This One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta is a complete meal in one, with veggies, sliced chicken breasts, and pasta in one flavorful sauce!
September is here, and whether you’re back to school-school or online school, it’s always a crazy time of year.
Easy, one pot meals are some of our favorites, and they make getting dinner on the table a lot easier (with a lot less clean up!).
This Chicken Fajita pasta was an instant hit with the family, and it’s one I feel great about putting on the table.
It’s got a load of veggies (and I’ve included more ways to bump this up down in my notes), a good amount of protein from the chicken and high fiber pasta, and heart-healthy canola oil.
Canola oil is low in saturated fats and high in the unsaturated fats our bodies need. Since it has a mellow flavor and high smoke point, it’s also one of the best cooking oils there is!
Over the years I’ve had the chance to learn more about canola right from the farmers thanks to Canola Eat Well, and it has been a really eye-opening experience!
As a rural prairie girl myself, I’ve been raised to trust and respect farmers because they are our family, our friends, our neighbors. But hearing from them firsthand about how they care for their crops and the passion that goes into growing the food that feeds Canadians? I’ve grown to respect them even more.
Did you know that there are over 43,000 family farmers growing canola on the Prairies?
What is Canola Oil is a great resource on canolaeatwell.com to learn more about how canola oil is made, where it comes from, and the health benefits. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and start a conversation!
Tips for making a great one pot pasta:
A great one pot pasta has been one of my go-to weeknight meals for years, so here are a few extra tips to make sure you see success!
- Dry your chicken breasts before seasoning and sauteeing in canola oil, to be sure that they will brown and not steam. Browned chicken is extra flavorful! (But if it doesn’t brown or you don’t want to bother? Don’t fret. It will still be delicious!)
- Prep everything in advance — your seasoning, slice your peppers, get out your pasta — so that you can throw it in the pan at the perfect moment
- Always use low sodium broth or seasonings, as you can add salt to season. This way you have more control over how it will taste in the end
- Not enough liquid? Simply add a splash later on and keep on cooking. Don’t stress it!
- Too much liquid? Simmer without the lid, and know that it will thicken as it sits (since the starch in the pasta is released into the cooking liquid instead of drained)
- Make it your own! See my list of ways to mix up this recipe to better suit your tastes below.
Variations on this Chicken Fajita Pasta:
- Pasta shape: any type of short pasta will work the same way in this one pot pasta! You can also swap out the penne for linguine or a long cut of pasta, but I find they don’t work as well in one pot pastas and there is a greater risk of clumping.
- Vegetables: while it’s not really Chicken Fajita Pasta if we cut out the peppers, you could (just don’t tell me 😉 ), or you can add in whatever you’ve got in the fridge that you need to use up! Shredded or finely chopped carrots, shredded or sliced zucchini, chopped tomatoes, or finely chopped spinach (throw this one in at the end!)
- Chicken: We often have chicken breasts in the freezer so that’s what I’ve used in this recipe, but you could just as easily swap for boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cooked ground beef or turkey. You can also leave out the meat for a meatless meal, and just skip to sauteeing the vegetables in the canola oil with the seasoning.
- Seasoning: This pasta has mild spice, perfect for little ones (or adults!) who aren’t big on overly spicy foods. If you want to add some kick, a pinch of cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or a few dashes of hot sauce will do the trick.
How to reheat leftover pasta:
I have to share this here, because this one little trick makes all the difference when reheating pasta!
Sprinkle a little water over the past before microwaving, or in the pan if you are reheating on the stove top. This prevents the pasta from becoming dry like it normally would when reheated, and it tastes just as great as it did fresh!
This post is generously sponsored by Canola Eat Well and I was compensated for my time in creating this post — thank you for supporting those that make The Recipe Rebel possible!
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Chicken Fajita Pasta
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 red onion finely sliced and chopped
- 2-3 bell peppers any colour, sliced
- 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 3 cups penne pasta dry
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup jarred tomato salsa (mild or spicy)
- Slice chicken breasts into thin strips or small pieces. Dab with paper towel to dry.
- Combine chili powder, salt, brown sugar and cumin. Sprinkle over chicken and toss to coat.
- Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Brown chicken strips for roughly 2 minutes per side — you may have to do this in two batches unless your skillet is very large.
- Add the peppers and onion to the chicken in the skillet. Toss and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, until peppers are just starting to soften.
- Add chicken broth to the skillet and scrape the bottom with a wooden spoon to remove any bits that might have stuck on.
- Stir in the pasta and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce to medium heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking for 5 minutes or until pasta is tender.
- Stir in cheese and salsa and allow to melt before serving.
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