Our dinner emergencies deserve a superhero. The next time hanger strikes and my cupboard is bare, I’d like to shine a Batman-inspired distress signal into the air. Instead of a bat, it will illuminate the silhouette of a cast-iron skillet and Fiesta Chicken will arrive to rescue me from my dinner emergency!

One Pan Cheesy Fiesta Chicken and Rice. Easy, healthy recipe that is PACKED with southwest ranch flavor! Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and tender brown rice, cooked with a delicious blend of spices. If you like Mexican food, you will LOVE this recipe! #casserole #healthy #easy #fiestachicken

This mealtime warrior recipe is ready in less than 30 minutes and provides every food group, AND the entire shebang cooks in ONE skillet, including the rice. My hero!

This Fiesta Chicken recipe is an oldie but a goodie from the recipe archives. It’s one of the first dishes I ever learned to cook, so I can attest that even if you are just starting out in the kitchen, you can make it with confidence and success.

Although I’ve since expanded my recipe repertoire, this Fiesta Chicken casserole recipe is one I still make regularly because it meets several of my core dinner requirements:

  • Easy. Can you chop and stir? You can make Fiesta Chicken.
  • Healthy. Veggies, lean protein, whole grains…the gang is all here.
  • Tex-Mex Inspired. A.k.a. can serve as a vehicle for avocado. This house approves.
  • Even Better Leftover. Cook once, eat yummy leftovers all week! A win for meal prep. Your coworkers will be jealous.

One Pan Fiesta Chicken. Easy, healthy, and filled with flavor! If you like the Hidden Valley fiesta ranch chicken recipe, this one is made 100% from scratch! Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and tender brown rice cooked with a delicious blend of spices.

Fiesta Chicken—Fresh Ingredients Meet Pantry Staples

Fiesta Chicken combines fresh ingredients such as diced boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or in my case, freezer ingredients since I almost always have a few on hand), onions, and peppers, with pantry staples like canned fire roasted tomatoes and black beans.

Everything simmers together in one pan including the brown rice, and by the time you sprinkle on the cheese at the end, you’ll have an ooey-gooey pan of Southwestern goodness that you can serve right from the skillet at the table.

Fiesta Chicken. This ONE PAN weeknight dinner recipe is healthy, delicious, and a family favorite! This fiesta chicken casserole recipe is packed with juicy chicken, fresh vegetables, and brown rice.

What makes this Fiesta Chicken especially memorable is its combination of spices. Along with the usual Tex-Mex suspects such as cumin and cayenne, I also add traditional ranch spices such as garlic powder, onion powder, and dill.

If you’ve tried the Hidden Valley Fiesta Ranch Chicken that’s listed on the back of some ranch seasoning packets, this Fiesta Chicken recipe offers the same addictive flavor but is 100% from scratch. It’s also similar to my Mexican Chicken and Rice but uses instant instead of long-grain brown rice, so it cooks in about half the time.

Looking for a slow cooker option? You can try this Crock Pot Mexican Casserole.

BUT if you want a simple, healthy, delicious meal that’s ready ASAP, stay right here. This Fiesta Chicken is the one for you!

How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze Fiesta Chicken

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
  • To Reheat. Rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, with a splash of chicken stock or water to keep it from drying out.
  • To Freeze. Place leftovers in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

One Pan Fiesta Chicken and Rice. Cheesy, healthy, and PACKED with Southwest ranch flavor! Easy make ahead recipe that tastes great leftover. The whole family will love it!

More Delicious One Pan Chicken Recipes

And now, because I want to show you just how easy this Fiesta Chicken is to make…I have a video for you! You’ll see me walk through each step to ensure that our fiesta chicken breast pieces are juicy, our veggies are flavorful, and our rice perfectly tender.

One Pan Cheesy Fiesta Chicken and Rice. Easy, healthy recipe that is PACKED with southwest ranch flavor! Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and tender brown rice, cooked with a delicious blend of spices. If you like Mexican food, you will LOVE this recipe! #casserole #healthy #easy #fiestachicken

One Skillet Fiesta Chicken

5 from 12 votes
A healthy, easy one-skillet dinner that is ready less than 30 minutes! With chicken, black beans, and southwest ranch flavor, this Fiesta Chicken casserole recipe is sure to become a family favorite.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 25 mins

Servings: 4 to 6 servings


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion or red onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried dillweed
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper use 1/4 teaspoon or less if sensitive to spice
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 1 can reduced-sodium black beans (15 ounces) rinsed and drained
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices (15 ounces)
  • 1 1/2 cups instant brown rice do not use white minute rice or regular rice as these will cook differently
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese
  • Optional for serving: chopped fresh cilantro diced avocado, plain nonfat Greek yogurt (or sour cream)


  • Heat the olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, onion, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, dill, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Sauté, stirring often, for 3 minutes, until the chicken is beginning to brown on the outside.
  • Stir in the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, black beans, tomatoes, rice, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, and then cover and simmer on low heat for 5 minutes, or until the chicken is done and the rice is nearly tender. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Sprinkle with cheese and any additional desired toppings. Serve warm.


