Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet
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This Mexican-inspired Ground Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet is an easy one-pan meal that’s incredibly flavorful! It’s full of smoky and spicy flavors, healthy and filling! It’s great for easy dinners, meal prep and freezer-friendly too!
When I first made this Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet, all I could think was that it’s so flavorful and tasty and that I wanted to eat it day and night. I’m incredibly excited to share this recipe with you all!
This quick and easy Mexican-inspired one-pan meal is delicious, healthy and nutritious. It’s perfectly balanced with carbs and fats and is high in protein. It’s also naturally gluten-free.
We have here:
- Ground chicken. Super convenient without having to dice up any whole cuts of meat.
- Delicious fiesta veggies combo. Black beans, tomato, corn and sweet potatoes bringing their A-game!
- Beautiful smoky and spicy Mexican/Tex-Mex flavors. It’s perfectly seasoned and gets a smoky hit from hot smoked paprika, warming notes from cumin, spice from cayenne and crushed red pepper. It also boasts a rich and robust tomato flavor!
I particularly love the addition of sweet potatoes in this recipe. It not only balances out the heat and adds texture, it’s also rich in fiber and antioxidants. Paired with the ground chicken and black beans, they make this a super satisfying and filling meal!
Enjoy it on its own with a few toppings and garnishes like coriander, avocado, a squeeze of fresh lime juice and melted cheese. Or serve it over rice or with other sides for an even heartier meal!
Why This Recipe Works
- Quick and easy to make. It’s made in one skillet and in just 40 minutes inclusive of prep time!
- Perfectly seasoned and flavor-packed! It’s perfectly seasoned and spiced with a combination of everyday seasonings that you’ll love.
- Customizable. You can customize it with another protein (ground turkey, beef, plant-based ground meat substitute, etc.) and add other veggies too.
- Versatile. Squeeze some fresh lime juice on top and top with some shredded cheese, avocado and a sprinkling of coriander for a delicious standalone meal. Or serve it over rice to make burrito bowls, fill up tortillas to make tacos or burritos, or serve with cornbread.
- Meal prep and freezer-friendly. Make it tonight and enjoy it throughout the week for an easy lunch or dinner. Or freeze it and enjoy it at a later date!
Ingredient Notes and Substitutes
- Lean Ground Chicken: Lean ground turkey or beef can also be used and work really well in this dish.
- Sweet Potatoes: They add a bit of sweetness to balance out the heat from the spices. Use butternut squash instead if preferred.
- Black Beans: Either cooked dry black turtle beans or canned black beans for convenience can be used. Substitute with pinto beans if preferred.
- Sweet Corn Kernels: Frozen or fresh.
- Red Onion: Or use yellow onion.
- Garlic: Nothing compares to the flavor of sautéed fresh garlic, but you can use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder instead in a pinch.
- Fresh Red Chilies (optional): I used Thai Bird’s Eye chilies, but any hot red or green chilies can be used. A chopped jalapeño (deseeded if desired) or canned chopped green chilies would also work well. If you prefer a milder dish, leave them out or adjust the quantity to taste based on your heat level preference.
- Tomato: Adds a bit of tang and more flavor. I used a regular garden tomato, but you’re welcome to use cherry tomatoes or any other variety instead.
- Double Concentrated Tomato Paste: For a rich and bold tomato flavor.
- Water: Either water or unsalted chicken broth or stock will work for this recipe. Adjust the amount of kosher salt to taste if using broth/stock.
- Spices & Seasonings: An all-star combination of ground cumin, kosher salt, black pepper, smoked paprika (either hot or sweet), ground cayenne and crushed red pepper. For the ground cayenne and crushed red pepper, adjust the quantity based on your heat level preference. You can use American style chili powder (such as McCormick brand) instead of the cayenne for a milder flavor. Or omit both if you are very sensitive to heat.
- Coriander (Cilantro): Typically used in Mexican and Southwest cooking as a finishing touch. If you’re not a fan, use chopped spring onion (green onion/scallion) instead.
- To Serve: Lime wedges for squeezing, sliced avocado, shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or Colby jack), more chopped coriander, etc. I love melting Swiss cheese over this Mexican-inspired skillet meal! For a heartier burrito bowl style meal, you can serve it over rice along with your favorite toppings.
