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Fiesta Chicken and Rice

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Fiesta Chicken and Rice

Fiesta Chicken and Rice

Jessica Braider
Our kids love this dish, but if your kids don’t like sauce on their chicken, remove some of the chicken before adding the lime juice and salsa to the pan.
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Tex Mex
Servings 8 servings


  • 10 oz. yellow rice (also called saffron or Mexican)
  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt if your garlic powder has added salt, you may want to reduce the amount of salt you use
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lime juice only, about 2 Tbsp.
  • 12 - 16 oz. chunky salsa (look for brands with no sugar added)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese optional


  • Cut the chicken into 1/2-inch wide strips.
  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the cumin, garlic powder, and salt. Sprinkle and rub the mixture evenly over the chicken.
  • In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chicken strips and cook them for about 4 minutes per side, flipping them once, until they are no longer pink in the center. If the outside of the chicken is cooking more quickly than the inside, partially cover the pan for a few minutes and lower the heat.
  • Sprinkle the lime juice over the chicken and pour the salsa over everything. Stir it gently until it is warmed through. Sprinkle the cheese (optional) over the chicken and salsa and serve it over the rice.

Instant Pot Directions:

  • In order to prevent dryness, do not slice the chicken in advance of cooking it. Spray the inner pot with nonstick cooking spray. Place the rinsed rice in the instant pot, along with 10 oz. of water or broth (if you have any). Rub the chicken breasts with the spices and place them directly on top of the rice. Top with the lime juice and salsa. Pressure cook on RICE setting, HIGH pressure and Natural Pressure Release. Slice the cooked chicken into strips, if desired. (Click here for Instant Pot tips and a list of Scramble recipes that have IP conversions.)


Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the rice, cut the chicken and refrigerate, combine the spices, rub the chicken with the spices and refrigerate, juice the lime, shred the cheese if necessary and refrigerate.
Scramble Flavor Booster: Use spicy salsa and add some fresh cilantro to the finished dish.
Tip: You'll find that many brands of yellow rice are high in sodium. If you can't find a low-sodium variety, make sure you drink plenty of water with lemon with your meal to flush the extra sodium from your system.
Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 290, Total Fat: 6g, 9%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 13%; Cholesterol: 60mg, 20%; Sodium: 850mg, 35%; Total Carbohydrate: 31g, 10%; Dietary Fiber: 0g, 0%; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 25g
Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
Keyword 30 Minutes (or less) Meals, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Fall, Gluten-Free, Instant Pot, Kid-Friendly, Kosher, Low Fat, Main Dish, Make-Ahead, Nut-Free, Spring, Summer, Winter
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