The only thing more comforting than classic chicken and rice is this Mexican Chicken and Rice Bake. For this recipe, blackened chicken thighs are coked to perfection and served on a bed of tomato- and spice-infused rice, black beans, and corn. A super easy dinner that is even better as leftovers!
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One Pan Dinners Are the Best Dinners!
I love one-pan, or one-pot, meals! They make throwing dinner together (at the last minute) so easy, and they save a ton of time on cleanup. This Mexican Chicken Rice Bake is loaded with flavor and takes only 10 minutes of prep time before letting your oven do all the work.
For this recipe, you can use an oven-safe pot or dutch oven. I start by blackening my chicken with a mix of spices and a little bit of oil. I make my own homemade taco seasoning as a rub for the chicken. (That recipe is included!) If you want to skip the extra step, you can always buy the store-bought taco seasoning.
The chicken thighs get seared before baking, creating a crispy crust on the outside and a ton added flavor for the rest of the ingredients that are cooked in the same pot.
If you’re a fan of simple one-pan dinners, check these out:
- One Pan Mexican Pasta
- 30 Minute Chicken Puttanesca
- One Pan Sausage and Vegetable Skillet
- Garlic Butter Steak Bites and Potatoes
- One Pan Meatball Stroganoff
- Honey Garlic Chicken Stir Fry
What Type of Rice Should I Use?
Long grain rice works perfect for this dish. If you used regular brown or white rice, it will end up mushy. Not good.
If you use long grain brown rice, let it simmer for at least 20 minutes before placing it in the oven. It needs to cook a bit longer than regular long grain rice, so this parboil helps it achieve the texture we’re looking for in this baked chicken and rice. (Trust me, I found this out the hard way.)
Check out some of my favorite Mexican-inspired rice dishes:
What Should I Serve with This Mexican Chicken and Rice Bake?
When this dish comes out of the oven, serve it hot with a squeeze of lime juice, fresh chopped cilantro, a diced chipotle in adobo sauce, and a dollop of sour cream, if desired. You can also serve it with any of these side dishes:
- Slow Cooker Mexican Beef
- Homemade Tortilla Chips
- Spicy Chipotle Guacamole
- Refried Black Beans
- Mexican Pasta Salad
- Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken
However you choose to serve it, enjoy!
Key Ingredients for This Mexican Chicken and Rice One-Pot Dinner
- Chicken Thighs: You’ll use 4 total with the bone in and skin on. This will result in a ton of chicken flavor for the remaining ingredients.
- Homemade Taco Seasoning: Learn how to make it below, or buy some from the store.
- Oil: Use Vegetable oil to season the chicken and cook the ingredients.
- Veggies: For this chicken and rice recipe, you’ll use 1 medium onion (diced), 1 red bell pepper (diced) and 3 cloves of garlic (minced).
- Long grain rice: In total, you’ll need 1 and 1/3 cups.
- Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes: Pour in one 14.5 ounce can with juices. And make sure to get fire roasted so you get that charred tomato flavor.
- Chicken Broth: Homemade is always best if you have it on hand, but store-bought is fine. Just opt for low-sodium so you can control the amount of salt in the dish.
- Black Beans: You’ll need one 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed. Don’t use the seasoned kind; opt for plain or with sea salt.
- Corn: you’ll need one cup in total. I used frozen, but you can also use fresh.
- Chipotles in Adobo Sauce: A little bit of this goes a long way, so just use 1/2 tablespoon to start out with. You can always add more as a garnish.
- Garnishes: Fresh lime juice, chopped fresh cilantro, and sour cream.
How To Make Your Own Taco Seasoning
For starters, you’ll need the following dry ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Simple whisk these ingredients to combine, and voila! You’ve got homemade taco seasoning.
How To Make This Mexican Chicken Rice Bake
- Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees.
- Prep your chicken thighs by add them, the oil, and your taco seasoning to a medium bowl. Rub the chicken to coat with the oil and seasoning.
- Sauté prepared chicken in an oven-safe pot or pan until golden brown. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Add onion and bell pepper to the same pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
Stir in garlic and rice, and cook for an additional minute.
Add in remaining ingredients — diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beans, corn, taco seasoning, and adobo sauce — and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Place the chicken thighs back in the pot with the rice. Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes covered. Take off the lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 and the rice is tender.
Remove pot from oven. Stir in lime juice, sour cream, and sprinkle with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve immediately, and enjoy!
How To Store, Freeze, and Reheat These Leftovers
- Store leftover Mexican chicken and rice in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the fridge for up to four days. If desired, you can shred the chicken thighs before storing so that reserving is easier. (Just scoop, heat, garnish, and serve.)
- Freeze cooled leftovers in an airtight, freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag. Freeze flat to optimize space in your freezer. You can also shred the chicken thighs before storing.
- Reheat refrigerated leftovers on a plate or bowl in the microwave at 30-second intervals until warmed through, or place in a baking dish at warm in a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes, or until warmed through. Allow frozen chicken and rice to thaw in the fridge overnight or on your counter for a couple hours, then proceed with reheating instructions. Garnish as desired before serving and enjoy!
More Recipes To Try
If you liked this Mexican Chicken and Rice Bake, then you’ll love these other Mexican-inspired recipes:
- Slow Cooker Stuffed Peppers
- Huevos Rancheros
- King Ranch Chicken
- Chipotle Chicken Stuffed Peppers
- Slow Cooker Pork Carnitas
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Mexican Chicken Rice Bake
- 4 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 tablespoon homemade taco seasoning, recipe follows
- 1/2 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion. diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/3 cup long grain rice
- 1 14.5 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 14.5 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 2 teaspoons homemade taco seasoning, recipe follows
- 1/2 tablespoon chipotles in adobo sauce
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add chicken, oil and taco seasoning to a medium bowl. Rub the chicken to coat with the oil and seasoning.
- In a dutch oven or oven safe pot heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add in the chicken and cook until browned on both sides. Make sure not to burn. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
- Add onion and bell pepper to the same pot. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in garlic and rice and cook for an additional minute.
- Add in diced tomatoes, chicken broth, beans, corn, taco seasoning and adobo sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. Cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Place the chicken thighs back in the pot with the rice.
- Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes covered. Take off the lid and cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the chicken reaches 165 and the rice is tender.
- Take out of the oven and stir in lime juice and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
- Serve immediately!
Homemade Taco Seasoning
- Add all of the ingredients together in a medium bowl. Stir to combine and set aside. You will have some seasoning leftover.