Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice (2024)

Mexican Chicken and Rice is wonderfully, creamy cheesy, quick and easy – all in one pot in 30 minutes!

This Chicken and Rice Skillet is the ultimate hearty Mexican comfort food that your family will BEG you to make again and again! Quick, easy and explodingwith Southwest flavors and textures with only one pan to wash! AlsoAH-mazing as burrito or taco filling or a base for taco salad!

Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice (1)

Mexican Chicken and Rice Recipe

My passion for Mexican flavors and One Pot Meals unite to create this obsessive worthy One Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice! I could seriously eat this every single day, it’s just that good and hits all the check marks in my Mexican comfortlicious book from ooegy gooey cheese, to hearty rice (I’m obsessed with myCilantro Lime RiceandRestaurant Style Mexican Rice)to a rainbow of spices, to crisp lettuce, zesty Homemade Salsa, or Salsa Verde, refreshing sour cream or Jalapeno Ranch all dug into by salty tortilla chips. A symphony of flavors and textures in every addicting bite. So addicting.

So addicting in fact, Patrick (not a leftover fan), wanted to go out to a local Mexican restaurant but I still had leftovers of this Mexican Chicken and Rice, so I told him this skillet was SO much better than anything at that restaurant so I was going got eat this chicken and rice skillet instead but I would still go with him after. And I did. And my mouth was happy. And my belly. And my soul.

So aside from being better-than-restaurant-delish, this chicken and rice skillet is super simple to make – a no fuss, no stress, no think dinner if ever there was one. And with only ONE pot to wash, its definitely a weekday meal life saver if ever there was one. And definitely a new entire family favorite if ever there was one.

Mexican Chicken and Rice Ingredients

The ingredients list for this Mexican chicken, rice, and beans recipe is simple:

  • Olive oil: Use qualityextra virgin olive oilfor best results.
  • Onion: Any kind of onion works for this recipe.
  • Chicken breasts: Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces so it cooks quickly and is easy to eat.
  • Garlic: I loaded up this one pan chicken and rice with four cloves of garlic.
  • Water: You need a little water to help the rice cook through.
  • Enchilada sauce: Buy your favorite store-bought variety or make it yourself.
  • Long grain rice: I used a long grain white rice, which cooks much faster than brown rice.
  • Canned sweet corn: Rinse and drain the corn before adding it to the skillet.
  • Fire roasted tomatoes: Drain the tomatoes before using.
  • Mild green chiles: Make sure you purchase mild green chiles – I have accidentally used the hot chilies before and they are HOT!Mild green chiles, however are more tangy than hot.
  • Herbs and spices: Cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika adds tons of flavor to this dish.
  • Refried beans: Adds extra protein and makes this dish super creamy.
  • Cheddar cheese: I like to use cheddar cheese because the sharp flavor doesn’t get lost.
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How to Make Mexican Chicken and Rice

To make this easy Mexican Chicken and Rice:

  1. First, saute your onions for a few minutes then add your chicken and cook a few minutes to seal in the juices.
  2. Next its as easy as adding all your remaining skillet ingredients including enchilada sauce, rice, sweet corn, fire roasted tomatoes, green chilies and a rainbow of Mexican spices including cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder and smoked paprika.
  3. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer on low until your rice is tender, allowing the chicken and rice to drink in all the fiestalicious flavors.
  4. Then the magic that pushes this skillet from really good to can’t stop-eating-great – refried beans. That’s right – you stir them into the skillet until nice and smooth, infusing the One Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice with creaminess and then you stir in cheddar cheese until smooth, infusing the Mexican Chicken and Rice Skillet with cheesiness. Yes, I did say addicting.
  5. Top your Mexican Chicken and Rice with more cheese, cover, and let melt.
  6. Serve with your favorite toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, guacamole and either sour cream or my Easy Jalapeno Ranch. I actually whipped up the ranch for another recipe I’m sharing this week and then I decided to drizzle it all over my Mexican Chicken and Rice. And strongly suggest you do the same.
  7. Finally, dig in with lots and lots of chips. You can crush and pile them on top or I just like to eat mine right out of the pan like Taco Salad Dip because – more salty, crunch chips in every bite. Happy crunching.
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Tips for Making Mexican Chicken and Rice

  • Don’t overcook chicken.For the juiciest chicken, don’t overcook! Brown it in the skillet but let it finish cooking with the rice.
  • How cheesy?Feel free to use more or less cheese –it is entirely up to you how cheesy you make your Mexican chicken with rice!
  • Use freshly grated cheese. Only use freshly grated cheese in your because packaged cheeses contain chemicals which keep them from easily melting.

