Spicy Jalapeño Chicken Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe for spicy chicken spaghetti is super easy to make and packs a nice kick of spice from the jalapeños!  It is gluten-free, dairy-free and delicious.

spicy chicken spaghetti made with red sauce and jalapeños

Spicy Chicken Spaghetti

So I originally posted this recipe for spicy chicken spaghetti way back in March of 2015.  But I really thought it needed a little more love so it is getting an update with some new pictures and easy tips for success!

I originally tasted this spicy chicken spaghetti at a friend’s house many, many years ago.  Her father, the Judge, made it for us while I was staying at their house for the weekend.  I couldn’t stop raving about it.  So he finally revealed the secret was adding pickled jalapeños to the spaghetti sauce.  OMG – I loved that heat!

What Do You Need to Make It?

I’ve tried to recreate the dish and over time got it just the way we like it.  But of course, the original version was the best ever!

It’s so simple and quick to make, too.  You will need:

  • cooked chicken
  • tomato sauce
  • Italian spices
  • fresh basil
  • garlic
  • red wine (optional)
  • agave
  • pickled jalapeños 
  • gluten-free pasta

I make the tomato sauce from scratch because I usually have all of the ingredients on hand.  But if you want to save time and not bother with making the sauce from scratch, just use an organic basil-based pasta sauce instead and add jalapeños.  Even simpler, right?  

Since you only need about 15 ounces of sauce, freeze what you don’t use for another recipe.  Or make double and eat it for lunches, too!     

You can serve it with any type of gluten free pasta you’ve got on hand, too.  But I really prefer the spaghetti from bionaturae!  It’s the best.  Now the gluten-free pasta is made with rice and lentils.  So a great source of extra fiber, too. 

Pickled Jalapeños 

I used to have a thriving jalapeño bush in the back yard but I lost it in one of the freezes here in Austin.  The weird warm days then quick shifts to freezing temps can wreak havoc on certain plants and my jalapeño bush didn’t make it. 

Back when I had a surplus of jalapeños I would quick pickle them myself for this recipe.  

Then I started using Jeff’s Naturals Diced Jalapeños  because they were organic and didn’t contain any weird dyes that you often find in pickled things.  But they didn’t have quite the heat as my homemade pickled peppers.

Even more recently we found La Preferida Organic Hot Jalapeño Slices.  I just posted about using them to make Spiced Potato Nachos.

I like a little more heat than I get from the Jeff’s Naturals so I add a combination of about two tablespoons Jeff’s Naturals diced jalapeños and 5 slices of the hot jalapeños.  

So basically you have options for choosing gluten-free, organic jalapeños.  And you can adjust the amount of heat in the sauce by how much of the jalapeños you add to the spaghetti sauce.

Choices for the Cooked Chicken

Okay so there also chicken choices to make.  Do you want to…

  • use a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken?
  • boil boneless chicken breasts?
  • roast a bone-in split chicken breast?

We like the organic air-chilled Smart Chicken.  And one of the things I’ve noticed is that the bone-in chicken with skin roasts really well but the boneless, skinless do not.  They lose a lot of water and get really dry.  But they are just fine when boiled or added to soup.  

So depending on what they’v got at the store and how much time I have, I can do either one for this spicy chicken spaghetti recipe.

Boiling the chicken breasts only takes about 15-20 minutes after the water boils.  Roasting the bone-in chicken breast takes about an hour at 350 degrees or 45 minutes at a higher temp.  I usually spray the skin with a little olive oil before roasting, too.

Okay so here is the recipe.

Spicy Chicken Spaghetti | Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free

Make this quick and easy spicy chicken pasta (the secret is adding pickled jalapeño peppers to the sauce) for a tasty gluten-free, dairy-free dinner. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword spicy chicken spaghetti
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 4
Author Deana Larkin Evans


  • 1 1/2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 15 oz organic tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp light agave
  • 2 tbsp red wine (optional)
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp pickled jalapeños, diced or sliced
  • 12 oz gluten-free spaghetti


  1. Bring two pots of filtered water to a boil.  A large one for cooking the pasta and a medium pot for cooking the chicken breasts.

  2. Cut the chicken breasts into smaller pieces and place in the boiling water.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.  Remove from water and let cool before shredding.

  3. In another small sauce pan, add the tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, minced garlic, light agave, red wine (optional) and freshly chopped basil.  Alternatively, use about 15 ounces of basil pasta sauce.  Then add about 1 tablespoon of the jalapeños.  Cook over medium low heat for about 10 minutes.  Taste test the jalapeño heat level and add more jalapeños if you’d like to increase the spice level.

  4. Add the shredded chicken to the sauce and cover the saucepan.  Cook for another 10-15 minutes.

  5. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to directions.  When done, drain and toss with the spicy chicken sauce.  

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Deana Larkin Evans

You get one life - do your best to ENJOY IT! So hi, I'm Deana. This food blog is all about cooking wholesome real food and developing gluten-free recipes for some of our favorite comfort foods. I had to start eating gluten-free in 2010, then cut dairy and casein (except for the occasional Parmesan) in 2014. We learned A2 casein (goat, sheep and buffalo milk) is easier to digest than the predominate A1 form in cow milk. So we brought back goat milk dairy into our recipes in 2016. Thank goodness, right! So I'm kind of a science nerd, too. In the '90s, I earned an undergrad degree in biochemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. Hook 'em! Then followed up with a PhD in biochemistry and a law degree from the University of Houston. I recently earned a certificate in genomics/sequence analysis from Johns Hopkins University, where I also took a very cool food microbiology course. Currently, I'm learning about the microbiome and gut health. And trying to come up with healthy recipes to feed those gut bugs! #feedthegutbugs

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