One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice

5 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice made with chicken thighs and seasoned Mexican rice with vegetables baked until tender in the oven.

Mexican Rice and Chicken

One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice is so full of flavor and EASY! Plus the rice combines to make this deliciously soft, creamy and crispy texture that meant I was standing at the counter scooping up every last bit so it didn’t get wasted in the sink.

While this isn’t a classic arroz con pollo this is a definite take on the recipe. We love cooking chicken and rice in the same pot together, it makes such an easy meal with the smallest amount of cleanup!

The chicken in the dish is browned before being added to the pot with the rice, and the rice itself bakes in the oven. Topping the chicken with herbs and spices and the liquids from the chicken releasing into the rice while it is cooking makes for the richest flavors.

The rice in this dish is a variation of a super easy Mexican rice that uses salsa and chicken broth in making it. Depending on what I have on hand I’ve previously used fresh or jarred salsa. While they do taste different they are both completely delicious.

Totally off topic but awesome chef’s tip? If I have something like leftover Chimichurri Sauce I make rice with it! Add ½ cup or so (drain almost all the oil) and add to chicken broth for amazing rice.

Cooked chicken and rice casserole

Want to make the Mexican Chicken & Rice with white meat?

From a reader, Bryce, who made the One Pot Greek Chicken and Rice recipe with boneless chicken breasts:

Just FYI for anyone in the future who was wondering if you could make this with boneless Chicken Breast–You absolutely can and it is deeeelicious! I followed the pan searing directions for the chicken but after removing them, I set them aside until 25 minutes into cooking the rice portion in the oven. After 25 minutes I added the chicken breast on top and continued cooking it for another 25 minutes. I made it for my neighbors in need, but also made it for us. We loved it and they did too! Thank you!

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cooked mexican chicken with rice and peppers

Other versions of this chicken and rice casserole:

Tools Used in the making of this One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice Recipe:
Better Than Bouillon: I almost never buy boxes of broth because I keep the beef, chicken and vegetable version of this Better Than Bouillon.
Cast Iron Skillet: This is my most used pan in my kitchen, heavy, keeps heat well and gives the BEST sear ever.

One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice

One Pot Mexican Chicken and Rice made with chicken thighs and seasoned Mexican rice with vegetables baked until tender in the oven.    
Yield 5 Servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 5 chicken thighs bone in and skin on
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • tablespoons  olive oil
  • cups  white rice uncooked
  • 1 tablespoon garlic minced
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/2 red bell pepper minced
  • Parsley minced for garnish (optional)


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat the cast iron skillet on high heat.
  • Season your chicken to taste with garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika, kosher salt and cayenne pepper.
  • Add the chicken, skin side down and cook until browned, 4-5 minutes.
  • Flip and cook an additional 3-4 minutes.
  • Push the chicken to the side (or onto a plate).
  • Add the olive oil to your cast iron skillet and heat on medium-high.
  • Add in the onions and start to cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Once the onions are mostly melted add in the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds while stirring.
  • Add in the uncooked rice, salsa and red bell pepper and cook for a minute until boiling.
  • Pour in the chicken stock and put the chicken back in skin side up.
  • Bake covered with foil for 35-40 minutes.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 434kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 110mg | Sodium: 1101mg | Potassium: 683mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1215IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
mexican chicken
spanish chicken and rice with salsa cooked rice

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. I love this recipe and followed the recipe exactly! Thank you! I really enjoyed this and great for a meal for a gathering and have it ready and not be in the kitchen cooking and cleaning! This will also be a meal I will make for love offerings!

  2. Love it. I made some substitutions based off what I had. I did not have salsa. Instead i added tomato paste, onion, dried cilantro, splash of lime and garlic to the broth I had.
    Was delish!

  3. I made this, and transferred it all to a clear baking dish. My cast iron is small. I took the skin off of the chicken. I cooked the chicken on the stove longer than suggested, to make sure it was going to be cooked all the way. The timing still didn’t cook the chicken all the way. I ended up cooking it about 40-45 minutes. My old oven might be off. I also made the amount of seasonings stated together in a small jar, then I just sprinkled the chicken with the seasonings. If I had used the amount of seasonings suggested in this recipe, it would have been way too much! That is the only con. Other than that, its a keeper 😉

  4. I’ve made this a few times and it’s so delicious! Perfect as is, no need to modify a thing. Thanks for sharing such a great recipe!

  5. I made quite a few modifications based on what I had in the fridge and pantry. Added black beans and corn and I don’t like bell peppers so I used a poblano. I used all of the instructions though and I couldn’t have done it without them!! Amazing. Thank you!

  6. Love this dish.. Tonight I’m making it for the second time. My entire family loved it and were disappointed there weren’t left overs .

    1. I’d definitely call that a hit, Karen! Thanks for coming back to let me know how much you’re enjoying the recipe.

  7. This recipe is awesome! I make it in my large electric skillet and serve with cheese quesadillas and salad. Thank you

  8. My husband isn’t fond of cheese and it’s difficult to find Mexican recipes that don’t include it. So as soon as I saw this recipe I knew I had to give it a try. It was excellent! Chicken was moist, rice was done perfectly and there was a ton of flavor. Thank you for a great recipe!

  9. I love this recipe, my wife LOVES when I make this dish. The spice mixture is usable for baking, grilling or broiling chicken. This time I used a fresh medium salsa and sweet red peppers. Next time fresh hot salsa. Thanks for this and many other wonderful recipes.

  10. Absolutely delicious! I used cubes chicken breast instead of thighs and just did the whole think stovetop but this is a keeper and in my permanent rotation of meals now!!

