These Easy Southwestern Chicken and Rice Foil Packets turned out amazing even thought I felt half asleep during assembly. That’s how easy they are. Question: at what age can kids soothe themselves back to sleep after a bad dream? It’s only Wednesday, and we’ve had one kid enter our bed at the wee hours of the night both Monday and Tuesday. It’s even more frustrating when you can’t fall back asleep, while they snore away. Sleepless in St. Louis. Needless to say, I needed something I could make in a major state of fatigue. 

chicken foil packets

Short-Cut Ingredients: Southwestern Chicken and Rice Foil Packets

I’d say this recipe has 3 short-cuts:

Microwavable Pre-Cooked Steamed Brown Rice

steamed brown rice
I love the taste and ability to pull one packet out at a time with this rice. Trader Joe’s has a version, as well as Uncle Ben.


Salsa has it all: chopped vegetables, spices, and hint of sweet and spicy. It transforms this dish without having to add a ton of spices (while that would be nice). I love Jack’s salsa, not only because it has my son’s name, but because of the fresh “pico” style of the salsa.

Jack's special salsa


The best part about this recipe is the clean-up. You’ll have to wash a cutting board, but no pots or pans are needed.

Basically, this Easy Southwestern Chicken and Rice Foil Packet is so straightforward, you can do it half-asleep!

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chicken foil packets

Easy Southwestern Chicken and Rice Foil Packets

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  • Author: Jennifer McDaniel
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


  • 1 lb. chicken breasts, boneless skinless, sliced thinly 
  • Salt
  • 1 T. garlic powder
  • 1/2 c. shredded Mexican cheese 
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced into strips
  • 2 packets or 2 cups of pre-cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 c. salsa
  • 1, 15.5 oz. can navy, pinto or black beans
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 Aluminum foil sheets


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
  2. Add 1/2 cup rice to foil sheet. Layer 3-4 slices of chicken on top.
  3. Sprinkle chicken with a small amount of salt and garlic powder. Top with ~2-3 T. of shredded cheese and salsa.
  4. Add the peppers 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.
  5. 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.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 305
  • Sugar: 3.8 g
  • Sodium: 547.6 mg
  • Fat: 9.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 28.2 g
  • Fiber: 4.8 g
  • Protein: 26.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 67.3 mg