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet
1. Sauté the aromatics. Sauté the red onion, garlic and red chilies in a large deep sauté pan or nonstick skillet until fragrant.
2. Cook the chicken. Add the chicken and season with kosher salt and ground cumin.
3. Cook the chicken. Cook for a few minutes, breaking the clumps up until the meat is just cooked.
4. Add the veggies and seasonings. Add the sweet potato, black beans, sweet corn kernels, tomato, double concentrated tomato paste, the rest of the spices and seasonings and water. Mix well to combine. Cover and simmer on low until the sweet potatoes are tender.
If there is still excess water in the pan after simmering and the potatoes are tender, turn the heat up and sizzle most of it off.
5. Mix through coriander. Switch off the heat.
6. Serve! Divide evenly onto plates or in meal prep containers. Serve with your favorite toppings and sides and enjoy!
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Bulk up the meal. Serve in tortillas or over cooked brown or white rice or cilantro lime rice. You can also serve it with cauliflower rice for a lower carb option.
- Meal prep and storing leftovers. Transfer to meal prep containers and cool completely. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat on high in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or until hot.
- Freeze it for later. This Mexican chicken skillet freezes beautifully. Transfer to freezer-friendly containers after cooking. I recommend holding off on adding any cheese or garnishes. Once completely cool, seal the containers and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until hot throughout. Add your favorite garnishes and toppings and enjoy!
- Top with mango salsa. It’s refreshing and cooling! The sweet mango flavors balance out the spice.
Diced chicken breasts would work well in this Mexican chicken skillet recipe and can be used instead of ground chicken.
Try using butternut squash, pumpkin or yellow squash instead of sweet potatoes.
Although this is a great standalone meal when accompanied with a few toppings, you can serve it with cornbread, a side salad, rice or cauliflower rice. Or use it as a filling for tacos and burritos, topping for a Mexican-style pizza, or pile it onto tortilla chips with shredded cheese to make Mexican chicken nachos.
- Use a different protein. Lean ground turkey or beef would be excellent swaps.
- Make it vegetarian. Use a plant-based ground meat substitute such as Impossible Meat, Beyond Beef, OmniPork, Impossible Meat, or Quorn Meatless Grounds or Beyond Beef. Or you can use crumbled extra firm tofu or tempeh.
- Add more veggies. Diced bell pepper (any color), baby spinach, sliced mushrooms, diced zucchini or yellow squash.
- Leave the skin on the sweet potatoes for more fiber and nutrients.
- Use canned fire roasted tomatoes. For a smoky flavor, 1 cup of canned diced fire roasted tomatoes can be substituted for the fresh tomato.
- Use salsa or enchilada sauce. Use ¾ – 1 cup of your favorite salsa (chunky or saucy style) or enchilada sauce for a flavor boost instead of fresh tomato.
- Use store-bought seasoning. Use a 1-ounce pack of taco, fajita or southwest style seasoning blend instead. You can add salt and pepper to taste if needed.
- Melt cheese on top. Sprinkle ½ cup of grated cheese on top and cover the pan with its lid or a sheet of foil until the cheese has melted. Then garnish with the chopped fresh coriander and serve.
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Mexican & Mexican-Inspired Recipes You’ll Love
Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet
An easy one-pan meal that’s incredibly flavorful, this Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet is full of smoky and spicy flavors! It’s healthy, filling and perfect for easy dinners and meal prep!
