Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl (One Pan)

January 11, 2020

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Easy Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl made in ONE PAN! It’s a simple chicken, black bean and rice Tex-Mex style dish that’s brimming with well seasoned, fresh flavor. With it’s simplicity and satisfying flavor it’s destined to become a new go-to dinner! 

Looking for more easy rice bowl dinner inspiration? Also try my One Pan Creamy Chicken and Rice, One Pan Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice and this take-out inspired Chicken Fried Rice.

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl shown after cooking in one pan. It includes brown rice, chicken, black beans and bell peppers.

A Delicious Rice Bowl Recipe!

One Pan dinners are some of my favorites. They are a breeze to prepare, and clean up is what we wish every dinner to be like, and when everything cooks in one pan all those flavors come together so perfectly – each ingredient seasoning the next.

Another favorite thing – Chicken Fajitas. So far I’ve got Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas, Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas, Chicken Fajita Kebabs, and Chicken Fajita Soup so why not add another into that rotation?

This simple one pan rice bowl does not disappoint! It’s made with tender brown rice, lean protein-rich chicken, crave-able Mexican spices and fresh cilantro, mildly sweet bell pepper, smokey fire roasted tomatoes, creamy black beans and melty cheese (because who can resist a little finishing touch of cheese even if it’s not traditional to fajitas? Perfect upgrade).

It’s likely to become one of those dinners even the kids will request!

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowl shown as two servings in dark blue bowls.

Ingredients Needed for This One Pan Rice Bowl

I know this does seem like a daunting list of ingredients but remember this is a one pan meal – side, veggie, protein all cooked together.

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts – you can also use boneless skinless thighs here if preferred. Add a little extra cook time as needed.
  • Chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper – want to add more spiced flavor? Add in 1 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp coriander in addition to these spices. This is also good with ancho chili powder in place of regular.
  • Olive oil – you’ll need a few tablespoons for cooking chicken and vegetables in separate batches.
  • Yellow onion – a red onion will work great too.
  • Garlic – I love garlic so I use 3 cloves but if it’s not your favorite you can cut back.
  • Bell peppers – I like to use a blend of 3 colors of bell peppers but you should only need about 2 large if you don’t want to buy 3. Note that any color will work just keep in mind red is the most ripe and tastes the sweetest and seem to have the most flavor, orange/yellow medium sweetness, green very mild sweetness less flavor.
  • Low-sodium chicken – this adds a lot more flavor than the typically used water to cook the rice does.
  • Canned fire roasted tomatoes – fire roasted is a must. They have more flavor and work perfect in this recipe.
  • Black beans – be sure to drain or the excess liquid will throw off the recipe – and rinse to remove excess salt and mucky color.
  • Instant brown rice – who doesn’t love that quick cook time? You can find this by the regular rice at most stores.
  • Lime – brightens up the dish. Stick with fresh lime.
  • Cilantro – another key flavor in this dish. Don’t skip it.
  • Mexican cheese – shredded cheddar or Monterey jack will work great too.
  • Avocado and Mexican hot sauce (optional) – I don’t always add avocado but the hot sauce is a must for me.

Image showing ingredients that go into chicken faijta rice bowls.

How to Make Easy Chicken Fajita Rice Bowls:

  • Preheat pan: Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in non-stick 12-inch saute pan or deep skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Cook chicken with spices: Add chicken, season with 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin and salt and pepper. Cook tossing occasionally until cooked through, about 7 minutes.
  • Transfer chicken to a sheet of foil and wrap to keep warm.
  • Saute vegetables: Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil then add onions and saute 3 minutes.
  • Add bell peppers and saute 3 minutes longer, then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
  • Add canned ingredients and spices, boil: Add in chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, remaining 1 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.
  • Toss in rice, cover and simmer: Add rice and toss well to coat and submerge in liquid, reduce heat to medium. Cover let cook 6 – 7 minutes.
  • Rest off heat: Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, lime juice, cheese and cilantro. Serve warm.

Image showing six steps of preparing a one pan rice bowl.

Can I Use White Instant Rice?

Yes, the white instant rice will work great too, just reduce the rice cook time by about half.

Does I Have to Use Instant Rice?

Yes, for this recipe with these cook times and liquid to rice ratios I would only use quick instant rice here. It cuts way down on cook time anyway so it’s the way to go.

Close up image of chicken rice bowl in a pan.

It’s Great for Meal Prep

Not only does this make a delicious dinner but it also is perfect for meal prep (it makes plenty so you can have it for dinner and likely some left for lunch). And if you want to make it healthier you can just omit the cheese.

How to Store and Reheat

Store in an airtight container (or a few containers for meal prep), then when ready to serve reheat in the microwave on 50% power, stirring occasionally, until warmed through (which should take a few minutes).

Overhead image of easy chicken black bean bell pepper rice bowl.

More Delicious Bowl Recipes to Try

Chicken Fajita Rice Bowls (One Pan)

Easy Chicken Fajita Rice Bowls made in ONE PAN! It's a simple chicken, black bean and rice Tex-Mex style dish that's brimming with well seasoned, fresh flavor. With it's simplicity and satisfying flavor it's destined to become a new go-to dinner! 
Servings: 4
Prep15 minutes
Cook30 minutes
Ready in: 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup diced yellow onion
  • 3 cup chopped bell pepper (about 2 medium)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 2/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (15 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups instant brown rice
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in non-stick 12-inch saute pan or deep skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add chicken, season with 1 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin and salt and pepper. Cook tossing occasionally until cooked through, about 7 minutes. 
  • Transfer chicken to a sheet of foil and wrap to keep warm.
  • Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil then add onions and saute 3 minutes. 
  • Add bell peppers and saute 3 minutes longer, then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer. 
  • Add in chicken broth, tomatoes, black beans, remaining 1 tsp chili powder and 1/2 tsp cumin and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil (liquid should bubble up in the center of pan not just the edges).
  • Add rice and toss well to coat and submerge in liquid, reduce heat to medium. Cover let simmer 6 - 7 minutes. 
  • Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes. Stir in chicken, lime juice, cheese and cilantro. Serve warm.

Notes

  • For additional spice flavor you can also add 1 tsp paprika and 1/2 tsp ground coriander to the broth mixture.
  • Optionally you can serve with diced avocado or Mexican hot sauce. If you love heat you can also saute a diced jalapeno with the bell peppers.
Nutrition Facts
Chicken Fajita Rice Bowls (One Pan)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 676 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 111mg37%
Sodium 812mg35%
Potassium 1307mg37%
Carbohydrates 72g24%
Fiber 13g54%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 50g100%
Vitamin A 4543IU91%
Vitamin C 155mg188%
Calcium 260mg26%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.