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One-Skillet Chicken Fajita Pasta

You can have this quick, easy fajita pasta on the table in no time. We love the kicked-up Southwestern flavor, and I like being able to make the whole meal in my cast-iron skillet. I sometimes garnish it with crushed corn chips. —Joan Hallford, North Richland Hills, Texas
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Cook: 20 min.
  • Makes
    6 servings


  • 3 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 envelope fajita seasoning mix, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chiles, drained
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chiles, drained
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese


  • Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet oven over medium-high heat. Add chicken and 4-1/2 teaspoons fajita seasoning; cook and stir until no longer pink, 5-7 minutes. Remove chicken and keep warm.
  • Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in skillet. Add onion, green pepper and remaining 4-1/2 teaspoons fajita seasoning. Cook and stir until crisp-tender, 5-7 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Remove from pan.
  • In the same skillet, add broth, diced tomatoes, green chiles, cream and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Return macaroni, chicken and vegetables to skillet; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 448 calories, 21g fat (10g saturated fat), 83mg cholesterol, 1304mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 3g fiber), 27g protein.

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  • Butcher2boy
    Nov 22, 2019

    I love 1 skillet meals! I didn't have a green pepper on hand so used 2 cans of green chilies. I did cook the onions and chicken together with entire seasoning. I used Penzey Spices "Southwest Seasoning" because we love that flavor. This recipe can easily be made doubled if you have a big enough Cast Iron Skillet or even in a Dutch Oven. I did make only half which was easy too.

  • cynandtom
    Oct 29, 2019

    I didn’t change any ingredients, the only change I made was adding all ingredients to the pot, without removing. I added the vegetables to the pot with the cooked chicken. Then the liquids, which I went a little heavy handed with the stock, and an extra 1/2 cup of cream, to allow for pasta to cook right in the sauce. Think Hamburger Helper Method! Lol! Pasta takes about 15 minutes in the sauce, so just a bit longer than recipe states. Basically, just a lazy weeknight adjustment, no extra pots or dishes. Fantastic dish! A definite keeper!

  • mkfrazier
    Oct 27, 2019

    This is an ok recipe, but not much bang for the buck. Far too much macaroni in the original recipe, so be advised. Maybe using a Tex-Mex cheese blend would be better, too.

  • toolbarsco
    Oct 22, 2019

    I agree with other reviewers. Definitely need to reduce the macaroni to 2 cups. I like the idea of using fire roasted Rotel to give it more kick. The biggest problem was the sauce that never thickened even though I followed the recipe to a T. Yes, I drained the tomatoes and chilis. I ended up adding the cheese to the sauce and letting it melt. That definitely thickened it up.

  • Fallysmom
    Oct 15, 2019

    Very disappointed had high hopes for this recipe. It’s bland and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t like a lot of spice in their food. The sauce never did thicken despite following the recipe exactly as written and therefore pasta was soggy,. I like the majority of TOH recipes but this one was a flop.

    Oct 15, 2019

    I made this per the directions, even though I was wondering about the amount of macaroni it called for. Almost half of the macaroni was wasted. I finished the recipe the way it reads with about half of the macaroni, but the broth and cream with the tomatoes and green chilies never thickened up and made it very watery which made the macaroni soggy. It tasted good but will definitely have to rework the recipe if I try it again.

  • Diane
    Sep 24, 2019

    I opted to use only 2 cups of elbow macaroni and I'm glad I did, as the finished product was just the right consistency. I used the "fire roasted" variety of Rotel tomatoes, which added that distinct "smoky" fajita flavor. This recipe makes a huge amount (even with using only 2 cups of the macaroni). I needed to transfer the mixture from a standard depth, large skillet to a deep 12" braiser to contain everything. I would not call this a "quick and easy" recipe. It wasn't difficult, mind you, but it was time consuming and there was a lot of cooking and transferring and holding and adding back in to this recipe. A "newbie" cook might be overwhelmed, and could easily make mistakes if not careful. I had mine with a dollop of sour cream on top, and served it with guacamole and chips. As others have said, this is not a 1-pan recipe. Plus, you need one large strainer for the pasta and another, smaller strainer for the tomatoes and green chiles. Yes, the finished product all ends up in one, deep and very large pan, but to get there.......

  • Nancy
    Sep 18, 2019

    Made exactly as written -- wouldn't change anything (except the name, perhaps). I was slightly disillusioned by the recipe claim of "one-skillet." While technically it was cooked using only one SKILLET, a POT is also needed to cook the pasta. My husband says this must go in our meal rotation -- excellent flavor profiles. We will definitely make again...and again...and again.

  • Bigfun08
    Sep 12, 2019

    First off, I didn't make this, it looks good, but I cringe at all the "1 pan" recipes that start with "cook pasta as directed"... seems like another pot/pan being used.