This Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet is an easy and healthy dinner that’s all made in one pan and comes together in 30 minutes. Top it with shredded cheese and cilantro for a family friendly, fast and delicious Mexican inspired meal!
Ingredients you’ll need
- Chicken breasts – Gives the recipe a good amount of protein. You can use boneless skinless chicken thighs if you prefer.
- Yellow onion
- Cumin, chili powder, dried oregano, garlic powder – The spices. This is my go-to combo of spices for southwest recipes.
- Sweet potato – Adds a bit of sweetness to balance out any spicy flavors. It’s also a powerhouse carb.
- Cherry tomatoes
- Black beans – Another source of carbs and protein for the meal. Black beans pair great with sweet potatoes too.
- Green chiles – You can use mild or hot depending on how spicy you want this to be.
- Salsa or enchilada sauce – Depending on what you have or like best, either salsa or enchilada sauce work for this recipe. They create the “sauce” and add a lot of flavor. Use whatever brand you like best.
- Lime – Adds a pop of bright, fresh, zesty flavor.
- Cilantro – Fresh, classically used herb used in Southwest and Mexican cooking. If you don’t like cilantro, omit it.
- Cheese – Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese are my top picks for this recipe.
How to make Mexican chicken sweet potato and black bean skillet
Par-cook the sweet potato – Peel and cut the sweet potato in half and put it in a shallow dish with a 1/4 cup of water. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and cut a slit in it with a knife so the steam can escape.
Microwave the sweet potato for 3-5 minutes or until it’s tender, but not fully cooked. It will continue cooking when added in with the other ingredients. Once it’s cool enough to handle, dice it.
Sauté the chicken and onion – Add the chicken to a large skillet that’s been heated with olive oil. Spread it into a single layer and season with half of the dried spices, salt and pepper.
Let it cook without moving it for several minutes. This allows the chicken to brown and get a nice crust on it. Add in the onion and stir the chicken around until it’s cooked through and the onion is tender.
Add in remaining ingredients – Add in the remaining dried spices, sweet potato, tomatoes, black beans, green chiles, and salsa to the skillet. Stir everything together and let it cook until heated through.
Squeeze in the lime juice and top with the shredded cheese. Cook until the cheese melts and then serve. If you love cilantro like me, sprinkle some on top.
Chicken sweet potato and black bean skillet FAQ:
Substitute chicken breasts with ground turkey or ground beef.
I highly recommend par-cooking the sweet potato because it will take longer to cook than the chicken. You will over-cook the chicken if you add it to the skillet raw.
Yes. Omit the chicken and double the amount of sweet potatoes. You cloud also add a vegan chicken alternative, or crumbled tofu or tempeh.
How to serve it
This is a balanced meal and can absolutely stand on it’s own. However, if you’re looking for different ways to serve it, I’ve listed a few below.
- Use it as a filling for tacos or burritos.
- Grab some pizza dough and make a Mexican pizza or flatbread with it.
- Serve with a side of cilantro lime rice or cauliflower rice for a lower carb option.
Leftovers, reheating and freezing
The leftovers for this chicken skillet will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator. Store them in an airtight container. Reheat individual portions in the microwave or in a skillet on the stove. Heat over medium heat until warmed through.
This is a great freezer friendly meal as well. Once cooked let it cool completely. Store it in an airtight container or freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When you are ready to eat it, let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight and then follow the reheating instructions listed above. I recommend omitting the cheese and adding it in when you reheat the meal.
More Mexican Inspired Recipes
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 sweet potato, peeled, par-cooked and diced (see note on par-cooking)
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 15 ounces canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 4 ounces diced green chiles (canned)
- 1/3 cup salsa or red enchilada sauce
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Colby Jack cheese
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large (10-12 inch) cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
- In a small bowl combine all of the spices.
- When the skillet is hot add in the chicken and spread into an even layer, then sprinkle with half of the spice blend.
- Sauté the chicken for approximately 3 minutes then add in the onion.
- Continue to cook for several more minutes or until the onion has softened and the chicken is cooked through.
- Lower the heat to medium and add in the remaining spice blend, sweet potato, cherry tomatoes, black beans, green chiles and salsa or enchilada sauce.
- Stir together and cook until the mixture is heated through, approximately 2-3 minutes.
- Squeeze the lime juice over everything then top with the shredded cheese.
- Cover with a lid or lay a piece of foil on top of the skillet until the cheese has melted.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve.
- To par-cook a sweet potato, cut it in half lengthwise and place it in a shallow microwave safe dish or bowl cut side down. Pour a 1/4 cup of water in the dish, cover the dish with a piece of plastic wrap and poke a couple of holes in the top of the plastic to allow the steam to escape. Microwave for 3-5 minutes depending on the size or until the sweet potato is tender, but not fully cooked.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 477Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 761mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 12gSugar: 7gProtein: 50g