  • I have not tried this recipe with regular (not instant) rice or with white rice instead of brown. Because regular (non instant) rice’s cooking time is much longer, if you want to experiment and use it instead of the instant, I would suggest sautéing the meat and vegetables in one skillet (you can drain the tomatoes first, and then add them to the chicken and peppers at the end, heating until most of their liquid evaporates) and cooking the rice in its own pot. Then, combine the two at the end with a bit of extra chicken stock as needed if the mixture is too dry. Again, I haven’t tried the recipe this way, but that is my best suggestion.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator, and rewarm gently in the microwave or on the stovetop, with a splash of chicken stock or water to keep it from drying out.


Serving: 1(of 6)Calories: 329kcalCarbohydrates: 41gProtein: 27gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 775mgFiber: 7gSugar: 7g

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One Pan Cheesy Fiesta Chicken and Rice. Easy, healthy recipe that is PACKED with southwest ranch flavor! Juicy chicken, fresh veggies, and tender brown rice, cooked with a delicious blend of spices. If you like Mexican food, you will LOVE this recipe! #casserole #healthy #easy #fiestachicken

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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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  1. Hi Erin! This sounds like the PERFECT dinner! Love your video! Can’t wait to make it! Thanks for this great recipe!

  2. Love it. I love how easy it is and those flavors just sound so good. I like brown rice in dishes like this because I feel like it holds it’s texture better. White rice always seems to become mush.

  3. I just had a quick question. In the post, you mention chili powder and cumin but I don’t see it listed in the recipes ingredients. Just wondering about the measurements of those two spices. Thanks.

    1. Christina, I’m so sorry about the confusion! It should be cumin and cayenne. I updated the recipe. Thanks for pointing that out!

  4. Made this for dinner tonight! So easy and yummy. Looking forward to the leftovers (always a good sign)5 stars

  5. Hi! I made this for the meat eaters in the family but next time, I’m cooking the chicken separately so I can eat it too! They loved it. I made 1.5 times the recipe and left out the cayenne because a guest can’t tolerate hea

  6. Today was the first day of school in Austin, Texas for my grandchildren and I made this for supper for their family. I served it with cornbread, whipped honey butter, and tomatoes with cucumbers from the garden. It was a huge hit and I will be making this frequently! It comes together so quickly and has such a fresh flavor too. Thank you so much for posting this recipe.5 stars

    1. Hi Christy! Quinoa has a different cook time and liquid ratio than the instant brown rice called for here, so it’d be an experiment. This Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole starts with quinoa, if you’re interested in checking it out!

  7. Once again, I’m coming back to give five stars. Delicious! The entire family loved it. This has become my go-to site for new and tasty dinners when mom has me cook. Now I’m looking forward to making dinner, if only to be able to try more of your amazing recipes!5 stars

    1. Kassidy, thank you so much for this kind comment! I’m so glad to hear you’re enjoying the recipes.

  8. My daughter likes a burrito made with ground beef and all the rest of these ingredients. Its her favorite thing to order at a fast food taco place. Have you ever tried it with hamburger?

    1. Hi Jo Gayle Schell! I haven’t tried this recipe with hamburger, but you could certainly experiment with it. If you try it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  9. Okay, this is ABSOLUTELY in my top 3 favorites of all of your recipes!!! Salmon Wellington is still at #1 but this one dish wonder was so healthy and filling and had so many great seasonings. The flavor was fantastic! I made it one day then put it in the fridge without the cheese. Made the brown rice separately as suggested since it was not instant rice. We portioned out our servings the next day then added the cheese before heating in the microwave. For the second dinner, my son suggested adding some Andouille sausage so we browned some of that and tossed it in our bowls. So versatile, very healthy and made a few meals for my family—a win, win, WIN!!!5 stars

  10. Erin! I followed this recipe exactly and oh my! The flavors were bursting! Definitely a keeper recipe! No leftovers here!5 stars

  11. Easy to prepare when in time crunch after work. My husband and I really enjoyed it and leftovers should pack well for lunch tomorrow.5 stars

  12. I made this the other night and it was such a big hit. Everyone loved it! And the leftovers were even better maybe because everything had more time to marinate together. (was going to attach a picture but it doesn’t appear that feature is available.)5 stars

    1. Hi Anna! I’ve only tested the recipe as written, so you’d be experimenting if you want to try a vegetarian version. If you decide to play around with it, I’d love to hear how it goes!

  13. Hi!

    I’m going to try this tonight! If you want to use regular rice and it not turn out bland, you can cook your rice replacing the water with chicken stock and about a tablespoon of cilantro. Cook until almost done then add.

    I’ve done this on other recipes and it turned out great!

  14. A delicious solution to my ‘dinner emergency’ last night! So easy to put together after working late!5 stars