This cheesy chicken burrito skillet takes less than 30 minutes to make! It is a flavorful, one-pan dinner that’s loaded with rice, beans, chicken and cheese!
The day has officially come: I’m going back to work after maternity leave. And I’m dreading leaving my baby. There will be tears, constant phone calls and one sad mama.
Anyways, I'm trying to navigate this new lifestyle: balancing work and spending time with my baby. Obviously quality time with my baby is going to be my number one priority, and I will probably neglect the cooking, cleaning and chores for a while.
With this new busy season coming upon me, I've been on the search for easy dinner meals that require very little clean up.
This chicken burrito skillet is a recipe that I used to make back in college, and recently I started making it again and will plan to continue to make it. Back in college I made it because it was a dirt cheap meal that was healthy, filling and tasted good.
Now, in addition to those reasons, I'm also focused on the quick and easy factor. This is the perfect meals for when you have one of those "I don't know what to cook for dinner" moments. Story of my life!
Reasons I Love This Recipe
- It’s incredibly easy to make! No fancy cooking skills are required to make this recipe.
- This is a 30 minute chicken skillet meal (honestly, it can probably be made in 20 minutes if you really focus)
- This skillet dinner only requires one pan. Less dishes is perfectly fine with me!
- It is a healthy skillet dinner. It's a good balance of fats, carbs and protein.
- This is a very cheap, budget friendly dinner.
- It's gluten free which means my whole family can eat it!
- White Rice: it's very important to use the Instant Rice that takes 5 minutes to cook. Cooking times will be different if the instant rice is not used.
- Chunky Salsa: I prefer to use mild salsa because I don't like a lot of spice. Use medium or hot salsa to add more spice.
- Garlic powder: adds flavor.
- Shredded chicken breast: I make a big batch of chicken breast in the crockpot, freeze it and use it in recipes as needed. This would also work great with a shredded rotisserie chicken or chicken cooked in the instant pot. Cubed chicken will also work.
- Mexican cheese: use a reduced fat cheese if desired. Alternatives are cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese.
Step By Step Instructions
Place a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the water, salsa and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. Stir every 30 seconds until the mixture comes to a boil. This helps it heat more evenly.
Add the rice, cover and turn the heat off. Keep the pan on the burner. Let sit for 5 - 7 minutes. Rice should be tender enough to eat, however there will still be some excess liquid in the pan. This is fine, as it will be absorbed by the chicken breast.
Tip: if you do not have a lid for your skillet, place a pan of equal or bigger size upside down over the top of your skillet. This works just as well!
Once the rice is done, add in the shredded chicken and beans. Mix well. Top with cheese and any desired garnishes. Serve warm.
Here's some of my favorite toppings. I try to keep this healthy and choose toppings that are a little bit better for me.
- Diced tomatoes
- Black Olives
- Plain Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream
- Diced bell peppers
Type of Skillet to Use
As I've made more and more skillet meals over the years, I've found it beneficial to invest in a good quality skillet. For this particular recipe, a large sized skillet is necessary to hold in all of the ingredients. A regular skillet can be used or a cast iron skillet will also work.
This skillet is a great option if you are looking for a cast iron skillet. It is pre-seasoned, which means you can simply open the box and cook with it. The skillet is very versatile, so you can transfer it from the oven to the stove, and not have to switch pans.
Here is another skillet that is non-stick and has a scratch resistant coating on it. The skillet comes in 8 inch, 10 inch and 12 inch sizes.
I consider this a healthy chicken skillet meal for several reasons. First, it is a good balance of carbs, protein and fats.
- The rice provides carbs (use Instant brown rice for some added nutrients).
- The chicken and beans are a great protein source. One serving has 17 grams of protein.
- The cheese and optional avocado topping provide fat. In particular, the avocado will provide a source of healthy fat.
This chicken skillet is also a good fiber source. The beans provide fiber and one serving has 5.6 grams of fiber in it.
When eating this for dinner, I like to pair it with a side of fruit or vegetables. Usually, I will heat up some frozen veggies (I love the cauliflower. broccoli and carrot blend) and serve it on the side. I also serve this with a large side salad and it fills me up!
- Meat: substitute the shredded chicken with chicken breast cubes (1 inch cubes) or shredded chicken thighs. Another alternative is to use ground turkey or ground beef.
- Rice: the white rice can be substituted with brown rice. Use instant brown rice that can be cooked in 5 minutes.
- Salsa: use mild, medium or hot salsa depending on the preferred spice level.
This recipe reheats very well. It tastes just as good the day or two after it is made as it did fresh. To save the leftovers, I recommend transferring it out of the skillet into a glass Tupperware container that has an airtight lid. This can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days.
To reheat the chicken skillet, simply place a portion on a plate and microwave until hot.
More Easy Dinner Recipes
Chicken Burrito Skillet
- 1 cup instant 5 minute white rice (uncooked)
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups chunky salsa
- ¾ tsp garlic powder
- 2 cup shredded chicken breast cooked
- 1 can (15 oz) black beans drained
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
- Combine the water, salsa and garlic powder in a large skillet. Heat over medium high heat, stirring every 30 seconds until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Add the rice, cover and turn the heat off. Keep the skillet on the burner. Cook for 5-7 minutes. (Rice is done when it is soft).
- Add in the shredded chicken and black beans. Mix well.
- Top with cheese and optional garnishes. Serve warm. Enjoy!
- Optional Garnishes: chopped tomato, avocado, sour cream, lettuce, salsa