This satisfying, one-pan recipe for chicken and cauliflower rice is easy to make and loaded with bold, Southwest-style flavors and ingredients.

A frying pan filled with chicken, riced cauliflower, black beans, corn, melted cheese, green onions and cilantro.

If you enjoy Southwest-style seasonings and ingredients like jalapeño peppers, scallions, fresh cilantro, and lime, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.

In addition to the riced cauliflower, other main ingredients include chicken tenderloins, sweet bell peppers, corn, black beans, and shredded cheese.

A single serving of chicken and cauliflower rice plated in a shallow bowl with the serving skillet in the background.

How to make this one-dish dinner

Preparing this skillet dinner is easy and only takes about 45 minutes.

  • The first step is to cut the chicken tenders into bite-sized pieces, toss them with some olive oil, chili powder, and cumin and sauté until lightly browned.
  • Next, deglaze the pan with a little broth and simmer the chicken until cooked through. Remove it from the pan, and set aside.
  • Use the flavorful broth that’s left in the pan to cook the cauliflower, then stir in the salsa and combine with the reserved chicken.
  • Wipe out the pan and sauté the onion, garlic, and bell peppers, then add the corn, black beans, and remaining ingredients.
  • Return the chicken-cauliflower mixture to the pan and combine.
  • The finishing touch is to top the whole mix with shredded cheese, cover the pan, and heat until the cheese has melted and everything is piping hot.
  • To serve, plate individual portions, add a lime wedge, a sprinkling of cilantro, and enjoy!
Southwest-style chicken and cauliflower rice topped with melted cheese, green onions, chopped cilantro and slices of jalapeño.

Substituting riced cauliflower for rice

Riced cauliflower serves as a great substitute for regular rice in a wide variety of dishes, which is why we always keep a couple of bags of frozen on hand.

It’s become a go-to ingredient in our kitchen because it’s lower in calories and carbs than regular rice, faster cooking, and, depending on the dish, just as satisfying.

More riced cauliflower recipes

Mediterranean Chicken and Cauliflower “Rice”
Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Southwest Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

Southwest Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

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This satisfying, one-pan recipe for chicken and cauliflower rice is easy to make and loaded with bold, Southwest-style flavors and ingredients.


  • 1 lb chicken tenderloins, 8 to 9 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 package, 10 to 12 ounces frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1/2 cup homemade salsa, (store bought)
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, stemmed, seeded and sliced
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 scallions, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons
  • 3 ounces finely shredded Mexican-style cheese, about 3/4 cup
  • Lime wedges for serving


  • If necessary, trim the white tendons from the chicken tenderloins and cut each one crosswise into quarters.
  • Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the chili powder, cumin, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Combine well and set aside to marinate while you prep the other ingredients.
  • Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Sauté, stirring often, until the pieces are lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in the chicken broth, bring to a simmer and continue cooking just until the chicken is no longer pink in the center. Do not overcook.
  • Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a clean mixing bowl.
  • Leave the remaining broth in the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the riced cauliflower and salsa and combine well.
  • Cook over medium heat until the cauliflower is tender, 2 to 4 minutes, then transfer to the bowl with the chicken, combine and set aside.
  • Wipe out the pan and coat the bottom with a small amount of vegetable oil. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté just until fragrant, 1 minute longer.
  • Add the bell peppers to the pan and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes, then add the jalapeño, corn, black beans, scallions, and about half of the cilantro.
  • Add the chicken-cauliflower mixture including any juices that may have accumulated in the bowl and combine well.
  • Drizzle with lime juice, scatter the cheese evenly over the top, cover, and heat just long enough for the cheese to melt, about 2 minutes.
  • Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve with wedges of lime.
Calories: 575kcal, Carbohydrates: 45g, Protein: 52g, Fat: 23g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g, Cholesterol: 117mg, Sodium: 720mg, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 14g
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