This one pot Mexican chicken and rice casserole is the best one pot meal I have had in a while! With right amount of protein and carb, it’s a delicious and healthy weeknight meal!
Though there are quite a few one pot recipes here @Flavor Quotient and also many recipes from world cuisine and not just Indian, we realized that we haven’t had a chance to try Mexican recipes yet; so, this one pot Mexican chicken & rice casserole fits the bill perfectly where we have one more one pot recipe in our collection and we also score our first mark with Mexican food! I have always read and felt the similarities between Mexican and Indian food but unless I try it on my own, I could hardly comment. Well now I can safely agree with that statement that there are significant resemblances between these two delicious cuisines, but still each have a unique characteristic of its own; hence none can overpower the other and simultaneously maintain their prominent position in the world of gastronomy!
This one pot Mexican chicken & rice has been a one-pot wonder to me in the real sense – it’s easy to put together and has the perfect balance of protein, fiber and carbohydrate to offer you the most rewarding meal of the day! If you love beans then this one pot Mexican dish is definitely for you; if you are not fond of beans which is quite possible (me too!), then you must try this one pot Mexican chicken and rice casserole and I guarantee that you will fall in love with the beans and corns and what not! You just can’t afford to miss this delicacy! The crunch of beans complement the cheesy chicken and rice so beautifully that you will forget to complain about beans!
My first trial of Mexican dish became quite successful and I am really happy about it. I have had Mexican food at fancy restaurants but there is something in me which always prefers the food made at home over anything else. So, it is needless to say that I loved my own creation of one pot Mexican rice casserole much more than anything which I had tasted outside. You will only agree with me once you try it out on your own and I am sure I will love your creation of this one pot Mexican dish as much as I loved mine. Homemade food is always a winner to me and I can’t have it enough!
This one pot Mexican rice casserole can be made completely vegetarian by omitting the chicken (although I don’t know why you would want to do that unless you are a vegetarian!) and make it a perfect meal for meatless Monday. You can serve this with a side of guacamole if you want to take it to the next level of Mexican experience; I have saved my Guacamole for the next time. I would also love it if you guys suggest me more Mexican recipes to try out – one pot Mexican or anything. Do let us know in the comment section below!
- Rice – ¾ cup, uncooked (short or long-grained), soaked in water for 30 mins
- Chicken breast – 1, skinless and boneless
- Olive oil – 2 tbsp
- Onion – 1, large, finely chopped
- Garlic paste – 1 tsp
- Red bell pepper – 1, small, cut into small dices
- Red kidney beans – ½ cup, cooked or canned
- Corn kernels – ½ cup, steamed
- Pickled jalapeno – 2 tsp, chopped
- Paprika – 1 tbsp
- Ground cumin – 1 tsp
- Chili powder – 1 tsp
- Monterey jack cheese – ½ cup, shredded
- Cheddar cheese – ½ cup, shredded
- Tomato – 1, chopped
- Fresh cilantro to garnish
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Poach chicken breast in salted boiling water for 20-25 minutes until it is cooked through and is completely white. Shred the chicken breast using forks and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (big enough to hold the cooked rice). Once the oil is hot, add chopped onion and sauté for few seconds. Next add garlic paste and sauté for couple of minutes.
- Next add diced red bell pepper and give a quick stir. Then add cooked red kidney beans, steamed corn kernels and jalapeno. Mix everything.
- Now add the spices – paprika, cumin, chili powder and season with salt & black pepper to taste (Go easy on salt as the both the cheeses are quite salty). Mix well to coat all ingredients with the spices.
- Tip in the shredded chicken breasts and mix them in. Then add the soaked rice and thoroughly mix with all the ingredients to keep an even distribution of beans and chicken.
- Add double the quantity of water than rice and bring it to boil on high. Then cover and cook on low until the rice is cooked – about 15 to 20 minutes depending on the rice you are using. If the water dries up before the rice is completely cooked, add half a cup more at a time and wait until the rice is cooked and all the water is absorbed; otherwise the dish will be too watery.
- Once all the water is absorbed, sprinkle the shredded Monterey jack cheese and shredded cheddar cheese covering the top of the rice.
- Sprinkle freshly chopped cilantro and finely chopped red tomatoes. Cover and simmer the casserole on low heat until the cheeses are completely melt.
- Once the cheeses are melt and incorporated into the rice, the casserole is ready. Serve the smoky hot one pot Mexican chicken & rice casserole and enjoy!