Rotel Southwest Chicken Skillet

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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.


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

Rotel Southwest Chicken Skillet

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
One pot and 30 minutes are all you need for this Rotel Southwest Chicken Skillet! Big flavor without a lot of effort.
4.56 from 50 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 servings
Calories 272 kcal


  • 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


  • ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese to taste
  • sour cream


  • 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


  • 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.


Serving: 1gCalories: 272kcalCarbohydrates: 29gProtein: 21gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 750mgPotassium: 537mgFiber: 2gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 360IUVitamin C: 7.9mgCalcium: 97mgIron: 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.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

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

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  1. BecHeflin says

    This looks like one of those perfect cool weather comfort food meals. I can’t wait to try it!

  2. Amber says

    Mmm, this looks really yummy. Perfect for weeknights! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Carrie R says

    I love this, Melissa! Looks so delicious and I love how easy it is to make! 🙂 Perfect for a weeknight dinner or a lazy weekend meal.

  4. Lori Yates says

    Love the recipe revamp idea, and wow – look how far you’ve come in your photography! Beautiful!

  5. namomof3 says

    I’m assuming plain white rice? Medium or long grain? This sounds amaaaaazing.

  6. Jordan Sward says

    This looks SO GOOD! Just wanted to let you know I included it in my round-up of one pot recipes. I’d also love if you submitted this recipe in our contest to win a Swiss Diamond cookware set! http://ow.ly/AOCzs

    Thanks again for the great recipe. 🙂

  7. Andrev says

    Well it took me long enough to fix this wonderful recipe. But I have to say….all GOOD things come in time. I can not tell you how very much we liked this new recipe and will be made over and over. Sure easy..Wonderful tasting. My brother will LOVE this. Thank You so very much. Hugs

  8. Tina says

    The nutrition link takes you to a different recipe…

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yes, it takes you to MyRecipeMagic which calculates nutritional info. I have no way to do it so I link to them – they’re legit 🙂

  9. Jenn says

    This looks delish. Quick question though – Do you cook the chicken until it is just no longer pink on the outside but not cooked through before adding the rice? Or should the chicken be done when you add the rice? Worried about the dried out chicken factor!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I cook until no longer pink. It’ll cook through while the rice is cooking 🙂

  10. Donna says

    5 stars
    I made this recipe last night. It was a hit with my family! I love the fact that it’s all in 1 pot. Thank you for sharing it.

    • Melissa Williams says

      That’s one of the reasons it’s my favorite, too 😉 I’m so glad you liked it – thanks for letting me know!

  11. Norma says

    5 stars
    This is delicious, I made for my friends and all gone. Thank you Melissa.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yay love hearing that! Thanks for letting me know =)

  12. Mary says

    This looks so yummy. Quick question though can you use yellow rice as my kids don’t like white and can you add black beans?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I only ever use regular ol’ Uncle Ben’s so I’m not sure about the rice but I made this earlier this week & added a can of black beans & it was great. Let me know how it turns out!

  13. Mary Williams says

    Ads are jumping onto the recipes and then they cat be read.

    On your web site and on Pinterest

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Mary,

      I don’t know anything about Pinterest ads but my site does have some (helps pay the bills!). They’re set to low frequency & should be easily X’d out of. Let me know if you’re still having issues.


  14. Patty says

    I would like to try your recipes in this picture on Pinterest this recipe looks really good.

    • Melissa Williams says

      It IS good =) It’s one of my favorites. I hope you like it!

  15. Ali says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this several times and it’s so good! I use taco seasoning for the chicken and add black beans, corn, and medium green chilies. It’s always a huge hit.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Great additions, thanks for reporting back!

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