Red Chile Chicken with Rice and Black Beans

Sometimes life (and dinner!) requires simplicity. Hence the invention of the one-pot meal. Whoever came up with this idea is brilliant and I shalt love them forever. One-pot (or one skillet, for that matter) meals are my saving grace on busy nights when I still want to feed my family a healthful, decent meal but don’t want the hassle of 183 pots and pans to clean up.

This simple red chile chicken with rice and beans is the answer to my every weeknight dinner woe (except for the fact that one or two of my charges still like to gag at the thought of beans…the nerve). This entire dinner cooks up in one pot and transforms ordinary ingredients into a meal filled with tender, fluffy rice, delicious chicken and hearty black beans. Of course, we de-healthified the entire meal by smothering it in sour cream and shredded cheese (hey! I’ve gotta disguise those little black beans somehow!), but either way, it is tasty and satisfying. If the chili powder scares you, please don’t worry – the dish is definitely not spicy – just perfectly warm and filling.

P.S. Since, I adore these one-pot meals and have posted in the past about a few others that I love, I finally hunkered down, went through every recipe on this here site and labeled a new category: One-Pot/One-Skillet Meals. Enjoy!

P.P.S. I’ve also added another category: Quick Meals. Both of these new categories are accessible through the drop down Recipe Category list in the far right sidebar.

P.P.S.S. I just wanted to type P.P.S.S. It reminds me of when I was in the 8th grade.

What To ServeMexican Tomato and Corn Salad or steamed vegetable like broccoli or peas
Shrapnel Dip with Baked Tortilla Chips
Fresh, seasonal fruit

One Year Ago: My Favorite Cookie
Two Years Ago: Red Velvet Cake Balls and Oreo Truffles

Red Chile Chicken with Rice and Black Beans

Yield: Serves 4-5

Red Chile Chicken with Rice and Black Beans


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1.5 pounds), cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 ½ tablespoons chili powder, divided
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 ½ cups rice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 3-4 green onions), roots and wilted outer leaves removed before chopping OR 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salsa and sour cream for serving


  1. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a medium-large heavy pot over medium heat. Sprinkle the diced chicken breast with salt and ½ tablespoon of the chili powder. Place the chicken in the hot oil and brown , stirring and flipping occasionally, until browned, 2-3 minutes (the chicken doesn’t need to be cooked all the way through because it will finish cooking later). Remove the chicken to a plate.
  2. Add the second tablespoon of oil to the pot and add the onion and rice. Cook on medium-low, stirring for several minutes, until the rice turns from translucent to opaque. Add the garlic and the remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder. Cook one minute, and then add the broth and salt (between 1/2 to 1 teaspoon) to taste. Stir well. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken to the pot along with the beans, give it all a good stir. Recover the pot and cook on low for 10-12 minutes longer, taking care that the mixture isn’t cooking to hot or else it will burn on the bottom.
  4. Sprinkle the green onions and test a kernel of rice. It should be tender, in which case you place the cover back on, remove it from the heat and let it stand 5-10 minutes. If it’s not cooked, cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring and checking often to make sure the mixture doesn’t burn.
  5. Fluff the mixture with a fork and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Recipe Source: adapted from Elly Says Opa

55 Responses to Red Chile Chicken with Rice and Black Beans

  1. Kim in MD says:

    This looks so good, Mel! I love one skillet meals, and I get my inspiration from the cookbook-The Best Skillet Recipes by Cook’s Illustrated. You can use their methods and totally switch up the ingredients! It is great to cook the pasta or rice in the flavorful liquid with everything else. The flavor is incredible, and only one pot to clean! 🙂

    P.S. Thanks for adding the new One Pot/Skillet Meal and Quick Meal catagories!

    P.P.S.S. I just wanted to do this, too! LOL…you are too funny! 🙂

  2. Sarah says:

    Awesome meal! I adore black beans, especially when served with rice…

  3. mia says:

    P.P.S.S. ilu 🙂

    thanks for the recipe, i shall give it a go for sure, totally looks like ‘my kinda thing.’ i will be back with my review! 🙂


  4. Kim in MD says:

    I came back to print this out for dinner tonight, and realized how many things you could add to this…corn, cheese, jalapenos, etc. This is going to be amazing! Thanks again for sharing, Melanie! 🙂

  5. Hollie says:

    Just wondering what kind of rice you used in your recipe… white, brown, minute???? Thanks for a great looking recipe!

