Southwestern Chicken & Rice Foil Packets

Simple, healthy and flavor packed chicken, rice, bell pepper, onion and black beans all cooked in foil packets. These foil packets make an incredibly delicious dinner or meal prep with no clean up required! 
Southwestern Chicken & Rice Foil Packets
Out of all the meals and recipes I’ve worked on since I started this blog, this is one I’m particularly proud of. It’s one of the most effortless dishes you can make and one of the most flavorful too.

Everything is cooked in foil packets for quick and easy clean-up. I use quick brown rice and soak it in water and taco seasoning for a few minutes then divide it into foil and top with chicken, salsa, cheese along with fajita veggies and beans. The foil is then folded and baked for 30-35 (depending on the size of your chicken breasts)  minutes and like magic, a mouth-watering chicken and rice dinner is ready to be served.This recipe makes 3 servings but can be easily doubled for meal-prep. I use a homemade blend of taco seasoning but the taco packets work great too!
Southwestern Chicken & Rice Foil Packets

Southwestern Chicken & Rice Foil Packets

4.69 from 19 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 3
Author: Layla


  • 3 4 oz chicken breasts, boneless skinless
  • 1 cup quick brown rice or white
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning 1 packet, see note below
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella or cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup bell pepper sliced into thin strips
  • 1/4 cup onion sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lime cut into wedges optional


  • Pre-heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with 3 sheets of foil (about 6-8 inches) and set aside.

  • Combine the brown rice, water and 2 tablespoons taco seasoning in a medium bowl and soak for 5 minutes. DIvide rice (and it's water) into 3 sheets of foil.

  • Pound chicken with a meat tenderizer or a rolling-pin until they are even. Seasoning each chicken breast generously with the reaming taco seasoning. Place the chicken on the rice. Top each chicken with a few tablespoons of salsa and a sprinkle of cheese. Add the veggies and beans on the sides of the chicken. Drizzle each packet with olive oil and fold the sides of the foil over the chicken, covering completely; seal the packets closed.

  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until chicken's internal temperature reaches 165F. Remove from oven and carefully open up the foils; put the packets under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze fresh lime juice on each packet, garnish with cilantro and sour-cream if desired and serve.


To make your own taco seasoning for this recipe: combine 2 teaspoons chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black .
For the Rice* I use instant "5 minute" rice (brown or white) for this recipe and have not tried it with regular rice. Some readers have had success with half-cooked rice.


Southwestern Chicken & Rice Foil Packets


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    How do you figure out CALORIE count for this and other recipes on this site?

    Alice Morton

    DELICIOUS. I have made this several times. It isnt pretty! But aleays good.


    Is this keto friendly? can i use caulifloerr ricr? Can this be cooked on frill?


    My daughter said it was her favorite meal I ever made.


    What kind of salsa can I use?


      You can use any type of homemade or jarred store-bought salsa.


    This was amazing!!! I also sprayed the bottom of the foil and had no issues getting any food off. I also sauteed the peppers before putting in the oven and they were perfect. I made a homemade pico de gallo and guacamole to put on top with sour cream and added even more mozzarella cheese and this was better than anything I’ve eaten in a mexican restaraunt!


    We really enjoyed these. When I make it again, I’ll probably saute the peppers and onions a bit before adding to the packet. They were still a little crisp after baking–and I did 45 mins. I sliced the chicken breast into strips before baking in an attempt to cut down on cooking time.


    Made this tonight, but put the foil packets on the grill med high heat for 30 min. We did spray the foil, and the rice stuck to the bottom a little, next time I will put the rice on top of the chicken but under the salsa. The flavors were perfect and a definite do again. Also, with light sour cream. It’s only 5 weight watcher points per foil packet! Thank you!


    Would this be anle to be frozen amd cooked later


    I’ve made this meal three times now and it is amazing! Excellent flavors thoughoutand a nice change of pace for a dinner meal. No need to make adjustments to the recipe….it’s perfect as is!!!

    Pamela Hankins

    I’ve made this recipe several times and we just love it! thank you for sharing 🙂


    This was a great recipe. I love mexican and this hit the spOt.

    Glenda Curry

    You must try this recipe!!! I have made it tWice so far, but is already one of my
    Husband’s favorites. I followed this recipe precisely the first time and made a few changes aNd/or additions the second time around. I used goya’s yellow rice box mix bUt only cooked it the first 10 minutes un the micrOwave and it finished cooking in the foil packet. I used pepper jacK cheese and we added avocado, sour cream, salSa and cilantrO as fresh toppings. I dont think ive ever had anything At a mexican restaurant that was any better. Delish!


    I tried this recipe after my college nephew Asked me to send it to him. Out of all my sheet pan recipes, this one was thE on he chose. Let me just say, he has a good eye or should i say good taste?

    I used a Spanish yellow rice mix for the rice portion, but followed the rest of the recipe as poSted. Oh, my!!! My husband and i are quite fond of mexican food and since i’m a texan living in louisiana (19 yrs), i pine for tex-mex. this did nOt disappoint!

