Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas

I have a shiny object problem when it comes to recipes. My first impulse is to run to the store and load my cart with new ingredients rather than open my pantry door and let its contents guide our meals. A few weeks ago, I challenged myself to see what recipes I could develop without leaving my kitchen. Today’s one-pan Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes is the first of several make-it-up pantry meals I’m excited to share with you!

ONE PAN Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes. EASY, healthy, all-in-one recipe. So FLAVORFUL and packed with protein and fiber. Ready in 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for busy weeknights and meal prep too! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

When I began cooking for myself, I quickly learned the value of a keeping a few pantry staples in stock so that (in theory) I could always pull together a healthy meal, even on the busiest weeknight. It served me well, but now that I’m cooking more frequently, I’ve noticed a bit of an issue with my once-reliable strategy.

I never actually use them.

Easy Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Chickpeas. FLAVOR PACKED, healthy meal that’s high protein and high fiber! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Instead of relying on the friendly cans of black beans and chickpeas, expertly frozen chicken breasts, and long-lasting root veggies like onions and sweet potatoes that I so faithfully stock, I fall prey to the “shiny object” phenomenon.

Rather than start with my pantry, I start with my cravings. I’m distracted by a new recipe idea, or I don’t diligently check my pantry for what we already have in stock before I head to the store. The result is that, every week, our pantry becomes a little fuller…and my grocery bill becomes a little (or a lot) higher.

While I adore trying new recipes, both to share here and to enjoy at home, I need to make good use of my prestocked staples instead of starting from zero and filling our kitchen with all-new ingredients.

For the sake of my grocery bill—and to quiet the 15 cans of chickpeas giving me the stink eye from our pantry shelf—I decided to see what recipes I could create using only the ingredients I had on hand. I’d allow myself to purchase fresh vegetables and fruits to supplement them, but all of the dry ingredients needed to come from my pantry.

ONE PAN Chipotle Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes. Easy, healthy recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights! Great leftover so you can use it for meal prep too. Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Results: DELICIOUS! As it turns out, the ingredients I keep stuffing into my pantry are (surprise!) ones I really love. They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to find. You might even have a few on your pantry shelves too.

I also felt like I didn’t need to give up on variety. This Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Chickpeas was completely new to our table, but its ingredients have been in my kitchen all along.

Easy and healthy Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Chickpeas. A great all-in-one meal! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

Here’s the ingredient breakdown, along with why I keep many of these items on hand:

You can almost always find a pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs in my freezer for fast dinners. If I don’t have the foresight to thaw them the night before (um, this happens a lot), I’ll thaw the pack in a bowl of cold water over the course of a few hours or (gasp!) use the microwave’s defrost setting.

Chickpeas and other low-sodium canned beans are among my top pantry must-haves. They cost around $1 and add instant protein, fiber, and other nutrients to salads, pastas, and simple skillet meals like this one.

Chipotle peppers in adobo might seem to be a bit more of an exotic ingredient, but they are available in the Hispanic food section of most grocery stores. Once you start using them, you’ll see that this tiny and inexpensive little can is PACKED with deep, smoky flavor. Add them to any Tex-Mex meal for an instant boost. You’ll likely have some leftover from the can, which you can put in a ziptop bag and freeze for later OR use to make any of these recipes. My extra peppers from this Chipotle Chicken Skillet went towards a fresh batch of Avocado Burgers.

I buy one or two sweet potatoes every week. In the winter, I roast them for a quick side, and in the summer, I turn them into Grilled Sweet Potato Fries. If I don’t use the sweet potatoes right away, they can last a few weeks in a cool, dark space.

I always try to keep a few lemons and limes in my refrigerator to add a hit of freshness to any recipe. A quick squirt of lime juice in this recipe wakes up its flavors.

Tomatoes, Cilantro, Green Onions: These are the fresh items you will need for this Chipotle Chicken Skillet recipe. If you happen to have a garden of summer tomatoes, or, like me, can’t stop yourself from buying a pint of sweet cherry tomatoes every time you enter the grocery store, then you can consider tomatoes checked off your list.

Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Chickpeas. FLAVORFUL, packed with healthy protein and fiber, and everything cooks in one pan! Recipe at wellplated.com | @wellplated

From my pantry, to yours: Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, and Tomatoes. What are the staple items you keep in your pantry? I’d love to hear about them! Leave a comment below and let me know.

Tools I used to make this Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas:

More one-pan chicken skillet recipe favorites:

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Chipotle Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes and Chickpeas

One Pan Chipotle Chicken Skillet with sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and tomatoes. An easy, healthy, all-in-one meal!

Yield: 4 servings, about 7 cups

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tablespoon sauce, from canned chipotle chiles in adobo, plus additional to taste
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 to 2 whole chipotle peppers from canned chipotle peppers in adobo, diced (I used 2, and the recipe had a pretty good kick—use less if more sensitive to spice)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 medium green onions, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1/2 lime)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium high, until hot and shimmering. Add the chicken, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the 1 tablespoon adobo sauce and let cook 30 additional seconds. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and the sweet potatoes to the skillet. Cook until the sweet potatoes are browned and slightly tender, about 6 minutes. Add the diced chipotle peppers, chickpeas, tomatoes, and green onion. Cook until the chickpeas are hot and the tomatoes begin to lose their shape, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken back to the skillet and pour the lime juice over the top. Stir to combine. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve warm.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently in the microwave.
  • Make it vegetarian (or vegan!): Omit the chicken and swap it for an additional can of chickpeas or add another bean, such as pinto beans, light or dark red kidney beans, or black beans.
  • Extra chipotle peppers in adobe? You can freeze the leftovers in a ziptop bag, or use them to make any of these recipes.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 4), about 1 3/4 cups

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 297 Calories
  • Total Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 60mg
  • Sodium: 483mg
  • Carbohydrates: 30g
  • Fiber: 9g
  • Sugar: 5g
  • Protein: 26g

Did you try this recipe? I want to see! Follow Well Plated on Instagram, snap a photo, and tag it #wellplated. I love to know what you are making!

About Erin Clarke

I’m fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food taste incredible. Wearer of plaid, travel enthusiast, and firmly convinced that sweets and veggies both deserve a place at the table. MORE ABOUT ERIN…

21 comments

  1. You’re absolutely right – using what we already have just makes good sense.I’m fortunate to have a very large pantry and one of the things I always have a huge variety of is canned beans. I like to mix the colors up in recipes and any leftovers can always go over a salad. And don’t get me started on mason jars full of every kind of dry pasta known to man! Again – it’s the variety I like so my family can make fun of me all they like.
    However, keep in mind that you should never go too far teasing the person in charge of your food, huh? I have the same variety issues with my “memorial fabric collection” …please stop teasing me now! Anyway, can’t wait to try this recipe because of the nice color and variety – see how that works – now I’m happy.

  2. Great dinner idea! Love the chickpeas!

  3. Oh I am SO making this tonight! I love the taste of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, but can never quite figure out how to use them other than in chili. I do have some as well as canned chickpeas and frozen chicken breasts (just waiting for something new to happen to them). Thank you for this great, healthy, yummy recipe!

  4. Lexi @Lexi'scleankitchen Reply

    Such a great protein-packed meal! Love the flavors in this!

  5. This article is about me. Well-stocked pantry – good intentions, but easily distracted by new recipes. Ditto Chris’s comment about fabrics, too.

  6. Ha, sometimes I collect 15 cans of chickpeas too :). I LOVE a meal that I can pull together from things I have on hand – this looks so so yummy!

  7. oh man, I have the same 15 cans of chickpeas in my pantry!! Now I know what to make

  8. Looks like a fabulous feel good food dish Erin. Love the colours too (:

  9. hey girl- this looks so delish!

  10. I can’t wait to make this – looks amazing!
    Thank for sharing a great recipe, Erin

    Rating: 5
  11. The whole family loved it, thank you!  Very easy to make.

    Rating: 5
  12. Can’t wait to make this – looks amazing!

    Rating: 5

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