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Southwest Chicken Skillet

If you like one-pan meals, you’ll love this chicken skillet—brimming with Southwest-inspired ingredients, it’s flavorful, festive, and delish!

I’ve been loving my Ground Beef and Rice Skillet recipe so much that I decided to create a new spin on it.

For this Southwest Chicken Skillet, I’m using chicken, bell pepper, and onion strips to give it a fajita vibe. Extending that vibe, the mixture is seasoned with chili powder and stewed in a salsa-based sauce. And the add-ins include black beans and corn.

Perhaps best of all, like any good one-pan meal, it’s easy to make, easy to clean up, and easy to love.

What Kind Of Chicken To Use?

You can use any kind of boneless, skinless chicken you like in this recipe—light meat, dark meat, or a combination. You could also use ground chicken or turkey. You could even use another meat, like pork or beef.

I also like the chicken cut into strips—keeping that fajita feeling—but you could do chunks of meat if you prefer. Either way, make sure your pieces are pretty much the same thickness so they’ll cook evenly.

What Kind Of Rice To Use?

I use long-grain rice because it’s less sticky than medium or short grain and cooks up nice and fluffy. And I like white rice here, but you could use brown or basmati if you prefer (you might have to adjust the cooking time). The only kind of rice I wouldn’t recommend is jasmine. Its delicate flavors and aromas aren’t right for the bold flavors in this recipe.

Skillet Variations

For the liquid in the recipe, I use store-bought salsa and chicken broth. But you can change that up by using red or green salsa, hot or mild salsa, homemade or store-bought salsa—or any combination thereof. And if you have some vegetable broth around to use up, you could absolutely use that instead of the chicken broth.

Other add-ins include black beans—but you could use pinto beans, kidney beans, or even white beans or garbanzos if you prefer. I add green bell pepper, but you could use red or yellow bells instead, or even mild green chiles, like poblano or pasilla. And I add corn—but hominy would be good too. Mix it up and use your favorite combinations.

While the skillet finishes cooking, warm up some tortillas. And before you know it, you’ve got a hearty, tasty Southwest chicken skillet dinner worth celebrating.


Christine :)


Southwest Chicken Skillet

  • Author: Jill Hough
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Southwestern


If you like one-pan meals, you’ll love this one—brimming with Southwest-inspired ingredients, it’s flavorful, festive, and delish! Serve it as is, or top it with some sour cream, green onions, crushed tortilla chips, and maybe some hot sauce on the side.


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 onion, cut into 1/4-in. strips

  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-in. strips

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken, cut into 1/2-in. strips

  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder

  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste

  • 3/4 tsp. ground coriander

  • 3/4 tsp. ground cumin

  • 2 cups salsa

  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

  • 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained

  • 1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned (drained) corn kernels

  • 1 cup uncooked long grain rice

  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a Cheddar-Jack cheese blend


  1. In a very large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

  2. Add the chicken, chili powder, salt, coriander, and cumin. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked and the vegetables are tender, 5 to 6 minutes.

  3. Stir in the salsa, broth, beans, corn, and rice. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

  4. Remove from the heat and stir. Sprinkle on the cheese. Cover and let stand until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes.