20-Minute Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans

20-Minute Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans – EASY, healthy, and the fresh cilantro sauce is SO good!! The chicken is juicy, loaded with flavor, and along with the rice and beans and you’ll be SATISFIED for hours!!

Calling all cilantro fans, this recipe is for you. And I love the Mexican flavors and vibe going on too.

The recipe is easy, healthy, ready in under 20 minutes, and naturally gluten-free.

20-Minute Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans - EASY, healthy, and the fresh cilantro sauce is SO good!! The chicken is juicy, loaded with flavor, and along with the rice and beans and you'll be SATISFIED for hours!!

Tender pieces of chicken are simmered in an easy yet super flavorful cilantro sauce that’s made in 1 minute in your food processor.

Fresh cilantro, green onions, lime juice, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. So much herby freshness. The cayenne doesn’t make the cilantro sauce spicy and just adds some pizazz.

MY OTHER RECIPES

Extra cilantro sauce is great for drizzling over the accompaniments to the chicken. Namely Spanish rice, black beans, and tomatoes. I can never have too much sauce.

20-Minute Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans - EASY, healthy, and the fresh cilantro sauce is SO good!! The chicken is juicy, loaded with flavor, and along with the rice and beans and you'll be SATISFIED for hours!!

The sauce also makes a great chicken marinade or just eat it as a dip with tortilla chips. Yum.

The sauce has more of an edge straight out of the food processor and the flavors mellow and marry in the skillet. If you like it straight from the food processor you’re going to love it after it’s been cooked for a few minutes.

I used precooked rice to save time but you can make it from scratch or sub with quinoa, couscous, or another favorite grain.

20-Minute Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans - EASY, healthy, and the fresh cilantro sauce is SO good!! The chicken is juicy, loaded with flavor, and along with the rice and beans and you'll be SATISFIED for hours!!

20-Minute Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans

20-Minute Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans – EASY, healthy, and the fresh cilantro sauce is SO good!! The chicken is juicy, loaded with flavor, and along with the rice and beans and you’ll be SATISFIED for hours!!

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Ingredients:

  • one extra-large or two medium/average bunches fresh cilantro leaves or about 2 cups tightly packed (see Notes below)
  • about 2 green onions, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • about 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided or as needed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
  • pinch cayenne pepper, optional and to taste
  • 1 to 1.25 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, diced into bite sized pieces
  • salt and pepper for seasoning chicken
  • one 8.8-ounce package precooked rice (I used Spanish rice)
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used low-salt)
  • 1 or 2 medium tomatoes, diced small (I used Roma)

Directions:

  1. To the canister of a food processor fitted with the S-blade, add the cilantro, green onions, about 4 tablespoons olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, optional cayenne pepper, and mix on high speed until cilantro and green onions are broken down and mixture is emulsified. If necessary, add additional oil to get things moving in the food processor and until sauce comes together in a thick but pourable consistency. Taste and make any necessary seasoning adjustments if desired; set sauce aside.
  2. To a large skillet, add 2 tablespoons olive oil, chicken, season evenly with salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir and flip intermittently to ensure even cooking.
  3. After chicken is cooked through, reduce the heat to medium-low, and evenly drizzle about 1/3 cup cilantro sauce over the chicken, stir to coat evenly, and simmer gently for about 2 minutes; reserve remaining sauce for serving.
  4. Remove the chicken from the skillet and evenly divide the chicken, rice, beans, and tomatoes between the serving bowls.
  5. Add additional cilantro sauce over the rice, beans, or tomatoes if desired. Recipe will keep airtight in the fridge for up to 5 days, noting the cilantro will oxidize as time passes but the color does not effect taste.

Recipe Notes and Tips:

  1. You need more cilantro than you think to make the cilantro sauce, likely 2 bunches if you are buying average-sized bunches from the grocery store. I find that organic cilantro comes in a bigger bunch in my area and I can get away with one but better to grab 2 to be safe. All those fluffy leaves pulverize down to nearly nothing in the food processor.
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20 comments on “20-Minute Cilantro Chicken with Rice and Beans”

  1. Ohhhhh!! This cilantro lover will be in heaven!!!

  2. I am all over this! It looks like such a delicious easy dinner!

  3. That is one beautiful plate, and that fresh cilantro sauce just sounds so incredible, love how easy it is to make this and in such little time….impressive

  4. I am definitely on team cilantro – that sauce sounds so easy and so delicious!

  5. I wonder if we puréed an avocado with it, if it would taste a little like El Pollo Loco’s avocado salsa?

  6. hey girl- this looks so good!

  7. What do you season your black beans with?
    Definitely trying this one!

  8. Does one use the stems along with the leaves in this recipe? Anything with cilantro is so-o-o-o good!

  9. This was delicious. I don’t know how you made it in 20 minutes, maybe next time will be faster. And, there will be a next time. I agree with you about cilantro, can never get enough. It was so pretty.

    Rating: 5
    • Glad you loved it and are a cilantro fan as well! I guess because I cook for a living I am pretty fast in the kitchen. Enjoy the rest of your weekend! Thanks for the 5 star rating!

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