I helped pay my way through college by serving tables and bar tending at a restaurant chain based out of Southern California. My favorite pasta dish was loaded with peppers, onions and bold lime flavors. It’s been awhile since I’ve made my copycat version and my husband asked me to put it back in our dinner rotation. I was more than happy to oblige and put my cilantro lime cream chicken pasta on the table that week.
I cook this dish in bulk. It’s one of those meals that makes for great leftovers… if you manage to have any after seconds (or thirds). The southwest flavors in this cilantro lime cream chicken pasta marry even more overnight, making any leftovers a hot commodity in our house. Serve it with a ice cold margarita or beer with a lime wedge and you’ve got yourself a pretty awesome dinner just in time for the warm weather.
- 1lb linguine or fettucine
- 1lb chicken (breast, thighs or tenderloins)
- Salt, pepper, paprika, & garlic powder (**Chicken seasoning**)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup red onion (thinly sliced)
- 2 cups bell pepper (red, yellow or green. Sliced into strips.)
- pinch salt
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4-6 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 cups bechamel (cream) sauce (homemade or store bought)
- pinch black pepper
- ½ cup fresh lime juice (3-4 ripe limes)
- ¼ cup cilantro (finely chopped)
- Get a pot of boiling water started for your pasta and chop up your veggies.
- Season your chicken with your salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder. Saute in a large oiled pan just until done and toss all the pieces into a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let this sit until the dish is ready to serve.
- Add your peppers and onion to the same pan used for the chicken and add your butter and a pinch of salt. Saute on medium until soft (about 5 minutes). Reduce your heat and add your garlic, pepper and béchamel. Slowly stir in the lime juice until smooth.
- Your pasta should be finishing up. Drain and add it directly into your veggie loaded cream sauce. Toss in the cilantro and portion into bowls.
- Cube your chicken into bite sized pieces and top your pasta with a handful of chicken pieces.
- Garnish with a little extra cilantro and a lime wedge. Enjoy!
You can easily make this dish gluten free by substituting gluten free pasta and and using a gluten free starch in your cream sauce in lieu of flour. I love Simply Gloria’s basic cream sauce recipe for the béchamel sauce, but I’ve used store bought alfredo in a pinch with great results.
Want to crank up the heat? Drizzle a little Sriracha or Tapatio (my favorite) on top and dive in.
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