Southwestern Chicken, Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers are loaded with flavor and make a fun, festive dinner anytime! They can be made ahead of time and they’re also freezer-friendly.
If you’re like me, you always have several varieties of beans both dried and canned along with numerous types of rice in your pantry. It’s something I’ve always had around since my vegetarian days because together, they make a complete protein. Best of all, they’re budget-friendly!
My Southwestern Chicken, Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers have been a client favorite for years. They’re a fun and festive dinner your entire family will enjoy! They can be made ahead of time and they’re also freezer-friendly!
How to make Southwestern Chicken, Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers:
- Start with four beautiful bell peppers. You can use any color or color combination you’d like. I went for one of each: Green, red, yellow and orange.
- Cut them in half, remove the seeds and membranes and place in a prepared baking dish. Leaving the stems intact looks beautiful and is totally up to you. Keep in mind that part of the pepper is totally inedible so it may not be appropriate for kids and the elderly.
- Bake two chicken breast halves that are seasoned with salt, pepper and chili powder. You can also use rotisserie chicken or approximately two cups leftover simply cooked chicken. Just season it with a little chili powder.
- While the chicken is baking, prepare the rice. Cook onion, garlic, spices, diced tomatoes and green chiles then add the rice and let that cook for approximately 20 minutes.
- Combine the rice, chicken, a little salsa, chopped cilantro and some cheese. Place even amounts of the filling in each pepper.
- Top with the remaining chunky salsa.
- The rest of the cheese…
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil…
- And bake!
Southwestern Chicken, Rice and Black Bean Stuffed Peppers! Cheesy, spicy, hearty, fun and festive! Just what everyone could always use a little more of!
For more amazing stuffed pepper recipes, be sure to try my:
- Italian Beef and Farro Stuffed Peppers
- Southwestern Beef and Barley Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Chorizo Brown Rice Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Chicken, Brown Rice and Cheese-Stuffed Poblanos
- Quinoa, Corn and Black Bean Stuffed Poblano Peppers
These peppers are great to make ahead so be sure to check out this collection of family-friendly pantry-inspired and make-ahead recipes, too!
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- 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- Nonstick cooking spray or additional canola oil, for pan
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (approximately 1 pound)
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more for rice
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for rice
- 1 teaspoon plus 1 tablespoon chili powder, divided
- 4 large bell peppers, one each green, red, yellow, orange
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 can (4-ounce) diced green chiles
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 cup uncooked white rice
- 2 cups water, vegetable broth or chicken broth
- 1 can (15-ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 jar (16-ounce) chunky salsa, divided
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 2 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese, divided
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray or oil a large, deep baking dish (at least 13 x 9-inch). Set aside.
- Place chicken breasts on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon canola oil. Season chicken with ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Bake for 20-23 minutes or until cooked through to 165 degrees in the center. Set aside to cool.
- Prep the peppers: Cut in half from top to bottom. Remove membranes and stems. Place in the prepared baking dish.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add the onion, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, 4-5 minutes or until beginning to soften and is turning translucent.
- Add the chopped tomato, garlic, green chiles, remaining 1 tablespoon chili powder, cumin and coriander. Cook 1 minute.
- Add the rice and water or broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer on low 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and let stand another 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
- Transfer rice to a large bowl. Add the black beans.
- Dice the chicken into ½-inch pieces. Add to bowl.
- Stir in ½ cup salsa, half the cilantro and half the cheese.
- Divide the mixture among the peppers. Top with remaining salsa and cheese.
- Cover loosely with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake an additional 10-12 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Garnish with remaining chopped fresh cilantro.
--Brown rice or quinoa may be substituted for the white rice. Increase cooking time accordingly per package directions.
--A can of diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Rotel) may be substituted for the fresh tomato and canned green chiles.
--Substitute pinto beans for black beans.
--Substitute enchilada sauce for chunky salsa.
MAKE AHEAD: Prepare to the point of baking. Cover securely and refrigerate. Add 5-10 minutes to the baking time.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY: Leave the cheese off until ready to bake. Wrap securely and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw 24-48 hours in the refrigerator. Add cheese and bake as directed but add additional baking time.