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.

Frying pan containing pasta, chicken and colorful vegetables. There is a striped towel in the foreground and a salad in the background. - Shelf Cooking

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

Overhead view of bowtie pasta, chicken, and vegetables in a frying pan with a wooden spoon. - Shelf Cooking

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

Close up of wooden spoon containing bowtie pasta, vegetables, chicken, and cheese. There is a frying pan in the background filled with the same food. - Shelf Cooking

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!

Pan filled with pasta, chicken, vegetables, and cheese.

Chicken Fajita Pasta

This easy pasta dish will become a new weeknight family favorite!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian, Mexican
Servings 8


  • 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.
Keyword chicken fajitas, fajita, pasta

Will you be trying this fantastic recipe soon? Let us know in the comments what you paired it with and how you liked it.

Graphic that says "How To Repurpose Fajitas Into Fajita Pasta". Underneath is an image of a pan filled with pasta, vegetables, chicken, and topped with cheese.

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:

Pasta la vista, baby!