Fiesta chicken is one of my all-time favorite chicken recipes because it’s vibrant and wholesome and it comes together fast! It almost reminds me of chicken chili but it’s not soupy. This one-skillet wonder is ideal for busy weeknights and crazy midweek schedules.
This fiesta chicken recipe perks up the taste buds and it’s a great alternative to chili recipes when the cold winter weather is nippin’ at your heels! It’s got about as much heat as a green chile recipe, but the recipe is flexible, and the kiddos love it too!
Apron up and check this out!
I love that this fiesta chicken recipe means I can feed the fam after a long hard day without making a big mess in the kitchen. No take-out and no crazy gadgets. All I need are a few trusty kitchen staples and my job is done. Here are some other solid qualities!
- One bowl wonder makes a delicious nutritious meal
- Plenty of wholesome good-for-you veggies
- Flexible recipe appeals to multi-generational palates
- Comes together fast with super easy prep
- Ideal for meal prep and pop up get-togethers
How To Make Fiesta Chicken Recipe
Following this zesty fiesta chicken recipe is just a matter of browning your chicken, sautéing your veggies and adding your other ingredients. You can toss some bread in the oven while it’s simmering and dinner is ready before the kiddos are finished with homework. There’s your big red easy button!
Serving up chicken and rice recipes is always more satisfying when you can sneak those veggies in too! Since multiple food groups are represented, here are a couple of quick tips that’ll help ensure fiesta chicken success.
First, cut your chicken before you brown it and don’t overcrowd your pan. It’ll stay juicier and cook more evenly (plus, it’s quicker). Overcrowding prevents proper air circulation which can trap steam and cause burning.
You’ll also want to take the time to sauté your veggies. I know it’s all going into the same skillet but sautéing veggies coaxes out their milder sweeter flavors. It’s best to do this first because it’ll help build your fond for all those yummy layers of flavor. Trust me on this one.
As I said, all you need is a few trusty kitchen staples and you’re off to the races! You’ve probably got everything you need to make this zesty recipe. Here’s what you’re looking for.
Chicken – You’ll start with 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes. Season them generously with your trusty salt and pepper.
Veggies – A beautiful blend of onions and red bell pepper gives this dish some fresh veggies with slightly sweet undertones.
Convenience Foods – Using a generous combination of diced tomatoes, green chilies, corn, and black beans helps make this recipe wholesome and delicious.
Seasonings – Grab your taco seasoning packet and ground cumin. That’s all you need besides salt and pepper, but I do like to garnish with cilantro. It adds that extra burst of fresh flavor.
Rice – Plain ‘ole long-grain white rice does the trick here. It does help if you use quality rice that cooks up nice and fluffy.
Storing your fiesta chicken is simple. Toss it in an airtight container in the fridge. You can always divvy it up into single-serve portions to prep for weekday lunches or toss it all in a gallon-sized Ziploc to save space.
Can You Freeze This?
That’s affirmative! This fiesta chicken recipe is fantastic for meal prep. Sometimes I’ll make a double batch just so I can toss some in the freezer for a ready-made meal.
The thing is that rice can get a little dry in the freezer so you may need to add some liquid during the reheat. Add 1-2 tablespoons of chicken broth per cup of rice and it’ll be like you just made it.
Make Ahead Tips
Since this fiesta chicken recipe incorporates plenty of convenience foods, there’s not a ton of prep involved. You can always chop the onions and peppers and store them together so they’re ready to go. You shouldn’t pre-cook the chicken because it’s the base of the fond, so it needs to be cooked when you make the dish.
How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?
When stored properly, your fiesta chicken will stay vibrant and wholesome in the fridge for up to 4 days. Be prepared though, its one of those dishes that gets better as all the flavors mingle and intensify. It tends to get gobbled up quickly. If you’re working on meal prep, you can keep this dish in the freezer for 2-3 months.
One of the beautiful things about this recipe is its versatility. If it’s too spicy use mild green chilies or if you prefer more color substitute red or green onions. Here are a few other simple suggestions you may want to try.
Can I Make This With An Asian Twist?
I just love Asian food but I’m a spicy kinda’ chick! I’ve been known to use sriracha chicken in this fiesta chicken recipe. It’s such an addicting flavor you may even end up making honey sriracha chicken instead. Who could blame you? If you’re a curry lover, you can go in a completely different direction and make slow cooker Chicken Tikka Masala.
Can I Make This In A Crockpot Instead?
Oh yeah, baby! Crockpot chicken and rice always cook up nice and fluffy. Making this fiesta chicken in a slow cooker does take a little different technique but its still outa’ this world! For me though, this dish is so simple to make the crockpot just isn’t necessary.
I save dishes like crockpot white chicken chili and slow cooker turkey chili for a long simmer in the slow cooker.
Can I Bake This Instead?
Making a good chicken and rice bake is always an option but it doesn’t compare to the robust flavor of this fiesta chicken dish. Save the chicken and rice casserole and chicken broccoli rice casserole for those slow Sunday afternoons when you just want to throw something in the oven.
What Other Chicken Chilis Can I Cook?
This fiesta chicken is an extraordinary dish that will get some attention. It’ll be requested over and over again but it isn’t chili. If chili is more your style, you can always go with chicken taco chili. Its simple, robust and a little spicier than white turkey chili. You can also try making creamy white chicken chili with a taste that’ll put you in a flavor stupor.
What Other Chicken And Rice Recipes Can I Make?
Once you get a load of this fiesta chicken, it’s gonna’ be your new family FAV. If you’re feeling inspired and ready to throw down with some new dishes, make some chicken fried rice. Wanna’ meat-heavier dish with a little heat? Go for the chicken paella! A few simple substitutions will also give you southern chicken and rice for that hearty satisfied kinda’ feeling.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
- black pepper
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed and diced
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 envelope taco seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried ground cumin
- 1 (15-ounce) cans petite diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chilies
- 1 (15-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup long grain white rice
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- Season chicken with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoons pepper. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add chicken in batches, in a single layer, and saute until brown about 7 minutes. Remove to a plate, cover loosely with foil and set aside.
- Saute onion and red bell pepper on medium heat until soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth and stir, scraping up all brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add taco seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, cumin, tomatoes, diced chilies, corn, black beans, and rice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
- Remove lid and quickly add chicken to rice. Cover and cook 8 minutes or until rice is tender and chicken is heated through. Adjust seasoning, ladle into individual bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Chicken and rice dishes have long been a popular favorite but that doesn’t mean they have to be bland and boring. If spicy chicken recipes are more your speed, the world is your oyster because I’ve got a few of them. Here are some of my best chicken recipes with a little heat. Try these on for size and kick your chicken up a notch!
- Chili Lime Chicken – A refreshing burst of flavor with a zesty kick!
- Turkey Mole Chili – Turkey chili with lots of fragrant spices and a deep rich flavor.
- Turkey Chili – Excellent chili with the other, other white meat.
- White Chicken Chili – Heated, hearty and satisfying beyond belief.
- White Bean Chicken Chili – A full-flavored twist on an old classic.
Fiesta chicken epitomizes the modern family dinner. It’s wholesome, easy to make and insanely delicious. It’s one of those recipes that just knocks you back a few steps as it grabs hold of your senses. This stuff is so good it practically does the happy dance in your mouth.
You’re gonna’ love how easy it is to craft these amazing flavors into a single cohesive dish that just begs to be gobbled up.