Salsa Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Skillet is a quick, easy to make and healthy dinner! Seasoned with Mexican spices, your favorite salsa and topped with plenty of melted cheese. It’s perfect for busy nights!
Looking for another recipe that uses cauliflower rice? Try these Asian ground turkey and broccoli cauliflower rice bowls!
Why I love it
Quick and easy dinner – This is a dinner that can be ready in just over 30 minutes. It’s perfect when you’re short on time or not in the mood to spend much time in the kitchen.
One pan meal – This whole meal is cooked in one skillet. The chicken is cooked first and then just put it on a plate and cover it with foil to keep it warm while you cook the cauliflower rice.
Low carb – If you happen to follow a low carb diet or just love cauliflower like I do, then this is a great option. You won’t feel like you’re sacrificing and flavor and the meal is still hearty and satisfying thanks to the chicken and black beans.
High protein and fiber – Between the chicken, cauliflower rice, and black beans you’ll be getting a healthy dose of both protein and fiber.
- Chicken breasts – Pound out the thicker end of the chicken breasts so that they cook evenly.
- Chili powder, ground cumin and smoked paprika – Spice blend used to rub onto the chicken.
- Cauliflower rice – I usually just use a bag of frozen cauliflower rice to save time. If you want to make your own with a head of cauliflower check out my recipe for chicken enchilada cauliflower rice bowls for how to do it.
- Green onions – Green onions have a milder onion flavor and cook quickly, which works well in this recipe.
- Garlic – I like to grate the garlic with a microplane zester so it melts into whatever I’m cooking. You can replace fresh garlic with a 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Canned green chiles – A can of mild or hot diced green chiles can be used depending on how spicy you want it to be. No need to drain them.
- Black beans – Can be swapped with pinto beans if you prefer.
- Cilantro – If you don’t like cilantro, omit it.
- Salsa – Red tomato salsa or salsa verde can be used. Go with your favorite brand.
- Cheese – I used both cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, but you can use one or the other or substitute with Colby Jack or Pepper Jack cheese.
How to Make Salsa Chicken and Cauliflower Rice
To make this skillet dinner, start by seasoning the chicken with the spices, salt and pepper. Sauté them in a skillet with a bit of oil until they’re cooked through, then remove them from the skillet and onto a plate.
Add a little more oil to the skillet then dump in the riced cauliflower, green onions and garlic. You can use fresh or frozen cauliflower rice for this recipe. Sauté them together with the spices, salt and pepper for about 10-12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender and soft. Add the salsa, black beans, green chiles and cilantro to the cauliflower rice and stir everything together until it’s heat through.
Return the chicken to the mixture and nestle it into the cauliflower rice. Top the chicken with more salsa and shredded cheese. Cover the skillet with a lid and warm everything over medium-low heat until the cheese is melted. Top with extra cilantro and serve.
Time saving tips
- Use a bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower rice. Almost all grocery stores should carry them at this point. For fresh look in the produce section and frozen will be with the frozen vegetables.
- Cut your chicken breast lengthwise so it’s thinner or pound them out with a mallet. You can also buy chicken cutlets vs. chicken breasts. The chicken will cook much quicker and more evenly when you do this.
Salsa chicken FAQ
Does frozen cauliflower rice need to be defrosted? No. Just add the frozen rice directly to the skillet. If there are any large clumps pound them out in the bag before adding it to the skillet. If using frozen you’ll likely need to cook it for a couple minutes longer.
Can I use chicken thighs? Yes. Chicken thighs work great for this recipe as well. My preference is to use boneless skinless chicken thighs, but skin on is good too. Note that the thighs will take a little longer to cook.
What kind of salsa should I use? Whatever kind you like best. A thick and chunky red salsa, a thinner restaurant style tomato salsa and even salsa verde will all work in this recipe.
How big of a skillet will I need? I recommend a 12 inch skillet for this recipe. You can use stainless, cast iron or non-stick. If you aren’t using non-stick you’ll need a little extra oil. If you’re using a good non-stick pan you can probably get away with just using a cooking oil spray.
More Mexican Recipes
Did you make this salsa chicken and cauliflower rice skillet? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
Salsa Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Skillet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 24 ounces cauliflower rice, fresh or frozen
- 2 green onions, sliced thin
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated or minced
- 4 ounce can diced green chiles
- 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 cup salsa, plus extra for spooning on top of the chicken
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
- Combine the chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika in a small bowl. Sprinkle half the seasoning onto the chicken breasts along with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet and cook the chicken breasts over medium heat until they are cooked through. Place the cooked chicken on a plate and set aside.
- Add a little more oil to the skillet or spray with cooking spray if using a non-stick skillet. Dump in the cauliflower rice green onions, garlic, remaining spice mixture, salt and pepper. Sauté for 10-12 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Add the salsa, black beans, green chiles and cilantro to the cauliflower rice and stir everything together until it's heated through.
- Nestle the chicken breasts into the cauliflower rice and top them with extra salsa and the shredded cheese. Cover the skillet with a lid and heat until the cheese is melted. Serve topped with extra cilantro and green onions if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 333Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 825mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 9gSugar: 8gProtein: 45g
Can you do this recipe in a crockpot?
Unfortunately I haven’t tried making it this way. If you try it I’d love to hear the results.
Kelli Speckman says
The hubs and I have been so sick for 2 weeks and have been doing a lot of frozen pot pies, pizzas, fast food, etc. just so the kids didn’t have to worry about cooking. I felt good enough to make an actual home cooked meal tonight but Loved the sound of clean ingredients! This was quick and easy to make and tasted delicious! Thank you for quick healthy options!