This Chicken Fiesta will have your family licking their plates…and the skillet. It’s an easy, 30 minute, one skillet dinner, made with nutritious Tex-Mex ingredients you probably have on hand right now. Everything simmers together (including my quick dinner secret weapon – instant brown rice), in enchilada sauce and broth, instead of water, for elevated earthy, chili flavor with perfectly textured rice!
Watch how to make Chicken Fiesta
Fiesta Chicken Ingredients
This Fiesta Chicken transforms, humble, everyday ingredients into a back-pocket win the whole family will love! Let’s take a closer look at what you’ll need to make this recipe (full measurements in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post):
Chicken Fiesta Recipe FAQs
I have only tried making this recipe as written, so I cannot guarantee results using the slow cooker. The recipe would have to be cooked on high in order to simmer the rice. The chicken will take approximately 2-2 ½ hours to cook at high heat, but I’m not sure if the rice will be done before then. You are welcome to experiment, or make on the stovetop, then transfer to the slow cooker to keep warm.
I have not tried making this recipe in the Instant Pot, and the liquid ratio would likely need to be experimented with in order to make it successful.
Yes, but not using the same amount of liquid and cooking time as in the recipe card. The only other rice that could be used with moderate success would be white rice because it cooks much quicker than brown rice. Cook the skillet closer to 10-15 minutes, adding additional broth as needed. The rice will not be as texturally pleasing.
The tastiest way to cook chicken is to first pat it dry with paper towels so the chicken will sear instead of steam. Next, chop the chicken into large bite-size pieces so it stays extra juicy and is more difficult to overcook. Season the bites of chicken with a robust spice rub and toss until the cubes are evenly coated. Lastly, sear the chicken for a couple minutes on each side to create the Maillard reaction. For this recipe, the chicken will continue to cook with the rice, otherwise, cook the chicken to an internal temperature of 160 degrees F, then let rest for 5 minutes to carryover to 165 degrees F.
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- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tsp EACH salt, ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound uncooked chicken breasts, chopped into large bite-size pieces
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz. can sweet corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 15 oz. can fire-roasted diced tomatoes in their juices
- 1 4 oz. can mild diced green chilies
- 1 1/2 cups instant brown rice *Do NOT use ANY OTHER RICE (white minute rice or regular rice will cook differently)
- 1 10 oz. can mild enchilada sauce
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- chopped avocados
- chopped lettuce
- tortilla chips
- sour cream
Spice Mix: Whisk the Spices Mix seasonings together in a small bowl.
Season chicken: Pat the chopped chicken dry while it’s still on the cutting board; season with 1 tablespoon of the Spice Mix; set aside.
Sear chicken: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, deep nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat (if you don’t have a deep one, use an enamaled Dutch oven or braiser). Add seasoned chicken and sear for about 2 minutes per side, until golden, then stir until until no longer pink on the outside (it will cook fully with the rice). Remove from the pan using a slotted spoon
Add ingredients: Reduce heat to low and add the chicken back to the skillet. Stir in the rest of the ingredients through the chicken broth (don’t add cheese).
Cook rice: Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to medium-low and continue to simmer until the rice is tender, about 6-8 minutes.
Add cheese: Stir in 1 cup cheese until melted. Top with remaining cheese, cover, and cook on medium until cheese is melted.
Add toppings: Top with desired toppings such as sour cream, tomatoes, avocados etc. Serve with plenty of chips!
- *ABOUT THE RICE: This recipe is written and intended for INSTANT BROWN rice, and NOT instant white rice, regular white or brown rice. You are welcome to experiment, but the cooking time and amount of broth will need to be adjusted (I don’t advise regular brown rice, however, because the cook time is too long). Alternatively, omit the chicken broth and stir pre-cooked rice into the skillet and simmer just to warm through, adding additional enchilada sauce, as needed, if it seems dry.
To Store and Reheat
- To Store: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- To Freeze: Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to three months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
- To Reheat: Microwave for 60 seconds then at 20-second intervals as needed, gently over the stove top, or bake at 350 degrees F for 10-15 minutes, until warmed through.
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