Chicken Tequila Fettuccine with creamy tequila jalapeño lime sauce, pasta, bell peppers and red onions is one of the most popular entrees at California Pizza Kitchen.
Chicken Tequila Fettuccine from California Pizza Kitchen is one of the most popular pasta recipes on the menu and for good reason! The creamy lime tequila sauce is AMAZING and the chicken and spinach fettuccine is a flavorful addition.
It may seem like there are a lot of ingredients in the dish, but they’re essential to the perfect copycat since the recipe is actually straight from the restaurant itself!
In fact this is the third California Pizza Kitchen recipe I’ve created from the book. The first, CPK Best-Seller Kung Pao Chicken Spaghetti is one of our favorite special occasion meals we serve at home and the second is a menu item they don’t have anymore, their Thai Peanut Chicken Pasta which is one of the most popular pasta recipes on the blog!
I adjust a few ingredients and methods to make it more user friendly for the home kitchen, but the flavor ingredients are straight from the cookbook. You can of course serve the dish with shrimp instead of chicken or even serve it with browned butter scallops.
Looking for more pasta recipes?
- Cheesy Taco Pasta
- Bacon Cheeseburger Hamburger Helper
- Philly Cheesesteak Hamburger Helper
- Easy Thai Green Curry Noodles
- Bonefish Grill Bang Bang Shrimp (Copycat)
- Halal Cart Chicken and Rice (Copycat)
- KFC Original Recipe Chicken (Copycat)
- P.F. Chang’s Orange Peel Chicken (Copycat)
Tools Used in the making of this CPK Chicken Tequila Fettuccine:
Spinach Fettuccine: Easy to order online, organic and spinach flavored, perfect for this copycat recipe.
CPK Cookbook: Love this for authentic restaurant recipes from California Pizza Kitchen.
Better Than Bouillon: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.
- 2 tablespoons garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons jalapeños minced
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 chicken breasts boneless and skinless
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 red onion sliced thinly
- 1/2 red bell pepper sliced thinly
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper sliced thinly
- 1/2 green bell pepper sliced thinly
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- 1 pound spinach fettucini cooked and drained, not rinsed
- Add the garlic and jalapeno in a small saucepan with the butter and cook over medium low heat.
- Add the chicken stock, tequila, lime juice and cook until it has the consistency of a glaze, then turn off the heat and whisk in the cream and soy sauce.
- Add the vegetable oil to the pan, season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook on medium high heat, 3-4 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- Remove the chicken and add in the bell peppers and onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until just slightly crisp.
- Chop the chicken into cubes and add it back into the pan with the bell peppers and pasta.
- Add in the heavy cream mixture and cilantro.
- Toss together and cook 1-2 minutes until thickened.
Question: The way this is worded, I’m just using one pan throughout the process (a small saucepan, as stated in step 1). Step 3 says “Add the vegetable oil to the pan, (etc)” which seems to indicate I’m adding the oil to the same saucepan I just made the cream sauce in.
Does step 3 really mean to use a second pan, a skillet?
Good catch! two pans
Love this recipe. Added extra veggies (broccoli and shaved Brussels) and reduced the peppers due to family members who struggle with peppers. Did the chicken in the air fryer which was crispy goodness. Living rurally and wanting to make this today the grocery had a greens spaghettis made by Catelli full of spinach, kale etc. It was great. The proportions for the sauce worked perfectly, added some salt and pepper and lime to the finished product. So yummy! Now what to do with the remaining tequilia!
Loved this recipe! I made it today as I was craving the CPK version and this was very close. I would however reduce the heavy cream to 3/4 cup. 1.5 is way too much!! I also added a tablespoon of Cajun seasoning since I love spicy and it gave it an extra kick and flavor! Will make it again for sure!! ??
We love this recipe and used to make it pretty regularly. We always used to buy the spinach fettuccine you listed too but I can’t find it sold anywhere anymore. Every other option out there seems to be almost 5 times the price. Any new pasta suggestions? Thanks!
*We also LOVE your butter chicken recipe! ??
The only place I’ve found it is Ralph’s. It’s always on the bottom shelf of the pasta aisle.
This was a perfect copy cat recipe!! Spot on and so delicious!!! I added some red pepper flakes to the sauce because we like things spicier. My sauce was thinner than I wanted but thicker up once I took it off the heat. Next time I’ll cut up the chicken before I cook it.
Too much pasta for the amount of sauce, chicken and veggies. I think half a pound of pasta would have been fine. I can taste The essence of the dish and look forward to trying it again with less pasta so there’ll be more sauce and flavor. Thanks for sharing this.
