This Tex Mex chicken and vegetable skillet is ready in just 30 minutes and a great way to use up all of those summer vegetables. It’s packed full of zucchini, yellow squash, sweet summer corn, bell peppers, seasoned chicken and topped with just the right amount of spicy Cabot habanero cheddar cheese. Serve alone or piled high on rice. Either way, it’s totally delicious!
This post is sponsored by Cabot. All opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.
As many of you know when I was growing up we had a HUGE summer garden. That thing was packed with pretty much all the summer vegetables you could imagine.
By the end of summer our diet consisted of a A LOT of zucchini and summer squash. In fact, we would have so much squash that we would try to give it away to pretty much anyone who wanted some.
If you garden, and grow summer squash you know exactly what I’m talking about.
I came up with this one skillet dish because it reminded me of a dish my mom used to make. It was a sort of “clean out the fridge” type of dish that consisted of all the summer veggies, some canned beans, and whatever type of protein she had on hand.
I took that same idea, added in some flavorful spices and came up with the Tex Mex chicken and vegetable skillet recipe.
It is jam packed with flavor and is the absolute perfect way to use up all the summer produce.
Plus, if you’re a fan of flavor you’ll LOVE this dish.
Ingredients for Tex Mex Chicken and Vegetable Skillet recipe
- Yellow squash
- Sweet corn
- Black beans
- Chicken breast
- Diced tomatoes
That’s it! It’s so easy to throw this dish together that you can have it done in 30 minutes. I served mine over rice but honestly, it’s great right out of the pan.
In my mind, it’s sort of a Tex Mex play on ratatouille.
Using a different protein
I used chicken breast because it cooks up fast and is a nice lean protein option for weekday meals.
However, there are lots of different meats you can choose from or you can even opt to leave it meat-free for a vegetarian meal.
My favorite meat options are:
- Ground chicken, ground turkey, or ground beef. Using ground beef will bring the strongest flavor to the dish but it will pair nicely with the flavors and ingredients and give it more of a “chili” vibe. Ground chicken and ground turkey will be closest to the original flavor.
- Rotisserie chicken is a great option if you’re short on time and don’t have an uncooked protein on hand. You’ll want to add the pulled rotisserie chicken at the end of the cooking time to just help it warm throughout the dish. Some stores like Costco and Walmart actually sell packages of pulled rotisserie chicken to make it even easier.
- Grilled chicken is a great summer option as well. Just grill, chop it, or slice it up, and add into the completed dish.
Substitutions and additions
If you’re looking for easy changes I have you covered!
We already talked about protein options up above but some other fun changes you can make are:
- If you’re not a fan of spicy cheese substitute sharp cheddar or Colby Jack in place of the Cabot Habanero cheddar cheese.
- Use a pack of taco seasoning instead of using the individual spices if that is what you have on hand.
- Serve it over chopped Romaine lettuce to create a fun twist to the normal taco salad.
- Use pinto beans in place of black beans.
- If you’re short on squash use eggplant in its place.
- Use fresh summer tomatoes by chopping them and adding them in place of the canned tomatoes. You may need to add a little moisture to the pan (there may not be as much juice from fresh tomatoes as there is from canned tomatoes) so add in a splash of chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water if needed.
- Use canned or frozen corn instead of fresh from the cob. You’ll need about 1-1/2 cups to equal the 3 ears it calls for.
- Add in some spicy flavor by sauteeing a jalapeno or serrano pepper with the onions and peppers.
Tips for making Tex Mex Chicken and Vegetable Skillet
- Don’t overcook the zucchini and summer squash: This is my biggest tip because overcooked squash means it will texturally be soggy, release a lot of water, and result in a less flavorful and more watery dish.
- Prep in advance: There are a lot of chopped aspects to this dish so make sure to prep before you start cooking. That way you’re not rushing around when you’re trying to cook.
- Use frozen veggies if needed: Maybe you’re craving this dish in the middle of winter and it’s hard to find fresh summer vegetables. No worries! While I would still use fresh squash (squash does not freeze well) you can easily find and use frozen chopped onions, peppers, and corn.
- One ear of corn will give you about 1/2 cup of corn: this is the average yield for an ear of corn so make sure if your ears look small to grab more or use less if you have very large ears of corn.
Freezing this skillet meal
A lot of dishes can freeze really well but this dish is sadly not one of them.
Since zucchini and yellow summer squash are watery they will turn to mush once unfrozen. While I have used frozen zucchini for baked goods (it’s fine for things like zucchini bread) it’s not optimal if you’re looking to eat the zucchini in this form.
If you want to freeze the other items and leave the squash out of the mix until your reheat that could work.
Storage and leftovers
You’ll want to store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
You can quickly reheat it in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Since you’ll be reheating the dish the zucchini may release a bit more water and become slightly softer. This is normal.
More one pot recipes
- Craving something spicy? Try my Spicy shrimp egg roll skillet.
- Need something fast? Try my 20 minute beef snow pea skillet.
- Want a tried and true classic? Try my One Pot Ground Chicken Fajita Pasta.
- Love old-fashioned recipes? Try my One Pot Ground Beef Mushroom Stroganoff.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, cored and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 (14 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chiles
- 3 ears fresh sweet corn, cut from the cob
- 2 small zucchini, diced
- 1 yellow squash, diced
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup minced cilantro
- Kosher salt, to taste
- 1 cup shredded Cabot habanero cheddar cheese
- 3 cups cooked white rice, optional
- Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large high sided skillet add olive oil and set over medium-high heat.
- When the oil is hot add in the chicken, onion, and peppers. Stir to combine.
- Cook just until the vegetables start to soften and the chicken is almost fully cooked.
- Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the tomatoes with their juice, black beans, can green chiles with their juice, sweet corn kernels, zucchini, yellow squash, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and dried oregano. Stir to combine.
- Cook just until the squash starts to soften but is not soggy and the chicken is fully cooked through.
- Remove from heat and stir in the minced cilantro.
- Taste and season with the desired amount of kosher salt.
- Top with shredded Cabot habanero cheddar cheese, cover and let sit for 5 minutes to help melt the cheese.
- Serve alone or overtop cooked rice.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 644Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 103mgSodium: 404mgCarbohydrates: 78gFiber: 12gSugar: 14gProtein: 51g
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.