Enjoy this one pot Tex-Mex meal with this Southwest Chicken and Ranch Veggie Skillet. Pan seared chicken topped with sauteed veggies, ranch dressing, Mexican cheese and bacon!
ME BEFORE THE RECIPE…
I’m in recovery mode. My head is spinning and I can’t think straight. I just ran a marathon. A mama marathon. They exist, trust me. And they are almost as difficult as running a real one.
Wait, I take that back. Mama marathons are much harder. At least running a real marathon, you have some time to yourself…and a LOT of time to BREATHE. I feel like I haven’t taken a breath for at least a week. I literally feel like I am running a race and every time I get close to the finish line, it magically scoots farther and farther away. What’s up with that?!
So yesterday I woke up bright and early, woke the kids up for school, fixed breakfast like I’m running a freaking gourmet breakfast bar for these fools:
- Gluten free chocolate banana muffin for Braelyn.
- Gluten free cream cheese and honey blackberry jam bagel with a runny egg on the side for Emry.
- Whole grain avocado toast with spinach, tomatoes, sprouts, and a fried egg topped with homemade ranch, sriracha, and chives for Ben.
- Plain Greek yogurt parfait with blood oranges, grapes, pineapple, homemade granola, and a drizzle of honey for myself.
And this was all before 7 am. This is every day. Every. Single. Day.
But, I love it. As long as my family is willing to eat healthy, hearty meals, I’m always willing to cook for them.
So after breakfast was served and the kids were off to school, I got to blogging and finished a post for this amazing homemade ranch dressing. Life changing guys! Seriously, I’ve been drizzling it on all the things. But moving on. Nobody wants to hear all about my ranch right now…or do you???
Back to my day. At the last possible second of having enough time to go on a run, I bolted out the door for 45 minutes of exercise before volunteering in Braelyn’s class. About halfway through my run, I realized I would probably be late (story of my life) so I practically sprinted the remaining three miles home. I think I’m still catching my breath.
I finally made it to the school, 15 minutes late mind you, but that’s what you get when you ask me to volunteer. Better late than never. I pretty much hounded a kid to work on his math and reading for the next hour. Bless his heart! He’s a sweet kid, but he’s a doozy. He probably dreads me coming to help. I’m not as patient as most mothers might be.
Of course I had to stay and eat lunch with Braelyn after volunteering because that’s what any cool mother would do. Some kid was “Star Student” for the week and as a reward got to invite some friends to lunch in the teacher’s classroom. Braelyn was on that list, so I followed her back to the classroom and listened to a half an hour of screeching and squealing and laughing and giggling of a bunch of third graders. Can you say Ibuprofen???
Oh, and don’t worry. My perfectly sophisticated young lady spit chewed up carrots out of her mouth that flung all over the floor. Whose child is that???
Fast forward to the kids getting home from school: I shoved some snacks down their throats, gathered up all the materials to finish Braelyn’s landforms salt dough project (due the next day), changed the kids into dance clothes, and shuffled out the door to attend back to back to back gymnastics, dance, and cheer classes. And somehow in between all of that I managed to have Braelyn finish her school project, fed both kids dinner, AND attended a Maskara make-up party.
WAIT!!! There’s more. Once home, I realized Emry had to bring in a bunch of family photos for her “Star Student” day. The thought of gathering up family photos at 10 o’clock at night about threw me over the edge. Hallelujah for Chatbooks and sticky notes because that saved my sanity. I just slapped some explanation post it notes on a few pages and called it good.
And there you go. That was Monday. And to top it all off, today is going about the same pace. Mama marathon I tell you!
HERE COMES THE RECIPE…
So here’s what I need. I need someone to come to my house tonight and cook me and my family some dinner. I will eat that dinner in the 10 minutes that I have between dance classes and church youth group and then I’ll give you a great big hug and a sincere thank you.
And if you don’t mind, I would prefer this Southwest Chicken and Ranch Veggie Skillet. Easy for you to make, delicious for me to eat. Please and thank you.
