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!
Are you a fan of cauliflower rice or would you rather just eat regular white or brown rice? I enjoy both and eat both frequently. Cauliflower rice has become quite trendy over the last few years because it’s a great low carb substitute to the grain. I can’t say that’s the reason I like it so much, I mostly just enjoy the flavor, texture and how quickly it cooks.
When I created the recipe for this salsa chicken and cauliflower rice skillet, I wanted a meal that was quick and easy, had lots of Southwest flavor and that could be made in one pan. Not only does it check all those boxes, but you’re getting a healthy serving of vegetables and fiber.
Ingredients Needed to Make Salsa Chicken and Cauliflower Rice Skillet
chili powder, ground cumin and smoked paprika
canned green chiles
- cheddar or Monterey 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.
Tips and FAQ
Time Saving Tips:
- Use a bag of fresh or frozen cauliflower rice. Almost all grocery stores should carry them at this point. If you want to make your own, I suggest reading this blog post on how to make cauliflower rice.
- Cut your chicken breast lengthwise so it’s thinner or buy chicken cutlets vs. chicken breasts. The chicken will cook much quicker and more evenly when you do this.
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 tomatoe 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.
- 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