One-Pan Tex Mex Salsa Chicken and Rice brings all of that saucy cheesy tomato goodness to one glorious skillet meal! 

Skillet full of cooked rice and cheesy chicken, with a spatula digging in.

Made for your weeknight Tex Mex cravings.

Cheesy chicken and loaded rice—smothered in salsa! You’ll start this quick dinner on the stovetop and finish things off in the oven, but you’ll never have to dirty more than one pan. Whether you’re a busy parent or just like to get a good dinner on the table without hassle, one-pan recipes are LIFE. And this One-Pan Tex Mex Salsa Chicken and Rice delivers.

What is Tex Mex, exactly? 

Tex Mex is a fusion of American and Mexican cuisine developed by Tejano culture. (Texans of Mexican heritage; there you have it: Tex Mex!) You’ll see both Tex Mex and Mexican options on menus throughout the US, and though the flavor profiles can be similar, the main difference is in the actual ingredients. The biggest giveaways are yellow cheese—like cheddar—and cumin. Tex Mex dishes lean on both of these ingredients to make it what it is. Mexican cuisine, however, makes use of white cheese. And when it comes to flavor, it relies on chile, oregano, cacao, epazote, and cilantro. So the next time you bite into a taco filled with cumin-flavored meat and cheddar, know that it’s a Tex Mex creation.

Close up of skillet brimming with rice and cheesy chicken.

Bowls of vegetables, spices, and seasoned chicken spread out on counter.

The ingredients list:

  •  
  • Taco seasoning
  • Jarred salsa
  • Chicken broth
  • Garlic
  • Red bell pepper
  • Cooked black beans
  • Corn
  • Onion (red, yellow, or white will work)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro

Here’s the gist on how to make this One-Pan Tex Mex Salsa Chicken and Rice.

Searing the chicken breasts.

First, preheat your oven to 425º F. Then, heat a drizzle of olive oil in the skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. While the pan heats up, pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub them well with the taco seasoning. Place the chicken breasts onto the hot oiled pan and cook for about 3-5 minutes per side—cook time depends on their size. (Do note: you don’t want to cook the chicken through, you just want to develop some flavor on the outside of the meat and in the pan!) Once you’ve seared the chicken breasts, carefully transfer the chicken breasts to a paper towel-lined plate. 

Bringing it all together.

Transfer the onions and bell peppers to the pan. Simmer until the vegetables have softened, then add the rice and toast it. Then, add the black beans, corn, chicken stock, and salsa to the pan. Here, you’ll stir everything together, then add the chicken breasts back into the pan, nestling it into the rice. Spoon some of the salsa over the chicken, then top the chicken with shredded cheese. (See recipe tips.)

Baking it.

Put the skillet into the oven, uncovered, and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender. When done, remove the pan from the oven and serve. You can add a sprinkle of fresh chopped parsley or cilantro on top for freshness and a beautiful pop of green!

Process steps being shown for searing chicken and simmering vegetables.

Recipe notes + tips.

  1. When searing the chicken, make sure you don’t cook the chicken through. All you want is a sear on the outside to lock in flavor. The chicken will cook through in the oven.
  2. Adding cheese before putting the dish in the oven will create a nice cheese crust on top of the chicken, which we love! But if you prefer your cheese to be melt-y and gooey, add the cheese about five minutes before the dish is done baking instead. (Just pop the oven door open, sprinkle some cheese on, and pop the pan back into the oven to finish.)
  3. You can control the overall spiciness in this dish by choosing a salsa of your heat preference, from mild to hot.
  4. Sliced fresh jalapeño, avocado or guacamole, and sour cream or plain Greek yogurt make great add-ons to this dish for serving.

Plate of salsa chicken and rice.

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Hope you enjoy!

If you plan on making this recipe, be sure to snap a pic and tag us on Insta! @killing__thyme.

 

Skillet full of cooked rice and cheesy chicken, with a spatula digging in.

Get the Recipe:

One-Pan Tex Mex Salsa Chicken and Rice

One-Pan Tex Mex Salsa Chicken and Rice brings all of that saucy cheesy tomato goodness to one glorious skillet meal! 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 TBSP taco seasoning
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 16 oz jar of your favorite salsa, your heat preference
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn, You can use frozen or fresh; no need to thaw if frozen.
  • 1 cup diced onion, Red, yellow, or white onion will work
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, You could also use a pre-shredded nacho or Mexican blend
  • Chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

Instructions 

  • Preheat your oven to 425º F.
  • Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and rub them well with the taco seasoning on both sides, then add them to the pan. Sear the chicken on both sides. The chicken breasts will only need about 3-5 minutes per side, depending on how thick they are. You don't want to cook them through. You just want to get some flavor going on the exterior of the chicken and in the pan.
  • When the chicken is seared, remove it from the pan and transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
  • Add the chopped onions and bell peppers to the hot skillet. Simmer them until they've softened. Then, stir in the rice and let it toast for about a minute. Finally, add the black beans, corn, chicken stock, and salsa to the pan. Stir everything together.
  • Nestle the chicken breasts into the rice mixture. Spoon some of the salsa over top of the chicken breasts to lightly coat, and then top them with the shredded cheese. (See recipe notes.)
  • Transfer the pan to the oven, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes or until the rice is tender and the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165º F. Once the chicken and rice are done, remove the pan from the oven and top with some freshly chopped parsley or cilantro. You can also serve with jalapeños, avocado or guacamole, sour cream, or plain Greek yogurt.

Notes

  1. Though this recipe shows two chicken breasts indicating two servings, you could easily nestle an extra chicken breast or two into the skillet and have enough to serve 3-4 people, same amount of rice, with an additional side. When serving for two, you'll likely have some rice leftover. It's great reheated the next day!
  2. Pans and oven temperatures vary, so this can affect cook time. Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure your chicken is cooked through.
  3. Adding cheese before putting the dish in the oven will create a nice cheese crust on top of the chicken. If you prefer your cheese to be melt-y and stretchy, add the cheese about five minutes before the dish is done baking instead. (Just pop the oven door open, sprinkle some cheese on, and pop the pan back into the oven to finish.)
Calories: 807kcal