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Southwest Skillet Chicken with Beans and Corn

Southwest Skillet Chicken with Beans and Corn


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Need something quick and delicious for dinner? This Southwest Skillet Chicken is easy, freezer-friendly, and ready in 35 minutes. Make it with beans, corn, and bell peppers!

Photography Credit:Alison Bickle

I love this recipe because it’s so easy, and leftovers can be transformed into shredded tacos, or a Mexican-inspired chicken chili.

A well-stocked spice drawer means the cumin and smoked paprika marinade comes together in 5 minutes with only a couple of tips of a measuring spoon, a little garlic, and some lime. Chopped peppers, frozen corn and canned black beans round out the dish.

This one-skillet dinner is ready in 20 minutes or less. You can also freeze the marinated chicken for up to 6 months so you have an easy meal at the ready when you need it. Do whatever works for you!

THE BEST CHICKEN FOR THIS RECIPE

Boneless skinless thinly sliced chicken breasts, tenderloins or tenders (your grocery store may label them one way or another) are the best choice for this quick and easy skillet dinner.

Their quick cooking time, and small surface area cook faster and deliver more marinade with each bite than thick chicken breast halves.

THE BEST PAN TO USE

You need a large skillet to fit all the ingredients into one pan. I wouldn’t go any smaller than a 12-inch skillet (measured across the top).

SWAP OUT THE VEGGIES IF YOU LIKE!

If you make this on a day when you don’t have the suggested vegetables on hand, don’t worry about it. Serve the chicken with a side salad, tortillas, Cilantro Lime Rice or a vegetable of your choice.

HOW TO MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZE

We are all busy which is why I love this recipe. When chicken tenders go on sale, I buy a lot of them. I set aside a little time on the weekend set up an assembly line and make as many bags of marinated chicken as I can. I freeze them flat so they don’t take up much space in my freezer.

Knowing I have a healthy main dish set aside for busy weeknights saves me from picking up a pizza and keeps a few extra bucks in my pocket.

  1. Use a gallon-size freezer bag that you press to seal rather than those with a zipper slide.
  2. Write the date, name of the recipe, and SimplyRecipes.com so you can easily find the recipe later.
  3. Add the chicken and marinade ingredients to the bag.
  4. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and close it.
  5. Smoosh around the chicken until its well coated in marinade.
  6. Lay flat to freeze.

This will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months, and up to 48 hours thawed in the refrigerator.

Not a planner? No biggie! You could still make this whole dish start to finish in one night and have dinner ready in 35 minutes or less.

LOOKING FOR MORE GREAT FREEZER MEALS?

  • Italian Skillet Chicken
  • Sous Vide Teriyaki Salmon
  • Baked Vegetable and Cream Cheese Wontons
  • Turkey Sloppy Joe’s
  • BBQ Meatloaf Bites

Southwest Skillet Chicken with Beans and Corn Recipe

Ingredients

For the marinade:

  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken tenders, tenderloin, or thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Zest from 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lime juice, from about half a lime
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For the vegetables:

  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 medium red pepper
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Cooked rice or tortillas, to serve

Method

1 Label the bag: Use a sharpie to write the date and title of the recipe on a gallon-sized zip top bag so you can easily find it on SimplyRecipes.com when you want to cook it. Alternatively, write the cooking instructions on the bag, and date it.

2 Combine the ingredients: Roll down the opening of the bag a little just so you don’t accidentally get raw chicken juices on the outside or the zip top. Add the chicken, spices, zest, lime juice, garlic, and vegetable oil.

Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag. Smoosh the chicken around so it’s coated in the marinade.

3 Lay the chicken flat in the freezer and freeze for up to 6 months:

Alternatively, you could skip the freezer and let it marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours and up to two days, then cook it according to the directions below.

4 Thaw the chicken before cooking: When ready to cook, take the chicken out of the freezer in the morning before you go to work, and it will be ready to cook by the end of the day.

5 Prepare the vegetables: Dice the peppers, dice the onion, measure the corn, and drain and rinse the beans.

6 Cook the chicken: Set a large skillet over medium heat add 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil shimmers, add the chicken and any marinade from the bag. If any chicken is folded up, unfold it so it lays flat in the pan. Cook the chicken for 5 minutes, then flip it.

