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spicy chicken pasta in two shallow bowls

Spicy Chicken Pasta

This spicy chicken pasta has tender pan-fried chicken and a tomato sauce with a kick! It's ready in about 30 minutes for an easy weeknight option or even a date night meal.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword spicy chicken pasta recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 472kcal


  • 8 ounces uncooked pasta
  • 2 chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more, to taste
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 (14 fluid ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or more, to taste
  • 1 pinch of sugar optional, to taste
  • 2 cups (packed) fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil torn/chopped
  • For serving: freshly grated parmesan cheese optional


  • Boil a salted pot of water and cook the pasta al dente according to package directions.
  • This pasta is not super spicy, so if you are a big spice fan, I recommend adding a bit more cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes than suggested.
    Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner pieces. Add the garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, and some salt & pepper to a small bowl and stir together. Rub the spice mixture onto both sides of each piece of chicken.
  • Add the olive oil to a skillet and let it heat up for a few minutes over medium-high heat. Cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes/side or until it's golden and cooked through (165F). Transfer it to a plate.
  • Reduce the heat to medium. To the same skillet, add the garlic and wine. Let it bubble for 30 seconds or so, and scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add in the crushed tomatoes and red pepper flakes. Let the sauce cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring it occasionally.
  • Meanwhile, slice the chicken into strips.
  • Give the sauce a taste and season with salt & pepper as needed. If tastes a bit acidic, add a pinch or two of sugar.
  • Stir the spinach and basil into the sauce, and then add the drained pasta and toss (you can also add a few tablespoons of the hot pasta water prior to draining it... especially if the sauce becomes a bit thick).
  • Serve with the cooked chicken on top (or stir it in) and serve immediately with some freshly grated parmesan cheese if you like.


  • You can leave the spinach and basil out if you need to. 
  • Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.


Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 53g | Protein: 34g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 285mg | Potassium: 982mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 2079IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 3mg