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Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet is a one-pot meal that’s easy to make and packed with flavor. This dish combines tender chicken, fluffy rice, and a medley of colorful vegetables with Mexican-inspired spices for a hearty and satisfying meal. It’s a perfect dinner option for busy weeknights, and can be customized with your favorite toppings and garnishes.
This recipe is perfect for busy weeknights because it’s a one-pot meal that requires minimal prep and cooking time. The entire dish can be made in a single skillet, which means less cleanup and more time to spend with family or relaxing. Plus, the use of common pantry ingredients means you can whip this up with what you already have on hand. The dish is also versatile and can be customized to your taste preferences with different spices, vegetables, and toppings. It’s a delicious and nutritious meal that’s sure to become a new family favorite.
MEXICAN CHICKEN AND RICE SKILLET INGREDIENTS:
The ingredients list for this Mexican chicken, rice, and beans recipe is simple:
- Olive oil: For best results, use high-quality extra virgin olive oil.
- Onion: This recipe can be made with any type of onion.
- Chicken breasts: To ensure the chicken cooks quickly and is easy to eat, chop it into bite-sized pieces.
- Garlic: I added four cloves of garlic to this one-pan chicken and rice dish for extra flavor.
- Water: A small amount of water is needed to help the rice cook through.
- Enchilada sauce: You can either buy your favorite store-bought variety or make it from scratch.
- Long grain rice: For this recipe, I used long grain white rice, which cooks much faster than brown rice.
- Canned sweet corn: Before adding it to the skillet, be sure to rinse and drain the corn.
- Fire roasted tomatoes: Make sure to drain the tomatoes before using them in the recipe.
- Mild green chiles: Be sure to purchase mild green chiles for this recipe. Using hot chilies can make the dish too spicy. Mild green chilies, on the other hand, add a tangy flavor without being too hot.
- Herbs and spices: This dish gets tons of flavor from cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika.
- Refried beans: Adding extra protein to this dish also makes it super creamy.
- Cheddar cheese: I prefer to use cheddar cheese for this dish because its sharp flavor doesn’t get lost.
HOW TO MAKE MEXICAN CHICKEN AND RICE SKILLET:
- Begin by sautéing your onions for a few minutes. Then, add your chicken and cook for a few minutes to seal in the juices.
- Add all the remaining skillet ingredients, including enchilada sauce, rice, sweet corn, fire-roasted tomatoes, green chilies, and a variety of Mexican spices such as cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, and smoked paprika.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, and simmer on low heat until the rice is tender. This allows the chicken and rice to absorb all the fiestalicious flavors.
- The next step is adding the refried beans, which makes the skillet creamy and even more delicious. Stir them into the skillet until they are nice and smooth.
- Add cheddar cheese to the skillet and stir until it’s melted and smooth, making the dish cheesy and flavorful.
Top your Mexican Chicken and Rice skillet with more cheese, cover it, and let it melt.
- Serve the dish with your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, guacamole, and sour cream or Easy Jalapeno Ranch.
- Finally, dig in with lots and lots of chips. You can either crush and pile them on top or eat them right out of the pan like Taco Salad Dip. Happy crunching!
TIPS FOR MAKING MEXICAN CHICKEN AND RICE SKILLET :
- Don’t overcook chicken. To ensure juicy chicken, avoid overcooking it. Brown it in the skillet first, but allow it to finish cooking with the rice.
- How cheesy? Adjust the amount of cheese to your liking, as the level of cheesiness in your Mexican chicken with rice is entirely up to you.
- Use freshly grated cheese. For the best melting, use freshly grated cheese in your dish as pre-packaged cheeses contain additives that can interfere with the melting process.
Common Questions :
How do you keep Mexican rice from getting mushy?
To keep Mexican rice from getting mushy, make sure to use the correct ratio of water or chicken broth to rice. Typically, it’s 1 1/2 to 2 cups of water or broth for every cup of rice. Additionally, after adding the rice to the pan, don’t stir it too much. Let it cook undisturbed until it’s almost done, then fluff it with a fork and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Also, be sure not to overcook the rice, as that can also make it mushy.
What is the difference between Spanish and Mexican rice?
Spanish rice and Mexican rice are both flavorful and versatile side dishes, but they have some differences in their preparation and ingredients. Spanish rice is typically made with saffron and has a yellowish color, while Mexican rice is usually made with tomatoes and has a reddish hue. Mexican rice often also includes onions, garlic, and chili peppers, while Spanish rice may have bell peppers and peas. Additionally, Spanish rice is typically drier and fluffier in texture, while Mexican rice tends to be moister and stickier. Both are delicious accompaniments to a variety of Mexican and Spanish dishes.
Why do you brown Mexican rice before cooking?
Browning Mexican rice before cooking is done to enhance the flavor of the dish. When the rice is toasted or browned in oil, it creates a slightly nutty and toasty flavor that adds depth to the dish. It also helps to keep the grains separate and prevent them from becoming too soft or mushy. Additionally, browning the rice can help to prevent it from sticking to the pan and burning during the cooking process.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 pound of chicken breasts, chopped
4 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup of water
1 10 oz. can of mild enchilada sauce
1 cup of uncooked long grain rice
1 15 oz. can of sweet corn, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz. can of fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
1 4 oz. can of mild diced green chilies
1 teaspoon of salt, cumin, and ancho chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and smoked paprika
1 16 oz. can of refried beans
1 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
EASY JALAPENO RANCH (OPTIONAL):
3 tablespoons of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (1 oz. package)
1/2 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of mayonnaise
1/4 cup of milk
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, roughly chopped
(Optional) If you want to add Jalapeno Ranch, simply put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Add more milk if the consistency is too thick. Refrigerate it for best results. It can be made ahead of time, and it’s better to chill it for at least 24 hours. The dressing will thicken when chilled, so add some more milk before serving.
To begin cooking the dish, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onions for 4 minutes, then add the chopped chicken and cook until it’s no longer pink on the outside (it will cook fully with the rice). Add the minced garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
Turn the heat to low and add water, enchilada sauce, uncooked rice, sweet corn, drained fire roasted tomatoes, mild green chilies, and all seasonings/spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender, stirring at 10 and 15 minutes.
Once the rice is cooked, stir in the refried beans until smooth, followed by ¾ cup of shredded cheese until smooth. Top with the remaining cheese, cover and cook on low heat until the cheese is melted. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, and other desired toppings, along with either sour cream or Jalapeno Ranch. Serve with plenty of chips!
- Prep Time: 10 MINS
- Cook Time: 20 MINS
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Mexican
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 907
- Sugar: 18.1 g
- Sodium: 1436.2 mg
- Fat: 49.7 g
- Carbohydrates: 78.4 g
- Protein: 40.2 g
- Cholesterol: 104.5 mg
Keywords: Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet