Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta, inspired by Cheesecake Factory’s famous dish, is sure to be a crowd pleaser, brimming with a rainbow of sweet, spicy, tangy flavors and textures!
Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta, inspired by Cheesecake Factory’s mouth-watering version, will spice up your weeknight dinner routine at a fraction of the price of dining out! This spicy chicken pasta recipe is loaded with tender bites of honey glazed chicken, crisp-tender asparagus, colorful bell peppers, and sweet petite peas, in a creamy chipotle Parmesan sauce, all brightened with a kiss of lime. Every bite is an explosion of sweet, spicy, tangy delight that will leave you wanting more. So, whether you’re cooking for your family or entertaining guests, this Spicy Chipotle Chicken Pasta is sure to be a crowd-pleaser alongside sweet cornbread and pina colada fruit salad!
Chicken Pasta recipes are always a dinner win! Along with this spicy chicken pasta, you’ll love Jerk Chicken Pasta, Blackened Chicken Alfredo, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, Cajun Chicken Pasta, Parmesan Chicken Pasta, and Creamy Chicken Pesto Pasta.
HOW TO MAKE chipotle Chicken Pasta VIDEo
Why you’ll love this Spicy Chicken Pasta Recipe
Swoon worthy chicken without a marinade. The chipotle honey chicken is stand-alone scrumptious, so much so, I have a Chicken Bites recipe dedicated to it! The chicken is coated in a chipotle forward fiesta seasoning mix, pan seared to golden perfection, then tossed in honey and lime juice for an explosion of juicy, tangy, sweet and spicy heaven.
Quick, uber juicy chicken. Pounding the chicken before chopping makes the bites super tender without the need for a marinade!
A lighter yet luxurious sauce. The sauce is made with a roux (flour cooked in some butter) which allows us to use both chicken broth and half and half instead of all heavy cream. If you want to go even lighter, you can swap the half and half for evaporated milk.
Customizable heat. Enjoy the chipotle heat or adjust the amount of chipotle seasoning to keep it 100% kid friendly.
Prep ahead friendly. Chop and season the chicken, chop all of the vegetables and shred the cheeses up to two days ahead of time, so at “go time,” dinner can be whipped up in minutes.
Versatile. Swap the chicken for shrimp, modify the heat and add any vegetables you like.
Spicy Chicken Pasta Ingredients
You will be swooning over this Cheesecake Factory copycat with its creamy, cheesy, spicy, full throttle blend of flavor! To make the Chipotle Chicken Pasta, you will need the following (full recipe in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
FOR THE CHICKEN
FOR THE PASTA
How to Make Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta
Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta is made in 5 steps: 1) cook the pasta and asparagus, 2) season and cook the chicken bites, 3) sauté the veggies, 4) make the sauce, 5) combine. See below for how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos or watch the video in the recipe card (find the full recipe with measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
Step 1: Cook the Asparagus & Pasta
Step 2: season the chicken
Step 3: Cook the Chicken
Step 4: Saute the Onion and Peppers
Step 5: Make the Sauce
Step 6: Finish and Serve
what to serve with chipotle Chicken Pasta
Keep things simple by serving this Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta with a green salad and melon, or, serve it with one or more of the following sides:
You can prep portions of this Chipotle Chicken Pasta recipe in advance so the final dish comes together quickly:
Prep chipotle seasoning: Mix the seasonings together and store in an airtight container/plastic bag at room temperature for up to 6 months.
Prep chicken: The chicken can be chopped, seasoned, covered and refrigerated up to two days ahead of time. When it’s time to cook, let the chicken rest on the counter for 30 minutes to come to room temperature.
Vegetables: Slice the bell peppers and onions and chop the asparagus; store in the refrigerator.
Grate cheese: Prep and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
HOW TO STORE AND REHEAT
This spicy chicken pasta should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. I do not recommend freezing because the creamy sauce can break and become a funny texture and the veggies will become mushy once thawed.
HOW TO REHEAT
Microwave: transfer small portions to a microwave-safe dish, microwave for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30-second intervals, adding a splash of milk if it seams dry.
Stove: transfer to a skillet and heat over medium heat, stirring often. You may want to add a splash of milk if the pasta seems dry.
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Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta
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- 1 ½ teaspoon chipotle chili pepper, chili powder
- 1 tsp EACH ground cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 medium chicken breasts, pounded to tenderize, then chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 cup asparagus, 1-inch chop
- 1 pound penne
Creamy Chipotle Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 bell peppers (red, yellow and/or orange) thinly sliced
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 ½ cups half and half (or milk whisked with 1 TBS cornstarch, or evaporated milk mixed with 2 tsps. cornstarch)
- 1 ½ teaspoons chicken bouillon (granulated, crushed cubes or base)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup freshly shredded sharp cheddar
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 cup frozen petite peas (don’t thaw)
- freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- fresh parsley or cilantro
- lime juice
- Pasta water: Start the water boiling for your pasta in a large pot, meanwhile season the chicken and prep the veggies.
- Spice Mix: In a small bowl, whisk the spices together. Remove 1 ½ tablespoons to use on the chicken (the rest is for the pasta sauce).
- Season chicken: While the chopped chicken is still on the cutting board, pat dry with paper towels, then toss with the 1 ½ tablespoon spice mix; set aside.
- Cook asparagus: Prepare a large bowl of ice water and place a colander inside (skip colander if you have a pasta pot with drain insert). Season the boiling pasta water generously with salt. Add the asparagus and boil for 2-3 minutes or until tender crisp. Use a fine mesh sieve (or drain insert) to transfer the asparagus to the colander in the ice bath to prevent it from continuing to cook.
- Cook pasta: Cook pasta in the boiling water just until al dente. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining. Drain, rinse and toss pasta with a drizzle of olive oil; set aside.
- Cook chicken: Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in an enameled cast iron braiser or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once smoking, add chicken in a single layer. Sear chicken for 2-3 minutes, then flip over. Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or just until cooked through. Stir in 2 tablespoon honey and 1 tablespoon lime juice, until evenly coated. Transfer to a plate including all of the yummy glaze (use a spatula to get it all). Wipe the pan clean (so the residual honey doesn’t burn).
- Make sauce: Sprinkle in the flour and cook for 1 additional minute. Reduce heat to low, then slowly whisk in the chicken broth, followed by the half and half. Stir in the chicken bouillon and oregano. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the sauce to a simmer until thickened, stirring often.
- Add cheeses: Reduce heat to low. Working in batches, stir in the cheddar until melted, followed by Parmesan cheese until melted. You may need to cook for 1-2 minutes on low for the cheeses to completely melt.
- Combine and season: Stir in the lime juice, chicken, asparagus, and peas, followed by the pasta. Season with salt, pepper and/or chipotle chili pepper to taste. If you would like to thin the sauce (optional), add some reserved pasta water a little at a time. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley or cilantro and lime juice (optional).
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