Fajita Pasta With Cilantro Lime Sauce Recipe

If you love a healthy dose of flavor and are open to the idea of mixing cuisines, then this fajita pasta may just have your name on it. We've combined the smoky flavors of sizzling fajitas with tender and creamy pasta to create a unique lunch or dinner that can be on the table in under 30 minutes. Multicolored peppers are the star of the show, offering many health benefits, lots of color, and rich flavor.

Wellness coach and recipe developer Miriam Hahn brings us this recipe and says, "I've always loved making fajitas because they're easy to throw together and are a crowd pleaser. I'm creating my own fajita seasoning with individual spices, but if you have a fajita seasoning blend on hand, you can opt for that to simplify." Keep reading to learn how to combine two popular dishes into one that will delight everyone at the table.

Gather the ingredients for fajita pasta with cilantro lime sauce

To make this recipe, start in the produce aisle and pick up a red pepper, green pepper, yellow pepper, poblano pepper, red onion, garlic, limes, and cilantro. "If you can't find a poblano pepper, you can swap it for an Anaheim pepper, which is similar in size and heat," Hahn says. Or, you can experiment with other types of chiles.

We've used ziti pasta in this recipe, but you can use any shape you prefer, including any of the gluten-free varieties. This is a flavorful dish, so you'll need quite a few condiments and spices. Check your spice cabinet for chili powder, cumin, salt, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, black pepper, and coriander. We're cooking at high heat, so make sure that you have avocado oil for cooking the fajita veggies and olive oil for the sauce.

Step 1: Boil water

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Step 2: Cook the pasta

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

Step 3: Add oil to a skillet

Add the avocado oil to a large skillet and bring the heat to medium-high.

Step 4: Add the vegetables to the skillet

Add the peppers, onion, 3 garlic cloves, chili powder, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 5: Make the sauce

Add the cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, maple syrup, remaining salt, coriander, remaining garlic, and 2 tablespoons of water to a small food processor. Blend until smooth.

Step 6: Add the pasta and sauce to the skillet

Add the pasta and sauce to the skillet.

Step 7: Stir and serve

Stir together, then serve.

Fajita Pasta with Cilantro Lime Sauce Recipe
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Four types of fresh peppers and a quick fajita seasoning blend form the base of this easy pasta dish before it's dressed in a bright cilantro lime sauce.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
25
minutes
Servings
4
servings
2 bowls of fajita pasta
Total time: 35 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces ziti pasta
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, sliced
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced and divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander
Optional Ingredients
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Lime slices
Directions
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.
  3. Add the avocado oil to a large skillet and bring the heat to medium-high.
  4. Add the peppers, onion, 3 garlic cloves, chili powder, cumin, ½ teaspoon salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and pepper. Saute for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, maple syrup, remaining salt, coriander, remaining garlic, and 2 tablespoons of water to a small food processor. Blend until smooth.
  6. Add the pasta and sauce to the skillet.
  7. Stir together, then serve.
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What other ingredients can you add to fajita pasta?

There are plenty of ways to change up the fajita pasta if you want to get creative or use up what you have on hand. To start, along with the peppers and onions, you can also add mushrooms, zucchini, corn, or spinach. The mushrooms and zucchini can go into the pan along with the peppers and onions, and the corn and spinach can be added at the end to quickly warm up and wilt the spinach.

If you're inclined to add some protein to the meal, add a can of drained black beans, or you can season and add tofu to the skillet before adding the pasta. If you want to add chicken, slice it into thin strips, season it with the fajita spices, add oil to the skillet, and cook for about 6–8 minutes. Remove the chicken from the skillet and proceed with the rest of the recipe. For beef, follow the same method using flank steak or sirloin, and cook for 4–6 minutes.

Can you make fajita pasta ahead of time and serve it as a cold salad?

The fajita pasta can be enjoyed as a cold pasta salad with just a few easy modifications. After you cook the pasta, drain and rinse it in cold water and toss it with a tablespoon of olive oil to keep it from sticking together. Once the veggies are cooked, you'll want to let them cool for about 20 minutes before adding them to the pasta.

You have a couple of options with the dressing. One is to make the dressing and keep it stored in a separate container in the fridge and toss with the pasta and veggies right before serving. If you want to toss the dressing with the salad right away before refrigerating, you can opt to make some extra dressing to toss in before serving if the salad is dry after it sits. Make sure to use an airtight container when storing the pasta salad, and it is best eaten within 24 hours of making it.