  6. grace says:

    one-pot meals (when delicious) are a life-saver. i’ve tried recipes that aren’t so grand, but this would definitely not be one of those. i’m a bean-LOVER and i just feel sorry for folks who don’t share my intense feelings. 🙂

  7. I made something similar not too long ago with turkey and it was great! Yours looks so delicious.

  8. Melissa G says:

    Oh my – thank you for many things – first, the recipe. Then also for the new categories in your Recipe Index. I’m all about quick and the fewer dishes, the better off we all are in our house!

  9. juli says:

    This looks yummy! I will be making it soon. Thanks for all the great recipes.
    P.S. You’re so great!

  10. Veronica M. says:

    Writing PPSS reminds me of being in eighth grade as well. 🙂 I’d like to see your sink on the nights you use 183 dishes–LOL! You are so cute!

  11. Amy says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and we all loved it! I added cumin to the rice when I added the chile powder, it was yummy. Everyone cleaned up their plates tonight. Thanks for a wonderful site!

    • Mel says:

      Amy – oh man – the whole cumin thing is one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments! Great idea! I bet it added a great smokiness. Thanks for your comment!

  12. Nancy says:

    DELICIOUS! We had this for dinner tonight and it will now be a staple. So easy and delicious. We too added cheese — it was a nice addition. Thanks for the awesome site — you’ve brought cooking back into our home. I never knew what to cook… now I have so many ideas!!! (haha. They’re yours.)

    • Mel says:

      Nancy – I’m happy you liked this meal! And thanks for your comment – I’m really glad that this site has been helpful for recipe ideas for you. Thanks for letting me know!

  13. Missy says:

    Mel, I’m definitely going to be trying this soon! It’s right up my alley. Thanks for the new links. I’m always looking for quick meals! I’m waiting for Aaron to get home from a trip so I can make the Lemon Cream Pasta. I’ve been craving it!

  14. Kensi says:

    this looks fabulous!! I will be trying it this week! Thanks for ALL of the great recipes!

  15. amy says:

    What side dishes did you serve with this?

    • Mel says:

      amy – I served this with a big green salad and some fresh vegetables (carrots/peppers). I think a big slab of cornbread would also be delicious.

  16. mia says:

    omg……heaven in a pot!!!!!!!!! okay so i halved the recipe (i know right, what the h was i thinking?????????? since it was just my son and i……….yeah okay okay, big mistake!!!) we literally just raced upstairs for seconds…..and then we pretty much measured down the centre and counted out the rice kernels. okay not quite, but totally close.

    um, so yes….we absolutely love it, totally another keeper!! mmm, thanks for another awesome recipe mel!!!!!!!!

  17. Rebecca B says:

    Loved it. I made this for dinner tonight and my husband kept “mmm-ing ” through his meal. I had my kids help me prepare it and they kept saying how delicious it smelled. Thanks for another great meal! Bonus is the one pot clean-up!

  18. mia says:

    soooooooooooo, um i just got my little man off to school and he requested this for supper again tonight except ‘this time can you make the full batch mom??’ so looks like supper is planned….again!!!! {{hehe}} thanks for another slam dunk girl 🙂

  19. Heide M says:

    What a great recipe. I bet it tastes great.

  20. Kensi says:

    Easy and quick; my family gobbled this up! Thanks!!!

  21. Julianne says:

    We made this for the first time when having company over last week (how’s that for total trust in this wonderful bloggie!), and it was EXCELLENT. Thanks so very much, this one is such a keeper. I think cumin, like someone suggested, would be terrific.

  22. Nancy says:

    Hey Mel: thanks for replying to my comment! I love that you are a real person. Haha! I was reading on another post and someone requested your menu and shopping list template? Do you share that? If so (I would love it!), my email is nancy dot randle @ gmail dot com — THANKS!

  23. […] time within the last month I made this recipe from Mel’s Kitchen.  I don’t think I changed it too much except I added a little less chili powder (I […]

  24. Vicky says:

    I made this tonight using already-cooked-and-shredded chicken. I just added a little oil, 1/2 T. chili powder, and some salt to the bag it was in and shook it up, letting it sort of “marinate” while I got the rest of it ready. I also added a minced jalapeno and a bit of leftover chopped green pepper to the rice and onion at the beginning. It was just a bit spicy, but not so much my 2-year-old wouldn’t eat it. I think it would be great with some tomatoes and/or corn thrown in there. My husband is taking the leftovers to work tomorrow wrapped up in a burrito. It was a great, quick-fixing meal.

