Cheesy Salsa Verde Chicken and Rice Recipe

Yields: 4-6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:

Chicken:

  • 1-1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Rice & Flavor Base:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup salsa verde (choose your preferred spice level)

Finishing Touches:

  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (for garnish, optional)

Instructions

Cook the chicken:

  • Cut chicken into 1-inch cubes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, season with salt and pepper, and cook until browned on all sides and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Remove and set aside.

Cook the rice:

  • In the same skillet, add the remaining oil. If desired, add the chopped onions and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  • Add the rice and stir for a minute to toast.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and salsa verde. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender.

Assemble and melt the cheese:

  • Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the cooked chicken and both types of cheese. Cover for a few minutes to melt the cheese fully.

Serve:

  • Fluff with a fork, garnish with chopped cilantro if you like, and serve immediately.

Tips & Variations

  • Make it spicier: Choose a spicier salsa verde, add a diced jalapeño with the onions, or stir in a touch of hot sauce at the end.
  • Add more veggies: Feel free to include bell peppers, corn kernels, or diced zucchini.
  • One-pan option: You can skip pre-cooking the chicken and instead nestle it raw in the rice at the start. You might need slightly more broth and a few minutes extra cooking time.
  • Casserole Style: If you want a bubbly, baked top layer of cheese, transfer the chicken and rice mixture to a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, and broil for a couple of minutes until the cheese is melted and golden.

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