One Skillet Taco Chicken & Rice

One Skillet Taco Chicken & Rice

Filled with spice-rubbed chicken breast and brown rice, this hearty casserole casserole is a healthier take on Tex-Mex. Meal planning? Leftovers taste just as good the next day!

 

YIELDS: SERVINGS        PREP TIME: HOURS MINS         TOTAL TIME: HOURS 20 MINS

 

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 c. brown rice

1 1/2 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 tbsp. smoked paprika

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 tbsp. chopped garlic

1/3 c. chopped onion

diced green bell pepper

(7.5-oz) can no-salt black beans, drained

large beefsteak tomato, diced (OR 1 can diced tomatoes)

2 c. red enchilada sauce

1 c. water

3/4 c. shredded cheese (such as Mexican cheese: blend of cheddar, Monterey Jack, and asadero)

Sea salt & pepper, to taste

Freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

Avocado, sliced, for garnish

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DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Cook rice according to instructions and set aside to cool.
  2. Season chicken breast with smoked paprika, cumin, and dried oregano.
  3. Set a deep (nonstick) skillet on medium heat, and once hot, add olive oil, garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the outside of the onion has slightly browned.
  4. Add chicken breast and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  5. Fold in the cooked brown rice, then stir in the black beans, tomato, enchilada sauce, and water.  Mix everything together and bring to a light simmer.   Reduce the heat to low-medium, then cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the top, stir up the chicken and rice and season to taste with sea salt & pepper.  Sprinkle on some cheese (if desired), then bake for 5 to 7 minutes to melt the cheese.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro and avocado, then enjoy!
One Skillet Taco Chicken & Rice
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One Skillet Taco Chicken & Rice
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Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I love Mexican food but Enchiladas were never one of my favorites.  I tried to love it, but something about it just wasn’t working for me.  It took me a while, but I finally realized what wasn’t working was the canned Enchilada Sauces I found at the grocery store.

Sure there are several brands out there, in fact it got quite confusing.  But no matter which sauce I bought it simply didn’t taste good to me or for that matter the rest of the family didn’t find them that great either.  They much preferred the Enchilada Sauce they would order from the Mexican restaurant.  There aren’t that many really good Mexican restaurants in Honolulu so I had to find a way to make homemade Enchiladas just as good as the ones we found at the few restaurants we like.  And since we didn’t care for the canned sauce then clearly the only option was homemade sauce.

So I started trying to figure out just how to make Enchilada Sauce and the first thing I learned is that there are not tomatoes in any way shape or form in Enchilada Sauce.  I  was surprised and so was everyone in the family!  That’s right no tomatoes in Enchilada Sauce!  Of course I’m talking about the RED Enchilada Sauce, I’ve yet to make the green variety.  But I will and once I get it right I’ll share that too!

So what’s in Enchilada Sauce you ask?  Chicken or Veggie Stock (the veggie stock is great if you want a vegan version), Roux, and spices.  That’s it!  And to make it even better it’s super easy to make, it takes less than half an hour!  I make a pot of it and store the sauce in jars in the fridge.  The longer it sits in the fridge the better the sauce tastes.  So now my fridge is always stocked with homemade Enchilada Sauce along with my  Marinara Sauce!  I spend a morning once a month to re-stock, that way I’ll always have my favorite 2 sauces on hand.

You can use this Enchilada Sauce on anything you want.  Pour it over your favorite meats and roll in tortillas for delicious enchiladas or use it in a casserole.  I use it on my Keto friendly Chicken or Steak Enchiladas, they come out great.  Whatever you use it on it will turn out delicious!

Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

4 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Flour

1/2 Cup Chili Powder

1 Tbs. Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Cumin Powder

1 Tbs. Dried Oregano

1 Quart Chicken or Vegetable Stock

Salt to taste

Directions:

Heat Olive Oil in a medium saucepan

Whisk in flour to make a blond roux, be careful not to burn the flour

Whisk in the spices except the salt

Slowly pour in the stock while whisking to blend the spices and roux in to it

Add salt to taste

Simmer for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened

Use with your favorite meats or veggies or pour into jars and store in the fridge.

This recipe will make enough to fill 1 quart jar and almost 1 pint jar.  If storing sauce pour into jars and cool before covering with a tight lid and placing in the fridge.

 

Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce
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Servings Prep Time
5 Pints 20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 Pints 20 Minutes
Easy Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
5 Pints 20 Minutes
Servings Prep Time
5 Pints 20 Minutes
Ingredients
Servings: Pints
Instructions
  1. Heat Olive Oil in a medium saucepan
  2. Whisk in flour to make a blond roux, be careful not to burn the flour
  3. Whisk in the spices except the salt
  4. Slowly pour in the stock while whisking to blend the spices and roux in to it
  5. Add salt to taste
  6. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until slightly thickened
  7. Use with your favorite meats or veggies or pour into jars and store in the fridge.
Recipe Notes

This recipe will make about 5 pints.  That's enough to fill 1 Quart size jar and almost 1 pint size jar.  Cool before covering tightly and storing in the fridge.

