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!
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