Southwestern Chicken Pasta

photo of one bowl of southwest chicken pasta

5 from 1 review

Tender chicken, corn, cherry tomatoes, and pasta all tossed together in a smoky chipotle cream sauce.


  • 8 ounces rotini pasta

For the Chicken

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

For the Sauce

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 chipotle pepper, finely chopped (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 cup frozen corn (see note)
  • 8 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Boil the pasta following package instructions.
  2. Slice the chicken breasts in half crosswise. Season each with the salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Place the chicken breasts in the pan and cook them for four to five minutes on each side or until they are cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat. Once melted, add the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Add the cream and, once it’s heated, add the cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth. Add the cilantro and stir.
  4. Add the chicken, corn, and tomatoes. Stir to combine and serve.


If you want to make it even easier, use shredded rotisserie chicken and skip cooking the chicken yourself. Just make the rest of the recipe as directed and add the shredded chicken at the end.

Look for chipotles in adobo in the Latin foods section at the grocery store. If you don’t like a lot of spice you might want to reduce or omit the chopped chipotle pepper and just use the adobe sauce.

For an extra smoky flavor, substitute the same amount of smoked cheddar cheese in place of the white.

If you leave the corn out at room temperature while you make the dish it will thaw out by the time you add it. Even if it’s still cold it will warm up quickly in the sauce. 


Keywords: chipotle chicken pasta, southwest chicken pasta, chicken pasta recipe