This spicy chicken chipotle pasta is just the perfect dish to try if you're a fan of bold and spicy flavors. Featuring a mix of crisp veggies, tender chicken and smoky Chipotle, this pasta dish is a crowd-pleaser that will leave everyone wanting more.
If you have been looking for a new and exciting creamy pasta recipe, this spicy chicken Chipotle pasta is something you should definitely try.
Inspired by a dish from the Cheesecake Factory, this Chipotle chicken pasta recipe is a quick dinner that's easy to make but oh-so-delicious.
The combination of flavors might seem odd initially, but trust me, it really works.
You have tender bits of chicken, bell peppers, asparagus and peas in a spicy yet slightly sweet creamy sauce. There's quite a lot going on here, but the result is definitely worth it!
Why you'll love this spicy chicken chipotle pasta
- Bold and spicy flavors — This chipotle pasta dish has some pretty unusual flavors but trust me, it's absolutely delicious!
- A complete meal — The mix of crisp veggies, tender chicken, and smoky Chipotle sauce will leave everyone super satisfied.
- Very easy to make — You can easily whip up this pasta dish in no time for a fuss-free dinner.
Ingredients and substitutions
Olive oil + butter — I like to use a mix of olive oil and butter for creamy results, but you can use just one of them if you like.
Chicken breast — Lean chicken breast is a perfect choice in this recipe, but if you would like your meat to be a bit juicier, you can use chicken thighs instead. Alternatively, you can use leftover rotisserie chicken.
Onion — Any kind of onion would work well in this recipe, including yellow, red, or even shallots.
Red bell pepper — You can use any color of bell pepper you like in this recipe or even a mix for an extra pop of color.
Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, such as mushrooms or zucchini, for extra flavor and nutrition.
Garlic — I like to use freshly minced garlic because they have the best flavor, but if you don't have any fresh garlic on hand, you can use frozen or minced garlic from a jar.
Honey — Adding some honey to the sauce results in an amazing sweet/savory/spicy combination that makes this dish truly remarkable.
Chipotle hot sauce — I used the Chipotle hot sauce from Cholula, but you can use your favorite here. Chipotle peppers also work.
Adobo sauce or canned adobo peppers are another option here, or you can even use some Chipotle seasoning.
Frozen peas — These add brightness to the dish and make it more nutritious.
Asparagus — Steam the asparagus for 2 minutes in the pasta water before adding it to the dish.
Pasta — Any short pasta would work great in this recipe — I used penne.
Half and half (single cream) — The sauce will thicken perfectly when using half and half (single cream). However, if you'd like an even creamier result, you can use heavy cream instead.
How to make chicken Chipotle pasta
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package.
Add the asparagus to the same pot for the last two minutes of cooking. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining.
Add the diced chicken and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, then remove it from the pan.
Add the onion and red bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and the pepper is tender.
Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, then return the cooked chicken to the pot.
Stir in the honey and Chipotle sauce and cook for another minute.
Add the frozen peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Next, stir in the half and half (single cream) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the Chipotle cream sauce thickens.
Add the cooked pasta and asparagus and toss to coat with the sauce. You can add some of the reserved pasta water if it looks too thick.
Stir in the grated Parmesan and adjust the seasoning.
Serve the spicy Chipotle pasta immediately, with some extra grated Parmesan on top if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- Leftovers will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container.
- It's best to reheat this pasta in the microwave. Add a splash of milk or cream if it looks too thick.
- I don't recommend freezing this pasta dish because the sauce may separate or become grainy when thawed.
Recipe notes and tips
- Garnish individual bowls with chopped green onions or fresh cilantro for an extra burst of flavor and color.
- You can substitute chicken with shrimp, sausage, or vegetables for a vegetarian version.
- The sauce should be thick enough to coat the pasta but not so much that it becomes all clumpy. If it looks too thick, thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water.
If you liked this Cheesecake Factory copycat spicy chicken Chipotle pasta, you might also like some of my other creamy pasta recipes:
- Creamy Pasta with Bacon and Peas
- Creamy Rasta Pasta Recipe
- Sundried Tomatoes Chicken Pasta
- Pasta alla Papalina (Creamy Ham and Peas Pasta)
- Pasta alla Boscaiola (Creamy Italian Sausage Pasta)
- 10.5 oz (300 g) pasta
- ½ lb (225 g) asparagus
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon (20 g) unsalted butter
- 1 lb (450) g chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2-3 tablespoons chipotle hot sauce
- 1 cup (150 g) frozen peas
- 1 ½ cup half and half (single cream)
- ½ cup (45 g) grated Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it generously and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the package. Add the asparagus to the same pot for the last two minutes of cooking. Reserve some of the pasta water before draining.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil and butter over medium-high heat in a large, deep pan.
- Add the chicken and cook until browned, about 5-7 minutes, then remove it from the pan.
- Add the onion and red bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent and the pepper is tender.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute, then return the cooked chicken to the pot.
- Stir in the honey and chipotle sauce and cook for another minute.
- Add the frozen peas and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Next, stir in the half and half (single cream) and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
- Add the cooked pasta and asparagus and toss to coat with the sauce. Add some of the reserved pasta water if it looks too thick.
- Stir in the grated Parmesan and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve immediately, with some extra grated Parmesan on top if you like.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 626Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 147mgSodium: 489mgCarbohydrates: 58gFiber: 8gSugar: 22gProtein: 51g
Nutritional information is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator.