Mexican Chicken Poblano Pasta can be whipped up and on the table in just 40 minutes. It bursts with delicious, subtly spicy Latin flavors, and is the perfect Mexican comfort food dish!
A Mexican comfort food dish made with pasta is every bit as satisfying as an Italian one.
Imagine how awesome Chicken Poblano Pasta would be presented somewhere between the quintessential guacamole and salsa selections, as well as the tacos and nachos -- for an awesome Mexican dinner party.
This pasta is super delicious -- it's subtly spicy, creamy, hearty, and fresh -- all at once!
What are Poblano Chile Peppers?
- What do they taste like? Poblano peppers are not very hot peppers. They generally range from mild to medium and have a lovely subtle smoky flavor.
- Poblano peppers got their name because they originated in the state of Puebla in central Mexico.
- They have thick, dark-green skin and a wide base which tapers to a point.
- In their dried form, poblanos are called ancho chile peppers.
- Poblanos are most commonly used for chile rellenos.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- While I love making my own enchilada sauce, roasting my own peppers, and cooking the chicken, I get that life is busy and you might want to make this more quickly. You can! 🙂 Feel free to use your favorite canned or bottled enchilada sauce, jarred, roasted peppers, and a rotisserie chicken. I love this homemade Ancho Chile Enchilada Sauce Recipe.
- You can use any pasta you like. I use gluten-free penne, so my gluten-free son can partake. 🙂
Poblano Chile Substitutes
You should be able to find Poblanos in most markets -- but, if you don't see them the best substitutes are Anaheim, mild Hatch or Bell. (Hatch are only in season in August and September.)
What to Serve With This Pasta Dish
- Fried Meyer Lemon Caesar Salad
- Roasted Poblano Guacamole (and chips!)
- Mexican Chocolate Crème Brûlée
Though really, this one pan dish can also stand on its own.
Chicken Poblano Pasta will always draw a crowd, and it's a fantastic creative recipe for casual entertaining and is also perfect for a cozy family night.
Whether or not you serve it for a casual gathering of friends, a Cinco de Mayo party, or just for a random weeknight dinner, I hope you love it!
Mexican Chicken Poblano Pasta Recipe
- 12 ounces dry Penne pasta (or shape of your choice)
- olive oil for the pan
- 2 medium-large (about ½ pound) poblano peppers
- 1¼ pounds (about 2) boneless, skinless chicken breasts or use a rotisserie chicken
- 1½ cups yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1½ cups Ancho Chile Enchilada Sauce (click here for the recipe), OR your favorite bottled variety
- ⅓ cup crema Mexicana or sour cream
- ½ cup loosely packed cilantro, washed and dried
- 4 scallions, washed and dried, thinly sliced
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Reserve ½ cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta in a colander. Then put the pasta back into the pot with the reserved liquid and set aside.
- Roast the peppers. Place the poblanos, one at a time, directly on top of a high flame on the stove. Use kitchen tongs to turn them as each side chars. Remove them from the burners, place them in a brown bag, and fold over the top to let them steam for 10 minutes. Take them out of the bag when they’re cool enough to work with. Use your hands to peel off the skin and remove the stems. Use a paring knife to make a slit vertically down each pepper to open it. Remove the seeds and trim away the membranes from the inside. Cut them into bite-sized pieces and set aside. (You should have about 1 cup.) You can also skip this and buy a jar of red roasted peppers to save time.
- Cook the chicken (if not using rotisserie). Coat a large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium heat. Season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place them in the pan. Sauté just until they're cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove them from the pan and set aside until they're cool enough to touch. Shred it into bite-sized pieces with your hands.
- Sauté onions and garlic and combine ingredients. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring often, over medium-high heat until soft and nicely caramelized, about 10 minutes. Turn the heat to low and then add the roasted poblanos, enchilada sauce, crema Mexicana or sour cream, shredded chicken, and the pasta (along with the liquid it's in) and gently mix everything together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here's how.)
- Garnish with the cilantro and scallions. Serve!
Cooking On The Weekends is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
I've made Peruvian pasta, why not Mexican? GREG
Now I want Peruvian, Greg. 😀
And I have Indian friends who make Indian pasta. This sounds terrific, Valentina, and I just happened to have made pasta dough this morning AND have chicken AND have roasted poblanos fresh from the market AND have cilantro in the garden. All I need to do is make your enchilada sauce and dinner is done!
Thanks so much! I really hope you and Mark like this, David! 😀
Did you know, Valentina, that Italians don’t use chicken in their pastas? I don’t know why - maybe they just haven’t had your version! We did try this and liked it a lot. Of course, I had to make changes to get around the garlic but no one suffered terribly! Thanks for the reminder of this recipe - want to make it again!
