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Southwest Chicken and Rice Skillet Meal

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Southwest Chicken is a delicious rice dish with a variety of veggies, spices, and cheese. The juicy chicken soaks up the lime juice, broth, and salsa to give it great flavor.

Bowl of tex mex chicken and rice with beans, and peppers served with lime wedges, ready to eat.

You can have this southwest chicken skillet meal on the table in less than 30 minutes and serve with whatever toppings your family enjoys.

Don’t forget the dessert! A nice fresh bowl of fruit salad or cheesecake would be perfect. 

This is one of those one-pan meals that the whole family will love, and it is so easy, you will enjoy it too. It is really very healthy with the vegetables and lean meat. 

If you like easy chicken dinners, try this spicy Chinese chicken, that is made with Szechuan peppers! So much better than take out!!

Bowls of ingredients ready to be made into southwest chicken and rice skillet.

Recipe Variations:

Other cheeses: Feel free to add to or substitute the shredded cheese with your favorite. Shredded cheddar cheese would be delicious with this recipe.  

Different chicken: Similarly, you could also use chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts.

Less spicy: For a little less spiciness, replace the jalapeno with other green chiles like poblano or Anaheim chiles. 

Spicier: Alternatively, if you want more heat, add chipotle peppers or red pepper flakes. 

Sweet corn: You can use fresh or frozen corn if you prefer.

Taco seasoning: You can also use taco seasoning instead of the fresh herbs to cut down on prep time. 

How to Serve:

Serve this delicious southwest chicken bake with tortilla chips and a dollop of sour cream or try one of these delicious meal ideas: 

Instead of tortilla chips, use tortilla strips for a different way to eat this dish.

Toss it with a bunch of romaine lettuce to make a southwest chicken salad, or serve with cowboy salad for an extra special meal. 

You can also use pasta instead of the rice. 

Add some diced tomatoes and an extra cup of broth to make southwest chicken soup. 

This is a good recipe for burrito bowls. 

Another way you can use this dish is for chipotle chicken tacos. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a different rice with this recipe?

Although we used white rice, you can use whatever you prefer. In fact, long grain brown rice would be delicious for this recipe. Or you can use jasmine rice, basmati rice, long grain white rice, or whichever your family likes best.

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Yes, this crockpot southwest chicken recipe is easy to do, and you can let it cook all day while you go ahead with whatever you are doing. Just toss everything but the cheese together with the spice mixture in the cooker and stir it up to mix thoroughly.

Set your cooker for four hours on high or six hours on low. After, add the shredded cheese and let it melt for a few minutes before serving.

Skillet filled with one pot meal including chicken, rice, beans, peppers, cheese and more for a fun tex-mex meal.

Does this work in an instant pot?

You can also cook this southwestern chicken dish in your instant pot. Add everything but the cheese and stir it up well.

Make sure the chicken is submerged in the water and the spices are combined well. Close the lid and cook on high pressure for 24 minutes.

Then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes before letting the rest of the pressure out. Add the cheese and let it melt before you serve.

How to Store Leftovers:

Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for about four days.  

Freeze: If you cannot finish it in a few days, put it in a freezer safe container or freezer bag in your freezer for up to two months.

Defrost: Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Reheat: Reheat in the microwave for one minute. 

More Great Skillet Meal Recipes:

One pan BBQ pulled pork and rice skillet dinner is full of flavor and texture.  It will have everyone coming back for a little more and leave you with very few dishes too!  

One pan taco rice skillet is a quick and easy way to get dinner on the table. It has maximum flavor with minimal dirty dishes!

Get the flavor of cabbage rolls without the work! Un-stuffed cabbage casserole is a quick and easy one pan dinner that makes cabbage roll goodness possible on a weeknight.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Bowl of southwest chicken and rice topped with lime wedges, ready to eat.

Southwest Chicken and Rice Skillet Meal

Southwest Chicken is a delicious rice dish with a variety of veggies, spices, and cheese. The juicy chicken soaks up the lime juice, broth, and salsa to give it great flavor.
5 from 12 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Dinners
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 686 kcal


  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 2 pounds chicken breast cubed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 yellow Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 green Bell Pepper diced
  • 1 jalapeno chopped
  • 1 small red onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 16 oz salsa
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup white rice uncooked and rinsed
  • 6 oz canned corn drained
  • 6 oz canned black beans rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • cups shredded Mexican cheese
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped


  • Mix all the spices together in a bowl.
    2 teaspoons garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Place a large skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat add 2 tablespoons of oil. 
  • Once the oil is hot, add the chicken, and sprinkle with ½ of the seasoning mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
    2 pounds chicken breast
  • Add remaining 2 Tablespoons of oil to the pan, and add the diced peppers and onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until just softened.
    1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow Bell Pepper, 1 green Bell Pepper, 1 jalapeno, 1 small red onion
  • Add the garlic and cook for another 20 seconds.
    4 garlic cloves
  • Next, add salsa, chicken broth, rice, and the remaining spice mixture, stir to combine. Bring mixture to a boil then cover with a lid, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10-15 minutes. 
    16 oz salsa, 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup white rice
  • Once all the liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through, remove from heat. Stir in the chicken, corn, beans, and lime juice. 
    6 oz canned corn, 6 oz canned black beans, 2 Tablespoons lime juice
  • Top with cheese, cover with a lid and let the cheese melt.
    1½ cups shredded Mexican cheese
  • Add cilantro and serve.
    ¼ cup cilantro chopped


This is great served with additional lime wedges, cheese or a dollop of sour cream.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 686kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 55gFat: 39gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 23gCholesterol: 187mgSodium: 1445mgFiber: 6gSugar: 7g
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Recipe Rating

Andrea Nine

Friday 13th of May 2022

This looks scrumptious and flavorful


Friday 13th of May 2022

And easy too!


Wednesday 11th of May 2022

Looks really good Carlee


Wednesday 11th of May 2022

Thank you!