This flavor-packed Chicken Fajita Pasta will tickle your tastebuds without requiring hours of work! It's the perfect shelf cooking recipe to utilize leftovers and other pantry staples that you already have on hand.
If you ask us, leftovers are just about the BEST thing ever. Having tasty food ready to go for the next day really gives us something to look forward to, you know? However, sometimes eating the exact same thing can get a little old, and we hate having food go to waste!
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Instead of just reheating leftovers and eating the exact same meal over and over, try repurposing leftovers! Transforming your leftovers into a completely new dish keep things interesting without wasting food. That's exactly what this Chicken Fajita Pasta is all about! Whip up a big batch of fajitas one night, and use the leftovers to create this simple and satisfying pasta another night. That's what we call a win-win!
Simple Swaps For Fajita Pasta
Say you're drooling over this recipe, but realize you don't have some of the ingredients or don't like some of the ones listed. No need to stress, friend! That's when we get to work our shelf cooking magic! There are plenty of ways to make adjustments to this recipe so that it works for you!
- Switch out the meat – Our recipe below calls for chicken, but maybe you have beef or shrimp on hand instead? That works great too!
- Go meatless – Perhaps you don't eat meat or are trying to pinch some pennies by eating meat less frequently. No problemo! Substitute a can of rinsed black beans instead of meat for a delicious vegetarian fajita pasta!
- Use different pasta – Our recipe calls for bowtie pasta, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand! Penne or rotini will have a similar texture, but any type will do.
- Different broth – Uh oh, you're out of chicken broth. Now what? Don't sweat! Use vegetable or beef broth instead (a great move if you're swapping out the chicken anyway!). Don't have those on hand? Make your own using chicken bouillon, or simply use water.
What To Serve With Chicken Fajita Pasta
Pastas are great because they can be a complete meal on their own. However, it never hurts to have some additional sides, especially if you're feeding a group and need to stretch things a little further. Here are some of our recommendations of sides to pair with Chicken Fajita Pasta:
- Green salad – Keep it light and fresh with your favorite mix of greens. Check out this post for some ideas on how to make your own vinaigrette dressing.
- Homemade bread – We aren't joking when we say this delicious rustic bread recipe is foolproof! Give it a try to find out for yourself!
- Refried beans – No, not the canned kind! We have an even better option with this homemade refried bean recipe! Tasty and it makes enough to repurpose for other meals later in the week.
- Fancy drinks – An easy way to jazz up a simple meal is to add a fun drink! We love these family-friendly Strawberry Mojito Mocktails from Plant Based Jess.
How To Store For Later
Pasta dishes like this Chicken Fajita Pasta are excellent for food prepping because they store well in the refrigerator for a few days. This recipe would be a great one to prepare for lunches for the upcoming week!
If making in advance or storing leftovers, simply place everything in an airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. The food will stay good for about 4-5 days.
Cooked pasta generally does not freeze well and can be quite mushy when thawed, so we don't recommend freezing cooked noodles.
However, you can certainly prepare the chicken and veggies in advance and cut your prep time in half later on! Store them in a resealable zippered freezer bag and pop them in the freezer for a few weeks. When you're ready, thaw the chicken and veggies and warm them in a pan, then continue to prepare the remainder of the pasta recipe. Easy!
How To Make Chicken Fajita Pasta
We think you'll love this creamy and satisfying pasta! If you're dying to try it but don't have leftover fajitas to use, we've got you covered! Keep reading for instructions on how to utilize leftovers or start from scratch. Either way, it's going to be easy and delicious!
Chicken Fajita Pasta
- 1 lb bowtie pasta — other pasta is fine, too!
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 3 cups leftover chicken fajitas — if you don't have fajitas, you'll need 3 chicken breasts (sliced), ½ onion, and ½ bell pepper
- additional fajita seasoning to taste
- 1 cup milk whole milk, 2%, half & half, or even heavy cream works.
- 3 oz cream cheese
- ½ cup chicken broth
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- lime, cilantro, and sour cream for toppings
- Cook the pasta according to package instructions (al dente). Drain and set aside.
- If using leftover chicken fajitas, heat through in a large pan over medium-high heat and skip to step 4.
- If not using leftovers, heat 1 Tbsp oil and sliced chicken to a large skillet. Add half the fajita seasoning and cook the chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Add sliced bell peppers, onions, and remaining fajita seasoning. Cook an additional 4-5 minutes or until softened.
- Blend milk, cream cheese, and chicken broth, and slowly add to the pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat, simmer for 15 minutes. Add cooked pasta to your chicken, veggies, and sauce. Slowly mix in cheese and simmer for another 5 minutes until nice and creamy.
- Serve with cilantro, sour cream, and a dash of lime juice.
Will you be trying this fantastic recipe soon? Let us know in the comments what you paired it with and how you liked it.
Next time you make fajitas for dinner, make an extra big batch so you can repurpose the leftovers later on! It will completely change the way you think about leftovers!
If you need more ideas about how to meal plan and use leftovers, we've got all the best tips for you! Check these out:
- BIG NEWS! Our Shelf Cooking Meal Plan will do all the weekly meal planning for you, including shopping lists! Check it out and sign up to free up time and brain space!
- Stretch that food budget a little more with these 15 Leftover Steak Recipes you'll want to try ASAP!
- These Freezer Breakfast Burritos will make mornings easier for the whole family!
- Busy nights ahead? We've got 20 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes that will keep everyone fed without hitting the drive-thru!
Pasta la vista, baby!