Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet

4.67 from 33 votes
45 minutes
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Southwestern Chicken, Orzo and Black Bean Skillet is an easy and festive stovetop dinner that’s perfect for a weeknight!  Your family will ask for it again and again! For another family-friendly one-pot meal, be sure to try my Beef Rice Zucchini Skillet!

“Made this last night and my family LOVED it! I just ate some of the leftovers for lunch and this recipe is definitely a keeper!

Photo of Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet with wooden spoon and red and white towel on blue background.

Hey, all!  I’ve got a dish that’s super easy for a weeknight with a serious delish factor you and your whole family will love!  Southwestern Chicken, Orzo and Black Bean Skillet!

As I was making this, my hubby kept looking over at it like… “When is that going to be ready?”

How’s this?  It’s ready in about 45 minutes from start to finish and best of all, it’s made on the stovetop in just one skillet!  Your family is going to love this dish!

What is orzo?

Orzo, also called risoni is pasta that is shaped like a grain of rice.  It can be made with regular white flour or whole wheat flour.  Because it is made with wheat, it generally is not gluten-free like rice is.  However, DeLallo makes gluten-free orzo.

I love that it cooks so quickly and is so versatile!

Photo of orzo pasta spilling out of a glass jar.

How to make Southwestern Chicken, Orzo and Black Bean Skillet:

  • Slice two chicken breast halves into thin strips.
  • Season generously with salt, black pepper and your favorite taco seasoning or another Southwestern-style seasoning.
  • Brown, then transfer to a plate.
Photo of chicken in skillet being cooked and stirred with wooden spoon.
  • Cook some onion, red bell pepper…
  • Add the chicken back to the skillet.
  • Then add canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, chicken broth, the orzo, more of the taco seasoning…
  • And cook away!
  • Add frozen corn that you’ve thawed and drained and rinsed black beans…
Close-up photo of Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet being stirred with wooden spoon.
  • Cheese!
Photo of Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet with cheese being added.
  • …And you’ve got one of the most satisfying, comforting meals ever that you can make in one skillet the whole family will love!
Close-up photo of Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet.
Photo of Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet on blue background with red and white striped towel.

Southwestern Chicken, Orzo and Black Bean Skillet is cheesy, pleasy and easy!  Guaranteed to become a new family favorite you’ll want to make again and again!

Close-up photo of Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet with wooden spoon.

For more great easy, family-friendly chicken recipes, try my:

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Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet - Close-up hero shot with wooden spoon and red and white towel on blue background

Southwestern Chicken Orzo and Black Bean Skillet

4.67 from 33 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Southwestern Chicken, Orzo and Black Bean Skillet is an easy and festive stovetop dinner that’s perfect for a weeknight!  Your family will ask for it again and again!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Chicken and Turkey
Cuisine Southwestern / Mexican
Servings 4
Calories 479 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves - approximately 1 pound, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning - or another Southwestern-style seasoning, divided
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 small onion - finely chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper - chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 can (10.75-ounce) diced tomatoes with green chiles - undrained
  • 1 can (14.5-ounce) chicken broth - or more as needed
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 cup corn kernels - thawed if frozen
  • 1 can (15-ounce) black beans - drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese

Instructions
 

  • Season chicken strips with salt, black pepper and 2 teaspoons taco seasoning.
  • Heat oil in a nonstick skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Place chicken strips in the pan and brown well on both sides. Transfer to a plate but reserve dripping in the pan. Return pan to medium-high heat.
  • Add the onion and a pinch of salt, then reduce heat to medium. Cook the onions until softened, 7-8 minutes.
  • Add the red bell pepper and continue cooking another 4-5 minutes or until softened.
  • Add garlic and cook briefly or until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  • Return chicken to the skillet.
  • Add diced tomatoes, chicken broth and remaining taco seasoning. Bring to a boil.
  • Add orzo and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 15-17 minutes or until orzo is cooked through and the liquid is absorbed but not dry. (Add additional chicken broth if needed.)
  • Stir in corn and black beans and heat through.
  • Stir in half the cheese then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes

SUBSTITUTIONS:
  • Can also be made with white rice.
  • Instead of canned diced tomatoes with green chiles, use fresh tomatoes, jalapenos, or another green chile.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 479kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 683mg | Potassium: 503mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1413IU | Vitamin C: 42mg | Calcium: 666mg | Iron: 1mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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4.67 from 33 votes (32 ratings without comment)

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15 Comments

    1. Hi, Joy, Thanks so much for your question. No, it doesn’t really matter if it doesn’t matter to you. Because of the cheese, clean-up may not be a breeze. Do you have an enameled cast iron skillet? That would be a great alternative. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  1. Made this last night everyone loved it ! I didn’t have a can of diced tomatoes but I did have a jar of salsa in fridge ! It was a good substitute!!

    1. Hi, Donna, Thanks so very much and glad you enjoyed! One serving would be approximately 1/4 of the skillet unless you’re a light eater. Because the recipe calls for two boneless skinless chicken breast halves cut into pieces, one serving would have 1/2 of the chicken breast, 1/4 cup of the dry orzo, 1/4 cup of the corn, 1/4 of the can of beans, etc. All reasonable amounts for a serving. Because this is an “all-inclusive” kind of meal, all you’d really need on the side is a green vegetable or salad. Thanks again and hope this answers your question.

  2. What a great starting point for dinner! I made this tonight but added my own tweaks. Used red onion and added with the corn and beans, did not use chili spice but did use a couple of my Mexican spice blends (one included lime) plus some cumin. Oh and there is a company in Seattle’s Pike Street Market that makes some wonderful flavored orzo, so I used what I had left instead of plain orzo. It was very good and I will be making this again.

    1. Hi, Kimberly and thanks so much! Love that you made the recipe your own and built on it. I’ve only been to that market once and would really love to go back. Thanks for the suggestion!

      1. Hi Carol, just a quick FYI- the company is called Pappardelle’s Pasta and they do mail order. I just ordered 3 different orzo pastas from them but they have more. I love building tasty and unique dishes with them and I’m sure you would too. Just be careful as some are really spicy!

  3. Made this last night and my family LOVED it! I just ate some of the leftovers for lunch and this recipe is definitely a keeper. I have tried several of your recipes and they are easy to follow – plus they are delicious. Thank you for posting.

    1. Hi, Stephanie, Thanks so very much and you made my day! So glad you and yours enjoyed and I greatly appreciate the kind words! Thanks again!