1-Skillet Southwestern Dinner with Black Beans, Zucchini, and Sweet Corn

I know the only picture I have of this meal doesn’t exactly look appetizing, but I promise you it’s really, really good. I’m not much of a recipe-repeater (outside of hummus, of course), but this one is a keeper. I’ve adapted this recipe from Red Set Eat, but I originally came across it by way of my newspaper friend Megan’s blog a while back, or maybe one of her Pinterest boards, I can’t really remember. I’m just glad I found it!

I like this recipe because it combines a whole meal — meat, veggies, carbs, and a little dairy — all in one skillet. And when you don’t have much kitchen space or energy after work like me, that sounds like the recipe for success. I also like that this recipe includes two ingredients I am currently obsessed with: black beans (like I’ve mentioned before) and zucchini.

Also it is vaguely Tex-Mex. Hooray!

1-Skillet Southwestern Dinner with Black Beans, Zucchini, and Sweet Corn

Serves 4-6

skillet dinner


  • two boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces (optional)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 small zucchini, quartered and sliced thin
  • 1/2 medium-sized green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 15-oz. can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen sweet corn, thawed
  • 15 oz. (or roughly 1 3/4 cup) chunky style salsa, such as Pace Picante
  • 1 cup water + 1 sodium-free chicken bouillon cube (or 1 cup chicken or veggie broth/stock)
  • 1 cup uncooked rice (I use Basmati white)
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese (I use mostly reduced fat sharp cheddar and a little regular pepperjack)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Tip: I like to have all my ingredients prepped beforehand — all the veggies chopped, cheese grated, seasonings at hand — so once I heat up the skillet, it’s all pretty easy from there. This might seem fairly obvious, but I’ve learned these things over time.


  1. Season uncooked chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large skillet, add chicken and sautée until mostly cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add minced garlic, chopped zucchini, and diced bell pepper. Sautée until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add beans, corn, salsa, water + bouillon (OR broth/stock), and cumin. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Add rice, stir well. Cover, lower heat, and let simmer for 15 minutes (NOTE: follow the directions for your particular type rice so it will be cooked properly). Stir occasionally. Once most of the liquids are absorbed, remove the skillet from heat, leave covered, and let sit for 10 minutes. (These were the directions for Basmati rice.)
  5. Once the rice is fully cooked, stir in cheese. Add additional salt and black pepper, if needed. Enjoy!

Substitutions: This recipe can be adapted for a vegetarian diet by leaving out the chicken and substituting veggie broth/stock for chicken broth/bouillon. Substitute a 15-oz. can of roasted tomatoes for the salsa if you have a milder palate. Those feeling extra-healthy can change out the white rice for brown, of course.

I think the leftovers would be great wrapped up in a tortilla. Everything is better in a tortilla though. That is a gospel truth.


1 Comment

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One response to “1-Skillet Southwestern Dinner with Black Beans, Zucchini, and Sweet Corn

  1. This is one of our favorites!

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