An entire meal wrapped up in one easy little package.
Who out there isn’t looking for more quick and easy chicken dinners? I’m sure those people exist, but for the majority of us, another delicious and simple go-to chicken dinner recipe is never a bad thing to have on hand. And foil packets are always a great answer for busy weeknights because they provide an entire meal in a personal-sized package. They’re great for camping, they’re great for grilling… really they’re great for anything, and this one features veggies, rice, beans, and chicken all in one packet and it does it with some very tasty southwestern flair.
So how do you get an entire meal to cook in a foil packet? Well, one key is to use quick-cooking rice to ensure that everything cooks through at the same time. You’ll want to take that rice and soak it in some water for a bit (and a bit of taco seasoning for good measure) so it has a chance to get a head start before it goes into the packets.
It forms the base of the packet, and the chicken breast goes on top, surrounded by black beans, red onion, colorful bell peppers and seasoned with more taco seasoning and topped with salsa and cheddar cheese.
What that means is that as everything bakes, the flavors all co-mingle and help to flavor the rice at the bottom. You want to make sure to seal the packet up tightly so the juices don’t escape, but try to leave a little room in the packet itself so air can circulate. Since the moisture is trapped in the foil, the chicken comes out so nice and moist!
I love a skillet meal or a casserole, but sometimes it’s nice to have your components separate and distinct, just like they are here. And yet, this foil packet still lets you have a whole meal in one neat little package. It’s pretty nifty and pretty delicious.
Southwestern Chicken and Rice Foil Packets
10m prep time
30m cook time
- 4 (4 oz each) boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking white rice
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 packet taco seasoning
- 1/3 cup salsa
- 1/2 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 cup bell peppers, sliced
- 1 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F and line a baking sheet with 4 sheets of foil, about 6-8 inches long.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the rice, water, and 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning and let rest 5 minutes. Spoon rice (and water) evenly onto the 4 sheets of foil.
- Pound out chicken so breasts are even and season liberally with remaining taco seasoning and salt and pepper. Place chicken on top of rice.
- Top each chicken breast with a bit of salsa, and shredded cheese. Add bell pepper and onions to one side of chicken and beans to the other.
- Drizzle with olive oil and fold foil over chicken into a packet, sealing edges closed.
- Bake until chicken is cooked through, 30-35 minutes. Carefully open foil packets and place under broiler for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Serve with lime wedges and enjoy!
Recipe adapted from Gimme Delicious.