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Mexican Chicken and Rice Bowl – Family Dinner on a Budget

A Mexican chicken and rice bowl is super easy to prepare. What’s more, it’s packed with flavor, nutrients, and fun. If you’re looking for a family dinner on a budget, this meal will make you happy.

Mexican chicken and rice bowl garnished with cilantro, mixed greens, cheese, and chips
Mexican Chicken Bowl

Variety of Ways to Prepare the Mexican Chicken and Rice Bowl

I’ve made this chicken and rice bowl a number of ways, including stovetop, pressure cooker, slow cooker, and crockpot. Additionally, you can even make it (yes, I’m talking about the whole thing, not just the rice) in a rice cooker if that’s all you have.

The beauty of southern cuisine is that there is no wrong way to prepare it. If you like the way it turns out, then you did it right. Not only will you enjoy getting creative with this dish, you’ll also look forward to trying new twists.

If you have time in the morning, you can put all the ingredients into a slow cooker. It will be ready when you get home at the end of the day. Your house will also smell wonderful and inviting as soon as you walk in the door.

Interesting Flavors

My husband and I have always enjoyed a variety of interesting flavors. This Mexican chicken and rice bowl makes our taste buds very happy.

I grew up eating an assortment of peppers and foods from different countries. My favorites are the ones with the most flavor—especially the ones that have a strong kick. Without a doubt, that’s one of the reasons I really like this Mexican chicken and rice bowl. However, you can use a less spicy salsa if you don’t like the heat. Regardless of the level of heat, it’s delicious

How to Make a Mexican Chicken and Rice Bowl

This time, I cooked this in my slow cooker. If you choose to do it on the stovetop, you can cook the toppings in one pot and steam the rice separately. It’s equally good either way.

To begin with, you’ll need chicken, of course. I cut four chicken thighs into strips. You can make this with any cut of chicken, but the price is significantly lower with thighs.

Four uncooked chicken thighs
Chicken thighs

Next, drain a can of corn and a can of black beans. If you prefer another type of beans, by all means, go for it.

A bowl of drained corn and a bowl of drained black beans
Drained corn and black beans

Chop your celery and set it aside. Meanwhile, it’s time to start cooking.

Chopped celery on a cutting board
Chopped celery

One of the most important things I do is spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray to make it easy to clean up. However, this isn’t an essential step. Afterward, pour the rice into the slow cooker.

Pour water and chicken stock over the rice. Add the chicken, corn, black beans, and half the cilantro. Then sprinkle the chili powder over the mixture.

Large container of chili powder
Chili powder

Finally, pour in the salsa. I use a whole jar of medium hot salsa. Not surprisingly, this brings a ton of flavor to the dish. Regardless of your preferred heat level, it’ll still taste delicious regardless of which salsa you choose. As much as I enjoy spicy food, I enjoy it with mild sauce as well.

Pouring a whole jar of salsa over the contents of the slow cooker.
Pour salsa over everything.

Turn on the slow cooker and let it do all the work while you go about your day. When you come home, your delicious Mexican chicken and rice bowl dinner will be ready to serve. At this point, you’ll be hooked on using your slow cooker.

Slow cooker loaded and cooking the Mexican chicken and rice bowls.
Slow cooker

Garnish Your Mexican Chicken and Rice Bowls

I think that when a dish is pretty, it’s more appetizing. In order to do this, include a variety of colors from tomatoes, greens, and other delicious and nutritious veggies.

I placed some mixed greens on one side of the wide, shallow bowls. Next, I scooped the mixture from the slow cooker into the bowls, making sure to get a little of everything.

Then I tucked some chips in on the side opposite the greens and put even more chopped cilantro over the top. For even more flavor and color, I finally sprinkled a little cheese over the whole thing.

Even though this is a Mexican style dish, it still qualifies as southern food. There’s no doubt in my mind that once you experience this flavor explosion, it will quickly become one of your favorite dishes.

Dessert Ideas

Now that you’ve prepared a delicious and nutritious meal, it’s time for dessert. If you’re not too stuffed after eating this, I can recommend several options for dessert:

For more recipes:
Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
The Pin Junkie

Mexican chicken and rice bowl garnished with cilantro, mixed greens, cheese, and chips

Mexican Chicken and Rice Bowl

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 35 minutes

This savory and spicy Mexican chicken and rice bowl will have everyone asking for seconds.

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken thighs cut into strips
  • 1-1/2 cup white rice
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 small jar salsa
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or whatever type of cheese you prefer)
  • 1 cup mixed greens

Instructions

  1. Spray the inside of a slow cooker. Pour in the rice.
  2. Pour in the water and chicken stock.
  3. Place the chicken thigh strips over the rice.
  4. Add the celery, corn, black beans, and half of the cilantro.
  5. Sprinkle the chili powder over the mixture.
  6. Pour the salsa on top.
  7. Place the lid on top of the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 5 hours.
  8. Scoop into bowls and garnish with the rest of the cilantro, mixed greens, chips, and whatever else you like.
Nutrition Information
Yield 6 Serving Size 1 cup
Amount Per Serving Calories 411Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 11gCholesterol 126mgSodium 745mgCarbohydrates 33gFiber 7gSugar 4gProtein 31g

The nutrition information is a product of online calculators. I try to provide true and accurate information, but these numbers are estimates.

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