7 Add the vegetables: Add onions, corn, and peppers. Cover with a lid. Let everything simmer together for about 5 minutes.

Lift the lid and stir the meat and vegetables together. Cook uncovered for another 5 minutes.

Add the beans and cook for another 3 minutes until the beans warm through. The meat is cooked when you slice open a breast and the juices run clear.

8 To serve: Put a chicken breast on each plate and top with vegetables. Spoon pan sauces over chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with minced cilantro and serve with tortillas or rice.

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Best Mexican Chicken Casserole

We are so obsessed with easy dinners in our house, but we also like meals that are healthy and high in protein, and lower in salt.

For so long, I didn’t think casseroles were a good fit for our family because so many are high in salt and use canned creamy soups (loaded with preservatives and mystery ingredients).

However, I then discovered that you can easily make casseroles with much better ingredients (like our Healthy Spaghetti Squash Casserole).

This southwest chicken casserole with black beans is simple, yet so tasty and will be one of your family’s go-to’s for an easy weeknight dinner!


HOW TO MAKE AHEAD AND FREEZE

We are all busy which is why I love this recipe. When chicken tenders go on sale, I buy a lot of them. I set aside a little time on the weekend set up an assembly line and make as many bags of marinated chicken as I can. I freeze them flat so they don’t take up much space in my freezer.

Knowing I have a healthy main dish set aside for busy weeknights saves me from picking up a pizza and keeps a few extra bucks in my pocket

  1. Use a gallon-size freezer bag that you press to seal rather than those with a zipper slide.
  2. Write the date, name of the recipe, and SimplyRecipes.com so you can easily find the recipe later.
  3. Add the chicken and marinade ingredients to the bag.
  4. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag and close it.
  5. Smoosh around the chicken until its well coated in marinade.
  6. Lay flat to freeze.

This will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months, and up to 48 hours thawed in the refrigerator.

Not a planner? No biggie! You could still make this whole dish start to finish in one night and have dinner ready in 35 minutes or less.


Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet is a filling, low-fat supper made in just one skillet.

This post may contain affiliate links.

If you’re anything like me, then it looks like a bomb has gone off in your kitchen after you’re done making dinner. Or reheating lunch. Or pouring a bowl of cereal for that matter. What can I say, I’m a messy chef!

Spoons stuck to the counter, pasta water burnt to the stove, bowls stacked in bowls stacked in bowls. I know.

The rest of the house is usually tidy, but when it comes to cooking in the kitchen, all hell breaks loose. Guess what though…I kind of like it! Sometimes it’s therapeutic to let go and get drips on the countertop, use 10 forks, and make a big ol’ mess. That’s what the clean up crew, cough, Ben, is for.

Well, fear not, dishwashers around the world, tonight you’re getting off easy. Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet is made in ONE skillet, making clean up an absolute breeze.

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet is a big ol’ skillet supper made by combining taco-spiced chicken with corn, back beans, salsa, chicken broth, and long-grain rice. The result is a filling and low-fat supper that’s full of fiber and protein, and comes together in seriously no time at all. All you need is a big skillet, cutting board, knife, and a measuring spoon and cup, too. I just LOVE that!

This is one of those meals that Mom may have made ya’ back in the day. Super simple to throw together, but so comforting and hearty – 2 or even 3 scoops worthy. Serve with flour tortillas to make it even more of a meal, or tortilla chips on the side for scooping. Me? Spoon some Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa and chopped green onions on top and I am good to GO!

Beef Taco Bowls

Start the Southwestern Chicken & Rice Skillet by sauteing 1lb chicken cut into bite-sized pieces with 1/4 small chopped onion in 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil over high heat. Choose the biggest skillet ya’ got, or you’ll be sorry!

Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons taco seasoning. Here’s a recipe for homemade taco seasoning, otherwise, this Frontier brand is really delish. FYI – if your blend is salt-free like mine, be sure to add some to the chicken for max flavor (if you’re not following a low-sodium diet, that is.)

Sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes, or just until it gets a bit of color. The chicken doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through at this point as the it will finish cooking with the rice.

Next add 1 cup slightly thawed frozen corn (it wouldn’t be the end of the world if it was still frozen) and 1 can drained & rinsed black beans.

In goes 1 cup of your favorite salsa (Tostitos Restaurant Style, FTW!) and 2 cups chicken broth.

Bring the liquid to a boil then add 1 cup long-grain white rice. I used jasmine rice. If you don’t want to buy a whole bag, I suggest getting some from the bulk bins at your grocery store!

Stir in the rice then place a lid on top of the skillet and turn the heat down to medium-low.


Recipe Summary

  • 4 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

Combine corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, onion, lime juice, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Stir until evenly combined.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn mixture and cook until onion has softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in black beans and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and sprinkle cilantro over the top.


Instructions

Mix chili powder and seasoned salt in small bowl. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mixture.

Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken cook 5 minutes per side or until lightly browned.

Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, rice, water and remaining seasoning mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low cover and simmer 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and rice is tender. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut chicken into serving size pieces. Fluff rice mixture with fork before serving.


This veggie-loaded chicken dish is perfect for weeknight cooking! The chicken and vegetables are so flavorful, seasoned with Mexican spices and a squeeze of lime juice at the end which brightens it all up. And bonus, it’s made all in one pot for easy cleanup! I used boneless chicken thighs which for more flavor, but breasts would also work.

This recipe is from Mary Younkin’s new book The Weekday Lunches and Breakfasts Cookbook (affil link) which is filled with so many easy home-cooked recipes that I know I’ll be making soon because they are recipes my family would actually eat! In fact, I had a hard time deciding which recipe to share because there are so many winners! Although this recipe could be cooked ahead and packed ahead for lunch for the week, it also makes a great dinner. I ate this as is, but you can also serve it over rice. Totally optional, but you can also add some queso fresco or Cotija cheese on top if you wish, although it honestly doesn’t need it!


Santa Fe Chicken with Black Beans, Corn, and Sweet Peppers

Chicken works beautifully with Southwest flavors. The chicken can be served as it is or it can be cut in strips and served with tortillas along side.

Ingredients You'll Need

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, and cut in half horizontally
2 T. GF taco seasoning
1 t. cayenne pepper
Freshly ground sea salt to taste
1 T. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
2 sweet red peppers, chopped
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can whole kernal corn or frozen corn
2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
freshly chopped cilantro for serving

Directions

Mix together taco seasoning, cayenne, and salt to taste. Season chicken on both sides with this mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet, add chicken and brown slowly on both sides until chicken is cooked through and instant thermometer registers 165F. Remove chicken and set aside. Add onion and peppers to skillet and cook until translucent, add garlic and cook until veggies are tender. Add black beans and corn, stir and cook until heated through, remove mixture to a bowl. Add chicken back to skillet, top with veggie mixture, sprinkle cheese over all and cover until cheese melts. Top with freshly chopped cilantro to serve.

Questions, Comments & Reviews

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I use long-grain rice because it&rsquos 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&rsquot recommend is jasmine. Its delicate flavors and aromas aren&rsquot right for the bold flavors in this recipe.

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&mdashor 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&mdashbut 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&mdashbut 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&rsquove got a hearty, tasty Southwest chicken skillet dinner worth celebrating.


30-Minute Creamy Chicken, Corn and Tomato Skillet

A handful of ingredients and just three simple steps are all it takes to make this 30-minute creamy chicken, corn and tomato skillet. The result? A total crowd-pleaser.

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 sweet onion, halved and thinly sliced

2½ cups fresh corn kernels

½ teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes, or more to taste

⅓ cup basil leaves, roughly chopped

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the chicken and sear until well browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the skillet and set aside.

2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the skins are wrinkled and the tomatoes have softened, 7 to 8 minutes.

3. Stir in the corn, cream and red-pepper flakes. Place the chicken back in the skillet and bring the cream to a simmer. Cook until the cream mixture reduces slightly and the chicken is heated through, about 4 minutes. Garnish with basil.


  • 3 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed and minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes with juices
  • 1 can (12 to 15 ounces) corn kernels (drained)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chile
  • 1 can chicken stock (use as needed)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Cut the chicken into 1/2 to 3/4-inch chunks and season with salt.

In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat.

Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned outside and white throughout but still juicy, about 4 minutes.

Remove the chicken and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same skillet.

Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the black beans, stewed tomatoes with their juices, corn, and chiles bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered until mixture is thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes should add enough moisture to the dish, but check it from time to time and add some chicken broth, if necessary.

Stir in the chicken and cilantro cook until heated through, about 5 minutes longer.