big scoop of cheesy chicken and rice on a plate topped with green onions

Ben and I put my word of the year into action and had ourselves a few happy hours Friday evening while my parents watched the boys. Lincoln all but pushed us out the door, he was so excited to play with his Nana and Papa, and we happily let him as we were looking forward to having a few hours to ourselves, too!

It’s funny because Ben and I have a glass of whiskey and wine, respectively, at home maybe three times a week, but hanging out somewhere other then the living room creates an experience and opportunity for conversation that goes beyond, “hey will you take out the trash while you’re in there refilling my wine?

fork taking a bite of cheesy chicken and rice

For instance, on Friday Ben told me he kind of misses swooping in after work to “save the day” like he did when Lincoln was a newborn and I was a first time Mama who was ultra sick and had no clue what she was doing (aka things were a little…stressful.) Ben excels in deescalating stressful situations, but this time around with Cameron they are few(er) and far between as he’s a pretty easy baby, and Lincoln is somewhat self sufficient. Not to say it’s all rainbows and sunshine over here (because wowie wow wow, threenager mood swings!) but we’re definitely finding our groove a lot faster than last time.

My other secret for keeping stress levels down around here lately, for dinner especially? Unbelievably easy recipes like my 5 ingredient, 20 minute, one pan Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice!

Here’s How to Make It!

File Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice under just crazy enough to work. This cheesy and comforting recipe calls for simmering rice, chicken broth, salsa verde, and chopped chicken in a saucepan, then stirring in shredded Pepper Jack cheese. That’s it! 20 minutes, one pan, boom.

This dish takes such little effort that you’re going to be searching for things to do while it cooks itself. It’s creamy and comforting like a casserole, but ready in a fraction of the time. An un-casserole, if you will!

I suggest serving Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice with a big side salad, roasted brussels sprouts, or roasted broccoli, and topping it with more salsa verde, chopped green onions, or chopped cilantro before digging in. The recipe calls for an extremely modest amount of cheese so it’s definitely not heavy, but throw some veggies on the side to make it a complete meal. I know you’re going to love it!

fork sitting next to a big scoop of cheesy salsa verde chicken and rice on a plate

Start by adding long grain white rice, gluten-free chicken broth, and salsa verde (I like Herdez,) to a 2 – 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil then add chicken breasts that have been cut into bite-sized pieces and season with salt and pepper.


Bring the liquid back up to a boil then place a lid on top, turn the heat down to medium-low, and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat then let it sit with the lid on for an additional 5 minutes.


Last step is to add freshly shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (or Monterey Jack Cheese if you’re sensitive to spice) then stir until completely melted.


Let the chicken and rice sit and thicken for 2-3 minutes then scoop onto plates and serve. Couldn’t be easier, right?! I hope you enjoy this simple, scrumptious, stress-free dish!

big scoop of cheesy chicken and rice on a plate topped with green onions

More Easy Cheesy Recipes:

Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice


Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice is a one pan, 20 minute, 5 ingredient gluten-free dinner recipe that is lick your plate delicious! Cheesy and satisfying.


Serves 3-4

  • 1-1/2 cups gluten-free chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free salsa verde (I used Herdez)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1lb,) cut into bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper
  • 4oz freshly shredded Pepper Jack Cheese (or Monterey Jack cheese if sensitive to spice)
  • Toppings (optional): chopped cilantro, chopped green onions, salsa verde, tortilla chips


  1. Add chicken broth, salsa verde, and rice to a 2-1/2 - 3 quart saucepan with a tight fitting lid then turn heat to high to bring to a boil. Season chicken with salt and pepper then add (raw) to the pot, stir, and bring liquid back to a boil. Place a lid on top then turn heat down to low and simmer for 12 minutes. Remove pot from the heat then let sit with the lid on for 5 minutes. Fluff rice and chicken then add cheese and stir until completely melted. Let dish sit for 3-4 minutes to thicken and then serve.

This recipe is courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats,

photo collage of cheesy salsa verde chicken and rice