This one-pot southwest chicken and rice is a cinch to put together and the smoky flavors pair so well with the tender chicken and creamy rice.

Even though this meal won’t win any awards for gourmet or fancy, it will win the following (guaranteed):

-The award for one-pot and one-pot only (oh, yeah, baby).

-The award for no weird ingredients which translates into family-friendly and tummy pleasing.

-The award for simple, yet hearty and extremely tasty.

White plate with a large serving of rice with black beans and corn and topped with salsa, next to a chicken breast and green peas.

A variation on chicken and rice, this meal was a cinch to throw together and I loved the smoky flavors of the chili powder and cumin (not spicy, just flavorful). They paired perfectly with the tender chicken and creamy, cheesy rice.

So what if my kids looked at me a little strangely when I started giving my acceptance speech for Yummy Dinner Award. The fact that they inhaled dinner with nary a complaint is enough reason for me to let my delusions run wild.

What To Serve With This:

Mexican Tomato and Corn Salad
Shrapnel Dip with Baked Tortilla Chips
Fresh, seasonal fruit

One Year Ago: Red Berry Risotto Oatmeal
Two Years Ago: Soft Wrap Bread
Three Years Ago: Chicken with Mushrooms and Zucchini

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One-Pot Southwest Chicken and Rice

4.77 stars (17 ratings)


  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ½ cups long-grain white rice
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn
  • 4 ounces cheese, used a combination of Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
  • Salsa and sour cream for serving


  • Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pot, heat the canola oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the chicken and cook until golden, about 3 minutes on each side. The chicken will cook more in a subsequent step. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • To the pot, add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Add the rice and cook until the edges are just slightly translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the broth and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  • Return the chicken to the pot. Cover, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender, about 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter or plate. Stir the black beans and corn into the pot. Add the cheese and cilantro. Season the rice mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the rice with the chicken, adding salsa and sour cream, if desired.
Serving: 1 Serving, Calories: 544kcal, Carbohydrates: 70g, Protein: 35g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 65mg, Sodium: 248mg, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 1g

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Recipe Source: adapted from America’s Test Kitchen 2007