Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet is packed with protein, veggies, whole grains, and most importantly, flavor. Simmered with Southwestern spices and tossed with corn kernels, scallions and cilantro, this one pan skillet meal is family-friendly and meal-prep friendly. Ready in under 30 minutes, this dish is easy to prepare, even for beginner cooks. This is the perfect healthy meal to make for a busy weeknight at home.
All about this skillet meal; ideal for meal prep
This Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet is ideal for meal prep because it is easy to prepare, and reheats really well. It is packed with protein and nutrients, from the lean ground chicken breast, to the cups and cups of filling veggies, to the whole grain brown rice. Each layer of this dish is seasoned and packed with flavor. If you are looking for an easy to make and filling lunch or dinner, this is it! Add some shredded cheese, avocado, and sour cream before serving if you want to kick it up a notch!
I love making skillet meals like this one, or my Greek Chicken and Rice Skillet or the Italian Chicken, Farro and Vegetable Skillet because of how easy they are to throw together. Not only are they easy to make, but they are so nutritious and full of flavor. They have become my favorite kind of meal prep for easy to reheat meals that I enjoy eating for lunch.
What you will need to make this Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet
The ingredients for this recipe are pretty simple; including some easy-to-find items from the supermarket, and some common pantry spices for the spice blend.
- bell peppers
- red onion
- ground chicken breast
- I use 98-99% fat free ground chicken breast; if you can’t find this in the supermarket, you can ground whole chicken breast in a food processor.
- Either frozen or canned would work well here.
- I used frozen corn from Trader Joe’s.
- canned diced tomatoes
- canned diced green chilis
- brown rice
- fresh scallions
- fresh cilantro
- onion powder
- garlic powder
- kosher salt
How to make this Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet
Start off by prepping everything you can, because once you get cooking, this meal will be ready in under 30 minutes! If you are cooking your own brown rice, it’s a good idea to start that first. Otherwise, start chopping your peppers and onion, and prepare the spice blend. You can also chop the scallions and cilantro.
Preheat a large frying pan or skillet over medium high heat, and add olive oil spray. Add the chopped peppers and onion, and add 2 teaspoons of the spice mixture to the vegetables. Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes or until they are tender and have developed good color. Remove the vegetables from the pan and place them to a bowl on the side.
To the same pan, add more olive oil spray and the ground chicken. Add 3 more teaspoons of the spice mixture to the chicken. Break the chicken up with a wooden spoon, and cook the chicken until it is no longer pink (about 5 minutes). Next, add the diced tomatoes and diced green chilis, and bring this mixture up to a rapid simmer. Simmer this mixture for about 5 minutes. Then, add the cooked vegetables back to the pan, along with the corn and cooked brown rice and remaining spice mixture. Stir this mixture together and allow it to simmer for another 5 minutes for the flavors to combine, Stir in the fresh scallions and cilantro.
For serving, you can eat this meal as is, or you can pair with your favorite toppings, like fresh avocado, shredded cheese, and sour cream.
Southwestern Chicken and Rice Skillet
- large frying pan or skillet
- 3 bell peppers, 4 cups, diced
- 1 red onion, 2 cups, diced
- 1 lb ground chicken breast, 98-99% fat free
- 1 cup corn, frozen or canned
- 14.5 oz diced tomatoes, canned, with juices
- 4 oz diced green chilis, canned
- 2 cups cooked brown rice, I used frozen, pre-cooked rice
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro, fresh
- toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Prepare the spice blend: combine all of the spices in a small bowl.
- Preheat a frying pan or skillet over medium high heat.
- Dice the peppers and onion.
- Preheat a frying pan or skillet over medium high heat. Add olive oil spray.
- Add the diced peppers and onions to the pan, along with 2 teaspoons of the spice blend.
- Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes, or until they are tender and have good color on them.
- Remove the peppers and onions from the pan and add them to a bowl.
- In the same pan, add more olive oil spray and add the ground chicken.
- Break the chicken up with a wooden spoon.
- Add 3 teaspoons of the spice blend to the chicken.
- Cook the chicken until it is no longer pink.
- Add the diced tomatoes and diced green chilis.
- Stir to combine and bring this mixture to a rapid simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the vegetables back into the pan, along with the corn and brown rice.
- Add the remaining spice mixture.
- Simmer this for about 5 minutes for the flavors to combine.
- Stir in the scallions and cilantro.
- 6 WW points (green plan)
- 3 WW points (blue plan)
- 0 WW points (purple plan)
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