Mexican Chicken Sweet Potato Skillet is a healthy dinner option that packs great flavor and can be ready in about 30 minutes.
If you love strong, bold flavors, then this is the recipe for you.
Plus, not only is it delicious, but it kind of falls on the side of ‘good for you.’ Ok, it’s the bomb-digity.
We’re told we’re supposed to eat the rainbow and I think this dish does a pretty could job of that. It’s only missing purple but in the right light, those black beans have a purplish hue.
That works, right?
How to make Mexican Chicken Sweet Potato Skillet.
I know I usually tell you to prep everything before you begin cooking, but not this time.
Cooking sweet potatoes in a skillet.
Sweet potatoes are delicious but they tend to take a bit more time than your average tubber to cook.
Peel and dice up the sweet potato and get it boiling in the skillet. The smaller the dice, the faster it will cook.
It should take between 12-15 minutes of boiling in the seasoned broth for the sweet potatoes to become fork tender.
While the sweet spud is cooking, go about prepping everything else.
By the time you’re done chopping, dicing, and measuring, the sweet potatoes should be done and ready to drain.
Assembling the Mexican chicken sweet potato skillet dinner.
Once drained, set the sweet potato aside. Get the skillet back on the burner.
It should dry almost instantaneously, but it if doesn’t, give it a quick wipe with a paper or dish towel. Same if the orange ring the potatoes leave behind offends you, just give it a quick wipe.
Add the oil to the reheating skillet. Drop the chicken into the skillet. Don’t stir, let it get a sear.
Sprinkle half of the spice blend over the chicken, then stir to cook. After a couple of minutes, add the onions.
Once the chicken has nearly cooked, stir in the each the following:
- cilantro; stir
- tomatoes; stir
- canned diced green chilies; stir
- rest of the spice blend; stir
Cook for a minute or two.
Stir in the salsa.
What’s the best kind of salsa to cook with?
For a dish like this that is mostly dry ingredients, I like to use a salsa that has a bit more liquid in it than say a fresh pico de gallo.
Of course you can use whatever kind you like, but the extra liquid in salsa helps give the dish a bit of moisture.
Stir in the sweet potatoes and the black beans. Then mix in the cheese.
Cook everything for another couple of minutes, then it’s done.
Garnish with fresh cilantro, queso fresco, and avocado (as shown in my ingredient picture, but I totally forgot to dice it up for serving…my bad)
What to serve with a Mexican inspired skillet dinner?
While I consider this a good-to-go meal, sometimes you want a bit more to go with it. No problem.
- Easy Skillet Nachos makes a great appetizer.
- So do Dutch Oven Jalapeño Poppers.
- Cast Iron Sweet Cornbread is a tasty bread option over tortillas.
- Need rice? Here’s 3 options from The Complete Savorist: Spanish Rice, the traditional side dish; Cilantro Lime Rice, a bright, light option; or Cuban Yellow Rice, another traditional favorite.
- Skillet Caramel Brownies to complete the perfect meal.
Mexican Chicken Sweet Potato Skillet
- 12" Cast Iron Skillet
- 3 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 14 oz sweet potato (13-16 oz); peeled and cubed (3½-4 cups)
- 1¼ tsp salt divided
- 1¼ tsp ground pepper divided
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1½ lb chicken breasts cubed
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano (Mexican if you can find it)
- 1 tsp granulated garlic (3 tsp fresh, minced)
- ½ cup yellow onion diced
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped; divided
- 9 oz grape tomatoes halved
- 4 oz green chiles diced
- ½ cup salsa desired heat-level
- 15 oz black beans drained and rinsed
- 2 oz cheddar cheese (½ cup), grated; see notes
- 1½ tsp lime juice about ½ a lime
- 1 oz queso fresco crumbled
- Add the broth to the skillet over medium-high heat.
- Place the sweet potatoes, ¼ tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper to the broth.
- Cook the sweet potatoes until tender, 12-15 minutes, based on cube size.
- While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prep the rest of the dish.
- Cube the chicken and place it in bowl; set aside.
- Combine the remaining salt and pepper with the cumin, chili powder, oregano, and garlic ina bowl; set aside.
- Halve the tomatoes, drain and rinse the beans, chop the onion and cilantro, juice the lime, measure the salsa, open the diced green chilies, and grate/crumble the cheeses.
- When the sweet potatoes are done, drain, and set them aside.
- Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the olive oil.
- Once hot, add the chicken in an even layer; sear.
- Sprinkle half of the spice blend over the chicken, stir, coating the chicken fully.
- Sauté the chicken for about 3 minutes, then add the onions, mix well; cook for 2-3 minutes or until onions have begun to soften.
- Reduce heat to medium and stir in 2 tbsp cilantro, tomatoes, green chilies, and the remaining spice blend; stir well.
- Stir in the salsa.
- Gently stir in the sweet potatoes and black beans.
- Stir in the cheese and lime juice.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing all the flavors to come together.
- Garnish with the remaining cilantro and the queso fresco.
- Serve and enjoy.
Tips for making Mexican Chicken and Sweet Potato SkilletThere are several variations you could do with this skillet.
- Russet potatoes instead of sweet potatoes, same cooking directions.
- Cubed pieces of pork or beef instead of chicken.
- Pinto beans instead of black beans.
- Pepper jack, mozzarella, or Monterrey Jack instead of cheddar cheese.
- Any tomato diced will work or 15 oz. can.
- Any heat level (mild, medium, or hot) salsa will work.
This post has been updated from its original January 28, 2019 publishing with new content, photography, and updated/clarified recipe card.