Here’s the breakdown:
- Southwest flavored chicken seared in bacon fat and finished off in the oven. Duh. How yummy does that sound???
- Tex-Mex seasoned veggies ALSO sauteed in bacon fat because if you don’t use it, you lose it!
- Topping of creamy ranch, melty, cheese, and BACON!
- Sprinkling of fresh avocado, tomato, and cilantro.
Are you with me now??? Okay, good.
If you really want to go easy, you can substitute gluten free taco seasoning for the listed southwest seasonings. The list of seasonings makes the ingredient list look long, but I promise they are all seasonings you most likely have on hand.
This meal reminds me so much of living in Texas and enjoying all the Tex-Mex. I will defend Tex-Mex until the day I die! I think it’s so much bolder in flavor than authentic Mexican food. But to each his own.
The medley of veggies are a real treat. You have sweet corn, smokey poblanos, spicy jalapenos, and crisp tender zucchini; hitting all the flavor and texture notes right there. Plus, the veggies are drizzled with a little lime juice while cooking which makes them a wee bit tangy. Boy oh boy! If you didn’t love veggies before, you’ll sure love these.
Once the veggies are cooked and the chicken is almost cooked through, you add the veggies back into the pan and top the chicken with ranch, cheese, and bacon crumbles. I’m telling you, the combo is on point. Total comfort food at its southwest finest!
So if you only have a few minutes tonight, by golly, make time for this Southwest Chicken and Ranch Veggie Skillet. Your family and your tummy will be very pleased indeed.
YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY…
- Honey Mustard Barbecue Chicken with Grilled Pineapple
- Gluten Free Chicken Fajita Tacos
- Gluten Free White Bean Chicken Chili
- Italian Skillet Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes and Artichokes
- Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with Pomegranate Sauce
- For the chicken:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 large or 6 medium sized chicken breasts
- ¾ teaspoon salt*
- ¼ teaspoon pepper*
- ¼ teaspoon cumin*
- ½ teaspoon chili powder*
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder*
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder*
- For the veggies:
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 poblano, seeded and diced
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup diced mushrooms
- 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced zucchini (about 1 small)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn (thawed and patted dry)
- juice of 1 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
- ½ teaspoon salt*
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper*
- ½ teaspoon chili powder*
- ½ teaspoon cumin*
- ¼ teaspoon ground mustard*
- ¼ teaspoon paprika*
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano*
- Additional ingredients:
- ⅓-1/2 cup ranch dressing
- ¾ cup shredded Mexican style cheese
- 4 slices bacon, raw
- ½ cup diced grape tomatoes
- 1 avocado, diced
- cilantro for garnish
- lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Prepare all veggies by dicing, mincing, etc. Set aside. Place chicken breasts on plate and season both sides with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Set aside.
- Heat a large oven proof stainless steel or cast iron pan over medium heat. Chop raw bacon into bite size pieces and place in pan. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, until dark in color and cooked through. Remove and set on a paper towel lined plate.
- Reserving 1 tablespoon grease in pan (save the rest for later), add onion, poblano, red bell pepper, and mushrooms, Cook, stirring occasionally to avoid burning, for 5-6 minutes or until onion is tender. Add jalapeno, garlic, zucchini, corn, lime juice, and seasonings. Stir to combine. Cook an additional 4-5 minutes until zucchini is crisp/tender.
- Transfer veggies into a bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm. Return pan to stove and increase heat to medium high. Add 2 tablespoons more reserved bacon grease. Once pan is hot enough that drop of water sizzles, arrange seasoned chicken breasts in pan. Cook for 2 mins and then flip. Cook 2 minutes more.
- Transfer pan to oven and bake chicken for 15 minutes. Remove pan from oven and arrange veggies around chicken breasts. Quickly top chicken breasts with 1-2 tablespoons of ranch dressing, shredded cheese, and crumbled bacon. Return to oven and cook additional 5-10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- Remove skillet from oven and top with fresh tomatoes, avocados, and cilantro leaves. Serve with additional lime wedges.