Santa Fe Chicken

Looking for a delicious and hassle-free dinner idea? Look no further than this Santa Fe Chicken recipe! Packed with vibrant flavors and wholesome ingredients, this one-pan meal is a lifesaver for busy weeknights. Tender chicken breasts seasoned with zesty taco seasoning, combined with a medley of vegetables, beans, and gooey cheese, make for a hearty and satisfying dish that the whole family will devour. Let’s dive into how to make this mouthwatering Santa Fe Chicken!


  • 1-1 1/2 pound chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Fresh cilantro, optional garnish


  1. Season and Cook the Chicken: Start by seasoning both sides of the chicken breasts with taco seasoning. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Once hot, add the chicken breasts and cook for about 4-5 minutes per side until they are browned and mostly cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan, cover, and keep warm.
  2. Sauté the Aromatics and Veggies: Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining oil to the skillet. Add the chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes until it turns soft and translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute until fragrant. Next, add the black beans, corn kernels, diced tomatoes, and diced green chiles. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, allowing the flavors to meld together.
  3. Simmer with Chicken: Return the cooked chicken breasts to the skillet, nestling them into the black bean mixture. Let everything simmer together for 6-7 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked through, with an internal temperature reaching 165°F.
  4. Melt the Cheese: Once the chicken is cooked through, sprinkle the shredded Mexican cheese blend over the top of the skillet. Cover the skillet with a lid and allow the cheese to melt for a few minutes, creating a gooey, cheesy topping that binds everything together.
  5. Garnish and Serve: To finish, garnish the Santa Fe Chicken with fresh cilantro if desired, adding a burst of freshness and color. Serve this delectable dish with rice, tortillas, or your favorite side dish, and watch as it disappears in no time!

Serving and Storage Tips

Serving Tips:

  1. Serve Santa Fe Chicken hot, straight from the skillet, for the best flavor and texture.
  2. Garnish with fresh cilantro for a pop of color and freshness.
  3. Accompany with rice, tortillas, or crusty bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.
  4. Add a dollop of sour cream or a squeeze of lime juice for extra tanginess.

Storage Tips:

  1. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  2. When reheating, warm gently on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
  3. For longer storage, Santa Fe Chicken can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Place cooled leftovers in freezer-safe containers or bags, ensuring to remove as much air as possible before sealing.
  4. Thaw frozen leftovers overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  5. Note that the texture of the vegetables may change slightly upon reheating, but the flavors will still be delicious.


  1. Vegetarian Option: Skip the chicken and make this dish vegetarian-friendly by using extra black beans or adding tofu for protein.
  2. Spicy Twist: For heat lovers, amp up the spice by adding sliced jalapeños or a dash of hot sauce to the black bean mixture.
  3. Tex-Mex Flair: Customize with your favorite Tex-Mex toppings such as diced avocado, sliced jalapeños, or a dollop of guacamole or salsa.
  4. Grilled Version: Instead of pan-searing, grill the chicken breasts for a smoky flavor. Then, chop and add them to the skillet along with the other ingredients.
  5. Creamy Variation: Create a creamy sauce by stirring in a dollop of cream cheese or sour cream at the end of cooking, giving the dish a luxurious texture.
  6. Low-Carb Option: Serve the Santa Fe Chicken over cauliflower rice or lettuce wraps for a lighter, low-carb meal.
  7. Protein Swap: Substitute the chicken breasts with shrimp, beef strips, or shredded rotisserie chicken for a different flavor profile.
  8. Customize Seasonings: Experiment with different seasoning blends such as fajita seasoning, Cajun seasoning, or homemade taco seasoning for a unique twist on flavors.

FAQs :

  1. Can I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of chicken breasts? Yes, you can substitute chicken thighs in this recipe. Adjust the cooking time accordingly as thighs may require a few extra minutes to cook through.
  2. Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned diced tomatoes? Absolutely! Feel free to use fresh diced tomatoes if you have them on hand. Just ensure to adjust the cooking time as fresh tomatoes may release more liquid than canned ones.
  3. Is this dish spicy? The level of spiciness depends on the taco seasoning and diced green chiles used. If you prefer a milder dish, you can opt for a mild taco seasoning blend or reduce the amount of diced green chiles.
  4. Can I make this dish ahead of time? Yes, you can prepare the Santa Fe Chicken ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  5. What sides pair well with Santa Fe Chicken? Rice, quinoa, tortillas, or crusty bread are excellent choices to serve alongside this dish. You can also pair it with a fresh salad or steamed vegetables for a complete meal.
  6. Can I freeze leftovers? Yes, you can freeze leftover Santa Fe Chicken for up to 2-3 months. Make sure to store it in freezer-safe containers or bags to maintain freshness.

With minimal prep and cook time, this Santa Fe Chicken recipe is a lifesaver for busy weeknights when you crave a satisfying meal without the fuss. Bursting with flavors from zesty taco seasoning, wholesome veggies, beans, and gooey melted cheese, it’s a crowd-pleaser that will have everyone coming back for seconds. Add this recipe to your repertoire for a delicious and hassle-free dinner option that’s sure to become a family favorite!