Southwest Chicken and Rice Bake

I’m getting the reputation as “that mom”. You know, the one who posts everything her kids are eating on Instagram…and most of it is healthy.

It’s one of the handful of reputations I’m really okay with. Mostly it’s just that the food I’m making my kids just so happens to be somewhat tastefully plated, adorned with some sort of garnish, and photos taken as proof of all of the above. I mean, you DO eat with your eyes…kids are no exception.

Growing up an overweight child, I’m VERY purposeful about everything that I say and do that involves food. You’ll never hear me use the word “clean” or “bad” or even “not good”. Instead, I’m trying to use language that includes “help us grow” and “keep healthy” or looking at the less-than-healthy foods as “sometimes foods”.

I don’t want to create any unhealthy relationships or associations with foods but it’s DARN HARD. I didn’t introduce Shea to fruit snacks or goldfish crackers, but she certainly knows what they are and she wants them. She’d choose them over most healthy foods….because, duh.

Somehow, I think that making food look GOOD has actually helped me keep my kids eating what’s put on the dinner table. And enjoying it. Firstly, they’re not getting anything else. Secondly, they see Mark and I eating the same. And last but not least, I involve my kids in the cooking process and they see me photograph good-looking food. Of course they want to try it!

Some food, though…it’s hard to make look good. The dump-and-go meals are some of the recipes that we all love most and yet they’re the ones that can fail to impress on looks alone. I took this recipe for foil packets and simplified it into a 9×13 baking dish. Dump…and go. So simple and enjoyed by all! Great as leftovers, too!


5.0 from 1 reviews
Southwest Chicken and Rice Bake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings (4 oz chicken with 1 cup rice/beans/vegetables)
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups quick brown rice or white
  • 2 cup water
  • 4 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 3 (8 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • ⅔ cup salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15 oz) can no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lime, halved
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Combine the rice and water in a 9x13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the taco seasoning.
  3. Cut chicken breasts in half width-wise to create two thinner breasts and place on top of the rice. Sprinkle with remaining taco seasoning.
  4. Top chicken with salsa and cheese. Add the veggies and beans on the top and sides of the chicken. Drizzle with olive oil and top with foil.
  5. Bake for 1 hour, or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from oven and carefully open up the foils. Broil for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables begin to char. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and serve hot.
Notes
Recipe heavily adapted from Gimme Delicious
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 oz chicken with 1 cup rice/beans/vegetables Calories: 413 Fat: 12.8 Carbohydrates: 44.5 Sugar: 3.3 Sodium: 618 Fiber: 7.2 Protein: 33.5 Cholesterol: 75
Be well,

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8 Comments

  1. Jennifer Santana
    August 16, 2018 / 10:06 am

    Yes! I love anything that I can just put on 1 baking dish and bake it up in the oven. No pots and pans to clean up.

    • Nicole Morrissey
      Author
      August 17, 2018 / 12:23 pm

      YES! Amen, amen! 🙂

  2. MarthaE
    August 16, 2018 / 12:46 pm

    So there with you on kids and eating. My child is an unusual eater in that she does eat healthy and eats very little junk and processed food (except for her food at daycare because they provide meals – saving grace for Mommy but she is also being introduced to frozen chicken nuggets but you can’t win them all). She will actually want to eat her veggies before eating the rest of what is on her plate not because she wants to get them over with but because she LOVES veggies. She also loves seafood – scallops, salmon, haddock, and believe it or not, lobster. She sees Mommy and Daddy eat the same thing and that has helped us immensely in the long run. Both my husband and I love food and eating good food, so this in turn has been passed down to her. Her birthday is tomorrow and she has actually requested salmon for dinner. Works for us!

    • Nicole Morrissey
      Author
      August 17, 2018 / 12:23 pm

      You’re right – we can’t win them all! But modeling for kids what a healthy and balanced diet is…priceless! 🙂 My kids LOVE seafood, too. I wish our daycare provided meals (in some ways…) but the teachers are always commenting on the “real” food she gobbles down. I’m often asked, “What WAS that? It smelled awesome!” 🙂

  3. Lisa
    August 24, 2018 / 8:52 am

    If I were to do this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, by how much would I shorten the cook time? Thank you!

    • Nicole Morrissey
      Author
      August 26, 2018 / 8:21 am

      Hi Lisa! Good question! The chicken will cook a bit faster, but the vegetables need that time to get tender. Since the thighs have a bit more fat, they can sustain the longer cooking time. I’d leave the dish covered with foil 10 additional minutes and shorten the uncovered cooking time by 5 minutes or so. You can also remove the thighs and return the dish to the oven and broil for a few minutes to get the vegetables tender and slightly charred – yum!

    • Nicole Morrissey
      Author
      August 26, 2018 / 8:21 am

      Hi Lisa! Good question! The chicken will cook a bit faster, but the vegetables need that time to get tender. Since the thighs have a bit more fat, they can sustain the longer cooking time. I’d leave the dish covered with foil 10 additional minutes and shorten the uncovered cooking time by 5 minutes or so. You can also remove the thighs and return the dish to the oven and broil for a few minutes to get the vegetables tender and slightly charred – yum!

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