Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet


Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet is a filling, low-fat supper made in just one skillet.

Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet |

If you’re anything like me, then it looks like a bomb has gone off in your kitchen after you’re done making dinner. Or reheating lunch. Or pouring a bowl of cereal for that matter. What can I say, I’m a messy chef!

Spoons stuck to the counter, pasta water burnt to the stove, bowls stacked in bowls stacked in bowls. I know.

The rest of the house is usually tidy, but when it comes to cooking in the kitchen, all hell breaks loose. Guess what though…I kind of like it! Sometimes it’s therapeutic to let go and get drips on the countertop, use 10 forks, and make a big ol’ mess. That’s what the clean up crew, cough, Ben, is for.

Well, fear not, dishwashers around the world, tonight you’re getting off easy. Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet is made in ONE skillet, making clean up an absolute breeze.

Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet |

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet is a big ol’ skillet supper made by combining taco-spiced chicken with corn, back beans, salsa, chicken broth, and long-grain rice. The result is a filling and low-fat supper that’s full of fiber and protein, and comes together in seriously no time at all. All you need is a big skillet, cutting board, knife, and a measuring spoon and cup, too. I just LOVE that!

This is one of those meals that Mom may have made ya’ back in the day. Super simple to throw together, but so comforting and hearty – 2 or even 3 scoops worthy. Serve with flour tortillas to make it even more of a meal, or tortilla chips on the side for scooping. Me? Spoon some Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa and chopped green onions on top and I am good to GO!

Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet |

Start the Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet by sauteing 1lb chicken cut into bite-sized pieces with 1/4 small chopped onion in 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil over high heat. Choose the biggest skillet ya’ got, or you’ll be sorry!


Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons taco seasoning. Here’s a recipe for homemade taco seasoning, otherwise, this Frontier brand is really delish. FYI – if your blend is salt-free like mine, be sure to add some to the chicken for max flavor (if you’re not following a low-sodium diet, that is.)


Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes, or just until it gets a bit of color. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through at this point as the it will finish cooking with the rice.


Next add 1 cup slightly thawed frozen corn (it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it was still frozen) and 1 can drained & rinsed black beans. 


In goes 1 cup of your favorite salsa (Tostitos Restaurant Style, FTW!) and 2 cups chicken broth. 


Bring the liquid to a boil then add 1 cup long-grain white rice. I used jasmine rice. If you don’t want to buy a whole bag, I suggest getting some from the bulk bins at your grocery store!


Stir in the rice then place a lid on top of the skillet and turn the heat down to medium-low.


Cook for 15 minutes then let it rest off the heat for 5 minutes.


Fluff, scoop, top with more salsa, then serve!

Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet |

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet

Serves 6


Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet is a filling, low-fat supper filled with taco-spiced chicken, corn, back beans, salsa, chicken broth, and rice. 


  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1lb chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning (plus salt if using a salt-free blend)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, slightly thawed
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup long grain white rice (I used jasmine)


  1. Heat oil in a very large skillet over high heat. Add chicken and onion then season with taco seasoning and salt, if necessary. Saute for 2-3 minutes – chicken does not need to be cooked all the way through.
  2. Add corn, beans, salsa, and chicken broth to the skillet then bring to a boil. Stir in rice then place a lid on top, turn heat down to medium-low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Let sit off the heat for 5 minutes before serving.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet |

Like I said – this is a dish you’ll keep going back for more and more of. It’s soooo comforting and yummy. Plus it’s good for ya’, so go on, and have another scoop!

Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet |

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  1. You are SO lucky that Ben cleans the kitchen! No matter who makes the dinners in my house, I am always the one cleaning up! Needless to say, I LOVE one dish dinners. This one looks awesome. I love anything I can pair guacamole and tortillas with :)

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.12.2013

      Don’t worry, I clean up a lot of the time too! It’s those times when I don’t find it so fun and therapeutic to drip on the counter! ;)

  2. Katie 02.12.2013

    Love cooking, hate the cleanup. This dish looks perfectly simple and delicious — can’t wait to try it!

  3. Lucy 02.12.2013

    I’m totally cooking this for dinner tomorrow. I love one pot meals.

  4. debtgirl 02.12.2013

    This looks good, fast and easy! Just the way we like it!

  5. Beth 02.12.2013


    Do you guys eat leftovers from all the dishes you make? I know it’s hard to cook for two (or one) when recipes like this make six servings. It looks like you make something new everyday, just curious!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.13.2013

      We do! Sometimes I’ll halve big recipes if it’s easy – I didn’t this time because then I would have had half a can of beans leftover.

  6. i made something sorta similar tonight, except it was baked & had quinoa instead of rice. SO good. and my ben almost always cleans up too… or we do it together :)

  7. thatShortChick 02.12.2013

    this will be made this week! My mom recently made the avocado, bruschetta, & mozzarella chicken dish you featured a couple weeks ago and I devoured it! so delish!

  8. Bethany 02.12.2013

    This looks delish! Would it work with brown rice instead?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.13.2013

      I might make the brown rice separate because it usually takes much longer to cook.

      • Hyedi 02.20.2013

        I’m going to make this for dinner tonight! If I go the brown rice route and make that separate, should I just make sure that the chicken is cooked all the way through before adding the other ingredients? Would you still bring everything to a boil and simmer for 15 min even without the rice?

  9. I love one pan rice dishes like this! Such a good way to infuse the rice with awesome flavor. Fewer dishes is just the icing on the cake ;)

  10. Eve P 02.12.2013

    We make something similar on regular basis but use a spicy chicken sausage link instead of chicken breast. Looks delicious and festive.