Recipe Variations to Try

  • Drizzle with ranch. I’ve included my recipe for jalapeño ranch in the recipe card below. It’s totally optional, but highly recommended.
  • Use ground turkey or beef. Swap the chicken for leanground turkeyorlean ground beefand brown with seasonings.
  • Spice it up.Add jalapeños, minced chipotle chili peppers, cayenne pepper or hot sauce.
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Can I Prep Mexican Chicken and Rice in Advance?

Absolutely! Because the Mexican chicken and rice is enveloped in creamy refried beans and enchilada sauce, leftovers never really dry out. As such, you can assemble and make this recipe, and then reheat the leftovers for lunches or dinners throughout the week.

How to Store Mexican Chicken and Rice

This one-pan chicken, rice, and beans should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.When stored properly, it is good for up to five days.

How to Reheat Mexican Chicken and Rice

  • Microwave:transfer a portion to a microwave-safe dish, heat for 1 minute, stir, then continue to heat at 30-second intervals.
  • Stove: for larger portions, rewarm gently in a large skillet, stirring often.You may need to add additional water to thin.

Can I Freeze Mexican Chicken and Rice?

Yes! To freeze:

  • Let the chicken and rice skillet cool to room temperature.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container.
  • Label and freeze for 2 to 3 months.
  • Defrost in the refrigerator before using.

What to Serve with Mexican Chicken and Rice

This easy chicken and rice recipe is pretty much a meal in and of itself. But if you want to add some sides to bulk up the meal, go for it!

  • Southwest Salad
  • Corn Salad
  • Southwest Orzo Salad
  • Elote (Mexican Grilled Corn)
  • Pina Colada Fruit Salad
  • Caramelized Grilled Pineapple
  • Avocado Corn Salsa
  • Homemade Guacamole
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Looking for More Mexican Chicken Recipes?

  • Arroz con Pollo
  • Skillet Chicken Fajitas with Chipotle Lime Crema
  • Smothered Baked Mexican Chicken Burritos
  • Slow Cooker Salsa Verde Honey Lime Chicken
  • Fiesta Ranch Chicken Tacos
  • Caldo de Pollo (Mexican Chicken Soup)
  • Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas
  • Chicken Burrito Bowls
  • Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • Chicken Fajita Soup
  • All of my Mexican recipes!



Find me on Pinterestfor more great recipes! I am always pinning :)!

©Carlsbad Cravingsby

Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice (11)

One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice

Creamy, Cheesy One Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice on your table in 30 minutes! This is the ultimate hearty Mexican comfort food that your family will BEG you to make again and again! Quick, easy and explodingwith Southwest flavors and textures with only one pan to wash! AlsoAH-mazing as burrito or taco filling or a base for taco salad!

Servings: 6 -8 servings

Total Time: 30 minutes mins

Prep Time: 10 minutes mins

Cook Time: 20 minutes mins

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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound uncooked chicken breasts, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, mined
  • 1/2 cups water
  • 1 10 oz. can mild enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup long grain rice UNCOOKED
  • 1 15 oz. can sweet corn, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5 oz. can can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  • 1 4 oz. can mild diced green chilies
  • 1 tsp EACH salt, cumin, ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp EACH chili powder, smoked paprika
  • Add later:
  • 1 16 oz. can refried beans
  • 1 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided


  • LOTS of tortilla chips
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • chopped avocados
  • chopped lettuce
  • cilantro
  • sour cream
  • Guacamole

Easy Jalapeno Ranch (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix (1 oz. package)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, roughly chopped


  • (optional) Add all of the Jalapeno Ranch ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Add additional milk if needed to reach desired consistency. Refrigerate. (Best chilled. Can be made 24 hours+ ahead of time). Dressing will thicken as it chills so you will probably need to stir in additional milk when ready to serve.

  • Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Saute onions for 4 minutes. Add chicken and continue to cook until no longer pink on the outside (it will cook fully with the rice). Add garlic and saute 30 seconds.

