Best Easy Southwest Chicken Pasta Recipe

Best Easy Southwest Chicken Pasta Recipe

Looking for a delicious and effortless dinner idea? Look no further than this incredible Southwest chicken pasta recipe. Packed with bold flavors and easy to prepare, this dish will become a family favorite in no time.

– 8 ounces of penne pasta
– 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 teaspoon chili powder
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon cumin
– 1/2 teaspoon paprika
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
– 1 cup diced bell peppers (red, green, and yellow)
– 1/2 cup corn kernels
– 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
– 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
– 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
– 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– 1/4 cup sour cream (optional)

1. Cook the penne pasta according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and black pepper. Rub the mixture evenly over the chicken breasts.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the seasoned chicken breasts and cook for 6-8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove from the skillet and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing into thin strips.
4. In the same skillet, add the diced bell peppers, corn kernels, black beans, and diced tomatoes. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly softened.
5. Add the cooked penne pasta and sliced chicken to the skillet with the vegetables. Stir gently to combine.
6. Sprinkle the chopped cilantro and shredded cheddar cheese over the pasta mixture. Cover the skillet and let it cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
7. Serve the Southwest chicken pasta hot, garnished with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

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Questions and Answers:

1. Can I use a different type of pasta?
Yes, you can substitute penne pasta with any other short pasta shape like fusilli, rotini, or farfalle.

2. Can I use pre-cooked chicken?
Yes, if you have leftover cooked chicken, you can simply slice it and add it to the skillet along with the vegetables.

3. Can I make this recipe vegetarian?
Absolutely! Just omit the chicken and increase the quantity of vegetables. You can add extra beans or even tofu for protein.

4. Can I make this recipe spicier?
If you prefer a spicier dish, you can increase the amount of chili powder or add some crushed red pepper flakes to the seasoning mixture.

5. Can I use frozen vegetables instead of fresh ones?
Yes, you can use frozen bell peppers, corn, and diced tomatoes if fresh ones are not available. Just make sure to thaw them before adding to the skillet.

6. Can I make this recipe ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the pasta and chicken ahead of time. When ready to serve, reheat the pasta and chicken in a skillet with the vegetables and proceed with step 6.

7. Can I freeze the leftovers?
While it’s best to consume this dish fresh, you can freeze the leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat in a skillet or microwave before serving.

Now you have all the tools to create a scrumptious Southwest chicken pasta. Enjoy the flavors of the Southwest in a quick and easy weeknight meal that everyone will love!

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