Weeknight style One Skillet Saucy Chicken Tortilla Enchilada Rice Bake…finished with all the toppings…of course! Mexican seasoned chicken, rice, and enchilada sauce all cooked together in one skillet, then topped with tortilla chips and plenty of cheese. Throw the skillet in the oven to create the perfect cheesy, one skillet, Mexican inspired chicken and rice dinner. There’s simply nothing not to love. This dish is easy, takes under an hour to make, is cheesy, and all-around delicious. The perfect meal to serve to family and friends.
There are days when developing new recipes, that do not go nearly as planned. The “bad” days don’t happen often, so I’m thankful for that, but they’re never very fun when they do happen. I had a day last week where literally not one of the five recipes I was working on showed any promise. Nothing I was testing was working and the entire day was a struggle. Finally, at the end of the day, I accepted that something was clearly off and it just wasn’t my day for recipe testing.
These days happen, it’s hard not to beat myself up about them. But I’m slowly learning to accept them and attempt to move on the best I can.
Now, all that said, the one good thing I’ve noticed about bad days? Nine times out of ten, the following day ends up being so much better. As my dad always tells me, you wouldn’t know what a good day is without having the bad days.
Anyway, I’m completely rambling, but the point of this long story is that this recipe came to be after a bad day of cooking. It was almost as though I knew I needed a great recipe to make up for the previous day’s failed dishes.
Enter this one skillet chicken and rice dinner. Somehow this dish worked perfectly the very first time I tested it out. It’s probably my favorite recipe of the week. I’ve been excited to share it with you all since the day I created it.
Here are all the details.
As you can guess, this simple dinner is made start to finish all in one skillet. So, the very first step…find yourself a great skillet. I love using a cast iron skillet, but any oven-safe skillet or even dutch oven will work great.
Next, brown some ground chicken, turkey, or beef. Really, use whatever you love most. I typically use chicken, but when my brothers are in town, beef is always their first choice. Brown the meat, season it up, then pour in your favorite enchilada sauce and water. Bring this mix to a boil, add the rice, cover and let the rice steam for a bit. This only takes ten or so minutes. You do not need to cook the rice completely as it will finish cooking in the oven.
Now, once the rice is “al dente”, the rest is pretty simple and comes together quickly. Top the skillet full of chicken and rice with cheese, then tortilla chips, and finish with one more sprinkle of cheese. Transfer the skillet to the oven, bake until the cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbly.
And that’s it. Simple right? This dish smells incredible and tastes even better. But then, what’s not to love about Mexican rice topped with cheesy tortilla chips!?
The secret to this skillet dinner?
It’s all about the seasoning mix plus that enchilada sauce.
For the seasoning mix, I was inspired by my quick weeknight tacos. I used smoky paprika, ground cumin, and a chipotle chili pepper in adobo. It’s just a touch spicy, a little smoky, and hinted with garlic.
For the enchilada sauce, I like to use the homemade recipe from the original HBH Cookbook, but if you’re using store-bought I typically pick up this one. It’s as close to homemade as it gets. Just be sure to use a sauce that’s high quality and one that you know you really enjoy, as it’s key in this recipe.
Let’s talk about the toppings.
I topped this skillet bake just as I would a taco, with plenty of fresh cilantro, avocado, a dollop of yogurt, and a squeeze of lime. You could even add a pickled red onion on the side if you like.
If you wanted to take the toppings a step further, I would recommend a pineapple salsa or mango salsa. But you all know me, I love a good fruity salsa. Oh, and maybe add a nice margarita too. This strawberry margarita is perfect for the springtime days ahead.
What I love most about this recipe is the fact that it’s a complete dinner. It’s an all-in-one dish that everyone can really enjoy. I can serve this up on busy weeknights, but it’s equally great for a Saturday or Sunday night dinner with friends and family. I’ll be making this dish time and time again…actually, I’ve made it three times in the past week. Yep, it’s that good.
Looking for other one skillet dinner ideas…check out these. Or maybe a couple of my favorites below.
Lastly, if you make this one skillet saucy chicken tortilla enchilada rice bake, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is my favorite!
One Skillet Saucy Chicken Tortilla Enchilada Rice Bake
Calories Per Serving: 765 kcal
Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground chicken, beef, or turkey
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1-2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped, use to your taste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 1/2 cups (19 ounces) red enchilada sauce
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup dry long grain rice
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving
- juice of 1 lime
- 2 cups tortilla chips
- 1-2 cups shredded Mexican cheese
- sliced avocado and yogurt, for serving
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- 1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.2. In a large oven safe skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the ground chicken and onion. Cook, breaking up the meat as it cooks, until the chicken is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeños, garlic, paprika, cumin, and salt, cook 1 minute. Stir in the enchilada sauce, chipotle chili, if using, and 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, stir in the rice. Place the lid on the skillet and turn the heat down to the lowest setting possible. Allow the rice to cook 15 minutes, until most of the liquid has cooked into the rice, but not all of it. 3. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Sprinkle 1/3 of the cheese over the chicken/rice. Add the tortilla chips on top, pressing them gently into the cheese. Evenly sprinkle on the remaining cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted. 4. Serve topped as desired with avocado, cilantro, and yogurt. Enjoy!