Remember a while back when I shared my recipe for Cajun Chicken Pasta and told you all that in general I don’t use cream for pasta sauces and that the Cajun Pasta was the only exception to that? Well, I lied.
Actually I didn’t lie. The deliciousness of creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta changed me. I’m still more likely to toss our pasta with veggies, olive oil and lemon or to top things will marinara or meat sauce. But I’m finding myself more and more willing to venture into the cream sauce category.
Honestly though I’m still not totally letting loose and making full on cheesy cream filled sauces such as alfredo, but I am allowing some cream here and here and we are enjoying it to the fullest. Especially when the allowing my imagination to run wild in the grocery store led to Chicken Quesadilla Pasta. Creamy, cheesy. It’s like chicken quesadilla in a bowl. Yum.
I’m telling you this stuff is good. My mouth is watering right now just looking at the pictures and recalling it’s awesomeness.
The beauty of this dish is that you use your favorite salsa which means you end up with the level of spice that suits your tastes. I like to grill chicken breasts and slice those up to use in this dish but you could also use store bought precooked chicken. Also you can garnish this bowl of deliciousness just like you would a quesadilla. I recommend sliced black olives, diced avocado, diced tomatoes or cilantro.
Chicken Quesadilla Pasta Ingredients
1 red medium onion, sliced
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 lb cooked chicken, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup half and half
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, plus additional for garnish
1/2 lb fork pasta such as rigatoni
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Saute peppers, onion and garlic over medium-high heat in 2 tablespoons olive oil for 1 minute. Add pre-cooked sliced chicken to pan with peppers and onions and warm for 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken and veggies to plate and set aside. Pour chicken stock, salsa, and half and half into pan stirring continuously. When sauce begins to bubble a bit turn back the meat to medium or medium-low and simmer for about 3 minutes.
Once has simmered for a few minutes return chicken and veggie mixture to the pan. Stir cheese into the pan and allow veggies and chicken to get hot and the sauce to thicken a bit.
Just before serving gently stir the pasta into the chicken, vegetables and sauce. Garnish and serve hot.