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One Pot Queso Chicken and Rice is made in just one pot and loaded with tons of flavor! Seasoned tender chicken pieces, white rice, and a semi-homemade queso sauce of Rotel tomatoes and nacho cheese sauce, this one pot meal is sure to become a family favorite! It’s perfect for busy back-to-school weeknights!
One Pot Queso Chicken and Rice Recipe
This easy recipe is a dinnertime favorite that the entire family will love! If you love Mexican food then this queso chicken skillet (aka – chicken con queso recipe) is sure to become a favorite. With simple ingredients like chicken breasts, dried seasonings, chicken broth, nacho cheese sauce, Rotel tomatoes, and white rice it’s a quick dinner to prepare for busy weeknights.
Creamy nacho cheese sauce combines with Rotel tomatoes to create a queso sauce that flavors this dish so well. Top it off with your favorite taco toppings and dinner is ready to go.
One-pot meals are always on rotation at my house. I love that everything cooks in one pot, which means less dishes and it’s usually done in 30 minutes or less. Some of my family’s other favorite one pot meals are this Chicken Burrito Skillet , One Pot Taco Pasta, and my most recent fave Southwest Chicken Pasta.
Simple Ingredients For This Easy Dinner
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts – Cut the chicken into small pieces (like small bite-sized, about 1-inch or less) so it cooks quickly in the skillet pan.
- Olive Oil – I prefer using extra-virgin olive oil ‘light tasting’. Any other oil can be used like avocado oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil.
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Chicken Broth
- Nacho Cheese Sauce – You will find this by the other Mexican type ingredients at the grocery store. Usually by the canned and jarred salsas along with the green chiles and tortillas.
- Rotel – Use mild, original, medium heat, or spicy heat of Rotel. Rotel is a specific brand of diced tomatoes with green chiles.
- White Rice – Uncooked white rice gets added to the skillet pan. No need to cook it prior to using it. It’s also best to not use minute rice as this recipe was specifically designed for the longer cook time of regular long-grain white rice.
How To Make This One Pot Chicken Recipe (Step-by-Step Directions & Recipe Card)
- Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet pan (with higher sides on it), over medium high heat, and add the chicken pieces and sprinkle the dried seasonings over top. Cook for 6-8 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Stir in the chicken broth, nacho cheese sauce, and rotel. Bring to a boil and then add the uncooked rice. Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot with a lid. Let it simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the rice cooked through and no liquid remains in the pot.
Can I Use Minute Rice?
I do not recommend using minute rice, or quick 1-minue rice, for this recipe. The recipe has been specifically developed using the longer cook time of the long-grain white rice. Minute rice only needs about a minute + much different prep is needed to get it to turn out correctly.
I only recommend using long-grain white rice for this recipe.
Can I Use Chicken Tenderloins?
Yes, chicken tenderloins are a great cut of chicken to use in this recipe. They’re already pretty small so just make sure you still cut the into small, bite-sized chunks and be sure to remove that tendon-like string piece that is in the tenderloin. It’s easiest to remove it using a fork to pull it out.
What Changes Can I Make To This One Pot Queso Chicken and Rice Recipe?
- Protein : Cook and crumble 1 pound of ground beef, ground turkey, or ground chicken instead of the chicken chunks. Be sure to drain the skillet pan of any excess grease or moisture from cooking the ground meat in it.
- Make It Spicy! : This queso chicken and rice already has a slight kick to it, but if you want to make it even spicier then there are several things you can do. Try using a can of medium or hot Rotel. Add some cayenne pepper or chili powder in with the other dried seasonings. Add a can of diced green chiles or chopped jalapeños in with the broth and nacho cheese.
- Beans : Add a can of black beans or pinto beans in with the nacho cheese sauce and chicken broth. Make sure the beans have been drained and rinsed prior to adding them to the pot.
How To Store Leftover Chicken Queso and Rice
Cool leftovers to room temperature and then store it inside an airtight container, in the fridge, for up to 4 days. Leftovers are easily heated up in the microwave before eating.
One Pot Queso Chicken and Rice
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 2 large chicken breasts)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 2¼ cups chicken broth
- 1 can (15 oz) nacho cheese sauce
- 1 can (10 oz) Rotel
- 1½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice
- Cut the chicken into small, bite-sized pieces or strips (about 1 inch).1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or sauté pan (with higher sides on it and a lid), over medium high heat, and add the chicken pieces along with the dried seasonings. Cook the chicken, stirring frequently, until it's cooked to an internal temperature of 165℉.* If excess liquid is in the pan from cooking the chicken, I recommend draining it from the pan.1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon cumin, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Stir in the chicken broth, nacho cheese sauce, and Rotel. Bring to a boil.2¼ cups chicken broth, 1 can (15 oz) nacho cheese sauce, 1 can (10 oz) Rotel
- Once boiling, stir in the uncooked rice.1½ cups uncooked long-grain white rice
- Cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.
- Serve immediately with your favorite taco toppings like sour cream, pico de gallo or chopped tomatoes, and sliced avocado.