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