cook a meal, I took my time in thinking of flavors for this dish. Paul helped me chop the peppers. We listened to the Cardinal’s game on the radio while we talked about our day. A simple, perfect weeknight meal full of our favorite flavors made for the perfect night in!
Spicy Mexican Chicken Pasta
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 45 min
Simple, spicy and creamy Mexican Chicken pasta with bell peppers, tomatoes, salsa verde and cream cheese.
16 ounces fusilli pasta (or your choice of short-grain pasta)
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, chopped (greens & whites) + more for garnish
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped + more for garnish
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and finely chopped
1 cup mini mixed sweet peppers (about 8), sliced into strips
4 ounce can chopped green chiles
12 ounces grape tomatoes, quartered
16 ounce jar mild salsa verde (or homemade)
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces sharp white cheddar cheese + more for garnish
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook the pasta in salted boiling water, according to directions.
In a small bowl, mix the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper until combined. Place the cubed chicken in a glass bowl and sprinkle the spice mixture over the top. Stir well to coat the chicken.
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the seasoned chicken and cook for about 5 minutes, flipping each piece once, halfway through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside - some pieces won’t be fully cooked – they will finish cooking later.
In the same pan, add the yellow onion, garlic and green onion and cook for about 3 minutes, until the onion begins to soften. Add the cilantro, jalapeno and sweet peppers and cook for another 4 minutes or so, until the peppers begin to soften. Add the green chiles, tomatoes and salsa and stir well to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the mixture is heated through. Add the chicken back to the mixture, stir. Stir in the cream cheese and cheddar cheese. Allow the mixture to cook for 7-8 minutes until heated through; the chicken should be cooked through and the mixture should thicken slightly.
Serve over the cooked noodles and garnish with additional cheddar cheese, green onions and cilantro.