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 25
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Sauté
- Cuisine: Mexican-inspired
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 454 grams / 1 pound (3 medium or 2 large) Sweet Potatoes – peeled, diced into ¾-inch cubes (peeled weight provided)
- 100 grams / ½ medium Red Onion – chopped
- 20 grams / 5-6 Garlic cloves – minced
- 60 grams / 15-16 fresh Red Chilies (optional – Thai Bird’s Eye or any other hot red or green chilies – note 1), to taste – finely chopped
- 140 grams / 1 medium Tomato – chopped
- 4 grams / 2-3 sprigs Coriander (Cilantro) – chopped
- 244 grams / 1.5 cups cooked Black Beans (or use canned black beans – note 2)
- 140 grams / 1 cup frozen Sweet Corn Kernels
- 237ml / 1 cup Water (or unsalted chicken broth – note 3)
- 15ml / 1 TBLS Olive Oil (or any other cooking oil you prefer)
- 567 grams / 1.25 pounds Lean Ground Chicken (note 4)
- 1.5 – 2 TSP Kosher Salt, to taste
- 1.5 TSP ground Cumin
- ½ TSP ground Black Pepper
- 30 grams / 2 TBLS Double Concentrated Tomato Paste
- 1.5 TSP Smoked Paprika (hot or sweet)
- ½ – 1.25 TSP ground Cayenne, to taste* (note 5)
- ½ – 1.25 TSP Crushed Red Pepper, to taste*
- To Serve: Lime wedges for squeezing, sliced avocado, shredded sharp cheddar cheese (or Colby jack), more chopped coriander, steamed white or brown rice, etc.
- Prepare the ingredients: Cut/chop the sweet potatoes, red onion, garlic, fresh red chilies, tomato and coriander as specified in the ‘ingredients’ section. If using canned black beans, rinse and drain. Measure out the sweet corn kernels and water (or unsalted chicken broth if using).
For the Mexican Chicken, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Skillet:
- Sauté the aromatics: Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the red onion and garlic and sauté for a minute until starting to soften. Add the red chilies and sauté for 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Cook the chicken: Add the ground chicken and season with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and ½ teaspoon ground cumin. Cook for 3-4 minutes, breaking the clumps up until the meat is just cooked.
- Add the veggies and seasonings: Add the sweet potato, black beans, sweet corn kernels, tomato, double concentrated tomato paste, remaining ½ teaspoon each of kosher salt and ground cumin, ground black pepper, smoked paprika, ground cayenne and water. Mix well to combine.
- Simmer: Cover and simmer on low for 13-15 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are fork tender. If there is still excess water in the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high and simmer most of it off while gently mixing.
- Stir through coriander: Stir through the chopped coriander and switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates or in meal prep containers. Serve with lime wedges for squeezing, sliced avocado, more chopped coriander and shredded sharp cheddar cheese if desired.
- Fresh Red Chilies. Adjust the quantity to taste based on your heat level preference. Or omit the completely for a milder dish. You can use a chopped jalapeño (deseeded for milder flavor if desired) or any other red or green chilies you like, including canned chopped green chilies.
- Black Beans. I used 113 grams (about 3/8 cups) dried black turtle beans as I prefer the texture and cooked them according to package instructions. You’re welcome to use rinsed and drained canned low sodium or unsalted black beans for convenience – you’ll need 1.5 cups. Nutritional information may differ if using canned black beans.
- Water. Either water or unsalted chicken broth or stock will work for this recipe. Adjust the amount of kosher salt to taste if using low sodium broth/stock.
- Lean Ground Chicken. Feel free to swap the chicken for lean ground turkey or beef.
- Ground Cayenne and Crushed Red Pepper. Adjust the quantity based on your heat level preference. You can use American style chili powder (such as McCormick brand) in place of the ground cayenne for a milder flavor too. Omit both if you are very sensitive to heat.
- Meal prep and storing leftovers. Transfer to meal prep containers and cool completely. Store in the fridge for 4-5 days. Reheat of high in the microwave for 2-3 minutes or until hot.
- To Freeze. Transfer to freezer-friendly containers after cooking. I recommend holding off on adding any cheese or garnishes. Once completely cool, seal the containers and freeze for up to 3 months. To reheat, thaw overnight in the fridge and reheat in the microwave on high for 2-3 minutes or until hot throughout. Add your favorite garnishes and toppings and enjoy!
- Nutritional information. Nutritional information provided does take into account any toppings and sides as the amount will vary based on how much and what you add.
- See ‘Variations’ section for tips and ideas on customizing this recipe.
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- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 479
- Sugar: 9.6g
- Sodium: 758.2mg
- Fat: 16.8g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 10.3g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 46.1g
- Fiber: 9.9g
- Protein: 35.2g
- Cholesterol: 121.9mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
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This post may contain affiliate links. We are a part of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you) by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.