This One Pan Taco Skillet recipe is a breeze to whip up and utilizes simple ingredients for a delicious taco tuesday. Its a one pot meal with easy clean up and big taco falvor. Basically think of a taco salad but warm and WAY cheesier. This easy recipe comes together quickly, perfect for busy weeknights for an easy family favorite. Even picky eaters will love this taco night casserole!
Doubling the recipe yields leftovers for quick lunches or another easy dinner, minimizing future cooking needs. This easy weeknight meal is gluten free and nut free. It can be made dairy free, low carb, low fat, vegan and vegetarian.
why you’ll love this recipe
- Minimal Prep: Chopped bell pepper and yellow onion or white onion can be prepped in advance or used frozen for added convenience.
- Easy Steps: Each step builds on the previous one, with simple mixing and simmering involved. No complicated techniques or fussy ingredients to worry about.
- Precooked Ingredients: Using pre-cooked chicken and rice cuts down significantly on active cooking time.
- Streamlined Process: Cooking everything in one cast iron skillet eliminates the need to boil rice separately or dirty additional pots and pans.
- Minimal Cleanup: Washing a single pan is significantly easier than cleaning multiple pots and utensils, saving valuable time and effort.
- Easy Storage: Leftovers of the One Pan Taco Skillet can be stored directly in the same pan covered with plastric wrap or tin foil.
- Lean Protein: Using skinless, boneless chicken breast keeps the fat content low.
- Lightened Cheese: Opt for reduced-fat cheddar cheese or a mexican cheese blend with lower fat content give this taco skillet dinner a lighter feel.
- Cheese Alternatives: Substitute the cheddar cheese with dairy-free cheese shreds or crumbled tofu for a vegan option.
ingredients & substitutions
Cooked, shredded chicken: You can sub ground chicken, lean ground beef or ground turkey in this taco bowl. I love a good turkey taco skillet too!
Chopped peppers and onions: Green, red, or orange peppers work. Use frozen mix for speed.
Cooked white rice: Brown rice or quinoa are healthy swaps.
Cheddar cheese: Reduced-fat or dairy-free alternatives work too.
Salsa sauce: Salsa verde or red traditional salsa are good substitutes. You can also use taco sauce or hot sauce. If you do not have any of these you can use canned tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes and a homemade taco seasoning.
Lettuce, salsa, avocado, sour cream, cilantro, jalapenos: Pick your favorite taco toppings!
taste & texture
This One Pan Taco Skillet delivers a fiesta of flavors in every bite. Savory chicken mingles with sweet peppers and onions. Creamy cheese and tangy sauce add richness. Soft rice completes the base. Each mouthful offers a satisfying blend of textures: tender chicken, crisp veggies, fluffy rice, and melty cheese. Spice it up with salsa or jalapenos, or keep it mild.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Increase heat to medium-high and add the cooked chicken or meat mixture. Stir to heat through and break up any large pieces.
Add the cooked rice and stir to combine with the chicken and vegetables. Cook for 1-2 minutes, allowing the rice to warm through.
Drizzle the salsa on top.
Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the mixture.
Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
expert tips & tricks
- You can use any type of cooked chicken you have on hand, such as leftover rotisserie chicken or baked chicken breast.
- Feel free to substitute brown rice for white rice if desired.
- For a vegetarian One Pan Taco Skillet, replace the chicken with cooked black beans or pinto beans.
- Add a kick of spice by sprinkling chili powder or cayenne pepper on top before serving.
- Enjoy this dish on its own or serve it with tortilla chips.
how to make this lower carb
Ditch the rice and use cauliflower rice sautéed with a touch of broth instead to accomodate a low carb diet.
how to make this low fat or healthier
Opt for lean One Pan Taco Skillet, skinless chicken breast and reduced-fat cheddar cheese.
how to make this vegan
For a vegan One Pan Taco Skillet, replace the chicken with cooked black beans or crumbled tofu. Swap cheddar cheese for a dairy-free alternative like shredded cashews or nutritional yeast. Top with plant-based sour cream and guacamole.
how to serve, store and meal prep
Serve this One Pan Taco Skillet straight from the pan with wooden spoons. Top with your favorite toppings like tortilla chips, green onion, green chilies, lettuce, salsa, and avocado.
Leftovers of the One Pan Taco Skillet store well in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
For longer storage, freeze individual portions in freezer-safe containers for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw frozen portions in the fridge overnight or microwave on low power until warmed through.
For meal prep, portion the One Pan Taco Skillet mixture into individual containers before adding the cheese and sauce. Freeze these portions and assemble them fresh with toppings when ready to eat. This makes for quick and convenient weekday lunches or dinners!
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One Pan Taco Skillet (gluten free)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 1 bell pepper any color chopped
- 1 pound shredded chicken cooked
- 1 cup white rice cooked
- 1 cup cheddar cheese dairy free or fat free
- 1/2 cup salsa or enchilada sauce or taco sauce
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and pepper, and cook until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Increase heat to medium-high and add the cooked chicken. Stir to heat through and break up any large pieces.
- Add the cooked rice and stir to combine with the chicken and vegetables. Cook for 1-2 minutes, allowing the rice to warm through.
- Drizzle the enchilada sauce on top.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheddar cheese evenly over the mixture.
- Reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Remove from heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
- Top with your favorite toppings! Chopped lettuce, salsa, diced avocado, sour cream, chopped cilantro, and jalapenos are all great options.