This creamy, spicy chicken chipotle pasta is packed with flavor. A smooth, cheesy, spicy-yet-sweet sauce loaded with big chipotle flavor coats al dente penne pasta, tender pieces of chicken, and an assortment of veggies. Hungry yet?
Spicy, cheesy, creamy pasta? What more could you ask for? The moment a bite of this delicious chipotle chicken pasta hits your lips, you are met with an explosion of flavor. The heat from the chipotle adobo sauce and the sweetness from the honey are carried by the richness of the heavy cream and parmesan cheese. It really does make for the perfect bite. I could practically drink the sauce on its own it’s that good. With the addition of succulent chicken, perfectly cooked pasta, and a plethora of veggies, though, this easy pasta recipe is a meal that you and yours will come back to over and over again.
Why You’ll Love This Spicy Chicken Pasta
This spicy chicken chipotle pasta is loaded with flavor and so quick and easy that anyone can make it. Here are a few reasons I think this recipe might just become a new staple in your home.
- Quicker than quick. You know who loves a quick and easy recipe? Everyone! This simple pasta only takes 35 minutes to make and is perfect for any culinary skill level. It’s a wonderful weeknight dinner.
- Loaded with well-balanced flavors. This chipotle chicken pasta might be spicy but the cream in the sauce tempers the spice while the honey adds a delightful sweetness that balances the dish perfectly.
- Adaptable. I love how easy it is to adapt this recipe to different taste preferences. Not a spice person? Cut the adobe sauce in half. Not a chicken fan? Swap out the protein. Vegetarian? Forget the chicken and add more veggies. It’s a recipe anyone can enjoy.
What You’ll Need
Here’s a list of what you will need to make this delicious, spicy chicken pasta. Be sure to scroll to the recipe below for detailed measurements.
- Penne pasta – Other, short pasta shapes would work as well. Gluten-free? Grab your favorite gluten-free pasta.
- Olive oil
- Yellow bell pepper
- Red bell pepper
- Yellow onion
- Asparagus – Not an asparagus fan? Try zucchini or broccoli instead.
- Boneless skinless chicken breast – You can use chicken thighs instead if you’d like.
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- Lemon juice
- Heavy cream – Heavy cream will give you the creamiest result but, if you are looking for a slightly less rich dish, try half and half instead.
- Adobo sauce – You can find it in a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
- Grated parmesan cheese – Parmesan is my top pick but you could easily use a Mexican cheese blend or even pepper jack instead.
- Frozen peas
How to Make Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta
This easy pasta recipe only takes 35 minutes to throw together. That’s quicker than DoorDash! So hop in the kitchen and get cooking. Here’s an overview of how to make spicy chicken chipotle pasta. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Saute the veggies. Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the bell peppers and onion and saute for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic and asparagus. Saute for a couple minutes more. Remove the veggies from the skillet and set aside.
- Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Cook the chicken. Add some olive oil to the skillet and sear the chicken for a couple of minutes on either side. Keep cooking until the chicken is cooked through.
- Add the honey to the chicken and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute.
- Finish it off. Stir in the lemon juice, heavy cream, adobo sauce, some of the grated parmesan, and frozen peas. Simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the vegetables and cooked pasta.
- Serve with parmesan and fresh parsley.
Recipe Tips & Variations
Anyone can make this creamy, flavor-packed spicy chicken pasta especially if they follow a few simple tips and tricks. Here are some things you can do to ensure that this quick and easy pasta recipe comes out absolutely perfect. I threw in a few fun variations you can play with as well.
- Salt the pasta water. Pasta absorbs a lot of water as it cooks. If that water is salted, it will impart flavor to the pasta. If it’s not, you will end up with a bland dish.
- Don’t overcook the pasta. This recipe finishes by simmering the pasta with the sauce, chicken, and veggies. Meaning the pasta gets a little extra time to cook after you initially boil it. So, make sure to cook your pasta only to al dente otherwise, it will become mushy as it simmers with the sauce.
- Reserve the pasta water. When making pasta, it is always a good idea to save a cup or two of the water the pasta has cooked in. If, when adding the pasta to the sauce, you find the sauce too thick or that it is having trouble binding to the pasta, add a splash of pasta water and stir.
- Reduce the spice. If spice isn’t really your thing, feel free to cut the adobo sauce in half (or more).
- Use a different protein. Instead of chicken, you could easily use turkey or thinly sliced beef. Ground beef, turkey, or chicken would work beautifully too.
- Use different veggies. I love the asparagus in this dish, but zucchini, summer squash, broccoli, and/or green beans would be great additions as well.
- Use a different cheese. Instead of parmesan, use a Mexican blend or even pepper jack!
Spicy chicken chipotle pasta contains all of the elements of a well-rounded meal (carbs, protein, veggies, and fats). That doesn’t mean you can’t play around with a side dish or two, though. Here are some of my favorite things to serve with this easy pasta.
- Salad. Break up the richness of this dish and serve it with a bright salad. My Broccoli Salad would be wonderful here but so would this Vegan Caesar Salad, my Chopped Endive and Romaine Salad, or my Best Summer Tomato Salad.
- Cooked veggies. Not a big salad fan? Get your veggies in with these easy Roasted Vegetables, my Bacon Brussels Sprouts, or this Roasted Parmesan Broccoli.
- Soup. I love the combination of soup and pasta. It makes for a perfect, warming meal. Serve this spicy chicken pasta with my Classic French Onion Soup or this Fire-Roasted Tomato, Pumpkin, and Corn Soup. Looking to cool down? Try my Chilled Creamy Asparagus Soup.
How to Store Leftovers
If you find yourself with leftovers, allow the pasta to cool completely before sealing it in an airtight container and storing it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When you are ready to enjoy, allow the pasta to come to room temperature before pouring it into a pan and heating it over low heat. The sauce will likely be very thick. Add a touch of cream to loosen it up.
More Easy Pasta Recipes
Pasta is one of my favorite meals. There is a seemingly infinite number of combinations of pasta shapes, sauces, and additions. I love this spicy chicken chipotle pasta but here are some of my other favorite concoctions for you to try.
- One Pot Pasta with Ricotta and Lemon
- Garlic Parmesan Chicken Pasta
- Creamy Vegan Basil Cashew Pasta
- Instant Pot Crack Chicken Pasta
- One Pot Cajun Shrimp Pasta
- Four Cheese Beefy Pasta Shells
Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta
- 1 pound (454 g) penne pasta, cooked according to package directions
- ¼ cup (59 ml) olive oil, divided
- 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup (80 g) yellow onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups (201 g) asparagus, cut into 1” pieces
- 1 pound (454 g) boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 1” cubes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ¼ cup (85 g) honey
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups (473 ml) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons adobo sauce, from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1 cup (100 g) grated parmesan cheese + more for topping
- 1 cup (145 g) frozen peas
- Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water. Drain and set aside.
- Heat half of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bell peppers and onion and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until softened.
- Add in the garlic and asparagus and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
- Remove the vegetables from the skillet using a slotted spoon.
- In a bowl, toss together the chicken, salt, pepper and paprika.
- Add in the remaining olive oil to the skillet. Add in the chicken and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side, cooking until the chicken is cooked through (165 °F (74 °C) internal temperature).
- Add in the honey and stir well to coat. Continue cooking for 1 minute.
- Stir in the lemon juice, heavy cream, adobo sauce, 1 cup of grated parmesan and frozen peas. Bring to a simmer and let it cook down for 2-3 minutes, then add back in the vegetables and the cooked pasta. Stir well to coat.
- Remove from heat and serve warm with more parmesan and (optional) fresh parsley.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.
The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.