In 30 minutes you can have a deliciously wonderful dinner on the table! Take your go to easy dinner components–rice, chicken, and veggies–then toss them in a [slightly spicy] ranch sauce… and sit back and enjoy!
If healthier skillet meals and casseroles are my favorite things ever now [minimal dishes, no real need for a side dish cause you have the protein + veggies + starch all in one happy mix], I can only imagine how valuable they’ll be once Baby Volde arrives in May! 🙂 I’m planning on doing some freezer cooking before his arrival, but those meals will eventually be depleted and when I go back to work having these sort of tasty yet healthy meals on hand will be key to my happiness. I’m sure of it! So I’m making certain I find some good recipes now so I’m ready then. If this Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet doesn’t fit the bill for easy, yummy, and delicious while still being healthy, then I don’t know what would!
This meal is SO good, you guys. If you’ve ever looked around my blog or know me in real life, you know that I’m a Mexican/Southwestern/Tex Mex food addict. I could go for tacos, black bean and rice bowls, carnitas, enchiladas, or quesadillas just about any day. It’s not any one thing about that kind of cuisine–the spices, or the cheese, or the toppings, but all of that at once. And this dish, though it’s not “Mexican” at all, it reminds me of a Mexican/Southwestern/Tex Mex-influenced meal thanks to the combo of chicken, black beans, rice, and tomatoes, plus all the yummy toppings! Cheese! Sour cream! Cilantro! Scallions! Yum!
Seriously, this stuff is ahhhmazingly good! Plus it has veggies, so that makes it good for you! Ha. 🙂 But it does, right?!? Don’t be put off by the “spicy” label on this recipe. It’s really only lightly spicy… the cheese and ranch combo cools things down, and if your family doesn’t do spice, then omit the crushed red pepper and cayenne and use regular diced tomatoes instead of fire-roasted. No matter how you make it, everyone will certainly love it! Though I’m a fan of making this dish with leftover roasted chicken, you can certainly make it with other proteins like ground turkey, chorizo, or even leftover shredded pulled pork for a new flavor profile. Now I have a new dinner idea for later this week because I just so happen to have a bunch of leftover pulled pork in the freezer! Score! 🙂 Enjoy!
Spicy Ranch Chicken Rice Skillet
adapted from Well Plated
- 1 1/2 cups white rice
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
- 2 cups bell pepper, chopped [I used a mix of red, yellow, and orange]
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 – 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can no-salt fire-roasted tomatoes or petite diced tomatoes [depending on your preferred level of spice]
- 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
- 2-3 tablespoons homemade ranch seasoning [or one small package from the grocery store]
- crushed red pepper, to taste
- cayenne pepper, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup water or additional chicken broth, if necessary
- shredded cheddar cheese, for serving
- cilantro, for serving
- chopped scallions, for serving
- sour cream, for serving
In a saucepan, combine rice and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cook until rice is tender.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add onion and bell pepper and cook for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds until fragarent. Reduce heat to low and stir in black beans, tomatoes, and chicken. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of ranch seasoning. Stir to combine, then add red pepper, cayenne, and black pepper to taste. Add additional ranch seasoning to taste. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes or until hot.
When rice is cooked, stir into veggie and chicken mixture. Add up to 1/2 cup additional chicken broth/water if it is too thick to stir. Serve with cheddar cheese, cilantro, and scallions. For a creamy treat, stir in a bit of sour cream. Enjoy!