Italian cuisine by way of the borderlands? That sounds mighty fine to us! Southwest Chicken Alfredo seasons both the savory, honey-coated chicken and the rich tomato sauce with a zesty, spicy Southwest seasoning that will just bout knock your socks off! The pasta is as tender as ever, the sauce is alfredo creamy, and the cheese is as ooey-gooey as you could hope to eat! Southwest Chicken Alfredo might just have a claim to the title of the best version of chicken alfredo ever made!

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Ingredients

For the Southwest seasoning:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne

For the pasta:

  • 1 pound chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Directions

Step 1 –In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, the cumin, the oregano, the paprika, the black pepper, the salt, and the cayenne.

Step 2 –Add the chicken to a large bowl.

Step 3 –Drizzle the chicken in the honey and sprinkle it with 1/2 of the Southwest seasoning blend, tossing to combine.

Step 4 –In a large pot of boiling water, cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain the pasta.

Step 5 –Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Step 6 –Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and cook until cooked through at 165 degrees F, about 3-4 minutes per side.

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Step 7 –Transfer the chicken to a plate when cooked.

Step 8 –To the same skillet, add the onion and the butter and sauté over medium heat until tender, about 3 minutes.

Step 9 –Add the garlic to the onion mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Step 10 –Add the diced tomatoes and the remaining seasoning blend to the onion mixture and bring it to a low simmer.

Step 11 –Slowly pour the heavy cream into the tomato mixture while stirring until fully incorporated.

Step 12 –Bring the mixture to a simmer, then return the chicken to the skillet.

Step 13 –Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the sauce mixture and stir to combine.

Step 14 –Add the pasta to the sauce mixture and toss to combine.

Step 15 –Transfer the skillet from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes.

Step 16 –Stir the pasta again and sprinkle with the cilantro.

Step 17 –Serve.