Thanks so much, David. The photos needed some sprucing up so I was excited to share it again with a fresh look. 😀 So happy you liked it! (I can't seem to keep garlic out of many of most of my recipes -- just remove it any time!!!) And I did not know that about Italian pasta dishes. So interesting.
We made this sometime during the pandemic, and I remember feeling guilty and not wanting to tell our Italian friends that we made pasta with chicken! But I did ask them why… They didn’t really have a good reason except that maybe chicken was meant to be the main course after the pasta. Never the case, this is delicious! (And you know, I just omit garlic all the time from every recipe - not just yours!)
David, I love this. I only recently learned that about chicken and pasta from Christina's Cucuina, I think. Well, I'm happy you like this recipes -- any which way! Thanks so much. 🙂 ~Valentina
This is an excellent dish. I used chicken thighs and fettuccine, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly, including making the delicious sauce. One of the best pasta dishes I've had. Thanks!
Rob, thanks so much for sharing! So happy you tried this recipe, and of course that you enjoyed it! 😀
What a delicious Chicken Poblano Pappardelle Pasta! I simply cannot wait to try it! Very interesting combination of ingredients. I am saving this recipe for later. Yum!
Thank you, Veena! Hoping you love it. 😀
Oh my! Love the flavors!
Sounds like a really flavorful dish perfect for our weeknights! Loving the flavors. So cool with the dried peppers. I've seen those in the grocery store and never bought them! Such a great dish!
Thanks so much Jessica. I hope you experiment using the dried peppers. They have such a great smoky flavor.:-)
Burritos move over because this pasta is taking your place! I really love the homemade sauce that goes with this too. Can't wait to make this for sure.
Thanks so much, Sharon. Hope you give it a go. 🙂
These flavors work so nicely with the pasta. I love anything with a Mexican or Latin flare!
Me too!!!! Thank you. 🙂
Mexican pasta, it sounds delicious 😋, pinning!
Thanks for pinning, and for checking out the recipe. 🙂
Always delighted to try something a slightly different fusion from across the Pond ! Can buy dried ancho chiles and shall make my own sauce. Like Rob chicken thighs and fettucine will probably join that on the weekend menu. Or may reach for my ever-present Hokkien . . .
Whatever noodles you use, I hope you will love it! Thank you so much and enjoy!
Coco in the Kitchen
I absolutely LOVE poblano peppers!
My husband planted them for me , one year, but they were too closely placed to the cayennes and sucked all the heat from them.
Now, you've got 2 of my favs together, poblanos and pasta.
I know what I'm putting on the table tonight! xo
Hi Colette, I love connecting with you and was so happy to see those DELICIOUS looking meatballs you made with those crazy creamy mashed potatoes. YUM. Thank you for the visit and I hope you love this pasta as much as my family and I do. 🙂 Happy weekend. xo
A lovely dish Valentina and one I know we'll enjoy. I love Mexican pasta dishes and look forward to making this one. What about adding prawns and fresh chorizo sausage instead of chicken. What do you think?
I think my jaw dropping at the mere thought of adding prawns and/or chorizo means a big yes! Do it. Really that sounds delicious. Almost reminiscent of a paella of sorts. Thanks for checking out the recipe. Cheers. 🙂
I love this so much. There are no rules with cooking. If you love the flavors of a cuisine, you can use those ingredients in any kind of dish! I have a Thai-inspired risotto on my blog, and I didn't get any backlash!!!
Oh my gosh, Thai inspired risotto sounds amazing. Definitely going to have to look that one up. I'm always wanting to say things like, "look, I know this isn't authentic, but . . ." So I'm happy you get it. Hope you're having a great weekend. cheers!
I absolutely love fusion dishes like this! My mouth is literally watering looking at your photos. This one is going on our menu for sure!!
Thanks so much, Marissa. 🙂 It's a great comfort food dish and I hope you love it!
Karen (Back Road Journal)
Love the inspiration...I haven't thought of combining a pasta dish and a Mexican dish. Why I don't know but I'm certainly glad you did. 🙂
Thanks so much, Karen! Happy you're inspired. 🙂
David @ Spiced
I love poblanos, and chile rellenos is always high on the list whenever we go out for Mexican food. I'm all about this recipe, Valentina! This sounds like the ultimate comfort food, and I'd be all about curling up on the couch with a bowl of this pasta. Looks fantastic, my friend! Interesting note about the origin of the poblano...I never knew that!
Thank you, David. It is indeed a good comfort food to curl up with. Like a good book. 😉