Home Life & DIY

Southwestern Chicken Cheesy Rice

I recently made one of the best purchases of my adult life: a crockpot. My friends raved about it and said I should totally get one. How did I not discover this before? It has revolutionized dinner time, especially getting home from work at 4:30PM and having to feed a ravenous little boy by 6PM.

One of the first recipes I’ve tried in my new slow cooker is this delicious one. I found it on Pinterest, but I think the original recipe is from Betty Crocker. It’s an awesome dish for summertime and packs the perfect kick of spicy.  As a bonus, you’ve got your major food groups covered: veggies, grains and protein! I’ve made a few modifications, which I’ve included in the recipe.

Prep time: 20-25 minutes

Cook time: 2.5-2.75 hours in slow cooker

Serving: 8

What you will need:

  • 1 package (0.85 oz) taco seasoning mix
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • My additional ingredients:  lemon & pepper seasoning, lemon juice, minced garlic and a pinch of Lawry’s seasoned salt (all added to taste)
  • 8 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained, rinsed 
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen whole kernel sweet corn
  • 8 oz Kraft™ Velveeta™ cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (8 oz) 
  • 4 cups cooked white rice (I used long grain basmati rice)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
What to do:
  1. Spray 5-quart slow cooker with cooking spray.  
  2. In small bowl, mix taco seasoning mix, cumin, salt and red pepper. Sprinkle both sides of chicken thighs with seasoning mixture; arrange in slow cooker.
  3. **I added lemon & pepper seasoning, lemon juice, minced garlic and a pinch of Lawry’s seasoned salt. I seasoned the chicken the night before and let it marinade in a ziplock bag overnight. In the morning, I added these and the ingredients below to the slow cooker.
  4. Pour tomatoes, beans and corn over chicken in slow cooker. Cover; cook on High heat setting 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until juice of chicken is clear when thickest part is cut (at least 165°F).
  5. Remove chicken and, using two forks, shred into bite-size pieces.
  6. Add Velveeta™ and Cheddar cheeses to slow cooker. Cover; cook 15 minutes.
  7. Beat with whisk until cheeses have melted into sauce.
  8. Add rice and shredded chicken; stir to combine. Cover; cook about 10 minutes or until hot. Garnish with cilantro. Serve while hot.
This was a definite crowd pleaser amongst the family. I stuffed it into a soft tortilla and made a bomb burrito. I’ll be having another for lunch tomorrow for sure. Very filling and satisfying!