Southwest Chicken Skillet

So, you remember how much you love those Taco Chicken Bowls? And how they’re so easy because you just pour everything into the slow cooker and press go? Well guess what… You can do it in a skillet, too! Except this Southwest Chicken Skillet only takes about 30 minutes! #nolies

As long as you have some precooked chicken, whether from a store bought rotisserie or some shredded chicken that you made yourself, those yummy taco chicken bowls are about a half hour away from being in your belly. This Southwest Chicken Skillet version may even be a bit easier because there’s no need to cook the rice separately—it cooks right along with the beans, salsa, and other goods in the skillet. It’s ridiculously simple and it’s so tasty that today after I ate some for lunch I said, “I wish I had ten more bowls of that.” 

Other Topping Ideas

I don’t know why beans, rice, and salsa are so good together, but I hope I never stop discovering new ways to eat them together. This is my favorite way so far. If you want to make it even more fancy, you can experiment with more toppings, like sour cream, diced avocado, or cilantro. Maybe even some crispy tortilla strips for crunch? Yum!!

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Southwest Chicken Skillet

4.82 from 168 votes If you’re looking for a quick and easy dinner, this Southwest Chicken Skillet is it! Precooked chicken makes this dinner possible in about 30 minutes. Servings 4 to 6 Prep 5 minutes Cook 20 minutes Total 25 minutes Save RecipeSaved! Print Recipe


  • 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice* ($0.33)
  • 1 cup salsa ($0.65)
  • 1.5-2 cups precooked shredded chicken** ($3.50)
  • 1 15oz. can black beans ($0.49)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder*** ($0.30)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken broth**** ($0.23)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese ($1.00)
  • 2-3 green onions, sliced ($0.26)


  • In a large skillet, combine the rice, salsa, chicken, black beans (drained), chili powder, and chicken broth. Stir until everything is evenly combined.
  • Place a tight fitting lid on the skillet, turn the heat on to high, and let the skillet come to a full boil. As soon as the skillet comes to a boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer for 15 minutes. Make sure it is simmering the entire time, turning the heat up slightly if needed (you should be able to hear it simmer quietly).
  • After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, and let it rest with the lid in place for 5 more minutes. Finally, remove the lid, and fluff the mixture with a fork. All of the liquid should be absorbed and the rice should be tender. Sprinkle 1 cup of shredded cheese over top, replace the lid, and let it sit for a few minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Meanwhile, slice the green onions. Sprinkle the green onions over the melted cheese and serve hot.

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*Brown rice can not be directly substituted for white rice in this recipe. Brown rice requires more liquid and a longer cooking time than white rice.**I used 1/2 of a store bought rotisserie chicken.***Chili powder is not red chile powder. Chili powder is a mild blend of spices used to season chili. While some brands are a tad spicy, I use McCormick, which is mild.****I used Better Than Bouillon Brand soup base to make my broth


Serving: 1ServingCalories: 546.45kcalCarbohydrates: 70.58gProtein: 40.9gFat: 10.98gSodium: 1529.23mgFiber: 13.6g Read our full nutrition disclaimer here. Have you tried this recipe?Mention @budgetbytes or tag #budgetbytes on Instagram!

Scroll down for the step by step photos!

How to Make Southwest Chicken Skillet – Step by Step Photos

First step – so easy. In a large skillet combine 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice, 1 cup salsa, 1.5-2 cups of shredded chicken, 15oz. can black beans (drained), and 1 Tbsp chili powder. Try to use a heavy skillet with a thick bottom because that will help the rice cook evenly and help prevent it from scorching on the bottom.

Add 1.75 cups of chicken broth.

Stir everything together well. You really want to make sure the rice is evenly distributed throughout the skillet. Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to high, and let it come to a full boil. As soon as it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer undisturbed for 15 minutes. Make sure it’s simmering the whole time. Turn the heat up just slightly if it stops simmering, but keep it as low as possible to prevent the rice from scorching or sticking to the bottom.

After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let it sit for 5 minutes without removing the lid. Finally remove the lid and it should look like this – all of the liquid is absorbed and if you dig down with a fork to where the rice is, it should be tender. Most of the meat and beans will be on top and the rice will be underneath.

Fluff it up with a fork to mix everything back together. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over top, then place the lid back on top and allow the steam to melt the cheese. Once melted, sprinkle the green onions over top.

And that’s it! you’re ready to dig in.

Now that I have some pre-cooked shredded chicken in my freezer, I can have this Southwest Chicken Skillet ANYTIME I WANT! Woot!

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