This Santa Fe Chicken recipe is loaded with black beans, corn, Ro-tel tomatoes, southwest spices, and melty cheese. It's ready in 30 minutes and great for hungry families!
You may also enjoy this flavorful Creamy Southwest Chicken recipe next.
This skillet recipe comes together quickly, and the beans and cheese make it hearty and filling.
I wanted this recipe to be fuss-free and use simple everyday ingredients. You start by pan-frying the chicken, take it out of the pan briefly to make the sauce, and then add it back in, top with cheese, and finish it up in the oven. So easy!
Recipe notes & tips:
- Original Rotel is fairly spicy, so use the mild version if that's an issue for you.
- If you don't have Rotel diced tomatoes, you can use regular ones, but I suggest adding a can of green chilies as well (the 4 ounce size would work great. You can get mild or hot ones). If you can't access those, try adding a chopped jalapeno pepper if you want some heat, or a poblano pepper or two for more mild spice.
- I love oven-proof skillets because they're so versatile and I use them in many of my recipes. This is the skillet I used for this recipe. Any fairly deep oven-proof skillet will work just fine.
- If the chicken is sticking during the pan-frying step (this can happen sometimes, especially if you use a stainless steel pan and don't get it hot enough), let it cook a little longer so it naturally releases.
- If you're ever unsure if chicken is cooked, you can get an inexpensive instant read digital meat thermometer - they're super easy to use and you won't have to worry about over or under-cooked chicken again.
What to serve with Santa Fe Chicken?
The dish is quite filling on its own, but rice goes very well with it. Or serve it with a side salad to keep things lighter. You could even cut the chicken up and serve it in tacos with some sour cream and other taco fixings.
Other delicious chicken recipes to try:
- Skillet Salsa Chicken
- Mozzarella Mushroom White Wine Chicken
- Creamy White Chicken Chili
- Easy Chicken Tortilla Soup
I hope you will like this Santa Fe chicken!
Questions? Let me know in the comments below.
Santa Fe Chicken Skillet
- 2 large chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 1 (10 fluid ounce) can Ro-tel diced tomatoes & green chilies drained
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can black beans drained & rinsed
- 1 (12 fluid ounce) can corn drained
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup Mexican cheese blend
- Fresh cilantro chopped (optional, to taste)
- Preheat the oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position.
- Cut the chicken breasts in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner cutlets. Season both sides with the garlic powder, chili powder, and salt & pepper.
- Add the oil to a skillet over medium-high heat. Once it's hot, add the chicken and cook for about 3-4 minutes/side until lightly golden. Take the chicken out of the pan.
- Add the onion to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes or until it's softened and lightly browned.
- Stir in the Rotel tomatoes, beans, corn, and smoked paprika. Let it heat through for a couple of minutes, and be sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the chicken back in and spoon some of the tomatoes/beans/corn onto the chicken. Sprinkle the cheese over top of everything (I concentrate it on the chicken).
- Place the skillet in the oven for 5-7 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (165F) and the cheese is nice and melty. You can broil the cheese for a few minutes at the end if you want it to be browned.
- Top with fresh chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
- This is the Le Creuset skillet pictured.
- If your skillet isn't oven-proof, for step 6 you can either transfer the skillet contents to a baking dish or simply keep cooking the chicken in the skillet (cover it with a lid so the cheese melts).
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Delicious! I made small baked potatoes as a side for this dish with sour cream on the sidevand another side of fresh green beans. It made a very yummy meal!
Love that!! Thank you!!
Beth W says
I would like to make this a day ahead and have hubby pop in the oven. How would I go about this? I would be using a casserole dish.
Hi! I've only tested it as written. I'd make it as instructed then transfer to a casserole dish and then reheat at 275F until it's hot. Is he going to need to reheat it all at once? Otherwise, I'd just store it in individual portions and he can microwave it as he would any other dish. Hope it's a hit!
Thanks for the recipe! I made a minor change, instead of cayenne, I used Goya Sazon. Oh my goodness!! It was so delicious!! We will have this one again!!
I meant instead of paprika, not cayenne. I used Goya Sazon.