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Best-Ever Spanish Rice

Best-Ever Spanish Rice

Tomato sauce, red bell pepper, and the perfect combo of spices elevate ordinary white rice to a restaurant-worthy side. (It pair perfectly with our chicken fajitas!) Don’t skip toasting the rice! It adds a ton of flavor.

 

INGREDIENTS

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 medium onion, finely chopped

1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped

2 c. long grain white rice

2 c. low-sodium chicken broth

1 c. tomato sauce

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 tsp. chili powder

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro, for garnish

DIRECTIONS

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and pepper and cook until softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring frequently, until toasted, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomato puree, lemon juice, chili powder, garlic powder, oregano, and cumin. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

2. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until all liquid is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes.

3. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes, then remove lid and fluff rice with a fork. Top with cilantro and serve immediately.

 

 

Best-Ever Spanish Rice
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Best-Ever Spanish Rice
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Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup

This is the best soup I have ever had. It has lots of vegetables, Italian sausage, and even tortellini. Soup is one of my favorite foods and this one tops the list. and it is easy and fast. You will pass this  Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup recipe along to your family and friends.

Click here for Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup recipe

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Ingredients

1 (3.5 ounce) link sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups beef stock
1/3 cup water
1/2 cup red wine
4 tomatoes – peeled, seeded and chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup tomato sauce
1 zucchini, chopped
8 ounces cheese tortellini
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese for topping

Directions

1. Place the sausage in a large pot over medium high heat and saute for 10 minutes, or until well browned. Drain the fat except for about 1 tablespoon, add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 more minutes.

2.Next add the beef stock, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any fat that may surface.

3. Add the zucchini, tortellini, green bell pepper and parsley to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until tortellini is fully cooked. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with the cheese.

 

Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
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Italian Sausage Tortellini Soup
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Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts

Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts

Have you resolved to eat healthier this year?  Like many folks we try to eat healthy most of the time, but holidays always set us back just a little bit.  So last month my husband announced that after several months of slacking he was determined to loose a few pounds and make healthier choices.  In other words he’s back on his low carb diet of meat and veggies.  Sounds great, but it also presents a challenge.  The challenge being finding “healthier” meals to prepare on my very busy schedule.  Imagine how happy I was to find thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts at our neighborhood market.

I love the thin cut breasts because they are so versatile and cook very quickly.  Perfect for my schedule!  But the thinness of the breasts do present a challenge, how not to over cook and dry them out.  Anyway I have been using them for stir fries and other chicken dishes, the trick is to reduce the cooking time so they don’t dry out.  No one likes to eat tough dry chicken breasts!

For variety I tried preparing the chicken breasts different ways, experimenting with different herbs and cooking methods.  Here’s a quick easy recipe I made the other day, Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts.  This dish is quite healthy.  It uses very little oil, and adds no salt.  The flavor comes from the dried herbs generously patted on the chicken breasts.  Best of all this dish takes about 15 minutes to make cook and another 5 -10 minutes to rest.  Served with a salad or pasta it makes a great healthy dinner!

Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts

Ingredients:

4 Thin Sliced Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – if you can’t find thin sliced breasts, cut 2 breasts horizontally to make 4 thin slices

1 Tbs. Olive Oil

1/4 Cup Dried Oregano

1/4 Cup Dried Rosemary

2 Tbs. Dried Thyme

1/4 Cup Garlic Powder

1 Tbs. Cayenne Red Pepper (optional)

1 Tbs. Crushed Red Pepper (optional)

Directions:

Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel

Mix all dry ingredients together.

Chicken breastsPat generous amounts of spice mixture on to both sides of each chicken breast

Heat Olive Oil over medium high heat

Gently drop each chicken breast into hot oil.  Oil should sizzle when chicken breasts are dropped in.

Cook each side of the chicken breasts 3-4 minutes.

Transfer onto plate and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.  It’s very important to let the chicken breasts rest because this will complete the cooking process.  If you serve it without resting chicken breasts will be under cooked.

 

Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 5 mins
Cook Time Passive Time
8 mins 5-10 mins
Servings Prep Time
2 5 mins
Cook Time Passive Time
8 mins 5-10 mins
Pan Fried Herb Crusted Chicken Breasts
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 5 mins
Cook Time Passive Time
8 mins 5-10 mins
Servings Prep Time
2 5 mins
Cook Time Passive Time
8 mins 5-10 mins
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Wash chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towel
  2. Mix all dry ingredients together.
  3. Pat generous amounts of spice mixture on to both sides of each chicken breast
  4. Heat Olive Oil over medium high heat
  5. Gently drop each chicken breast into hot oil. Oil should sizzle when chicken breasts are dropped in.
  6. Cook each side of the chicken breasts 3-4 minutes.
  7. Transfer onto plate and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. It's very important to let the chicken breasts rest because this will complete the cooking process. If you serve it without resting chicken breasts will be under cooked.
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