If you’re craving a creamy, easy, one-pot meal, this spicy chicken pasta is the real deal! Made with flavourful tomatoes, cream cheese, chillies, and fresh basil, this spicy pasta recipe is comforting, delicious, and hearty. Don’t worry if you can’t handle heat; the sauce is the perfect amount of spicy!
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Just the right spicy – The cream cheese in the sauce helps balance the heat from the chillies, making this spicy chicken pasta have just the right amount of heat.
Creamy comfort – Made with cream cheese, tomatoes, and herbs, this is one of the best spicy chicken pasta recipes for a cosy meal.
Bright tomato flavour – The tomato puree helps balance out the richness of the cream cheese, creating a brighter, fresher sauce flavour.
Easy weeknight dinner – This spicy chicken pasta recipe uses pantry staples, so it’s an easy weeknight dinner you can throw together with minimal prep.
Great for chilly weather – With its rich, creamy, spicy sauce, this chicken tomato pasta is the ultimate comfort dish for cold/gloomy weather.
Spicy chicken pasta is made with a fiery, creamy tomato sauce, juicy chicken, and noodles. Depending on the recipe creator, you may see a few additional ingredients. For example, I like to include broccoli or other veggies in my spicy pasta recipes.
Is it the same as Cajun chicken pasta?
No, spicy tomato chicken pasta is not the same as Cajun chicken pasta. While they share similar ingredients like chicken, pasta, and a creamy sauce, they have quite different seasonings. Cajun chicken pasta is made with Cajun seasoning, hot sauce, mayo, tomato paste, garlic powder, and other similar seasonings. In comparison, chicken pasta recipes (spicy) are typically made with cream cheese, tomato puree, chillies, and fresh/dried herbs.
What kind of spices are used?
Spicy chicken pasta recipes typically use spices like smoked paprika, cayenne, salt, pepper, and fresh/dried garlic.
Does it have to be spicy?
If you do not enjoy spicy recipes, you can forego the chillies, cayenne, etc. However, the flavour will be much blander. I recommend keeping the chillies and simply using less for a milder heat.
Chicken Preparation- butterfly breasts? Spices and oils?
I recommend butterflying the chicken breasts for this spicy chicken pasta dish. By cutting the chicken into thinner pieces, they’ll cook more evenly, so there’s less likely to be overcooked/dried-out sections. Adding oil/seasoning to the outside of the chicken is a must. As the chicken cooks, the oil will brown the outside of each chicken piece, allowing it to retain moisture and stay tender.
Chicken cooking with internal temperature
You’ll know the chicken is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temp of 165F. Do not overcook chicken; it will become chewy/dried out and difficult to eat.
Let it rest
Avoid cutting the chicken right out of the pan. Instead, allow the chicken to rest as it lets the meat retain more natural juices.
Chicken Breast – I recommend chicken breasts for this spicy chicken pasta. However, you can use boneless, skinless chicken thighs for juicier chicken bits.
Fresh Chillies – Don’t fret if you forgot the fresh chillies. You can use red pepper flakes and/or cayenne pepper instead to add heat to spicy pasta dishes like this one.
Cream Cheese – This recipe gets its richness/creaminess from the cream cheese in the sauce. If you want to create a slightly lower-calorie version, swap out regular cream cheese for a low-fat option.
See the recipe card for full information on all ingredients and quantities.
Since everyone’s heat tolerance is a bit different, it’s necessary to adjust the recipe to meet your preferences. Start with a smaller amount of chillies when making this spicy chicken pasta. As the sauce is cooking, taste a small amount to see if the heat level is right. If it’s not spicy enough, you can always add more chillies, cayenne powder, etc. at the end.
If you’re unsure what to serve with spicy chicken pasta, consider the options below!
Garlic bread – One of my favourite sides to this spicy, creamy chicken pasta is garlic bread. It’s flavourful, works well with the seasoning in the spicy pasta, and is great for soaking up any extra sauce on the plate.
Cheesy bread – Another great option for soaking up the creamy spicy chicken pasta sauce is cheesy bread. Simply slice a crusty bread loaf, add a generous layer of butter, a sprinkle of garlic powder, and shredded mozzarella/parmesan cheese. Then, bake in the oven until the cheese is melty.