You're very welcome! 🙂
Kristen Claiborn says
I really over seasoned my chicken and used leftover pinto beans instead of black beans and it was fantastic!
Made this tonight…it was delicious!
Thank you, Tammy! Glad you enjoyed it!
Not much taste to it.
Strange... this is a very highly rated recipe. Wonder what went wrong in your kitchen!
I love this recipe! I have made it twice in the last couple of weeks. I will be making it again in a couple of days for my daughter and her husband. I cut the chicken up into bite size pieces and used coby jack cheese because that's what I had on hand. I will be making this again and again. It is also healthy and easy to prepare. Thank you for sharing this recipe.
Awesome!! 🙂 You're welcome!
I'm sorry, I forgot to leave a 5 star review.
Appreciate it, Pam! 🙂
Love this recipe! I have made it twice and will make it again in a couple of days for my daughter. I cut the chicken in bite size pieces and used coby jack cheese, that's what I had on hand. I didn't put it in the oven, just melted the cheese in the skillet. I will be making this over and over again. I like that it is healthy, too. Thank you so much for sharing.
I made this last night with one tweak. I cooked the chicken in the air fryer and while they were cooking I made everything else in a skillet. I followed the directions otherwise and it came out great! My husbands only suggestion was to put tortilla strips on top to give it a crunch.
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Tortilla strips are a great addition! Glad you enjoyed it, Jess.
Delish and super easy. Your instructions were awesome. Thanks for a simple supper with great flavor.
Thank you so much!! I'm so glad you found the instructions easy to follow. That is definitely what I am going for. Really appreciate your 5-star review!
I tried this recipe last week, and my husband and I loved it. It is very easy to make and it really tastes good. In fact, I am making it again today. My husband told me it would be great with cornbread. So that's what I'm doing today.
Can I substitute cumin for the chili powder?
You could, but it may overpower the other flavors as chili powder is a blend. I'd probably use less than 1/2 teaspoon if using just ground cumin.
Easy, delicious, and different. I am always trying to find new ways to cook chicken breasts and this was great (although I can't cut a chicken breast in half to save my life and ended up with tenders). I added spinach and served it with brown rice. I will definitely make this again. Thanks for another great recipe.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!! 🙂
Denise Kunz says
Made this last evening for dinner, and this will be going in to the rotation of good, quick, easy meals. I’m always looking for different and easy things to make. This was very flavorful and I served it over rice. Looking forward to trying another recipe this evening. Thank you for sharing your quick, tasty meals.
I'm so happy you enjoyed it, Denise! I appreciate your review. 🙂 Let me know what else you make!
Linda Henderson says
Fixed this and it was delicious
Will make again and again
I forgot the cilantro so I was stuck using dried cilantro so next time I will add it to it as instructed!!!!’ Cannot wait to fix again ❤️
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Yay! Glad it was a hit despite forgetting the cilantro, Linda!
Wow this was absolutely delicious just made it cannot wait to make it again
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
That's so nice to hear, Alice! Thanks!
Yum! This was easy and quick to prepare and yielded big flavor. Thank you for this winner!
Fantastic!! You're very welcome, Kathy!
What a delicious and easy recipe to prepare...I cut the recipe in half and I'm going to use the leftover 1/2 cans for a tortilla chip dip...I used the stove top only option because it's been so hot I didn't want to add to the heat in the house...we loved the spice flavors this had...very nice presentation...thanks for sharing your recipe...
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!! 🙂 You're very welcome, Teresa!
This recipe is so delicious!!!! I made some jasmine rice and put the chicken and vegetables on top. Another keeper!!!!! I have a binder with internet recipes. I now just need one exclusively for Salt and Lavender recipes!
Aww that's so sweet of you!! I'm so happy you enjoyed this one too. 😀
I had a rotisserie chicken and I used the breast for it. I cut it in chunks and added the chicken sprinkled with the spice in with the canned food. After the 5-7 minutes it was hot in the oven and very good.
Awesome!! That's a great idea.
Hi Natasha - I've had this on my "to make" list for far too long - and finally made it last night. It was so easy to make and so delicious! Loved the flavors.
