Making chicken fajita pasta makes a heavenly blend of savory chicken fajitas mixed with a creamy tomato penne pasta sauce that makes a delicious and quick meal.
What's even better is this easy one dish meal is made an instant pot, which cooks everything in one pot and makes cleanup so much quicker. If you've been looking for a new instant pot pasta recipe beyond the basics. this. is. it!!
Whether you're craving Mexican or craving Italian, this instant pot chicken fajita pasta combines the bset of both worlds into one fantastic dish.
This tasty chicken fajita pasta makes A LOT, I'm just letting you know in advance you'll be making an entire instant pot full of chicken fajita pasta. Andddd, I'm also going to admit I ate it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the next day!
I would like to clarify, this is a fajita chicken pasta dish that's more of a pasta dish than chicken fajitas. As opposed to a chicken fajita dish with a little bit of pasta added. Does that make sense?
Feel free to add more chicken and peppers if you want MORE of the chicken fajita parts to be featured, it won't change the cook time!
But as someone who eats chicken fajitas almost every week and had a huge pasta craving, I turned this into a pasta dish with "chicken fajita overtones." 😉
Ingredients for Fajita Chicken Pasta
Here's a list of what you need to make chicken fajita pasta in your instant pot. All are basic ingredients that are readily available. It's simple to make swaps like beef instead of chicken, changing the colors of peppers, or using shredded Mexican cheese instead of cheddar.
We're always huge fans of trying to use up what's in the pantry first or using up that last bit of cheese in the fridge before trying to run out to the store and buy more ingredients.
Can you use a different type of pasta for chicken fajita pasta? The answer to that question is most likely...if it's a type of pasta that cooks in the same amount of time on the stovetop as penne, then it should work fine. And using a pasta with a similar shape or size as penne will also work best.
As a general rule of thumb when making an instant pot pasta recipe, is take the pasta stovetop cook time from the package, cut it in half and add one minute. So if you have a pasta that takes 12 minutes to cook on the stove, you'd cook it in your instant pot for 6 minutes + 1 extra, which is 7 minutes in total before you do the natural release.
1 lb+ boneless skinless chicken breast
4 T taco seasoning or fajita seasoning
1 large yellow onion, diced
1 red pepper, cut into large dice
1 green pepper, cut into large dice
2 10 oz cans Rotel diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 lb penne pasta
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
The exact chicken package I used for this recipe from my grocery store was 1.2 lbs, anything over 1 pound will work just fine. And again, feel free to even add a little extra chicken (up to 1.5 lbs) if you want this one pot fajita pasta dish even chunkier.
How to Make Chicken Fajita Pasta
This one pan chicken fajita pasta makes for easy clean up since everything gets prepared in an instant pot or pressure cooker.
Especially when cooking with an instant pot, I like to prep all of the ingredients up front and have everything ready to go.
The instant pot pasta recipe first has you brown your chicken, then partially cook your vegetables, and lastly add your sauce and pasta, which all cooks together under pressure.
You won't want either your chicken or vegetables cooked all the way through, you're partially cooking them and letting them finish.
Chicken Fajita Pasta
Cut the boneless skinless chicken breast into bite sized pieces, mine were about 1" in size. Sprinkle the chicken with 2 T of taco seasoning and mix to combine. Set aside.
Prep the bell peppers and onions by cutting them into small pieces and sprinkle with 2 more tablespoons of taco seasoning. Set aside.
Turn the instant pot to saute on high.
Once the instant pot is heated, add about 1 T of olive oil and cook the chicken for 1-2 minutes on each side. It will NOT be cooked all the way through but will finish cooking when it's under pressure.
I know it's hard to resist trying to finish cooking the chicken in this part, but if you saute it too long your chicken will be overcooked when it goes under pressure. The goal here is to try quickly cook the chicken and and lightly brown it on each side before mixing it with the other ingredients.
Remove the chicken from the instant pot and set aside on a plate.
Cook the peppers and onion on saute until mostly softened, about 8+ minutes. Because of the taco seasoning, you're going to see some of it stick slightly to the bottom of he instant pot. It's NOT burnt so don't worry about that, and when the liquid and sauce gets added the taco seasoning will mix in with the rest of the ingredients.
Add 3 cloves of minced garlic and saute for another 30-60 seconds until fragrant.
Add the 2 cans of Rotel, the chicken broth, partially cooked cubed chicken, and the heavy cream. Stir all ingredients in the instant pot.
Add the pasta to the instant pot and make sure the noodles are covered with liquid, but you don't mix it in with the other ingredients. You'll have the pasta cooking on the top of the other ingredients and will be combing everything once it's done cooking.
Set the instant pot to manual high and pressure cook for 6 minutes.
When complete, do a natural release for 6 minutes and then do a quick release to finish releasing the pressure in the instant pot.
Slowly stir in 2 cups of cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese.
The pasta will seem a little saucy at first but will thicken upon standing. Trust me on this one, after letting it sit for 5 minutes to cool a little and serving it, the pasta will be the perfect consistency.
If you DON'T want a saucier pasta, I'd recommend cutting the chicken broth down by ½ cup.
Serve and enjoy! Feel free to garnish the pasta with cilantro, more cheese, sour cream or any other topping you love to add to chicken fajitas.
This will most definitley become one of your favorite instant pot pasta recipe ideas or something you can make to put a twist on taco Tuesday!
We'd love to get comments and feedback on the chicken fajita pasta, please post below and/or upload your finished one pot chicken fajita pasta on the Pinterest pin.
Other Recipes You'll Love:
Instant Pot Beer Brats ~ 8 Minutes!
Instant Pot Broccoli Cheese Soup
Instant Pot Country Style Ribs
It doesn’t say when you’re supposed to add the chicken back in. Do you add it in with the pasta?
yes! Add the chicken back in with the pasta, thanks for catching 🙂 Jen