If you enjoy a little kick to your meals, you’re going to absolutely love this spicy chicken chipotle pasta.
This dish is full of juicy chicken, veggies, and a wonderfully creamy sauce that gives this pasta an amazing chipotle flavor.
While this pasta dish is spicy, I consider it to be a medium spice with a good balance. If your family prefers things a bit milder, the spice level can easily be adjusted to create a delicious meal for anybody to enjoy.
And each serving of this creamy pasta contains just 245 calories and 22 grams of protein, making it a great recipe regardless of your goals.
Ingredients needed to make chipotle chicken pasta
This is such a flavorful meal, and yet it comes together thanks to just a handful of simple ingredients.
For this creamy pasta recipe, I decided to go with regular bowtie pasta, but you can use any pasta you’d like. For many of my recipes, like my Creamy Taco Pasta or Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake, I used Banza chickpea pasta for some added protein, but I stuck with regular pasta for this recipe.
For the protein source, we’ll be using boneless skinless chicken breasts. If you prefer chicken thighs, you can certainly use those, but I wanted to keep this dish nice and lean.
To get our chipotle flavor in this dish, we’re going to be using canned chipotle sauce. Honestly, I was unaware this was an option, but I found it at my local grocery store in a small can, and it is an incredible ingredient. If your store doesn’t carry chipotle sauce for any reason, you should be able to find canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which you can then blend into a chipotle sauce.
Finally, to create our spicy chipotle cream sauce, we’re going to mix in some fat-free cottage cheese as well as grated parmesan cheese.
I love blending cottage cheese until smooth and then adding it to recipes because it gives a dish so much creaminess without any extra flavor. It basically takes the place of heavy cream, but without the high calories and fat content (plus, it adds protein to your dish).
If you don’t have cottage cheese or don’t want to use it for any reason, you can also use Greek yogurt or sour cream in its place, but both of those options will add a little bit of tartness to the dish.
The best part of this dish is that you can customize it however you’d like, so you can change up the ingredients as needed. If you want this recipe to be more like the Cheesecake Factory’s version of Spicy Chicken Chipotle Pasta, you can use penne pasta, add peas and asparagus, and use a honey glaze on your chicken.
Personally, I’ve never tried this dish from Cheesecake Factory, this is just my own spin on a spicy chicken chipotle pasta.
How to make spicy chipotle chicken pasta
The first step in this recipe is cooking the pasta because you can continue with the rest of the recipe while the pasta boils. Regardless of the type of pasta you choose for this recipe, it’s important to aim for al dente pasta. For example, if you’re using penne pasta that calls for 8-10 minutes of cooking, aim for 8 minutes.
Set the cooked pasta aside, and then continue with the rest of the recipe.
Dice up some bell peppers and onions, then add to a nonstick skillet to allow them to cook down for a few minutes. Dice up the chicken, then add the chicken pieces to your pan along with your seasoning. Allow the chicken and fresh veggies to cook until the chicken is no longer pink, which should take about 8-10 minutes.
Note that I keep my seasoning simple with just salt, pepper, and garlic. Between the cheese and the chipotle pepper sauce, this dish has a ton of flavor. You can add chipotle seasoning if you prefer, but I truly do not find it necessary.
Once the chicken is cooked, we’re going to add diced tomatoes and chipotle sauce to the pan. I use 1/2 cup of chipotle sauce and find that is creates delicious flavor with a spicy kick, but if you prefer a bit milder, you can reduce the chipotle pepper sauce to just 1/4 cup and add an extra 1/4 cup of diced tomatoes or tomato puree.
After everything simmers together, we’re going to transform this into a creamy chipotle sauce by adding blended cottage cheese and parmesan cheese.
Allow the creamy pasta sauce to simmer for a few minutes, then mix in the cooked pasta, and we are ready to serve!
This incredibly flavorful pasta dish is perfect on its own, but I love topping each serving with a little more parmesan cheese and chives.
If you have any leftovers, or you’re making this pasta for meal prep, it will hold up very well in an airtight container. For the freshest dish, I’d aim to consume the leftovers within 3-4 days, but it will reheat well for up to one week.
More healthy & easy pasta recipes to explore
You’ll find a ton of decadent and surprisingly healthy pasta recipes here on my blog. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some of my favorites:
- Creamy Taco Pasta
- Cajun Chicken & Shrimp Alfredo
- Buffalo Chicken Pasta Bake
- High-Protein Mac & Cheese
- Vegan Mac & Cheese
- 8oz Bowtie Pasta (or any pasta of your choice)
- 12oz Chicken Breast (roughly 2 chicken breasts, but depends on the size you are using)
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1/4 tsp Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Cup Diced Bell Pepper
- 1 Cup Diced Onion
- 1/2 Cup Fat-Free Cottage Cheese (blended)
- 1 Cup Canned Diced Tomato
- 1/2 Cup Chipotle Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Boil the pasta based on the package instructions. The bowtie pasta I used required 15 minutes of boiling, so I was able to cook most of the meal while the pasta boiled. Once done, drain and set aside.
- Dice the pepper and onion, then add to a large skillet over medium heat. Allow the pepper and onion to cook down for a few minutes.
- While the pepper and onion cook down, trim and dice your chicken breast. I like smaller pieces in my pasta, but you can cut your chicken into cubes or strips if you prefer.
- Add the chicken to the pan with the pepper and onion, then add the salt, pepper, and garlic powder, and mix everything together. Continue cooking while occasionally stirring the contents of the pan until the chicken is no longer pink, about 8-10 minutes total.
- Once the chicken is no longer pink, add the diced tomato and chipotle sauce to the pan. Give everything a stir, then cover the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes to allow the tomatoes to cook down a bit.
- Remove the cover and reduce the heat to low. Add the parmesan and cottage cheese to the pan and mix it all up. Note: I blend my cottage cheese before this stage so it is very creamy, otherwise it will contain chunks (more in the notes at the bottom of this recipe card)
- Finally, add your pasta to the pan and mix to fully coat the pasta noodles in the sauce. Allow everything to simmer for a few minutes, then you're ready to serve.
- I like to top my pasta with some chives and additional parmesan cheese, but you can serve it up however you'd like! Store any leftovers in the fridge and enjoy them throughout the week.
- Cottage cheese is an amazing incredible to add creaminess to any dish, but it makes a world of difference if it's blended smooth first. While it will melt down in a pan when used as-is, it will contain some chunks that won't completely melt. Use an immersion blender, food processor, or spice grinder to blend the cottage cheese until smooth before adding it to your dish and it will have the same effect as something like heavy cream.
- I consider this dish to have medium spice. If you prefer mild, use only 1/4 cup chipotle sauce and add an extra 1/4 cup diced tomatoes or tomato sauce to balance it out.
- If you want to bump the protein content up even more, you can use a high-protein pasta like Banza pasta, which I use in many of my recipes like my Creamy Taco Pasta. It's also a great option if you need to use gluten-free pasta/
Nutrition InformationYield 6 Serving Size 1/6 of Recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 245Total Fat 2.5gCarbohydrates 35gProtein 22g