Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta features the bold Tex-Mex flavors of chicken fajitas in a hearty, creamy pasta dish. Let the IP work its magic for a quick and easy weeknight dinner!
Pressure Cooker Chicken Fajita Pasta
Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta is the answer when you’re craving Mexican food. It’s everything you love about chicken fajitas— the light protein, the slightly sweet crunch of bell peppers, and the smoky, complex flavors of fajita seasoning.
Add some pasta, smother it in a creamy sauce, and you’ve got a rave-worthy dish. The instant pot method means it all gets done in a snap.
Consider making a larger batch if you’re serving it to a group. Thank me later— the only bad thing about this recipe is that everyone tends to ask for seconds!
What is fajita?
The word “fajita” originates from the Spanish word “faja,” which means girdle or belt. Culinary-wise, it refers to a skirt steak (a cut of beef resembling a belt), the traditional meat of choice for the dish.
Today, they are known as grilled meats served on a corn or flour tortilla. It’s typically served with grilled bell peppers on a cast-iron pan with grated cheese and sour cream.
The simple combination of grilled meat, vegetables, tortilla, and fajita seasoning is so flavorful, it became the inspiration of many creative dishes. Think chicken fajita crunch wraps, rice bowls, salads, pizzas, and of course, my version of Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta!
Can you cook pasta in the IP?
Yes, and it’s one of my favorite ways to do so! I never have to babysit the pasta. No stirring, no overflowing pot, and after a few minutes, I’m ready to serve my pasta dish.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta
This dish has such a fantastic, complex flavor profile. It’s easy to assume it has a lot of ingredients. Don’t worry; I bet you already have some of these in your pantries, such as olive oil, garlic, onion, salt, and pepper.
You also need fajita seasoning, boneless chicken breasts, bell peppers (any color is okay, but I like how beautiful the dish looks with red, green, and yellow peppers), heavy cream, and chicken stock.
Finally, I like using bow tie pasta for this since the grooves hold the sauce well, but substitute whatever small size dried pasta you have on hand. That’s it!
How to make Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta
- Prepare the ingredients. Cube the chicken, dice and slice the vegetables, measure out the seasonings, and get the rest ready.
- Brown. Season the meat with the fajita seasoning. Use the IP’s saute function to brown it, then set aside. Do the same for the vegetables.
- Cook the pasta. Saute the garlic and onions, then deglaze the pan with the broth. Stir in the dried bowtie, cream, tomatoes, and set the IP to cook. Once done, add the chicken and vegetables, then stir everything through.
- Serve. Stir in or grate the cheese on top if using, and serve.
Can you make it ahead?
Feel free to do so! To cut down on the prep work, you can cut the vegetables the day before. The flavors fuse together so well after being refrigerated, so it’s perfectly fine to make this dish a day or two ahead.
How to freeze Chicken Fajita Pasta?
Let it cool down completely before transferring to an airtight container. Keep it frozen up to 3 months. Reheat by microwaving on low for a few minutes.
This dish can stand as a main on its own. You can dress it up with shredded cheese and cilantro to make it pop.
You can also serve it with a side salad for a well-rounded meal plus some extra protein.
More Instant Pot Recipes:
- Add some heat with chopped jalapenos.
- Instead of bow tie pasta, you can use other types such as macaroni, ziti, shell, penne, and rotini.
- Try the dish with tender strips of beef.
- Experiment with cheese like Cheddar and Mexican cheese.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 40 mins
- 4 tablespoons olive (oil divided)
- 2 lbs chicken breasts (boneless skinless - cut into 1-inch pieces)
- 2 tablespoons fajita seasoning (or taco seasoning)
- 1/2 yellow onion diced
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper (sliced into 1 inch long strips)
- 1/2 green bell pepper (sliced into 1 inch long strips)
- 1/2 red bell pepper (sliced into 1 inch long strips)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 3 cups chicken broth (reduced-sodium)
- 10 oz can diced tomatoes
- 8 oz dried bow tie pasta
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup Mexican cheese (shredded)
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- Lime wedges
- Sour cream
- Sliced green onions
- Chopped cilantro
- Toss chicken with 1 tablespoon of fajita seasoning in a bowl.
- Toss vegetables: onion and bell peppers, with 1 tablespoon of fajita seasoning in another bowl.
- Click on Saute and select High, once it displays HOT add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and brown the chicken. Brown in batches, not to overcrowd the meat in the pot. Set aside the meat.
- Add 1/4 cup of water to deglaze the pot. Scrape any bits that stuck to the bottom.
- Add the remaining oil, and saute the vegetables, including the minced garlic.
- Add back the chicken and stir to combine.
- Cancel Saute function.
- Distribute the pasta on top of the chicken and veggies, do not mix.
- Pour the diced tomatoes on top of the pasta.
- Pour the chicken broth on top.
- Close and secure the lid. Seal the valve. Pressure Cook on High for 5 minutes followed by a quick release.
- Open the lid, click on Saute, add the heavy cream and 1 cup of cheese and stir to combine.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve with preferred garnishes.