Chicken Pasta with Chipotle Cream Sauce

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This Chicken Pasta with Chipotle Cream Sauce is a dish you’ll be making over and over! Pasta, chicken, and a few sweet veggies are cooked in a smokey, creamy sauce that comes together in about 30 minutes. You can easily adjust the spice in this dish and even make it low carb, keto friendly and gluten free! Everyone’s happy!

Close up of Chicken pasta with chipotle cream in skillet with a wooden spoon

Friends, I get giddy when I think about this pasta dish! It’s soooooo darn yummy!!! The spicy chipotle cream sauce is not too heavy, but not too light and the chipotle chilis yield the most smokey, delicious flavor throughout the dish!

Corn and tomatoes are the perfect sweet compliment to the smokey sauce. Add on your fresh garnishes like scallions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime and you literally have the most perfect bite! Like, ever.

Removing the seeds from the chipotle chilis gives you the smokey flavor without the spice–totally kid friendly! However, if you want more spice, leave in the seeds and add more chilis! You can totally customize it for you heat threshold!

If you’re looking for more “untraditional” yet incredible pasta dishes, you have to try my Easy Crockpot Bison Bolognese my Cilantro Lime Pasta with Shrimp, this amazing Mexican Spaghetti, or this Spicy Chipotle Pasta!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE

  • It’s super easy and comes together in one pan.
  • Can be made keto or low carb friendly.
  • Spice level can be easily adjusted to make it kid friendly.
  • Smokey, cheesy deliciousness. Enough said.

RECIPE INGREDIENTS

You’ll need the following ingredients to make this delicious Chicken Pasta with Chipotle Cream Sauce:

Ingredients needed to make chicken pasta with chipotle cream sauce

INGREDIENT NOTES

Pasta: Bow ties are fun, but you can use any shape pasta! Penne and rotini are perfect options.

Chipotle Chilis: Chipotles in adobo are smoked and dried jalapeños that are canned with pureed tomatoes, vinegar, garlic, and spices. They are widely available at all major grocery chains (usually near the Mexican foods like taco shells, jarred salsas, etc). Some popular brands are Goya and La Costena.

Chicken: I typically use chicken breast but chicken thighs wonderfully, too!

HOW TO MAKE CHICKEN PASTA WITH CHIPOTLE CREAM SAUCE: STEP BY STEP

Here are some quick visual instructions. Remember that full instructions with exact ingredients will be in the recipe card below!

How to make chicken pasta with chipotle cream sauce step by step

Step 1: Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. I always cook it on the lower end of what the directions say. So if it says 9-11 minutes, I boil for 9 minutes.

Step 2: Cook chicken and remove from pan.

Step 3: Add butter, garlic and chipotle chilis with adobo sauce. Cook a few minutes.

Step 4: Then add cream and chicken stock whisked with 2 tsp cornstarch. Cook a few minutes until sauce is thickened.

How to make chicken pasta with chipotle cream sauce step by step

Step 5: Add in corn, tomatoes and chicken. Give everything a big stir and cook until heat through.

Step 6: Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan cheese.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do you freeze this?

Because of the heavy cream, I do not recommend freezing this dish. However, it will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days.

Reheat in a skillet for 4-5 minutes with a few splashes of chicken stock or cream to loosen everything up.

What do you serve with this?

A simple salad, garlic bread or Texas toast are all super easy and delish!

Can I substitute the heavy cream?

I don’t ever like to recommend subbing out the heavy cream because lower fat creams (half and half) and milk tend to curdle at high heat. I have added chicken stock to this recipe to lighten it up a bit. Feel free to use less cream and more chicken stock if you want the dish to be a bit lighter.

If you don’t have any heavy cream on hand and need a substitute, check out these 15 Substitutes for Heavy Cream!

How can I adjust the spice level?

It’s very easy to adjust the spice level in this dish:
Mild: Remove seeds from 1-2 chipotle chilis + adobo sauce.
Medium: Use 1-2 chipotle chilis with seeds + adobo sauce.
Hot: Use 3-4 chipotle chilis with seeds + adobo sauce.

