Just the food mash-up your family is craving.


Credit: Jennifer Causey; Food Styling: Loren Wood; Prop Styling: Christine Keely

Recipe Summary

35 mins
35 mins

Would you believe this flavorful dinner comes together in just 35 minutes start to finish? You better! This One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta will satisfy your Tex-Mex and carb cravings for one indulgent dinner the whole family will love. There's actually a scientific reason why our brains are so fond of food mash-ups. The perfect blend of familiarity and novelty mixed with the anticipation and expectation of such mash-ups makes for a dopamine-boosting experience. This One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta will be the happiness-inducing food mash-up you've been looking for. Pepper Jack cheese and a little pasta water yield a sauce that's creamy but not too thick. Chili powder and cumin add just the right amount of smoky flavor. Feel free to add chopped jalapeños if you like a little heat, but otherwise, this Chicken Fajita Pasta is delightful as-is. If you're signed up for dish duty tonight, this One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta should be on the menu. All you need is a large cast-iron skillet. Serve Chicken Fajita Pasta family-style around the table, and voila! Go ahead and add this recipe to your list of family-friendly weeknight meals.


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Add chicken, and cook, stirring occasionally, until seared on all sides, about 3 minutes. Add bell peppers, onion, chili powder, cumin, salt, paprika, and garlic powder; cook, stirring often, until peppers are slightly softened, about 4 minutes.

  • Stir in pasta and water (some of the pasta will not be submerged in water). Bring to a boil over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and cooking water is thickened, 12 to 14 minutes.

  • While pasta cooks, preheat oven to broil, with oven rack about 6 inches from heat.

  • Remove pasta from heat. Stir in cilantro, cream cheese, and 1 cup of the pepper Jack cheese, until cheese melts and mixture is creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Top evenly with remaining ½ cup pepper Jack cheese.

  • Broil until cheese is lightly browned in spots, about 3 minutes. Remove from oven, and garnish with cilantro.