I can't do spicy so put the red pepper flakes on the table and substituted crushed tomatoes because it was what I had on hand. Served it over basmati rice. Can't wait for the leftovers tonight!
Yay! I'm so glad it was a hit!
Victoria Spencer says
I made this tonight! So easy and yummy. I used low fat cheddar to lighten it just a little. This was my fourth of your recipes I have made in the last 4 weeks and every one has been so yummy!! I like to cook and the hubby likes to eat so we are both happy 🙂
Miranda @ Salt & Lavender says
Aw that's wonderful to hear! Thrilled you're both enjoying the recipes, Victoria 🙂
Great recipe! Easy, quick and delicious. Thank you!
You're very welcome!
It was super easy and amazing. It was voted to have again by the family!!
That's what I like to hear! 😀
Nate S says
You have to be very careful when broiling because you raise the temp too high and risk pushing all of the water out of the corn and beans… you’ll wind up with a soupy mess. Otherwise, it tastes great!
Glad you enjoyed it, Nate! Yup, it's just a quick broil so I haven't had any complaints on that happening, but thanks for the tip.
This the second recipe that I’ve made of yours this week. We loved the flavour of this dish. I served it with basmati rice. It was so easy and quick to make using minimal ingredients with great taste! I will be making this regularly!
I'm so happy to hear that, Krista!! 🙂 Let me know if you make anything else. XO
Kim Wright says
Kim Wright says
Love the dish! Thank you for sharing.
Fantastic!! You're very welcome, Kim! 🙂
Huge hit with my picky crew! Thank you for such a flavorful alternative to Taco Tuesday!!
You're welcome, Cindy!! 🙂
Ruthie Minsk-Whitehead says
So far I have tried three of your recipes and they are all fantastic. Last evening I made the “Santa Fe Chicken” and it was a big hit. My husband said I hope there is leftovers because I want it for dinner tomorrow as well. Since I doubled the recipe there will be more than enough for the three of us. I served it over yellow rice which was perfect.
Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes.
Thank you so much!! 🙂 I'm so glad you've been enjoying the recipes, Ruthie! Appreciate your review.
Quick, easy, and delicious! Very filling, so no need for a side except a few tortilla chips. Simple to adjust seasonings for different preferences. Excellent weeknight dinner!
So happy you enjoyed it, Christine! 🙂
Stacie Switek says
Dinner request was “not boring” chicken so I made this. I have been hearing how amazing it is for the last hour. Thank you for making me look good. This was so easy which is so surprising with how flavorful it is. We loved it and will definitely make it again.
Well that's great to hear!! 🙂 I'm so glad the family enjoyed it!
Lexi Dunaway says
This recipe was amazing! I put hard taco shells in the oven and topped with more cheese & sour cream my entire family loved it !
That's fab!! 🙂
My whole family loved it (even my picky eater) and my taco loving son placed this higher on the list! I left out the spicy peppers because of the kiddos, but it was still fantastic (and easy!).
Fantastic!! Thanks for commenting, Kate! 😀
Very good recipe. Used tomato sauce since no diced tomatoes on hand. Will make this again!
Tried this and loved it!! It was so easy felt professional and my picky 4 year old was bugging me for more thank so much for this it's one for the books for sure! 🙂
Yay that's great!!
Stephanie Warkentin says
Very easy, one pan recipe and so delicious!
I'm so happy you enjoyed it!!
This recipe is super delicious and it was
so easy to make! Next time I’ll have to make some Mexican rice as extra side to it
Excellent! Thanks for commenting!
I’m obsessed with this recipe! It was so easy to make that I did it twice in one week. The first go around I used freshly chopped tomatoes and jalapeño pepper instead of the Rotel tomatoes and green chilies. Also added a little dollop of sour cream and served with cauliflower rice.
No matter how you interpret the recipe it will definitely become a quick favorite!
I'm so happy it's a hit for you, Rachel! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. I'm happy you were able to adapt it based on what you had in your kitchen!
Millie Shelton says
I'm wondering how to make it in my crockpot?
I haven't tested that - sorry!