Chicken, rice, and beans might seem like a bland dinner idea, but trust me when I say that this recipe packs tons of flavor into every single bite.
This is one of those no-fuss, one-pot meals that’s perfect for any night of the week.
I personally love it because I usually have all of these ingredients in my fridge and pantry at any given time. After all, they are pretty standard ingredients – chicken, rice, and black beans.
It might sound kind of meh at first, but there are some serious flavor boosting ingredients that bring out the best that this type of dish has to offer.
There are chipotles in adobo sauce to bring in some smoky notes, and a nice dose of spice.
If you don’t have chipotles in adobo constantly sitting in your pantry, you seriously need to reconsider how you are stocking your canned goods.
This is one of those ingredients that I absolutely love to use. By simply adding just a couple chipotles to a dish like this one, you get intense flavor and serious bang for your buck.
Then you have a nice tangy note of citrus from the lime juice and lime zest, to brighten up the hearty dish so it isn’t as heavy in flavor.
It’s amazing how just a bit of citrus can take a recipe to a whole new level. The brightness really changes the way that the chicken, rice, and beans come together. It’s a simple addition that helps to make this meal anything but bland.
The best part about this recipe is that you can use the mixture in lots of different ways.
Don’t worry, because this chili lime chicken is amazing on its own. You can serve it with a sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro and an extra squeeze of fresh lime juice if you feel so inclined.
Alternatively, I like to wrap up the mixture inside a large flour tortilla for an easy burrito. You can even make the burritos in batches, wrap them up, and keep them in your fridge to warm up throughout the week for lunches.
I mean, all the ingredients are exactly what you can get at any well-known burrito place, if you catch my drift…
Another option is loading this up on top of a bed of mixed greens, or in a burrito bowl. Just about any way that you can come up with to enjoy a combination of chicken, rice, and beans is going to be a fantastic way that you can gobble up this recipe.
I like to just load up a good amount on my plate and kick back with a sour beer. The sour notes of the beer pair so well with the flavors in the dish, but you can honestly pair it with a variety of beers if sour is not your thing.
(I know, I am one of the rare folks that obsesses over that kind of beer.)
You can even pair it with your favorite margarita and you’ll have a real celebration on your hands!
It’s the new dinner recipe that you’ll be reaching for on a weekly basis, no matter how busy your week is.Print
This chili lime chicken recipe is the ideal combination of poultry, rice, and black beans. You can turn it into burritos or enjoy on its own.
- 12 ounces dried black beans
- 2 canned chipotles in adobo, diced + 2 tsp adobo sauce
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp canola oil, divided
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1″ pieces
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup white long grain rice
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp lime zest
- Place beans in a large bowl and cover with 2 inches of water. Let soak overnight, or for at least 4 hours. Drain and rinse beans. For Instant Pot instructions to prepare the beans, scroll down to our “Cooking By the Numbers…” section below.
- Place beans in a stock pot and cover with 2 inches of fresh water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 35-45 minutes, or until beans are tender and cooked through. Drain. Stir in chipotles in adobo, adobo sauce, paprika, cumin, and lime juice. Set aside. (You can also cook the beans ahead of time and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
- Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high heat in the same pot the beans were cooked in. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to the bowl that the beans are in and set aside.
- Reduce heat to medium and add remaining canola oil to the pot. Add rice and stir frequently until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add garlic to the pot and let cook 30 seconds. Stir in the chicken broth. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Let cook 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done.
- Add chicken, black beans, and lime zest to pot and stir well. Let cook about 5 minutes, until all liquid has evaporated.
- Spoon onto serving plates and enjoy warm. You can also roll this into flour tortillas and enjoy as burritos.
- Category: Chicken
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: One-Pot Meals
Keywords: chicken, one-pot, weeknight dinners, beans and rice
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Soak Beans
Add beans to a large bowl and cover with 2 inches of water. Soak overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Drain and rinse the beans in a colander.
If you are making the beans in an Instant Pot, skip this step.
Step 2 – Prep and Measure Remaining Ingredients
Dice two chipotles in adobo.
Juice and zest one large lime. This should give you about 2 teaspoons of fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon of lime zest.
If you’re looking for a new microplane or zester, read our review here.
Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces.
Peel and mince three cloves of garlic, or push them through your garlic press.
Measure out all remaining ingredients as listed on the ingredients list.
Step 3 – Cook Beans
Place the beans in a stock pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Bring the pot to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook for 35-45 minutes, until cooked through.
If Using an Instant Pot: Rinse and drain black beans. Add beans them to the Instant Pot insert with 2¼ cups water. Cook on High pressure for 35 minutes. Allow to naturally release pressure – this will take about 20 minutes.
Drain beans and place in a large bowl. Stir in chipotles in adobo, adobo sauce, paprika, cumin, and lime juice. Set aside.
Note: Beans can be cooked ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 2 days, if you want to make them ahead and pause at this point.
Step 4 – Cook Chicken
Add 1 tablespoon of canola oil to the same pot the beans were cooked in, and place it on the stove over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is hot, add the chicken and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and add it to the bowl of beans.
Step 5 – Cook Rice
Using the same pot, reduce heat to medium and add 1 teaspoon of canola oil. Once it’s hot, add the rice and stir often, until it’s coated with oil and golden brown. This will take about 3 minutes.
Stir in the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Stir in the chicken broth.
Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 15- 20 minutes, until rice is cooked through.
Step 6 – Finish and Serve
Add the chicken, black beans, and lime zest to the pot with the rice. Stir to combine. Cook for 5 additional minutes uncovered, until all liquid has evaporated.
Spoon onto plates and serve warm.
Can I Make This Ahead and Freeze It?
This recipe actually makes for a fantastic freezer meal. You can make a big batch and serve some for dinner, then split up the rest and freeze it for lunches to make individual Mexi-bowls with your favorite fresh toppings.
Make sure to freeze it in airtight containers. If the mixture is a little dry when you reheat it in the microwave, add a little bit of chicken broth to moisten things up a bit.
Want to change up the flavors? Use our other recipe for the best rice and beans (with kidney beans and a homemade fresh sofrito) before adding in the cooked chicken!
For more easy chicken dinners, check out the following recipes:
Will you eat this on its own, in burrito form, or over a salad? Tell us in the comments below. Be sure to come back to rate the recipe when you try it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by on October 17, 2011. Last updated: July 8, 2020 at 8:39 am.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.