  11. Sherry 02.12.2013

    Definitely making this week! Looks fantastic! If using brown rice , should I make the rice first since it takes 45 minutes to make?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.13.2013

      I think I’d make the brown rice separate then mix together at the end!

  12. Katerina 02.12.2013

    I’m about to start Lent & this would totally work without the chicken & veg broth instead. And maybe add some kale at the end. Thanks for another great recipe IGE!

  13. Nancy 02.12.2013

    Wow. That comment came out weird. This is what I meant to say:

    Quick question – do you use a tripod while taking your photos? I just got a semi-fancy camera and I decided to be a “food blogger’ tonight and take some shots of my supper. Mostly blurry! :( Oh well. Takes practice too I suppose!

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.13.2013

      Hi Nancy! I don’t – but when I first started with my big camera I never thought I’d get used to it because it’s so much bigger than point and shoots. Just like you said, keep practicing and you’ll get more and more used to it! :)

  14. Emily 02.12.2013

    Have you made this with brown rice? Is it doable even though it takes 45 minutes to cook the rice?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.13.2013

      I’ve never tried it with brown rice. I might cook the it separately and toss everything together at the end.

      • Amber 01.29.2014

        I made this with brown rice last night and cooked it for 30 minutes with an additional cup of chicken broth and thought it came out great! The corn and beans still had some snap and the chicken didn’t feel overcooked.

  15. Is it crazy that I have never heard of taco seasoning in a jar? I always just thought you could only buy it in the packets! Silly me! ;)

  16. This is a meal that totally hits home for me. I LOVE southwestern flavors and am always looking for quick, simple meals that are healthy and flavorful. Absolutely cannot wait to eat this (tried to eat my computer admittedly…) Thanks for sharing! Yummy as always!

  17. Mmmm! This dinner is right up my alley!! Although, I think I’d have to top it with my personal favorite salsa: Newman’s Own Farmer’s Market. It’s a little thicker and chunkier than restaurant style, but that’s what I like :-)

  18. Andrea 02.13.2013

    Where did you get that taco seasoning? I have been looking for something like that. Most of them have so much sodium!

  19. Sally Hanselman 02.13.2013

    Thanks for solving my “what to make for dinner tonight” question!

    Your meals have become my favorite “experiment night” (what I call the nights I try new recipes)….the Kung Pao Chicken Burgers recently were a BIG HIT.

  20. Missy G. 02.13.2013

    Looks yummy! Any ideas for additional veggies to add to it?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.13.2013

      I was thinking a chopped zucchini would be good in here. I’d add with the chicken!

  21. Easy, one dish meals are essential around here on busy weeknights! This one will have to join the lineup!

  22. LOVE one pot meals because as much as I love cooking, sometimes the clean-up takes the fun out of it :)

  23. I’ve always been a believer in the idea that the messier the chef, the better the food tastes. But maybe that’s just me. ;) Looks like a wonderful, quick, one-pot meal!

  24. Julie 02.15.2013

    Amazing recipe this was our Valentine’s meal last night, yummy! Will be making this again and oh yea the King Pao chicken patties I made last week with that sauce was outstanding. :)

  25. Kaley U 02.15.2013

    Thanks for the great recipe! I made it with quinoa instead of rice and it turned out great! I also topped it with cheese! It was delicious!

  26. Katie 02.19.2013

    What size skillet did you use for this? And if cooking rice separately, should it be done in chicken broth? Does that add anything in particular to the dish?

    • Iowa Girl Eats 02.20.2013

      I’m not sure what the size is – but it’s pretty huge. I’d also make the rice in chicken broth, it adds a ton of flavor!

  27. […] dinner recipe I picked this week is a southwestern chicken and rice skillet. Again, I made a few changes like leaving out the black beans, using brown rice instead of white, […]

  28. Erica 03.06.2013

    I made this the other day and my family couldn’t get enough of it. It was so good! We even dibs on who gets the leftover the next day. Haha! :)

  29. Erika 03.22.2013

    Thanks for this great recipe! I made it last night after a friend recommended it and it turned out beautifully. I posted about it here:

    Thanks again! Can’t wait to try some of your other recipes. :o)

  30. Deeder 05.31.2013

    Thank you for the wonderful easy recipe. Had to leave out the beans since we had none. Put a diced red pepper in instead. Delish!! Normally I brown my chicken and put it back in the pan for the last 5 min so it doesn’t dry out, it was hard not to this time. It was fall apart moist and delish. The add spoonful of salsa on top was wonderful.
    Thanks again:)

  31. Anie 08.13.2013

    I made this last night for dinner, and it was delicious! I had to make a few modifications to use the things I had on hand (fresh edamame from my garden in place of the black beans and fresh corn off the cob in place of the frozen), but it was so easy and quick – will definitely be making again :)

  32. […] Dinner: southwestern chicken and rice skillet (will use brown rice, and homemade taco seasoning) it makes 2 meals; 1 cup pineapple […]

  33. Kaitlin 01.20.2014

    Can you use minute rice for this recipe?

    • Kristin 01.21.2014

      Unfortunately not – it would cook before all the liquid was absorbed.

  34. Amber 01.29.2014

    I though this was good last night but it was even better as leftovers on top of spinach for a nice southwestern salad! I always make a huge mess when cooking but I feel like meals would taste as great if everything in the kitchen was done to be tidy. You have to cook in the moment and that means making a mess :D

  35. ANNICA 03.10.2014

    I made this and it was delicious!

    One substitution- I used 1 c quinoa instead of white rice. I cut down the liquid a bit to 1 3/4 cups to accommodate for the quinoa. It turned out perfectly.

  36. […] Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet from Iowa Girl Eats […]

  37. […] Recipe adapted from Iowa Girl Eats […]

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