Mexican Chicken and Rice

4.99 from 257 votes

This one pan Mexican Chicken and Rice recipe is loaded with vibrant flavors. Easy to prepare and make, it's a perfect weeknight meal for the whole family!

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Based on my popular one pot chicken and rice, this Mexican Chicken and Rice recipe uses similar technique and ingredients but with spices commonly used in Mexican recipes.

Bowl of Mexican chicken and rice served with cilantro
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This one pan chicken and rice recipe is loaded with vibrant Mexican flavors. Quick and easy to make, it’s a perfect weeknight meal that the whole family will love. The best part is that it’s all cooked in one pan to make clean up a breeze!

How to make one pan Mexican chicken and rice

  1. Sauté the onions with some olive oil until they soften.
  2. Add the chicken breast, cut into cubes, and seasonings and cook until the chicken juices run clear.
  3. Add the the rinsed and drained long grain rice on top of the cooked chicken.
  4. Stir to combine and toast the rice.
  5. Pour in the liquids including the tomato sauce and broth, along with canned diced green chilies.
  6. Bring to the boil and simmer until the liquid is absorbed.
Process shots to show the pan with the ingredients getting added step-by-step

When it’s done cooking, be sure to remove the rice from the heat and allow it to steam in the pan for 5 minutes. This will continue to cook the rice and make it fluffy. The final result is a beautiful red orange color Mexican chicken and rice dish that’s full of warm and delicious spices.

Final cooked rice in the pan

Tips for making chicken and rice

  1. Use long grain rice. I prefer using long-grain in one-pot/one-pan meals because there are other ingredients getting added. Using short grain rice might result in a more mushy consistency
  2. Rinse the rice with cold water before cooking to remove extra starch. Make sure to rinse it until it runs clear. There’s no need to soak it though. Rinsing it will prevent the rice from sticking together when cooked.
  3. Make sure to use a very deep pan to allow the rice space to grow and steam. If you don’t have a pan, you can use a pot as well.
  4. Use onion powder instead of onions if you have picky eaters. I know some kids hate seeing onions in their food, so you can definitely swap it for the powder if that’s the case. But try first chopping them finely to see if they’ll even notice them in the pot among the chicken and rice.

Frequently asked questions

How do you make the rice taste good?

This one pot Mexican chicken and rice is really full of flavor. The rice absorbs the wonderful Mexican flavors and each bite is so yummy! I also think the mild green chiles give the rice dish some depth and they are usually not too spicy for kids.

Can you make Mexican chicken and rice ahead of time?

This dish will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Leftovers can be reheated on the stovetop. Because it contains chicken, take care to only reheat it once.

Can you make this with brown rice?

I prefer to make this dish with long grain white rice, but you can use brown if you prefer. If you want to make it with brown rice, be sure to add ½ a cup of liquid and cook it for an additional 20-25 minutes, according to package instructions.

What chicken is beast to use in this one pan meal?

I like to use skinless and boneless breast, but you can also make this with chicken thigh. Buy good quality chicken, organic and not raised on antibiotics, if you can. If you use frozen chicken, be sure to defrost it thoroughly before cooking it.

More one-pan/one-pot meals

More recipes with rice

We all loved this Mexican chicken and rice and it’s so easy to prep! It’s such a great flavorful weeknight meal. I had leftovers for lunch the next day and they were so delicious!

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Mexican Chicken and Rice recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

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Mexican Chicken and Rice

This one pan Mexican Chicken and Rice recipe is loaded with vibrant flavors. Easy to prepare and make, it's a perfect weeknight meal for the whole family!
5 from 257 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 335
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
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  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 pound chicken breast cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 teaspoons salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 15 ounces can tomato sauce
  • 4 ounces can green chilies
  • Cilantro for serving


  • Heat olive oil in a large skillet or pan, over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they soften slightly, about 5 minutes.
  • Increase the heat to medium high, add the cubed chicken. Season with 1 teaspoon salt, pepper garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Add the rice, remaining salt, and cook with the chicken to lightly toast the rice. Pour the chicken broth, tomato sauce, and green chilies. Stir to combine.
  • Bring mixture to a boil then lower the heat to a simmer and cover the pan, and cook the rice untouched until the rice is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, about 18 minutes.
  • Top with fresh cilantro, if desired


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last up to 4 days and can be reheated on the stovetop.
Substitutes: You can use vegetable broth in the place of chicken broth. If you’d like to use quinoa, make sure to decrease the amount of liquid you’re using by ½ a cup.


Calories: 335kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 21g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 48mg, Sodium: 1522mg, Potassium: 666mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 428IU, Vitamin C: 14mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine Mexican
Course: Main Course

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  1. Jena says:

    How do I do this in a crockpot? Baseball season is here and managing children and dinner, work school, etc. I find myself wanting to do everything in the crock pot.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      Hi Jena, this recipe should work in a slow cooker! I would add all of the ingredients and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. You’ll know it’s done when most of the liquid is absorbed. Let me know how it turns out!!

  2. Ed says:

    It’s become a favorite dish. This time I added eggplant, summer squash and sno-peas.

    1. Yumna says:

      Sounds great!

  3. Shelley says:

    Rice did not cook and was still crunchy. Also end result was way too salty.

    1. Yumna J. says:

      So sorry to hear that, what type of rice did you use?

  4. Patty says:

    Seasoning is on point, this turned out perfect! The family enjoyed it and made it again today by adding more chicken for my body building sons lunch the rest of the week. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!

    1. Yumna J. says:

      You’re so welcome, Patty!

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