Southwest Chicken Rice Bowls
Main Dishes | Published Apr 27, 2023 | Updated Apr 26, 2023 | By Tawnie
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.
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.
Table of contents
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Saute the veggies.
- Add the U.S.-grown rice and stir to coat the grains.
- Add in the salsa, beans, seasonings and broth.
- Bring to a boil, cover and cook 25 minutes.
- Add the chicken, corn, cilantro and lime juice, stir.
- Top with cheese and cover again until the cheese melts.
- Serve in bowls with your favorite toppings.
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.
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.
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.
I would add in fresh jalapenos as a garnish, and add in red pepper flakes to the seasoning mix.
I recommend jasmine or basmati, this recipe hasn’t been tested with brown rice or any other variety.
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Southwest Chicken Rice Bowls
- 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
- 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.
Hi, I’m Tawnie!
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.More about Tawnie
I made it exactly as posted and it was wonderful and so flavorful! I will definitely be adding this to our dinner rotations.
yay! Thank you sooo so much!!