This Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta with salsa and bell peppers is a delicious one pot meal. Just dump in all your ingredients and serve!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Olive oil – or another neutral cooking oil like avocado or canola oil.
- Chicken breasts – make this recipe vegetarian or substitute the chicken for some sautéed ground beef or turkey.
- Taco seasoning – use 1 tbsp. chili powder and 1 tsp. cumin instead or make your own taco seasoning.
- Garlic – use freshly minced garlic or jarred minced garlic in a pinch.
- Yellow onion – white onion, shallots or red onion would also be good in this recipe.
- Chicken broth – vegetable broth is the best substitute here.
- Fresh salsa – use a jarred variety or canned diced tomatoes instead.
- Pasta shells – rotini, fusilli, penne and another large pasta shape would work well for this recipe.
- Bell peppers – use another combination of bell peppers or leave them out altogether.
- Cheddar cheese – cut it in half or leave the cheese out altogether. You can also use another cheese like Tex Mex or Monterey Jack.
- Sour cream – low-fat sour cream or even Greek yogurt would help add that amazing creaminess to your pasta.
- Cilantro – leave this out altogether if you’re not a fan of cilantro.
- Avocado – you could also swap out for some fresh guacamole or leave the avocado out.
How to make chicken fajita pasta
- Add the first 8 ingredients to the Instant Pot in order.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes.
- Do a quick release of the pressure.
- Stir in the peppers, sour cream and cheese.
- Let it sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro, top with avocado and serve!
Making it on the stovetop
You can easily make this Instant Pot chicken fajita pasta on the stovetop in just a regular pot! Here are the instructions:
- Add olive oil to a large pot and cook the chicken, taco seasoning, garlic and onion over medium-high heat.
- Add in the chicken broth, salsa and shells, stirring well.
- Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until the pasta is cooked through and has absorbed most of the liquid.
- Remove the lid and stir in bell peppers, sour cream and cheddar cheese.
- Cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
- Top with avocado, serve and enjoy!
Frequently Asked Questions
Chicken fajita pasta combines two of your favourite dishes: chicken fajitas and pasta! It’s a super easy dinner idea and is ready in a flash thanks to the Instant Pot. Feel free to add on more of your favourite toppings to this Instant Pot fajita chicken pasta like green onions, jalapenos, corn, tomatoes and red onions.
You don't have to use store-bought taco seasoning – one of my fave meal prep tricks is to make your own at home! This way you don't get any extra sodium, and you can control what you put in it. I typically make a big giant batch of taco seasoning then store it in an airtight container along with my other spices. Just mix together chili powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder and chili flakes.
This Instant Pot chicken fajita pasta recipe has 521 calories per serving. If you want to cut down on the calorie count, use low-fat sour cream or Greek yogurt and cut the amount of cheese in half (or leave it out altogether). Making your own taco seasoning is another great way of keeping this recipe healthy since you won’t be using as much sodium.
Storing and reheating
You can store this Instant Pot chicken fajita pasta recipe in the fridge for up to 5 days and reheat it in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. Be sure to sprinkle some water over top so the pasta doesn't dry out – this is the key to reviving pasta perfectly every time so that it tastes just like new! I prefer to use glass meal prep containers because you can reheat directly in the container itself and ensure you are getting the proper portion size.
Freezing this recipe
You can freeze this Instant Pot fajita chicken pasta too! It will last in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat from frozen, simply sprinkle some water over top and microwave for 7-9 minutes, stirring halfway through. You can also let the pasta defrost in the fridge for up to 24 hours and then reheat as directed above.
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Instant Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium-sized chicken breasts, diced into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tbsp taco seasoning
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups fresh salsa (I use the Jack's Fresh brand, or canned diced tomatoes will work)
- 1 lb medium pasta shells or macaroni, penne or rotini
- 1 each red, green and yellow pepper, finely diced
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 avocado, diced
- Add olive oil, chicken, taco seasoning, garlic, onion, chicken broth, salsa and shells to the Instant Pot in that order, making sure to leave the shells sitting on the top of all the other ingredients.
- Cook on high pressure for 3 minutes, then do a quick release of the pressure. Instant Pot will take about 10-15 minutes to preheat, then pressure cook for 3 minutes.
- Remove lid when safe to do so and stir in bell peppers, sour cream and cheddar cheese, stirring well. Replace lid and let sit for five minutes.
- Remove lid again and stir in cilantro, then serve among 6 bowls, topping with avocado. Serve and enjoy!