  11. Wow! This is so delicious I can’t stop making it. It is the best Mexican rice I have ever had. It is so easy making everything in one pot, and there is so much flavor! Absolutely delicious, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! New family favorite!

  12. I don’t have a cast-iron pan. Can I cook everything on the stovetop in a regular pan then transfer the ingredients to a glass baking dish for the oven part of the process?

  13. I made this yesterday and I was asked why I’ve never made it before 🙂 It was a hit at our home. Authentic flavors and down right delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe!

  14. Would you have an instant pot version? What would you do to make it two cups of rice (double the liquid)? I have hungry teenage boys. Thank you.

  15. We JUST finished dinner. This was fabulous! Wanted something that was easy yet not boring for Cinco De Mayo and this was great. We had a dab of sour cream to our rice as we ate and served with flour tortillas. We will for sure make this again. No changes to the recipe!

  16. The spices burned on my cast iron pan at high heat with the chicken in it causing lots of smoke. Should oil go into the cast iron pan first?

  17. I know I found a winning recipe when my husband asks for it again during the same week! And super simple with the instant pot ?

  18. Excellent and easy! So flavorful and even more delicious the next day. I got lazy and used a McCormick Chili packet to season the chicken and it was still bomb. My husband who doesn’t like rice or chicken tore this recipe up. My children also loved it. Thank you a thousand times over! It was all gone in under 24 hours and was the perfect break meal at work last night; I am still dreaming about the rice.

  19. This is Absolutely Delicious!!! I usually dont commit on the page. I usually just commit on pinterest but this is soooooo good! I’ve learned with the type of rice I use that I cant use the 2 cups of stock. My rice is 1 cup to 1 1/4 cup of water or stock. That way I dont have mushy or watery rice. Now the combination of seasonings are a great mix and gives great flavor. I’ve used it for roasting chicken thighs in the oven and another time I roasted the thighs and legs in the oven and then the last 5 minutes put BBQ sauce on them. My family really loved it. I now make this mix of seasoning in bulk just so I don’t have to mix it when I need it. Tonight I’m just making the rice because I have some left over fajita chicken that I want to use together in a burrito. Thank you for this recipe!

  20. We love this meal! I only had chicken breast and brown rice This time So I improvised. I made everything as called for except I baked just the rice for 40 min and then added the browned chicken breast for 15 min! Delicious.

  21. I definitely made a lot of substitutions, but followed the recipe at it’s core. It was absolutely delicious! My only issue was that I found the rice to be too wet and even only cooking for 35 minutes, a bit overdone, but that very well may have been because of my substitutions.

    I needed this recipe to be very easy for me, so what I changed was the following:
    Instead of dealing with all the individual spices, I used some sofrito, chili powder, and sazon seasoning.
    Instead of salsa I used ro tel.
    I also cooked in some cilantro and topped it with cilantro as well, I did not include peppers as I had none on hand, and before I added liquid into my pot, I toasted my rice in the oil with the onions and spices.

    I think next time I will also try to add some kidney beans in as I cooked black beans on the side and it was so good!

  22. I’m sure this is a silly question but you say to brown each side of the chicken for a few minutes and then put it in the oven at the end. So obviously it’s not gonna be cooked all the way through until its baked?

    1. No silly questions when it comes to cooking 🙂 You are correct, browning is just to get some flavor but will not cook them through.

    1. You can, just keep in mind it will cook faster so you should check on it after 20-25 minutes. If the rice is cooked through, check your chicken to make sure it is done, you may have to bake the chicken longer it to get to the proper internal temp.

  23. Very tasty. Thanks for the recipe. I adjusted slightly as my salsa was too spicy to have a full cup. And I didn’t have the red capsicum. I only used one and half cups of stock (this is the second time I made it and found it too wet the first time). I served with a corn, avocado, tomato and black bean salsa (simply mixed together with lemon juice and Tabasco). I cooked on the stove top rather than in the oven.

  24. So easy to make and absolutely delish. Tastes just like my abuela’s dish! Will make this my new go to recipe.

    1. My husband is hard to cook for but loves this. Just wondering if I can freeze it. If so, would I put it all together and then freeze it or cook the whole thing and then freeze it?

      1. Love it when these recipes win over the hard to cook for 🙂 🙂 You would cook it first and then freeze. Thanks for the review!

  25. Made the recipe with brown rice for 40mins and the rice wasn’t even done. Also used chicken breast as well and afraid the chicken will over cook. Any recommendations?

    1. So sorry I’m just now seeing this. This recipe used white rice which takes a lesser cook time than brown rice. You could probably save it by taking the chicken out and cooking it until the rice is done.

  26. New to making something like this, and cooking in general. What level heat do you use when baking at the end? Your recipe says medium hot and then just leave it? I assume low heat?

    1. You’ll be baking this in the oven at the end in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Hope this clears things up!

    1. You could try seasoned diced tomatoes, one with maybe garlic and onion to replicate the flavor. I’d love to know how it turns out if you decide to try.

  27. This was our dinner tonight – very good, and picky son said it’s a keeper! You have so many wonderful sounding recipes! I bought the ingredients needed for the chicken lo mein, and that will be tomorrow’s dinner…..and then there’s the recipe with the spiralized vegetable noodles that came out today…..yum! So many things I want to try! Love your site!

    1. Love it! I’m so happy to hear that your picky eater loved it as well! I look forward to seeing you around the site!

  28. Made tonight with boneless chicken breast, cooked rice first and only cooked breast 20 minutes. Once i gathered all the ingredients and cut onion it was a very easy meal to put together.

  29. Hi this looks great. Onions are included in the directions but not listed in the ingredients. Wondering the quantity. Thanks!

  30. I love the cooking method on this! I bet that rice soaks up all that flavor!

    I also can’t wait to try that chimichurri rice!