This lighter buffalo chicken and rice skillet makes for an easy dinner, or perfect meal lunch meal prep for the week. This dish has all of the classic flavors of buffalo chicken: carrots, celery, and onion are sauteed and then combined with lean ground chicken breast, a variety of spices, cauliflower rice and brown rice. Simmered in buffalo sauce and chicken broth and then topped with melty cheese, this is truly an all-in-one dish, packed with protein, whole grains, and vegetables.
All-in-one skillet meals
Skillet meals are such an easy solution to meal time! Whether it’s a quick and easy dinner or lunch, or meal prep for the week, skillet meals are easy to prepare, and all made in one pot. Clean up is a breeze, and the cooking method is essentially fool-proof.
My basic formula for a skillet meal is: flavorful sauteed vegetables, a ground meat (like lean chicken or turkey), a grain (like brown rice or farro) and other topping components, like cheese.
If you like the idea of a skillet meal, you might enjoy these other recipes:
What you will need to make lighter buffalo chicken and rice skillet
Here is the list of ingredients you will need to make this recipe:
- ground chicken breast
- To make my own ground chicken breast, I take regular full chicken breasts and add them to the food processor. Sometimes the store doesn’t have ground chicken breast, so this is a great solution.
- brown rice
- cauliflower rice
- I use Green Giant riced cauliflower. It is sold in the frozen section, but has no other ingredients besides cauliflower.
- hot sauce
- I use Frank’s Red Hot sauce.
- chicken broth
- reduced fat cream cheese
- I use the Philadelphia 1/3 less fat cream cheese.
- fat free cheddar cheese
- I use Kraft Fat Free Cheddar.
For the spice blend, you will need:
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- kosher salt
How to make lighter buffalo chicken and rice skillet
This recipe is all made in one dish, although the components are cooked and seasoned in steps. To begin, combine the spices for the spice blend in a small bowl.
Chop the carrots, onion and celery. Add them to to a skillet with olive oil spray and 2 teaspoons of the spice blend, and cook the vegetables over medium high heat for about 10 minutes or until tender. Remove the vegetables from the bowl and set them aside. In the same skillet, add the ground chicken to the skillet with more olive oil spray, along with the remaining spice blend. Break the chicken up with a wooden spoon, and cook it until just cooked through and no longer pink.
Remove the cooked chicken from the skillet and set it aside with the cooked vegetables. To the same skillet, add the cauliflower rice. Cook the rice for 5 minutes or until defrosted and starting to get crispy. Stir in the cooked brown rice. Then, add the hot sauce and chicken broth. Stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese and the scallions (reserving some for garnish). Top with the shredded cheddar, and cover with the lid to melt.
The serving size for this recipe is 2 cups, which is a generous amount. It is ready from start to finish in under 30 minutes.
Easy to meal prep
To prepare this for meal prep for the week, simply keep it in a storage container in the fridge, or portion it out into containers for each day. To reheat, microwave to heat through, Top with more scallions, buffalo sauce, or cheese, if desired.
Lighter Buffalo Chicken and Rice Skillet
- skillet, large frying pan
- 2 cups carrots chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 lb ground chicken breast 99% fat free
- 1 cup brown rice cooked
- 10 oz cauliflower rice frozen
- 1/2 cup hot sauce
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup reduced fat cream cheese
- 3 scallions chopped
- 1/2 cup fat free cheddar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- Chop the carrots, celery and onions.
- Combine the spices for the seasoning blend.
- Add olive oil spray to the frying pan.
- Add the carrots, celery and onions to the frying pan.
- Add 2 teaspoons of the seasoning blend.
- Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes or until tender.
- Remove the vegetables from the skillet and set aside.
- Add olive oil spray to the skillet, and add the ground chicken breast.
- Break the meat apart with a spatula.
- Add the rest of the seasoning blend.
- Cook the chicken until no longer pink. Then, remove the chicken from the skillet and set aside with the vegetables.
- Add the frozen cauliflower rice to the pan, and cook for 5 minutes, Add the cooked brown rice.
- Return the chicken and vegetables to the skillet.
- Add the hot sauce and chicken broth. Stir to combine.
- Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Fold in the cream cheese.
- Chop the scallions and add them to the skillet (reserve some for garnish).
- Sprinkle the top of the skillet with the cheddar cheese. Cover with the lid to melt.
- 6 WW points (green plan)
- 4 WW points (blue plan)
- 3 WW points (purple plan)
If you love buffalo flavor, check these recipes out: