Mexican Chicken and Rice

Today’s Mexican Chicken and Rice is the latest recipe installment of my personal “Clean Out the Pantry” miniseries.

Healthy One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet. Easy recipe that’s perfect for weeknight dinners! Fast clean up and a great way to use up ingredients you already have on hand {gluten free} Recipe at wellplated.com

It’s also the latest installment of “I’m in my sweatpants and going to the store sounds like a lot of effort, so let’s see if I can avoid it.”

Better use of on-hand ingredients. No need to put on real clothes. Win-win.

Now, before you get the wrong idea about me: I definitely go to the store in sweatpants.

Avoiding the store run, however, means that I can spend that 15 minutes scrolling through Instagram/cuddling with my dog/watching a rerun of The Pioneer Woman. I think you can see the benefits here.

Healthy Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet. Easy ONE POT recipe! Recipe at wellplated.com

In addition to not wanting to fight inertia to go to the store (an object at rest will stay at rest, thank you science), my challenge to myself to create meals from the ingredients I already have, instead of automatically buying new ones, came about a few weeks ago when I realized how many unused items were piling up on my shelves, as well as on my grocery bill.

Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet with Beans. Easy, healthy dinner recipe with big southwest flavor! Recipe at wellplated.com

Today’s Mexican Chicken and Rice cooks in a single pan and makes use of easy, inexpensive items that you’ll almost always find in my pantry. I suspect you may have many of these in yours too: canned black beans, canned diced tomatoes, and brown rice.

I supplemented with a few fresh veggies that were threatening to spoil (jalapeno, bell pepper, and yellow onion) and quickly thawed some chicken breasts from the freezer to give the recipe extra bulk.

If you’d like to keep the recipe vegetarian or simply don’t feel like running to the store for chicken, feel free to use an extra can of beans (any kind) in the chicken’s place.

One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice with beans and cheese. Easy, healthy recipe that’s perfect for busy families and weeknight dinners. Gluten free. Recipe at wellplated.com

Finally, what really brings the recipe to life are the spices: chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano. If you don’t already have these in your pantry and have a taste for Tex-Mex, I highly encourage you to pick them up. Having a good stock of spices will allow you to add flavor to any meal, whether you bought the ingredients fresh that day or, like me, went on a scavenger hunt through your pantry.

If you like this Mexican Chicken and Rice recipe, don’t miss these other one-skillet meals:

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Mexican Chicken and Rice

Healthy One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet with Beans. Easy recipe that’s perfect for weeknight dinners! Fast cleanup and a crowd pleaser.

Yield: 4 servings, about 8 cups

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 small jalapenos or 1 large jalapeno, core and seeds discarded, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup long or medium-grain brown rice (do not use short grain or instant, as it will become mushy)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes in their juices
  • 3 medium green onions, chopped
  • Optional, for serving: chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, additional sliced jalapeno, shredded cheese, diced avocado, prepared salsa, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium to high heat. Once hot and shimmering, swirl to coat the pan, then add the chicken, onion, jalapeno, and red bell pepper. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the chicken is browned and the onion is beginning to soften. Add the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat the chicken and cook 30 seconds. Add the black beans and rice. Stir to coat once more.
  2. Add the diced tomatoes in their juices and 1 1/2 cups water. Stir to combine the ingredients. Bring to a gentle boil, cover, then reduce the heat and let simmer 30 minutes. Remove the lid and stir, scraping up any rice that has started to stick to the bottom of the pot. Re-cover and continue to let simmer with the lid on until the rice is tender, 10 to 20 additional minutes, stirring the pot every 10 minutes or so to prevent sticking. If the rice begins to dry out, add a bit more liquid.
  3. Stir in the green onions. Serve warm with any other desired toppings.
  • If white rice or another type of rice is substituted, the cooking time will vary. Consult the package for guidance.
All images and text ©/Well Plated.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 1 (of 4), about 2 cups, without toppings

  • Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories: 477 Calories
  • Total Fat: 8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 65mg
  • Sodium: 833mg
  • Carbohydrates: 65g
  • Fiber: 12g
  • Sugar: 8g
  • Protein: 36g

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…

29 comments

  1. You and I apparently have similar shopping lists, because I have all of these ingredients ready to go at home. Making this tonight!

  2. sometimes the tastiest meals are scavenger types ;) This looks so good though!

  3. Erin this is so great! It is truly a perfect weeknight meal for the school year!

  4. Hi Erin, thanks for this great recipe! I have all the ingredients – all great things to have on hand. I love that it is one dish, too. So pretty! Can’t wait to try!

  5. Sure to be a hit at our house!

  6. I’m probably the only person in the world who does not keep canned beans in her pantry.  I have started buying them again, but I still prefer to cook my own.  This would not be a pantry recipe for me at this time, but it definitely sounds worth making.  I like the simplicity of one pot meals, and my husband appreciates the lack of cleanup required.

  7. Gotta love a skillet that has ALL the good stuff 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

  8. Lexi @Lexi'scleankitchen Reply

    Absolutely love the flavors in this and have all of the ingredients for it!! Can’t wait to give this a try!

  9. Yumm!! Looks absolutely stunning (:

  10. Could you substitute quinoa for the rice?

    • Hi Mellinda! The amount of liquid and cooking time of rice vs. quinoa is different, so if you decide to play around and use quinoa instead, you will need to pay close attention to both of those things. I’ve only tested with rice so I can’t give you specifics. I’d compare the cooking time/liquid amounts for both grains, then adjust the recipe accordingly. If you decide to experiment with quinoa, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  11. hey girl- this looks amazing!

  12. Love this idea and the rice looks delicious! 

  13. I always try to avoid mid-week shopping trips and use what I have available! Thanks for the cool recipe.

  14. Tastes great, Erin! The published recipe was a little outside my calorie needs so I omitted the rice and added just 0.5-1 cup water. That amount of water combined with tomato juices was enough to produce a tasty filling chicken & bean stew for ~320 kcal. I’m saving this recipe to make again in the colder, winter months.

  15. Cannot wait to make this!!! So happy I found you! You have a ton of great recipes! I appreciate your work!

  16. I made this tonight at it was a hit! I loved how easy and healthy it was and my husband and four kids all liked it so I’m thrilled. Plus, I loved the one-pot clean-up. I will definitely make this again. Thank you! 

    Rating: 4.5
    • YAY Stacy, I’m so glad to hear this recipe is a winner! Thanks so much for taking the time to give it a try and report back.

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