Southwest Chicken Pasta Toss

After a weekend of camping, a 6 a.m. wake-up was NOT what I ordered.  But, I agreed to do a favor for a friend and watch her little one, so the 6 a.m. wake-up was a requirement.  The little one was an angel all day, but committing to spend the day with her didn’t leave me any time (or energy) to go to a grocery store scrounging up ingredients for dinner.  I decided to scrounge around in the freezer and the cabinets instead.

I soon realized I had enough items to throw together to make an almost-knockoff of the southwest chicken pasta I like at a local restaurant, minus the cheesy cream sauce they put on their offering.  When I explained to Lane that I was going to chop some tomato, cook some chicken, toss in a can of black beans and then stir it all up with pasta, he raised an eyebrow but soon conceded that I am always right in all matters concerning the kitchen it just might work.  At last count, he said “this is fantastic” six times while eating his second helping.  With minimal chopping, prepping, or stirring, I had dinner on the table in twenty minutes.  Oh, and if you’re wondering, it was better than the stuff at the restaurant, even without the cheesy cream sauce.

Southwest Chicken Pasta Toss


  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 C. grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb. uncooked penne pasta (other shapes may be used)
  • olive oil


Heat olive oil (two turns of the pan) in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chicken to skillet and cook, stirring, until chicken is cooked through.  Remove chicken to a plate.

Fill a large pot with water, add salt, and bring to a boil.

While waiting for the water to boil, using the same skillet the chicken was cooked in (add more olive oil if necessary), sautee the onion and garlic over medium-high heat until onion starts to soften and brown.

Add the tomatoes, black beans, chipotle, cumin, and chili powder and stir to combine. Cook over medium-low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the tomato mixture cooks, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions, then drain.

Add the cooked chicken to the tomato mixture, stir to combine, and cook until mixture is heated through.

Toss the chicken mixture with the pasta and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Diana Dishes original


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