    The next time i make it, i will spray the foil with cooking spray so the rice, beans and most of the cheese will not stick to the foil. I think i will also add thinly sliced onions to the peppers. But best of all, i’ll add companY, because trust me this is company worthy! Try it, you will not be sorry,

    Sarah Farmer

    I made this for dinner tonight – my in-laws came over. everyone absolutely loved it! what an easy dinner to prepare and so delicious! i only had to pick up a few ingreds. from the store. i made the homemade taco seasoning -also easy + delicious!)
    THE CHICKEN WAS TENDER AND JUICY, THE VEGGIES WERE COOKED TO PERFECTION (“CRISP-TENDER” – NOT OVERCOOKED OR MUSHY), ALL THE FLAVORS TOGETHER WERE JUST FANTASTIC. I really loved having it all prepped + in the fridge – ready to pull out at bake when the time was right.

    FOR A SIDE DISH I BROILED CANNED CORN (SO TO GET CHARRED CORN – SINCE THERE’S NO FRESH CORN IN THE STORE RIGHT NOW.) after transferring to a skillet, i added cojita cheese w/ cilantro. it was a memorable meal!

    Thanks for this marvelous recipe, gimme delicious!! I’ll be coming back for more!

    Amy Burkenbine

    Would these prep and freeze well? I would lIke to prep them and freeze them to cook at a later date.


      Yes, I don’t see why freezing them wouldn’t work!

    Rachel soule

    These are sooooo good! The directions were easy to follow for the most part. I used Instant Rice and I wasn’t sure if it was going to cook but it did. I forgot to put the lime on at the end so I’ll have to do that next time. Delicious! I will be making these again and again.


    How long do these keep for? can i make a batch at the beginning of the week?


    What would you recommend to do if you only have normal rice and not the quick rice? Cook it for longer or maybe soak the rice for longer? Thank you!


      I would soak the rice for longer and add a few tablespoons of water into the foil pack.

    Nadya C.

    I just love to cook and this is one of the most amazing recipes ever! Have made it 3 times now & the last time I used potatoes (partly boiled first) instead of the rice. After partially cooking the potatoes, just sliced them & tossed in olive oil and the 2 Tbsps. of taco seasoning. I also sprayed each sheet of foil first before assembling everything. Thank you for one great recipe. Give it 5 stars +.


      Thanks for the great idea, Nadya! The addition of potatoes sounds delicious. I will be sure to try it next time 🙂


    Could you replace the chicken with steak (like strip steak)? If so, would it change the cooking time?


    Can these be put in a slow cooker/crock pot? If so, what are the cooking directions?


    Have you tried freezing this uncooked? Could I make a bunch and pull one out one morning and cook it when I got home? Wondering how the rice and water would turn out.


    This recipe was delicious. I used regular long grain white rice and it worked fine. I soaked it for about 20 minutes instead of 5.

    Shannon S.

    Freaking. AMAZING!! So Yummy!! I used brown rice, and I soaked for about 10 mins instead of 5. I was worried that the rice wouldn’t cook thoroughly just from bad luck in the past, but it was perfect. Make sure you have a little bit of the seasoned water, that you soaked the rice in, with the rice as the instructions suggests. And, be generous with the seasoning. SO GOOD! I have bookmarked this and will definitely be making this more in the future.


      Yum, I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. This is one of our personal favorites as well!


    These look delish~ Is it 1 whole pepper and 1/2 c beans PER packet, or shared among the three — seems like a small amount to divvy up in 3 packets (picture looks like more) and the calorie count seems kind of high for the ingredients listed….


    This might be obvious but are the black beans straight out of a can? Black beans look like a pain to cook from scratch.


    I made these on a camping trip and they were a huge hit! I prepared as directed, except I didn’t add the cheese until the end, just to melt. I double wrapped in foil so the rice didn’t burn and cooked over medium coals on the hibachi for about 40 minutes. So good!

      Angela Skolrud

      I have a question for you, did you use regular rice? Or did you use the “quick rice” like the recipe calls for? I’m headed camping next weekend and want to try these.


    Do you think you could make theses ahead and freeze them as freezer meals? I have done this with fish and froze it but not with rice in the packet.


      Yes, you can freeze them in meal prep containers.


        Did you freeze after cooking or before?


    Great meal!


    I think the recipe looks good, however, I have been on the site for 5 minutes and the site is still loading. The ad graphics are invasive, at best … and pretty much make the site completely unusable. To type this out has now taken me several minutes because the ads continue to stop the cursor. And the circle is still spinning. It’s a shame I’ll never be able to search the rest of your site.


      I have pop ups blocked.. This site opened fast for me..
      If you have not tried this Recipe… It is a 5 star recipe EXCELLENT ..
      Can’t praise it enough…


    It would be nice to be able to read this post without the page jumping all over the place. Every time a new ad loads it pops me to the bottom and then back to where I was. Very frustrating.


    Do you think this could all just be layered in a pan like in the foil to make one big casserole like dish?


      Yes you can do that but I would bake it a little longer.

      Shannon S.

      Great idea!!