One pot and 30 minutes are all you need for this Rotel Southwest Chicken Skillet! Big flavor without a lot of effort.

overhead shot of chicken skillet with forks

Chicken with Rotel

When I say this is a 30 minute meal, I’m not lying. Maybe 35 minutes, depending on how long it takes you to cut up your chicken, but the majority of the cook time you’re just waiting for the rice to cook.

Not only is it quick, it really is one of my favorite meals. I love the flavors and how they come together. It warms up beautifully and is great for a quick weeknight meal.

If you’d prefer beef, try this Mexican ground beef recipe.

ingredients in place to make a skillet meal

Tools you’ll need

  • Skillet with a lid – I have this one & am a fan.
  • Silicone Spoons – I’ve had this set for YEARS and I love that they don’t scratch up your pans and have the little notch to hold them onto the side of the pan.
  • Can Opener – I actually need a new one & you have a few cans to open in this recipe.

Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe, why you need them, and possible substitutions. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card with measurements.

  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Seasonings – salt, pepper, Montreal Chicken, red pepper flakes – your choice
  • Olive Oil – extra virgin
  • Rice – white rice, uncooked
  • Rotel – one 10 oz can of the diced tomatoes & green chiles, whichever heat level you like
  • Tomato Sauce – an 8 oz can
  • Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Sour Cream – as an optional topping

serving of cheesy chicken dish topped with sour cream

What is in a can of Rotel?

Rotel is canned tomatoes with diced green chiles. The level of heat varies based on which you choose – you can get mild, medium, hot, etc. Choose your favorite. It adds great flavor. It also makes a great dip – try this Rotel Dip!

What if I don’t have Rotel?

If you don’t have any Rotel on hand, you can substitute a can of diced tomatoes. If going this route, use red pepper flakes to add however much heat you like.

process shots of making skillet chicken

How to make Rotel Chicken & Rice Skillet

  1. STEP ONE: Season your chicken with salt, pepper, Montreal chicken seasoning, red pepper flakes – whatever you like.
  2. STEP TWO: Add some olive oil to your pan and saute the chicken until no longer pink.
  3. STEP THREE: Stir in uncooked rice, can of Rotel, can of tomato sauce, and water. Bring it to a boil then cover it.
  4. STEP FOUR: Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stir so it doesn’t stick, then cook another 10 minutes.
  5. STEP FIVE: Once the rice is done, stir, top with shredded cheese, remove from heat, and cover to let the cheese melt.

Top with sour cream & enjoy!

Ways to customize your chicken skillet

  • Add in a can of rinsed black beans at the same time as you add the rice to add more protein. Or, skip the chicken altogether and use black beans instead.
  • Stir in some corn at the end (either frozen or canned) before you top with shredded cheese.
  • Once done, top with sour cream, green onions, or more shredded cheese.
  • Sensitive to spice? Either opt for “mild” Rotel or just use diced tomatoes instead.
chicken skillet topped with sour cream

Need more skillet meals? Try these:

overhead shot of skillet with serving spoon
overhead shot of chicken skillet with forks
4.57 from 51 votes

Rotel Southwest Chicken Skillet

Servings: 6 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
One pot and 30 minutes are all you need for this Rotel Southwest Chicken Skillet! Big flavor without a lot of effort.

Ingredients
 

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenders cut into small pieces
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Montreal Chicken seasoning to taste
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup white rice uncooked
  • 10 oz can RoTel diced tomatoes & green chilies
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water

Toppings

  • ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese to taste
  • sour cream

Instructions

  • Cut your chicken into small (about 1″) pieces and season with salt, pepper, Montreal chicken seasoning, and red pepper flakes (or whichever seasonings you prefer).
    1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp Montreal Chicken seasoning, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and coat with the olive oil.
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • Once hot, add in the seasoned chicken and cook until no longer pink.
  • Stir in the uncooked rice, can of RoTel, can of tomato sauce, and water. Bring to a boil then cover.
    1 cup white rice, 10 oz can RoTel diced tomatoes & green chilies, 8 oz can tomato sauce, 1 cup water
  • Reduce heat to low and let cook for 10 minutes or until rice is tender. After 10 minutes, stir to prevent the rice from sticking, the re-cover and cook another 10 minutes.
  • Once the rice is done, stir the mixture and top with a handful of shredded cheese. Turn off heat and cover for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
    1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese
  • Top with a dollop of sour cream and serve.
    sour cream

Notes

  • Add in a can of rinsed black beans at the same time as you add the rice to add more protein. Or, skip the chicken altogether and use black beans instead.
  • Stir in some corn at the end (either frozen or canned) before you top with shredded cheese.
  • Once done, top with sour cream, green onions, or more shredded cheese.
  • Sensitive to spice? Either opt for “mild” Rotel or just use diced tomatoes instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 750mg | Potassium: 537mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 360IU | Vitamin C: 7.9mg | Calcium: 97mg | Iron: 1.6mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Originally published September 26, 2013

overhead shot of southwest chicken skillet topped with melted cheese
collage of southwest chicken skillet
serving of southwest chicken on a plate topped with sour cream


4.57 from 51 votes (44 ratings without comment)

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52 Comments

  1. Head a large skillet over medium high heat and coat with a turn of the pan of olive oil.

    Not sure about this statement.

  2. I followed this recipe for exactly as printed and the entire bottom layer of rice was burnt to a crisp. Super disappointed.

    1. You had it on low & stirred it like I mention in step 4?

      STEP FOUR: Turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 10 minutes, stir so it doesn’t stick, then cook another 10 minutes.

  3. 5 stars
    This was fast, easy, delicious. We all customized our toppings from cheese and avocado to hot sauce & tortilla chips. It’s a keeper!

  4. 4 stars
    This was good! I did sear off the chicken (which i seasoned with s&p, Badia Fajita seasoning, and cayenne), took it out, and only added it back in the last five minutes only because I worry about overcooking chicken breast. I also did have to add some chicken broth and time to get the rice cooked to my liking. I used hot Rotel and the spice level was perfect for us, but my husband and I like spicy. Thanks for the recipe!

  5. I lost my salsa recipe for chicken. This sounds like it may come close. I want to say it had 2 cups of rice a jar of salad and chicken on top seasoned with salt and pepper. Dry onion soup sprinkled over it.

  6. 5 stars
    I didn’t have ToTel so used a different brand. Tried it two ways, one with chicken and one with black beans and no chicken. Both were wonderful and easy to make and also very important, easy to clean up afterwards! With variations, this is going to be a go-to dish but probably without the sour cream. That’s just a personal taste.