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Chicken Tequila Pasta

February 25, 2019

Serves six people

Chicken and peppers, nestled in in a creamy sauce flavored with a touch of lime and tequila, combine to make a memorable meal.


1 and 3⁄4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cit in bite-size pieces
3 tablespoons low sodium tamari or soy sauce
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 pound dry tagliatelle or fettuccine pasta 
1⁄3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for garnish
3 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
1 and 1/2 jalapeno peppers, finely diced 
1⁄2 cup chicken stock
4 tablespoons gold tequila, divided
1 lime freshly squeezed
1⁄3 red onion, thinly sliced
1 each red, yellow and green bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 and 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
1/2 jalapeno pepper for garnish (optional) 
1 lime, for finish and serving


  1. Place chicken in a bowl, pour tamari over and toss to coat. Set aside.
    Prepare water for cooking pasta.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoons butter and add chicken. Cook for 5 minutes, turning once. If it’s a large enough skillet add in the veggies; otherwise, remove chicken and set aside. Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente, then drain and set aside.
  4. While the chicken cooks, in a medium skillet over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Cook 1/3 cup cilantro, the chopped garlic and jalapeno for 4 to 5 minutes. Add stock, 2 tablespoons tequila and juice from the freshly squeezed lime. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until thickened and reduced by about one-third. Remove from heat and set aside. (Pop the remaining half jalapeno in the pan to roast and serve as a garnish).
  5. When the vegetables have softened slightly, return chicken to pan if necessary and stir to combine. Add in the cilantro-garlic mixture and the cream, stirring to combine. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until sauce is thickened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes. During the last 2 minutes of cooking, add 2 tablespoons tequila and the juice if half the remaining lime.
  6. Cut the remaining half lime into wedges for serving.
  7. Toss chicken mixture with drained pasta, transfer to a serving bowl or individual dishes, and garnish with chopped cilantro and the half jalapeno. Squeeze a lime wedge over each serving for extra flavor.

Cook’s Note

If using fresh pasta, use about 2 pounds. In this dish it’s safe to leave in the jalapeno ribs. A 50ml/4 tablespoon airline bottle of tequila is enough for this recipe.