Feed your family in 30 minutes with this Mexican-inspired, one-skillet meal. It’s a delicious dish with simple ingredients that requires very little cleanup.
I can’t seem to go a week without putting together a Mexican-inspired meal. It’s my absolute go-to, busy weeknight comfort food that is equally loved by everyone in my house. It’s pretty amazing how many great dinner options you can create from a simple list of ingredients. Chicken, rice, black beans and canned diced tomatoes are all staples in my kitchen. With the addition of some fresh veggies, this meal can be pulled together in about 30 minutes, give or take. I honestly cannot have enough of these wonderful, one-pot recipes at my disposal.
This recipe includes everything I would want in a chicken burrito bowl, but instead of cooking it all separately and creating a huge mess in the kitchen, I toss it all into one pan to create a really delicious, hearty meal. Cleanup is a breeze.
You can easily customize it to your taste. Like pinto beans better than black beans? Make the swap! Have loads of zucchini on hand? Chop it up and add it with the other veggies. It’s all good. And, a great big bonus, the leftovers reheat beautifully. This is truly a wonderful thing if you’ve got ravenously hungry teenagers in your house.
First things first: Saute about 1 pound of boneless, skinless, chicken breast that you’ve cut into bite-size pieces in a little olive oil. Season with some salt and fresh ground pepper, and then transfer the chicken to a dish and set it aside while we get to work on the other ingredients. We’ll get back to the chicken soon.
Toss some diced onion, red bell pepper and garlic into the skillet. If you like a little heat, add a diced jalapeno. Cook the veggies for a few minutes until they are softened and the garlic is nice and fragrant.
Add 1 cup of uncooked rice. Yes, uncooked! We’re going to add a few more ingredients that will help it cook up perfectly, I promise.
In go 2 1/2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth and a can of black beans, and now it’s time to add that cooked chicken back to the skillet. I always recommend using low-sodium chicken broth in recipes because you can adjust the amount of salt later, but you can’t take it out. The seasonings go in next and include chili powder, cumin, onion powder and smoked paprika. After this mixture is combined, cover the skillet and let it simmer for about 20 minutes to give the rice some time to absorb that liquid.
Remove the cover and add 1 cup of frozen corn. There is no need to thaw it – just toss it right in and cover the skillet. It will only take 5 minutes to cook the corn.
The final step is to sprinkle the dish with cheese. I use a mixture of cheddar and Jack but go with what you like. You can use less or you can lay it on. It’s up to you! Cover the skillet one last time and let it simmer until the cheese has melted.
Garnish the dish with some chopped green onion and get out of the way! Let everyone make their own bowls and garnish them with the toppings of their choice — salsa, avocado, sour cream and cilantro are all great additions.
Tex-Mex Chicken and Rice Skillet
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30
Total time: 35 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil, plus additional if needed
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup of diced onion
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
- 1 cup long grain or jasmine rice, uncooked
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (15-ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 cup frozen corn (do not thaw)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (cheddar, Jack, or a combination of both)
- 3 green onions, chopped
- Optional toppings: salsa, avocado, sour cream, cilantro
- Heat oil in a 12-inch saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes or until the chicken is lightly browned. It isn’t necessary for the chicken to be completely cooked through at this point. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.
- Add additional oil to the pan, if needed. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and jalapeno (if using) to the pan. Cook and stir for a couple of minutes and then add minced garlic. Cook for another minute or two, until the veggies have softened. Add uncooked rice and cook for just a couple of minutes to lightly toast the rice. Stir in the diced tomatoes, chicken broth, black beans and all seasonings. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove the cover and stir in the frozen corn. Cook, covered, for another 5 minutes.
- Remove the cover and sprinkle cheese over the top. Cover and cook over low heat until the cheese has melted.
- Sprinkle with chopped green onion and serve with your choice of toppings.
Photo Credits: Valerie Brunmeier