  25. Erin says:

    This is fabulous! We had it tonight, the only change I made was making it in the rice cooker so I didn’t have to think about it while it was cooking.

    • Mel says:

      Erin – brilliant idea to use your rice cooker! If I had one, I’d definitely do that…thanks for commenting and letting all of us know.

  26. Sarah says:

    This has quickly become one of our favorite dinners. We’ve tried it several different ways . The most recent was wrapped up in a tortilla (we like the cook at home ones from Costco). We also added cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce and avocado slices. The best part about this was that the beans were hidden inside the burrito and my boys didn’t have to stare at them. Their dislike of beans is a total mental thing. I didn’t get one complaint about the black beans this time around. Thanks again for another great recipe!

    • Mel says:

      Sarah – thanks for including your variations! That’s wonderful that your kids can ignore the bean factor in the tortillas…love that!

  27. Kensi says:

    I know I’ve commented on this before, but we are seriously in LOVE with this recipe! I crave it. We eat it once a week, served with that yummy The BEST cornbread! Thank you soooo much!

  28. cate says:

    LOVE THIS!!!!!

  29. […] Red Chile Rice and black beans, homemade tortillas, […]

  30. Danielle says:

    Yesterday was completely crazy. I had no idea what to make for dinner. I really thought we might end up with cold cereal. Then I found this. It was super fast! As we were eating, it got really quiet. I looked around and EVERYONE was eating, and asking for more. Definitely a keeper. Thanks!

  31. Amy says:

    Easy weeknight, one-pot, pantry-friendly dish FOR THE WIN! It was awesome, Melanie–thanks!

  32. Sharlene says:

    This recipe was wonderful! It took a basic meal to a whiter new level of taste and it was so quick and easy to prepare! My kind of dish on a church night! I did add the cumin and it was a must! Served with homemade salsa, sour cream and cheese. Homemade salsa: 1 can of diced tomatoes (chilled) 1/2 can of water, 1 green onion chopped
    , 1/2 fresh jalapeno (seeded), 1 garlic clove, 2 T fresh cilantro, salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Pulse all in blender until desired consistency. It’s so good I could drink it. Not even lying!… Not that I have…. Anyways, if you decide to try it let me know what you think!

  33. Heidi says:

    Mel, I’m trying to learn more about rice, since I don’t know anything outside the white rice that is on sale vs. anything else. So I have brown rice now! Will that taste/cook ok with this recipe? Thanks!

  34. Mel says:

    Hi Heidi – brown rice usually requires longer cooking time and more liquid so if you look at the package directions and adjust the liquid in the recipe and the cooking time, it should work out. Good luck!

  35. Meredith says:

    I threw caution to the wind and made this tonight with quinoa instead of rice. It turned out great! I wasn’t sure how much to do, so I just did 1 cup of quinoa and 1 can of chicken broth plus an extra little slosh of water (maybe 1 or 2 Tbsp?). I was fully prepared for a culinary disaster and subsequent dinner of Honey Nut Cheerios. It did take an extra 5 mins or so to finish cooking, but overall it was a success. Next time I’ll do a cup and a half of quinoa. 🙂 You have no idea how rare it is for my husband AND my kids to all eat something I made for dinner without complaining. Thanks for a great recipe!

  36. […] 11.  Red Chile Chicken with Rice and Black Beans from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  37. sl says:

    Do you think you could make this with brown rice the same way? Thanks. Love your recipes!!

    • Mel says:

      sl – You’d probably need to increase both liquid and time to use brown rice but with a little tweaking it should work. Good luck!

  38. Anne Patrick says:

    subscribe please

  39. Briana says:

    Hi Mel! I love all the recipes from you that I have tried, just I have one question. If I’m not a big ‘chili powder’ fan–it just reminds me too much of a big bowl of chili for some reason–is there anything I can sub in instead or do you have a recommendation for how I could reduct the chili powder and sub in another spice or something?

    I made your taco dippers and it was sooooo good, but a little too ‘chili powder’-tasting for me, but I love the recipe besides that—i’m a total rice and beans fan.

    Anyways! Just hoping that you might have any ideas for me! Just because I love your site and don’t want to look anywhere else! 🙂 <3 Thanks in advance!

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