  • Turn heat to low and add water, enchilada sauce, rice, corn, fire roasted tomatoes, green chilies and all seasonings/spices. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring at 10 and 15 minutes.

  • Once rice is done, stir in refried beans until smooth followed by ¾ cup cheese until smooth. Top with remaining cheese, cover and cook on low until cheese is melted. Top with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados etc. and either sour cream or the Jalapeno Ranch. Serve with plenty of chips!


*This recipe does not have kidney beans despite the photographs. I improved the recipe after I shot these photos and it SO much better with refried beans 🙂

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Skillet Mexican Chicken and Rice (2024)


How many calories are in Mexican chicken and rice? ›

Nutritional analysis (per serving):

399 calories.

Is chicken and rice good for muscle gain? ›

Rich in protein: Chicken is a rich source of high-quality protein, which is crucial for muscle repair, growth, and immune function. Carbohydrates to fuel and refuel: Rice offers carbohydrates, providing a release of energy to help fuel your workouts and refuel after.

How much chicken and rice should I eat? ›

His solution: Eat at least six chicken breasts each paired with a half cup of rice, daily.

What mexican dish has the most calories? ›

Worst: Chimichanga. This is code for “deep-fried burrito.” Think that sounds unhealthy? You're right. The dish has more than 1,500 calories and 93 grams of fat.

How many calories is 2 pieces of chicken and rice? ›

On average , a 3 - ounce serving of grilled chicken breast and 1 cup of cooked white rice contains approximately 300 - 400 calories .

Is rice a bad carb? ›

Many people consider white rice an “empty” or “bad” carb since it loses nutrients when the bran and germ are removed. However, white rice is typically enriched with added nutrients such as iron and B vitamins. So while brown rice does have more nutrients than white rice, white rice is still considered nutritious.

Is it okay to eat chicken every day? ›

Even if you commit to only consuming chicken cooked in a healthy way and not pairing it with any sauces high in sodium or sugar, both dietitians recommend only having it a few times a week.

Is rice diet good for losing weight? ›

For the purposes of weight management, the rice diet does create a calorie deficit, which is how any diet can lead to weight loss. Walter Kempner devised the rice diet in the 1940s to treat specific medical conditions that, at the time, had few treatment options.

What to add to chicken and rice to make it taste better? ›

Get creative, play with flavors….. and you just might create a whole new “favorite dish”! When I cook rice, I usually add a little bit of salt, butter, and parsley to give it some more flavor. Then serve with a nice baked chicken seasoned with some rosemary, salt, pepper and garlic.

Is 2 cups of rice a day too much? ›

There is no exact amount of rice that is considered too much, as servings can vary from person to person. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume six servings of grains per day, which can include rice. It's also a good idea to make sure that at least half of the grains you eat are whole grains.

Can I just eat chicken and rice to bulk? ›

It is indeed a very simple yet effective meal. The benefits are quite simple, it helps bulk up the body and refuel a lot of energy. The high protein of the chicken will help rebuild damaged muscle fibers while the carbohydrate content of the rice will replace muscle glycogen levels and refuel.

Is rotisserie chicken healthy? ›

Rotisserie chickens are full chickens cooked over a direct heat source like an oven, fire or campfire. Unlike crispy chicken or other types of meat, rotisserie chicken is healthy and low in fat, especially when you eat the white meat. Plus, these chickens can serve an entire family for relatively cheap.

How many calories in Mexican Rice at a mexican restaurant? ›

There are 215 calories in a 1 cup (116.000g) serving size of Restaurant, Mexican, spanish rice. The calorie breakdown is 26% fat, 67% carbs, and 7% protein.

How many calories are in 2 cups of cooked Mexican Rice? ›

There are 399 calories in 2 cups of Mexican Rice.

How many calories are in Mexican Rice queso and chicken? ›

1 serving of queso smothered chicken & rice contains 587 Calories. The macronutrient breakdown is 22% carbs, 42% fat, and 35% protein. This is a good source of protein (90% of your Daily Value), fiber (15% of your Daily Value), and potassium (15% of your Daily Value).

How many calories are in chicken breast and chicken rice? ›

A single serving of Hainanese Chicken Rice typically packs around 620 calories, depending on the cut of chicken and how it's cooked (steamed or roasted). This iconic Singaporean dish, known for its succulent chicken, flavorful rice, and unique chilli sauce, often raises questions about its nutritional value.


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