4.50 from 10 reviews

Southwest Chicken Rice Bowls

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My Southwest Chicken Rice Bowl recipe is the perfect meal to make when you want plenty to have leftovers for lunch or to revisit this flavorful rice-based meal for another dinner. I love adding in a recipe to my weekly plans that I call my big batch meal and this recipe is exactly that!

This post has been sponsored by USA Rice. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep Kroll’s Korner running!

The foundation of my Southwest Chicken Rice bowl is U.S.-grown basmati rice. It is comforting, affordable, nutritious and known as the world’s favorite grain.

chicken, rice, beans and bell peppers in a skillet with cheese and cilantro on top.

It’s my favorite grain too! I love adding it to these Chicken and Rice Quesadillas, my Teriyaki Chicken and Rice Skillet, and this Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

For this slightly spicy, cheesy, veggie packed meal I chose the aromatic long grain Basmati white rice variety for a chewy texture and a nutty and savory flavor. The rice compliments the southwestern flavors of chili, cumin, coriander and cayenne. Each of these warm spices mingle with fresh onions, bell peppers, poblano peppers (which are slightly sweet), black beans, corn, and fresh salsa. 

This meal is loaded and in all of the best ways!

This easy-to-make meal comes together when you toss in the chunks of chicken, and the lively flavors of fresh lime juice, cilantro, and cheese. Top off this nutritionally packed meal with your favorite zesty and spicy garnishes and get ready to serve up a delicious one-pan meal. 

Why You Will Love My Southwest Chicken Rice Bowls

  • Who doesn’t love a one pan meal? Simple to prep and super fast and easy clean-up.
  • It makes a big batch so you will have plenty of leftovers for lunch or dinner again!
  • This is a quick weeknight meal.  Prep, cook and serve in under 45 minutes!
  • My Southwest Chicken Rice Bowl is loaded with southwestern flavor and brilliant colors.
  • A great pantry staple recipe.
bell peppers and onions in a skillet.

Rice nutrition:

  • Rice has approximately 100 calories per half-cup cooked serving
  • U.S.-grown rice is sodium-, cholesterol-, trans fat, and GMO-free and has only a trace of fat and no cholesterol raising trans fats or saturated fat,
  • Rice is gluten-free (yes, even brown rice) and the least allergenic of all grain.
  • U.S.-grown rice is nutrient-rich and contributes more than 15 vitamins and minerals, including folic acid and other B-vitamins, as well as iron and zinc.
  • It is made of complex carbohydrates that are more slowly digested and provides energy that fuels the body’s physical activity.


For the ingredient measurements and entire recipe, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the blog post where the recipe card is located.

ingredients in white glass bowls needed to make chicken rice bowls.
  • U.S.-grown rice: I love this recipe with either Basmati or Jasmine rice. U.S.-grown rice is nutrient-rich and contributes more than 15 vitamins and minerals, including folic acid and other B-vitamins, as well as iron and zinc. Plus, rice is gluten-free and the least allergenic of all grains! 
  • Rotisserie chicken: I love the moist and tender meat of the rotisserie chicken and its convenience.
  • Seasoning mix: I use a combination of chili powder, cumin, cayenne, oregano and coriander. It creates a medium hot, peppery, earthy mix of southwest flavors.
  • Bell peppers: I like using a combination of red and yellow bell peppers, but feel free to use your favorites. 
  • Poblano pepper: Poblano peppers are mild in flavor, they are similar to a green bell pepper but with a little more kick!
  • Salsa: Use your favorite store-bought or homemade salsa. I usually use Southwest salsa for this meal!
  • Other ingredients needed: corn, black beans, Mexican 3 Cheese Blend, cilantro, lime juice, chicken broth

Step by Step Directions

For the full recipe instructions, scroll down to the bottom of the blog post to the recipe card.

step by step photos making chicken rice bowls.
step by step photos making chicken rice bowls.
  1. Saute the veggies.
  2. Add the U.S.-grown rice and stir to coat the grains.
  3. Add in the salsa, beans, seasonings and broth.
  4. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 25 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken, corn, cilantro and lime juice, stir.
  6. Top with cheese and cover again until the cheese melts.
  7. Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings. 
chicken, rice and cheese in a skillet.

