Mexican Chicken Pasta

Yes, I know it’s a Monday. Yes, I know this blog is called Try It Tuesday. However, tomorrow’s schedule just isn’t conducive to cooking or blogging, so today’s the day. Now, on to Try It Monday!

As I planned out this week’s dinner menu, I was torn between pasta and tacos. Then I remembered a video for Mexican Chicken Pasta that I had seen on Facebook. It seemed like the perfect solution – and the perfect recipe for Try It Tuesday.20160620_174632

As is my habit, I tweaked the recipe a bit. The original recipe and video can be found here, but my changes seem significant enough that this time I’ll type out my version below.

Ingredients

12 oz. pasta (I used angel hair, but just about any pasta would work), cooked according to pkg. directions

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 lb. chicken, cut into cubes

Salt and pepper to taste

½ large onion, sliced

2 bell peppers, any color, sliced

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. oregano

1 8 oz. can tomato sauce

2 Tbsp. tomato paste

½ cup chicken broth

¾ cup half & half

1 cup shredded cheese, cheddar or Mexican blend, plus more for serving

Fresh cilantro, to taste

Directions

In a large, deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook for 6 minutes. Add the onion and bell peppers and cook 4 minutes longer. Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano. Pour in the tomato sauce, tomato paste, broth, half & half, and cheese. Stir, reduce heat to low, then add the spaghetti, tossing until coated. Cover and allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Serve hot, topped with shredded cheese and chopped cilantro.

My mother-in-law said this was her favorite pasta I’ve made since I’ve been at their house, and I have to say I enjoyed this dish as well. It was a nice change of pace from more traditional pasta or Mexican meals. I particularly liked the way the fresh taste of the cilantro cut through the creamy sauce and perked up the hints of tomato. I feel like the sauce was missing something, although I’m not sure what. I did enjoy the simplicity of flavors, but I think I was just expecting stronger flavor.

And Vincent? Well, I did have to bribe him with corn bread muffins (which complements this dish quite well). He seemed willing enough to eat the pasta if there weren’t any peppers in the bites I offered. Hey! I’ll take what I can get.

Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

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