Southwest Chicken and Rice is a flavorful dish made with a blend of spices, tender chicken, rice, and a variety of vegetables. And, it’s all cooked in one skillet making this a convenient and delicious one-pot meal! I also have Southwest Chicken Pasta you may want to check out and try!

Skillet of Southwest Chicken and Rice with a spoon in it.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Seasoning Mixture: The seasoning mixture is made with chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic powder. Half of the mixture seasons the chicken while the other half is added with the rice.

Chicken: Look for boneless, skinless chicken breasts to cut into bite-sized pieces. Chicken thighs would also work. Just make sure the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

Rice: Long-grain white rice is cooked in chicken broth (or chicken stock). The cooking times were based on using long-grain white rice, so if you were to substitute brown rice, the cooking time may differ.

Salsa: Salsa adds a zesty flavor to the dish. Choose the level of heat (mild, medium, or hot) that you prefer.

Corn & Black Beans: A can of drained corn kernels and a can of black beans, drained and rinsed, are added to the skillet at the end of the cooking time.

Heavy Cream: Heavy cream, or heavy whipping cream, brings some creaminess to the texture of the dish. You could substitute milk for a lighter option.

Ingredients used to make Southwest Chicken and Rice in skillet before stirring.

What To Serve With Southwest Chicken and Rice

There are a variety of dishes that pair well with Southwest Chicken and Rice. Here are some options you may want to try:

Bowls of Southwest Chicken and Rice on a wooden table from overhead.

Can I Make This Without Chicken?

Sure, you can make this dish without chicken and still have a flavorful rice dish! If leaving out the chicken, you may want to increase the amount of vegetables you add and adjust the seasonings as needed.

Bowls of Southwest Chicken and Rice on a wooden table from overhead.

How To Store Southwest Chicken and Rice

To store southwest chicken and rice, first, let it come to room temperature. Next, store the dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-4 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Skillet of Southwest Chicken and Rice on a wooden table from overhead.
5 from 4 votes

Southwest Chicken and Rice

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Southwest Chicken and Rice is a flavorful dish made with a blend of spices, tender chicken, rice, and a variety of vegetables. And, it's all cooked in one skillet making this a convenient and delicious one-pot meal!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pat dry with paper towel, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cups (277.5 g) uncooked long-grain white rice
  • 3 ½ cups (28 ounces / 840 g) chicken broth
  • ½ cup (129.5 g) salsa
  • 1 can (15 ounces) sweet corn kernels, drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (238 g) heavy whipping cream
  • cilantro, chopped for garnish
  • salt, to taste

Instructions

  • To a small bowl, add chili powder, cumin, salt, and garlic powder. Stir to combine. Divide in half and set aside.
  • To a medium bowl, add chicken and half of the seasoning mixture. Stir to combine.
  • To a large 13-inch skillet, add olive oil and butter. Once the butter has melted, add chicken to the pan in an even layer to ensure even cooking. You may have to cook in batches. Cook 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until all sides are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F. Remove to a plate and tent to keep warm. Set aside.
  • Add the onion and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally until softened (about 3-4 minutes).
  • Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
  • Stir in the uncooked rice and the remaining seasoning mixture.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add the salsa, corn, black beans, heavy cream, and cooked chicken to the skillet. Stir to combine well and continue cooking, uncovered, until everything has warmed through.
  • Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm.

Did you make this recipe?

You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.

What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:

Elizabeth

I loved this dish, especially since it is like an entire meal in one skillet! You get the seasoned chicken, vegetables, and rice in every bite.

Rachael

Flavorful easy dinner to put together all in one pot!

Annabelle

This is a very flavorful meal, and all in one pot! I would absolutely recommend this for any day of the week!

Bella

This has so much flavor. It is very convenient and will be a great meal for any day of the week!

Selena

Super yummy and easy to make. It would even be good as a burrito filling!

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Reader Comments

  1. This was excellent, but mine turned out soupy vs the way it was intended, despite closely following instructions. My family loved it, next time I will reduce the amount of liquid, and add a lot more chicken, or perhaps some shrimp.

  2. 5 stars
    Made this tonight for dinner! It is so delicious 🤤. I also added andouille sausage, a dollop of sour cream and some lime juice to bring out the cilantro. I totally recommend making this. It’s delicious, and will be making it again, thank you for the recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Looks really good will give it a try. Just to check is the 2 tablespoons of chilli powder correct, it seems like a lot in proportion to other spices?

    1. Yes, when we tested it with less chili powder, it didn’t have as much of a “southwest” zing to it. You can certainly use less and taste test as you go!

  4. Hi Amanda and staff, This looks so good! I am going to pick your brain…do you think it would hold up okay and not dry out ,
    if it was in aluminum pans over sterno to sell at school concession stand,?

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