Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken
This easy roasted red pepper pasta tosses fettuccine with chicken, spinach, mushrooms, and a homemade, creamy roasted red pepper pasta sauce. It’s a delicious weeknight dinner everyone will love.
This creamy roasted red pepper pasta is one of my favorites and I think the key is the homemade roasted red pepper sauce. Don’t get me wrong I love the standard spaghetti sauce, and you guys know I’m all about a good Alfredo sauce but roasted red peppers just have this distinctive sweet, smoky flavor that I absolutely love.
We added some cream cheese to the sauce to make it cream and then tossed it with fettucine, chicken, baby spinach, and mushrooms, to make a totally amazing pasta dinner.
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Ingredients You’ll Need
For this delicious chicken and spinach pasta, here’s what you’ll need:
- Olive oil – You can use regular or extra virgin.
- Garlic – You’ll need to mince the garlic with a sharp knife. If you don’t have fresh garlic you can substitute with ½ teaspoon of garlic powder (not garlic salt!) per garlic clove.
- Roasted red peppers – For ease, we use canned or olive bar peppers, but you can follow directions below to make your own at home.
- Diced tomatoes – You can use your favorite variety.
- Cream cheese – We use regular, full fat cream cheese to get the best consistency in the sauce.
- Fettuccine – You could use another broad noodle if you prefer.
- Chicken breast – You’ll want to cut it into bite size cubes.
- Seasonings – You’ll need Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, and salt.
- Veggies – Besides the roasted red peppers, you’ll need baby spinach and mushrooms.
Step 1 – Cook the sauce. In a large saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir in minced garlic. Cook the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes or until it begins to soften.
When the garlic is ready, add ½ teaspoon of salt, the roasted red peppers, and the diced tomatoes, including juices. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
Step 2 – Puree the sauce. Remove the saucepan from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the sauce until it is smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, carefully pour it into your high powered blender and blend until smooth. Pour the sauce back into the pan. Return the pan to the burner and turn on low heat.
Step 3 – Stir in the cream cheese. Slowly stir in the cream cheese and allow the sauce to continue to cook over low heat while you get the rest of the ingredients prepped. Make sure you stir the sauce on occasion.
Step 4 – Cook the noodles. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then cook the fettuccine according to instructions on the package.
Step 5 – Brown the chicken. Add the remaining olive oil to a skillet set over medium high heat. Once hot, add the chicken and sprinkle with the remaining salt, Italian seasoning, onion powder, and garlic powder. Continue to cook the chicken until it is browned on all sides and cooked through. This will take about 7 to 10 minutes.
Step 6 – Cook the mushrooms. Set the chicken to the side and then add the mushrooms to the skillet. Saute them for about 7 to 10 minutes or until they are softened.
Step 7 – Cook the spinach. Remove the mushrooms from the skillet and add the baby spinach. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until they just start to wilt.
Step 8 – Bring it all together. Carefully drain the pasta and place it back in the pot. Pour in the roasted red pepper sauce and toss pasta in it until well coated. Finally, add the chicken, mushrooms, and spinach and toss until well mixed.
Roasted Red Peppers from a Jar vs Homemade
We like to save time and make our roasted red pepper pasta sauce with roasted red peppers from a jar. Other times, we might raid the olive bar at our local grocery store for them.
If you’d like to make your own roasted red peppers, it’s a simple process. Here’s what you need to do:
- Remove the stems and seeds from fresh red peppers and place them on a baking sheet. Make sure the oven rack is set just below the heating coils in the top of the oven with enough room for the baking sheet of peppers to fit beneath it with about 2 inches of space between the peppers and the heat source.
- Set the oven to broil and cook for 5 minutes until the skin of the peppers begins to blister and blacken. You can carefully remove the pan and use tongs to turn the peppers to ensure they are blackened on both sides. Every inch of it doesn’t have to blacken, but it should be over a large portion of the peppers.
- Remove the peppers from the oven and use tongs to place them in a gallon freezer bag. Seal the bag and let them sit in the bag until they cook completely.
- Remove the peppers from the bag and gently peel the skin from the peppers. It should slide off easily but you can use a knife to help peel it away if necessary.
That’s it! Now you have roasted red peppers to use in your sauce. We recommend doing this method if you have some extra time on a weekend evening or when you want to make it completely from scratch.
How to Make it Ahead of Time
Here’s how to make this ahead of time. First, reserve 1 cup of the sauce and store in a separate container. Next, cook the pasta and let it cool completely. Once it is cool, stir the mushrooms and spinach into pasta.
You can then store the pasta in the fridge for 3 to 4 days until you are ready to serve it.
To reheat, heat a pan over medium heat and add the reserved sauce along with the pasta. Stir it frequently and cook until it has warmed through.
Looking for More Easy Pasta Recipes?
- Steak Fajita Pasta Salad
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- One Pot Creamy Chicken Tortellini
- More Pasta Recipes…
Roasted Red Pepper Pasta with Chicken
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir in minced garlic. Cook for 1-2 minutes until garlic begins to soften.
- Add roasted red peppers and diced tomatoes (including juices), and ½ teaspoon of salt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes.
- Remove saucepan from heat and use an immersion blender to puree mixture until it is smooth. Place the pan back on the heat and turn heat to low.
- Slowly stir in the cream cheese until it is smooth. Set the heat to simmer and let sauce continue to cook while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Add 1 tablespoon of salt to a large pot of water. Place the pot over high heat and begin to bring to a boil.
- While the water comes to a boil prepare the chicken by sprinkling it with the remaining salt.
- Add remaining olive oil to a skillet and cook chicken over medium heat. As the chicken cooks add the Italian seasoning. Continue to cook chicken until it is browned on all sides and cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Place on a plate.
- Once the water in the large pot begins to boil add the fettucine. Cook according to package instructions (approximately 12 minutes).
- Add the mushrooms to the skillet you used for the chicken. Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until they are softened. Remove mushrooms and add the baby spinach. Cook for 1-2 minutes until just wilted.
- Drain the cooked pasta and place it back in the pot. Pour in the roasted red pepper sauce and toss pasta in it until well coated. Add chicken the chicken, spinach, and mushrooms and toss until well mixed.
- Serve immediately.