How to adjust this dish for keto/low carb and gluten free:

Keto/Low Carb: This chicken pasta would be delish over spaghetti squash for a lower carb option!
Gluten Free: Easy! Just use your favorite g-free pasta like Barilla’s Gluten Free Penne.

RECIPE TIPS & TRICKS

  • A great swap for the chicken in this dish is shrimp! It cooks a little faster, too 🙂
  • If the sauce gets a little too thick, add a splash of chicken stock to thin it out a bit.
  • The recipe only calls for 12 oz of pasta (roughly 2/3 of the box). I just make the entire box and add in whatever my skillet can hold! LOL! I use any leftover pasta for lunches during the week.
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Chicken pasta with chipotle cream sauce on a plate. Bread and lime on the side.

OTHER PASTA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

I hope you love this Chicken Pasta with Chipotle Cream Sauce! If you make it be sure to leave a comment and a rating so I know how you liked it. Enjoy, xo!

Chicken Pasta with Chipotle Cream Sauce

Casey Rooney
This Chicken Pasta with Chipotle Cream Sauce is a dish you'll be making over and over! Pasta, chicken and a few sweet veggies are cooked in a smokey, creamy sauce that comes together in about 30 minutes. You can easily adjust the spice in this dish and even make it low carb, keto friendly and gluten free! Everyone's happy!
4.80 from 20 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American, Italian, Mexican
Servings 6
Calories 532 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 12 oz pasta, bow ties, penne, rotini not quite the whole box (See Note 1)
  • 1-2 chicken breasts, cut into small bite sized pieces
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cloves garlic the best garlic chopper!
  • 2-3 chipotle chilis, chopped + 1 tbsp adobo sauce See Note 2
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock + 2 tsp cornstarch whisked in See Note 3
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese
  • cilantro/scallions/lime for garnish optional

Instructions
 

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Since the pasta will be added back and cooked in the sauce for a few minutes, cook it on the low end of the range on the package instructions. (If the instructions say cook 9-11 minutes, cook for 9 minutes).
  • In a large, high sided skillet over medium high, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add chicken and cook 3-4 minutes until browned and cooked through. Remove chicken from pan. Don't worry if there are some browned bits left in the skillet!
  • In the same skillet over medium low heat, melt butter. Then add garlic, chipotle chilis and adobo sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring to make sure garlic doesn't burn.
  • Stir in cream and chicken stock mixed with 2 teaspoons of cornstarch. Cook 3-4 minutes on medium low until sauce is thickened and bubbling slightly.
  • Add chicken back to pan (make sure you get all the juices in there, too!), along with corn, tomatoes and pasta. Increase temperature to medium high and cook 3-4 minutes more until everything is heated through, stirring occasionally to get everything well mixed and coated with the sauce.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in Parmesan cheese. Stir, stir, stir until cheese is melted and incorporated into the pasta.
  • Serve immediately garnished with lots of scallions, cilantro and a squeeze of lime, if you like!

Notes

Note 1: I usually end up cooking the whole box of pasta and saving any extra for kid’s meals or lunches during the week! 
Note 2: For a milder sauce, remove the chipotle seeds by cutting the pepper in half and scraping seeds out with a knife. Then, chop the remaining pepper(s). The more seeds you leave in, the spicier the sauce will be. Taking out all of the seeds and using a tablespoon of adobo sauce makes a very mild sauce with a smokey flavor—totally OK for kids!
See Note 3: Whisking chicken stock with cornstarch acts as a thickening agent for the sauce. 
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Nutrition

Calories: 532kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 37gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 156mgSodium: 903mgPotassium: 458mgFiber: 1.4gSugar: 2.5gCalcium: 376mgIron: 4mg
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4.80 from 20 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




13 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I can never resist a great pasta recipe, and this one hits the mark! The creamy, cheesy sauce is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. 5 stars
    I was easily able to adjust this recipe to be gluten-free. I just swapped out for my rice pasta and yum. I nice creamy thick sauce without flour, thank you so much.

    1. Hi!
      Great question–I don’t ever like to recommend subbing out the heavy cream because lower fat creams (half and half) and milk tend to curdle at high heat. I have added chicken stock to this recipe to lighten it up a bit. Feel free to use less cream and more chicken stock if you want the dish to be a bit lighter! Let me know how it turns out! xoxoxo