Not sure how people are able to come up with copycat recipes, but this one was really good! I have been eating this at CPK for over 20 years and it’s my favorite so decided to try it. My husband and I are amazed, so good! I didn’t have any soy sauce but didn’t miss it, added a touch more fresh lime. Thank you! A+
This recipe turned out absolutely awful. Doesn’t not taste like CPK.
I made this for the first time at my husband birthday dinner, everyone loved it! My brother used to work at a cpk and even said it tasted just like it.
This recipe was absolutely fantastic when I made it at home for my husband and my family when they visited. I will definitely be making this for my Easter Sunday potluck. Thank you so much for sharing it was sincerely like eating at CPK. And the bonus was I spent a fraction of the price to make at home for multiple people. Thank you again!
I just had this for lunch a few minutes ago – ordered in fr CPK but will definitely try this recipe. I order this every single time I go to CPK or for delivery.
Thanks for the recipe.
LOVE this recipe. Only question is since the recipe calls for 1 1/2 cup heavy cream, are you supposed to split this in half (one half for before the chicken step and the other half after adding the pasta in?) or do you double the cream and soy sauce mixture ?
I just made this today and I don’t think your supposed to split the amount it’s telling you to use 1 and 1/2 cup of heavy cream. You mix that with the tequila and set it aside and later mix all with the pasta and chicken. That’s how I did it and it turned out amazing!
I love this recipe it was so good exactly like CPK now I won’t have to deal with terrible service to get this I could just make it at home.
I have the same exact question as Madison has above but I have, yet, to see a reply/response. Do you split the amount of heavy cream listed in the ingredients in half. In other words, is half of the cream used in the chicken stock, tequila, and lime mixture and then the other half of the heavy cream set aside to be combined with the chicken and pasta in the end. Can you please clarify?
I see the great reviews but I don’t see any comments addressing how they went about using the heavy cream, especially since it it mentioned twice to add it in the instructions.
You do not split the heavy cream. Once you add it in the saucepan with the soy sauce you set it aside & pour it over your pasta later on with the cilantro! This is your creamy base for the pasta and chicken all together!
An absolute hit first tune I made it!
I’m one of those people who hate when someone rates a recipe 5 stars, then goes on to comment about all the changes they made. I’m also a very proficient cook, so tweak just about every recipe. Unless it’s a simple preference tweak (more salt, less garlic), I won’t rate a recipe at all, because I haven’t made it as written.
I’m making an exception to my own rules this time, because I am confident my changes didn’t improve the recipe. I couldn’t get spinach fettuccine, but I’m sure it only would have made the dish better. I also opted to marinate the chicken in tequila, lime juice, honey and chili powder for 3 hrs and grill it. The marinade wasn’t “present” enough to consider an improvement (but you might want to try) and ultimately, I think it would have worked as well, if not better, using the skillet method here.
Bottom line: This has been the only dish I’ve ever ordered at CPK. Not only did I think it was fantastic, the other three adults I fed (who expect nothing but awesome when I cook) absolutely loved it.
Thanks for the recipe, Sabrina!
Thank you for your honesty, Michele. I am very glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I used to use Better Than Bullion until I learned all about “Natural Flavours”.
this is so good! i cooked my chicken in the air fryer then diced and added it to the dish, was just perfect! thank you.
you should make a video! i’m a guy who never cooked and i wanted to surprise my wife with her favorite entree!
It’s definitely added to my to do list.
So good! The whole family loved it!
What kind of tequila do use?
I use Jose Cuervo gold tequila. Nothing fancy 🙂
Nothing fancy, but not a “bottom shelf, plastic decanter” grade tequila ? You can sometimes get away with that on vodka, but typically the “I’ve heard of them” brands work very well for recipes. I, too, use Cuervo gold. (Also. Jack Daniel’s for Whiskey, Gilbeys for gin, Barcardi gold for rum, etc.)
Thanks for the ideas, Michele!
Easy to make and very delicious. Never had it at CPK but will definitely make it again.
Thanks for the 5 stars, Mark. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
It is absolutely UNREAL how GOOOOOOOD this recipe is! My wife loves this dish from CPK and had been craving it so I made it for her last night. I was shocked at how spot on it is from the restaurant’s version. I couldn’t find spinach fettuccine, so I used the regular noodles and it was just as incredible. Good Job Sabrina!
Yay!! Thanks for coming back to let me know, Patrick!
You can find it at Trader Joe’s!!!
THANK YOU! I LOVE TJ’s!
It’s my first time trying this pasta at CPK…and we really liked it, I tasted like something Mexican on it and when we asked the waiter what’s on it she said chipotle sauce..so I was wondering if it’s true or not? Since I love cooking and I really wanna make it
Chipotle sauce isn’t included in their recipe so I don’t think she was correct.