Tips and Variations

  • Put any leftover chicken breast to use in this recipe. I usually pick up a rotisserie chicken but any chicken works well!
  • Substitute the rotisserie chicken for ground chicken, turkey, or ground beef.
  • Leave out the chicken if you want a meatless meal.
  • If you’re in a pinch, you can use a store bought taco seasoning or fajita seasoning packet. 
  • Aromatic white rice varieties work best with this recipe.  If you do not have Basmati you can also use Jasmine white rice.
  • Add all the toppings! Avocado, sour cream/Greek yogurt, tortilla strips, fresh cilantro, and hot sauce are some of my favorites. 
a wooden spoon scooping rice and beans out of a skillet with a cheesy pull.


How long can I store the Chicken Rice Bowls in the refrigerator?

You will probably have left overs with this recipe, so just store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3 -4 days.  

Can I use chicken thighs or chicken breasts instead of rotisserie chicken?

Yes, any pre-cooked chicken will work. For this recipe, I am all about saving time, so I like using the store-bought rotisserie chicken. 

What should I add if I want a spicier flavor? 

I would add in fresh jalapenos as a garnish, and add in red pepper flakes to the seasoning mix.

Can I use a different type of rice?

I recommend jasmine or basmati, this recipe hasn’t been tested with brown rice or any other variety.

chicken and rice in a white bowl topped with cilantro, avocado and tortilla stips.

Pick a topping:

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

4.50 from 10 reviews

Southwest Chicken Rice Bowls

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
These Southwest Chicken Rice Bowls feature plenty of colorful veggies, diced chicken, perfectly cooked U.S.-grown rice, corn, black beans, salsa and lots of tasty spices! It’s a one pan meal, makes great leftovers and is a delicious, easy dinner!


  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 poblano chili, seeded and diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup U.S.-grown basmati white rice
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1, 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • seasonings: 1 tsp. chili powder, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. kosher salt, 3/4 tsp. coriander, 1/2 tsp. oregano, pinch of cayenne and black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup yellow corn
  • 1 cup Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • garnish ideas: cilantro, lime, tortilla strips, sour cream, avocado

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion, peppers and poblano pepper for ~4-5 minutes or until softened. Add a pinch of salt while cooking. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, ~30 seconds.
  • Add the rice. Stir to coat the grains. Then add broth, salsa, black beans, and seasonings. Stir to combine.
  • Bring to a gentle boil. Then cover and turn down the heat down to low. Let simmer and for ~25 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked. Once done, fluff the rice with a fork.
  • Then stir in the cooked chicken, lime juice, fresh cilantro and corn until combined. Top with cheese. Place the lid on again until the cheese is melted, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve in bowls and garnish with more cilantro, cheese, limes, crushed tortilla chips, sour cream/greek yogurt, avocado, etc. Enjoy!



  • Storage: You will probably have left overs with this recipe, so just store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
  • I love using any leftover chicken for this recipe, or rotisserie chicken works really well.   

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 362kcal (18%), Carbohydrates: 39g (13%), Protein: 24g (48%), Fat: 12g (18%), Saturated Fat: 4g (25%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 71mg (24%), Sodium: 788mg (34%), Potassium: 279mg (8%), Fiber: 3g (13%), Sugar: 3g (3%), Vitamin A: 359IU (7%), Vitamin C: 43mg (52%), Calcium: 120mg (12%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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Great dish–everyone LOVES it! I can’t imagine why someone commented that the Poblanos are too spicy (they’re NOT, as I have a few ppl here who are sensitive)! Make sure you choose a MILD salsa if you don’t like spicy foods. As for my family, I have been able to kick this recipe up a notch by adding a bit more of the spices with no complaints! I really can’t go wrong with this great recipe!! TY!

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C Reopel

So darn hot in flavor. Poblano is as no go for my family. We tossed it.


I made it exactly as posted and it was wonderful and so flavorful! I will definitely be adding this to our dinner rotations.