This chicken and rice recipe in a skillet is a delicious dinner-all in one pan! Layers of flavour line the cast iron pan, with the chicken breasts resting on a bed of rice mixed with sweet corn, fresh salsa and shredded zucchini. All the flavours combine when the chicken finishes in the oven, topped with feta cheese and served with cilantro, sour cream and lime wedges. Yum!
Chicken breast and rice recipes are some of the most popular on my blog.
And for good reason!
Chicken and rice recipes can be easy to make, healthy, gluten-free and crowd pleasing.
Everything you need in a recipe.
This chicken and rice recipe in a skillet has all of those qualities.
📝Ingredients for this chicken & rice recipe
The ingredients for this chicken and rice skillet recipe are probably found in your kitchen already!
Nothing wild or hard to find, here’s the list of ingredients-go check your fridge and pantry and then get cooking👩🍳
- Chicken breasts
- Corn kernels - frozen, canned or fresh off the cob if you have
- Fresh salsa - lately I’m loving this Garden Gourmet Fresh brand
- Basmati or jasmine rice, cooked
- Feta cheese
- Spice mix: chili powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, basil, kosher salt, fresh ground pepper
- Limes, parsley, sour cream for serving
See recipe card for quantities.
This skillet chicken and rice recipe is easy to make and comes together on a weeknight, without you having to stand over the stove all night.
Here’s the high level steps with details below in the recipe card.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine all spices into a bowl and coat the chicken breasts with the mixture.
Sear the chicken in an oven-proof skillet on both sides for about 4 minutes each side.
Mix together corn, salsa, zucchini and pre-cooked rice.
Add rice mixture to skillet with seared chicken breasts on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Top with feta halfway through baking.
See the recipe card below for the complete instructions.
This recipe for chicken and rice in a skillet - like most recipes for chicken and rice skillets out there - is pretty versatile so if you want to change things up a bit, here are some ways to do just that:
- Chicken - bone-in chicken thighs would also work well with this recipe
- Rice - instead of basmati rice, you could use jasmine or brown rice for some more texture
- Zucchini - no zucchini on hand, no problem! Chicken and rice with salsa goes with lots of veggies. You could grate some carrot in instead or small chunks of broccoli or even halved green beans. It's not fussy! Use up what you have😄
- Dairy-free - just skip the feta at the end or use a dairy free cheese
I tested and made this recipe in my cast iron skillet. I love cooking in this skillet as it gives the chicken breasts such an amazing sear on the outside of the breasts, which creates soooo much flavour.
Case in point: this recipe for Cast Iron Skillet Chicken Breast - one of the most popular on my site because the chicken comes out juicy and delicious😋
You can use any oven safe pan if you don’t have a cast iron one though.
Like most chicken and rice recipes, leftovers will be good for about 4 days in the fridge.
Why not make this as part of your weekly meal prep?
Don’t forget a lime wedge or two when you're packing up the leftovers for lunches. A squeeze of lime juice brightens up this whole dish.
I don’t recommend freezing this skillet chicken though, k? The salsa has so much fluid in it, it’s not pretty when it thaws out.
📹Two Top Tips
Tip #1: To really bring some great flavour out, be sure when you're searing the chicken breasts, you gotta let them cook.
Letting the chicken cook on each side without turning them in the cast iron pan is gonna not only start to cook the chicken, but it creates such a delicious flavour too.
Tip #2: is for the rice: the rice must be pre-cooked. ie, ready to eat.
Do not use dry (uncooked rice), k? It won't turn out.
I usually have some rice in the fridge already from a dish I made previously or if I'm in a time pinch, I'll use some pre-cooked, microwave rice that just needs re-heating.
You don't need to pre-heat the rice for this recipe - just add the cold rice into the bowl with the zucchini, salsa and corn. It'll heat up nicely in the oven.
Hope you love this recipe like we do.
If you try this recipe, please rate and comment below!
Chicken and Rice Skillet Recipe (one pan)
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1.5 cups fresh salsa
- 1.5 cups corn niblets if frozen, thaw in microwave first
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 cup cooked basmati rice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon basil
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Fresh ground pepper
- ⅓ cup Feta cheese
- Limes, cilantro and sour cream for serving
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large cast iron skillet, or other oven safe pan, on medium heat.
- Mix up the spice rub of chili powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano, basil, Kosher salt and a few good turns of the pepper grinder for the fresh ground pepper.
- Coat the chicken breasts in the spice rub all over using your hands.
- Then arrange the chicken breasts in the heated up skillet. Cook 4 minutes on one side, then turn them over and cook for another 3. Set your oven timer for this and don't move them while they’re cooking (the flavour is developing here.)
- While the chicken is searing in the pan, get a medium bowl and mix together the cooked rice, salsa, and corn kernels. Using a grater, shred the zucchini into the bowl too. Mix all this goodness together with a wooden spoon till combined.
- When the chicken has been seared on both sides, take the chicken breasts and place them onto a plate to rest while you do this next step.
- Turn off stove burner. Take the bowl and rice mixutre and add it to the skillet, spreading it out evenly. Then place the chicken breasts back on top of the rice mixture.
- Put the whole pan into the oven. Bake at 400F for 20 minutes or until an inserted meat thermometer into the chicken reads a minimum 165F. After 10 minutes, carefully take the pan out and sprinkle the feta cheese overtop.
- Be careful, as always, taking the hot, heavy skillet out of the oven. Serve warm with parsley, lime wedges and sour cream.