There is no chipotle in this recipe. I used to be a manager there. It comes in the restaurant as a lime cilantro pesto mixture and is mixed with heavy cream and thats it. Add a tablespoon of sambal chili for a nice kick of heat.
I have been eating this dish at CPK for over 20 years, absolutely no chipolte!
What can I use instead of the tequila? Not really a big fan of it and I don’t want to buy one bottle for just this recipe.
You can add 1 more tablespoon of lime to make up for it or just leave it out all together.
I used cachaça (similar to rum) and that seemed to work fine. Probably didn’t impart the same flavor as tequila, but sometimes you work with what you have. I think the lime, cream, and soy sauce really make this dish.
Have you ever tried this over spaghetti squash rather than pasta? I’m tempted.
I haven’t but if you decide to try, I’d love to know how it turns out. Good luck!
This was delicious! I would definitely make it again. I had some reservations about adding 3 tablespoons of soy sauce so I only added 2. Also I didn’t have spinach fettuccine so I just added spinach! Such an easy recipe, why have I been driving 30mins away to get this dish! Thanks for a great recipe!
I’m so glad you decided to give it a try.
I made this recipe and I liked it. The only thing I’ll say to add is the time that everything takes to cook for example when adding the jalapeno and the garlic is 5 minutes until brown. I had to go to a youtube video to have a demonstration on how to cook. Also I do think with one jalapeno you are good. You don’t need two. It does add some spice to the pasta if the jalapenos are really spicy. And maybe add one whole lemon instead of lemon juice just my suggestion. Overall my family liked the pasta!
We love this recipe. So yummy!! What’s the best way to cook the chicken? Do I cook the chicken in the pan with everything in it? I always overcook the chicken. Any tips?
Oh no! For next time, just add the vegetable oil to a pan and cook the chicken on medium high heat for around 3-4 minutes each side. Hope this helps! Glad you love this recipe so much.
So cook the chicken in a separate pan from the one that you’ve already made the sauce in, correct? I have to share the sad news, I just found out that CPK (at least my local one) is no longer serving the beloved tequila lime fettuccine. Thank you Sabrina, we shall survive!
Yes! and what a bummer! I was so sad when they got rid of the pesto cream!
I am glad someone indicated that they mixed the chicken with everything bc that is what the directions indicate!! -It should state -meanwhile in another pan cook the chicken
I’ve made this twice now, second time I didn’t have the spinach fettuccini so I used wheat spaghetti and it was still really good. I always end up putting more frea fresh lime and salt at the end but it’s so good. I end up craving it.
I’m so glad you love it so much, Maria. Thanks for the 5 stars.
Thank you so much for this! It was so easy to make and everyone loved it at home! I will be sure to make this again ! (And a lot more) lol ! Thank you!
You’re welcome, Daisy! So glad you all enjoyed it!
Didn’t have tequila, so I substituted with white wine. I love the sour taste, so I doubled on the lime and added asplash of white vinegar.
Thanks for the feedback for substitutions. So glad you enjoyed it!
Omg I am going to try to make this recipe this weekend, my 2 adult boys will love this and so does my husband. Thank you Sabrina.
You’re welcome! I hope you all enjoy it!
This is the ONLY dish my partner asks for again and again at home. It is the gold standard of my homemade fare, he even brags to his work buddies about it.
I use penne or whatever pasta we have on hand, and dried whole chiles instead of jalapenos (as these are only available canned in our part of the world). I can’t recommend this dish enough.
Thank you so much for the 5 star rating! I’m so glad everyone enjoyed it!
If my husband saw the ingredients, he wouldn’t eat most of what I cook lol This is one of the one’s rated “great”. I didn’t tell him the recipe before he ate it lol (I got him back for his hitler ways and served him brains and eggs lol That was not a favorite lol ) I loved that it fed everyone to full, and I don’t have to worry about food in fridge going to waste. Great Great Great.
Thanks for dropping by to let me know! I’m so glad you guys enjoyed it!
This is a fantastic dish. I added portabella mushrooms and five seeded Tabasco peppers just because I needed to use them but can’t say enough about the favor. The sauce is Delicious.
Thank you so much! Your additions sound pretty amazing too!
I can’t wait to order that book because this pasta looks superb!
This looks so good…I have to try it!
Sounds delicious. Love the idea of scallops
I love a great copycat recipe, and I’m so intrigued by that tequila sauce!!
This looks delicious! Going to try adding a little extra lime to replace the tequila.
Let me know how it turns out. I’d like to make this without the tequila as well.
I made this tonight… without the tequlia. It came out soooo good. Mt 1 yr old and 4 yr old both ate it. My husband approved sooo there ya go.