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 in an orange cast iron skillet garnished with cilantro, limes and jalapenos.

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It’s also the latest installment to the “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” saga (this popular Chipotle Bowl was the first episode if you’d like to catch up).

Better use of on-hand ingredients. No need to put on real clothes. This is clearly a win-win recipe we all can (and should) support.

Need convincing? Avoiding a store run means that I can spend 30 minutes:

  • Scrolling through Instagram.
  • Cuddling with my dog.
  • Watching a rerun of The Pioneer Woman.
  • Dreaming about these One-Bowl Brownies I made earlier for dessert.

If you ask me, the benefits are clear.

Healthy Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet on a white napkin with jalapenos and cilantro

5 Star Review

“This is a winner. My entire family loved it.”

— Dana —

How to Make Mexican Chicken and Rice

Created by way of a personal challenge to make a meal from ingredients I already have on hand, this Mexican chicken and rice is a healthy, filling one-pan recipe that will become a fast family favorite for busy weeknights.


The Ingredients

Chicken. Adds extra bulk and protein to this one-pan recipe. I opted for thawed boneless, skinless chicken breasts, but you could also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.

Dietary Note

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 place of the chicken, or try this Mexican Salad recipe.

  • Black Beans. One of my favorite plant-based protein options I use everything from vegetarian bergers (like these Vegan Burgers) and salads (like this Three Bean Salad).
  • Diced Tomatoes. Undrained in this recipe to provide a flavorful cooking liquid for the rice.
  • Brown Rice. Choose a long or medium grain variety to follow this recipe as directed. Do not use short grain or instant, as it will become mushy.

Substitution Tip

If white rice, short-grain rice, or another type of grain (like quinoa) is substituted, the cooking time will vary.

For best results, consult the package for guidance, and modify the recipe to suit the brand or variety of rice or grain selected.

  • Jalapenos. Gives this dish the perfect amount of heat. Feel free to adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences.
  • Bell Pepper and Yellow Onion. Add crunch, texture, color and a little zing.
  • Spices: Chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano give this dish life! They’re the perfect blend of spices that pack a little heat and plenty of flavor for Mexican recipes like this one.
Mexican Chicken and Rice with black Beans in a cast iron skillet garnished with green onions and limes

The Directions

  1. Saute the chicken, onion, jalapeno, and red bell pepper until the chicken is browned and the onion is beginning to soften.
  2. Add spices, salt, and pepper. Stir, then add the black beans and uncooked rice.
  3. Mix in undrained canned diced tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups water. Cover and simmer, until the rice is tender and liquid has been fully absorbed.
  4. Stir in the green onions, garnish with desired toppings, and serve. ENJOY!

Storage Tips

  • To Store. Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • To Reheat. Warm gently on the stovetop, covered, until heated through. If needed, add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock to the pan to rehydrate the rice while warming. Alternatively, you may warm in the microwave until heated through.
One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice with beans and cheese

What to Serve with Mexican Chicken and Rice

More One Pan Recipes

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

Mexican Chicken and Rice

5 from 4 votes
Healthy One-Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet with black beans and cheese. An easy, crowd-pleaser recipe for weeknight dinners!

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 1 hr

Servings: 4 servings, about 8 cups

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 can black beans (15 ounces), rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup long or medium-grain brown rice  do not use short grain or instant, as it will become mushy
  • 1 can diced tomatoes in their juices (15 ounces)
  • 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

Instructions
 

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Stir in the green onions. Serve warm with any other desired toppings.

Notes

  • Note that if white rice or another type of rice or grain is substituted, the cooking time will vary. Consult the package for guidance.
  • To Store. Keep leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
  • To Reheat. Warm gently on the stovetop, covered, until heated through. If needed, add a few tablespoons of water or chicken stock to the pan to rehydrate the rice while warming. Alternatively, you may warm in the microwave until heated through.

Nutrition

Serving: 1(of 4)Calories: 531kcalCarbohydrates: 74gProtein: 39gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 73mgPotassium: 1313mgFiber: 14gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 1571IUVitamin C: 62mgCalcium: 114mgIron: 6mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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10 Comments

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    1. 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!

  1. 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.5 stars

  2. 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! 5 stars

    1. 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.

  3. Cooked this recipe to your instructions and I must say that it was delightful. Extremely tasty and if anyone out there hasn’t tried it you don’t know what you are missing. A big thumbs up from me 👍👍5 stars