Salad – Adding salad alongside this yummy pasta recipe is a great way to boost the meal’s nutrients and make it more filling.
Adjust this spicy chicken bowtie pasta to your taste preferences with a few swaps. For example, you can turn it into Cajun chicken pasta using Cajun spices instead of the noted spices. Or, add more flavour by tossing in chorizo.
Skip the sour cream and use heavy cream for an even richer pasta sauce. Or, make it lighter by using Greek yogurt instead. You can also add some parmesan cheese for a deliciously cheesy spicy chicken pasta dish. This is a great recipe to sneak a few veggies into as well. For example, you can add roasted bell peppers or spinach to the dish without affecting the flavour.
3. Next, add the chicken, garlic and fresh chillies into the pan (Image 3).
4. During this time, cook your fusilli in heavily salted boiling water for the time stated on the packet, minus two minutes (Image 4).
*In the meantime, while the pasta is cooking steam the peas over the pasta.
5. Now add the tomato puree and fry for around 7 minutes over a low heat (Image 5).
6. Stir to incorporate and fry until the tomato puree deepens in colour (Image 6).
7. Next add the cream cheese to the pan and stir to combine (Image 7).
8. Reserve around 400ml of pasta water, before draining your fusilli, then pour 300ml into the pan with the undercooked pasta and add the grated Pecorino. Stir continuously (Image 8).
9. Ensure the pasta sauce is fully incoporated, then top with fresh basil (Image 9).
10. Add the reserved slices of fresh chillies and an extra sprinkle of pecorino. Dive in! (Image 10).
Here are some more spicy pasta dishes to try during the week. Don’t worry; they’re just as good as this spicy chicken pasta!
Allow the chicken to rest
The best way to keep the chicken in this recipe juicy is by allowing it to sit for a few minutes after it’s cooked. This step helps the juices redistribute throughout the chicken so it remains moist after you slice it.
Add cayenne powder for more heat
Add cayenne powder if you prefer more heat in this spicy chicken pasta dish. Start with 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne and adjust to your preference.
Use heavy cream for a richer sauce. While this recipe is already creamy from the cream cheese, you can use ½ cup of heavy cream instead of sour cream to create a more decadent sauce.
Make Ahead: This dish is great as a make-ahead recipe. Simply cook the chicken and toss it into an airtight bag with the sauce ingredients once it cools. Then, keep the chicken and sauce in the freezer for up to three months.
When you’re ready to create spicy chicken pasta, let the bag defrost overnight in the fridge. Then, follow the steps below to boil/create the sauce. For this recipe, it’s best to make the pasta fresh.
Storage: Once the recipe has cooled, put it in an airtight container. It should last for about 2-3 days in the fridge.
Reheat: To reheat this creamy pasta, microwave it in 30-second intervals until it’s heated through. Ensure you stir the dish as it heats. You can also reheat the spicy pasta in a pan on the stove.Use leftover chicken to create these yummy spicy chicken recipes: Easy Spicy Chicken Sandwich, Wagamama’s Chicken Ramen, or Healthy Chicken Tikka Masala.
You can use most types of short pasta noodles for this spicy chicken pasta. I recommend using fusilli since it holds the sauce well. However, you can also use options like bowties, cavatappi, elbows, or shells.
Yes, you can use dried chilli flakes instead of fresh chillies. Both will provide a deliciously fiery flavour.
No, you cannot replace sun-dried tomatoes for the tomato puree. Unfortunately, sun dried tomatoes will not help you create a sauce. If you don’t have tomato puree, use tomato paste and water in a 1:1 ratio. Or, use tomato sauce/passata sauce as a replacement.
Yes, you can use a dairy-free sour cream alternative in this recipe. Use a 1:1 ratio when making this swap.
The fresh chillies make this recipe spicy. Using cayenne and chilli flakes will also add heat.
As mentioned, this spicy chicken pasta pairs well with salad. Here are a few options to make alongside this creamy pasta dish: The BEST Halloumi Salad, Panzanella Salad with Halloumi, or Roasted Butternut Squash and Pomegranate Salad.
If you tried this Spicy Chicken Pasta recipe, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x