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Mexican Restaurant Chicken & Rice

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We knew we had to try it when we saw the Mexican Style Chicken Cheese and Rice recipe featured on TikTok! Since then, it has become my favorite go-to weekend dinner.

Chicken and rice are filling, adaptable, and always seem to hit the spot.

And once you had that cheesy queso sauce layer, it became divine.

Mexican chicken and rice on a plate with Queso

I can’t get enough of this flavorful chicken and cheese–it is just SOOO tasty! What is it about Mexican-inspired food that is so darn good? Maybe it’s the blend of cumin, onion, garlic, and cilantro. 

Or maybe it’s the melty, gooey cheese I crave after my second helping. 

Whatever it is, this TikTok recipe got two thumbs up from my youngest, my husband, AND my teenager, which means it’s a winner!

Before we get started, let’s talk about the TikTok user we were first introduced to this recipe by User @tierraldiggins and the original video about Mexican-style chicken, Cheese, and Rice.

@tierraldiggins

Are you as obsessed with Mexican restaurant style chicken, cheese and rice as I am? #fyp #WorthTheWait #OneStepCloser #cookingtips #dinnerideas

♬ original sound – Tierra

She notes in the comments that this isn’t what she is claiming to be authentic Mexican food; however, it is a Mexican Inspired recipe based on her local restaurant menus.

Mexican Style Chicken, Cheese, and Rice

  • Long Grain Rice – Long grain rice is usually rice like Jasmine, Basmati, and Thai rice and have longer rice grains than brown rice
  • Tomato Sauce
  • Seasonings: Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Cumin, Cilantro, Salt, Pepper
  • Chicken Breasts
  • Queso Blanco Velveeta – The original tiktok recipe uses Queso Blanco Velveeta, but any Velveeta cheese you love will do in a pinch.

Homemade Mexican Rice

I had been craving Mexican rice for so long but couldn’t recreate it at home. The fluffy, golden pollo con queso simmered with tomatoes that I would always order wouldn’t be the right texture outside a restaurant.  

Then I learned a trick that TOTALLY changed the way I prepare it. Here’s the secret to making the BEST Mexican rice: rinse the grains before cooking them.  

So simple, right? 

By rinsing the rice, you remove the extra starch that makes your rice stick together and sometimes leave it mushy. I rinse mine in a strainer several times until the water the rice runs clear. 

Only then do I toast the grains on the stovetop to achieve the perfect consistency in my finished the dish.

Make this Mexican-inspired Chicken Cheese and Rice for your next potluck, or even for your next dinner party! 

Pair with this delicious Mexican “Street” Corn Salad or fresh TikTok Corn Cheese for an amazing meal!

mexican style chicken and rice from tiktok

What are some good toppings to try on Mexican Style Chicken Cheese and Rice?

 I’m a sour cream fanatic, so I always top any Mexican-inspired meal with a healthy dollop. 

But, if sour cream isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other toppings that are PERFECT for this dish.

  • Chopped green onions
  • Salsa, diced tomatoes or (better yet) fresh Pico de Gallo
  • Guacamole or sliced avocados
  • Canned green chilies or diced fresh jalapeno
  • Enchilada sauce

Can I make Chicken Cheese and Rice using a rice cooker? 

You can make this dish using a rice cooker. I recommend rinsing the rice grains before adding them to the cooker. 

After rinsing, combine rice, canned tomato, spices, chicken bouillon, and water and cook per manufacturer’s instructions. 

However, the texture still might not be restaurant quality because the rice won’t be toasted before going into the cooker.

easy mexican chicken and rice

What other spices can be used in TikTok Chicken Cheese and Rice? 

Mexican-inspired meals like this Chicken Cheese and Rice can be made with spices. Whenever I’m making a south-of-the-border dish, I always start with onion powder, garlic (powder or fresh), and cumin. 

If you need a one-stop spice blend, taco mix is undoubtedly a good option. 

Here are some other spices you can try next time you make this:

  • Chili powder
  • Paprika/Smoked Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper (adds heat)
  • Chipotle
  • Mexican Oregano
  • Cinnamon and Cloves
  • Adobo
  • Epazote

What other variations can I make to Chicken Cheese and Rice?

 If you’re like me and cook Mexican Chicken Cheese and Rice ALL the time, it’s nice to vary it up. Here are some easy ways to change up this amazingly versatile meal:

  • Add beans: black, pinto, or flor de mayo beans are exceptional in this dish, and can replace the chicken for a vegetarian meal (remember to also replace the chicken bouillon with vegetable bouillon if making this vegetarian).  Of course, if you only have another variety of beans such as red or garbanzo, you can use these too; your Chicken Cheese and Rice will be just as delicious but perhaps a bit less authentic.
  • Add vegetables: canned corn, canned green chilies, and sautéed onions and peppers are a delicious and easy adaptation that not only bulks this meal up but makes it healthier, too.
  • Use brown rice for a healthier meal:  Prepare the brown rice the same way you would the white rice (rinse and toast).  Brown rice takes longer to cook than white (about 40 minutes compared to 20) but will taste just as good!
  • Change up your cheese: most non-aged cheeses will taste great in Chicken Cheese and Rice.  Queso is my preferred cheese, and jarred Queso is a fine choice, but if you don’t have Queso on hand, here are some other good choices (although not all are Mexican type cheeses and may change the flavor of the dish)
    • Cheddar
    • Monterey jack
    • Pepper jack
    • Mild feta
    • Ricotta
    • Mozzarella
chicken and rice recipe

Can Chicken Cheese and Rice be prepared beforehand? 

Yes! Make this dish ahead of time, cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and place it in the fridge. To rewarm, bake it at 350 degrees F for 35 minutes until the cheese is melted and the contents reheated throughout.

How should I deal with leftovers of Chicken, Cheese, and Rice? 

If you have leftovers, chicken, cheese, and rice can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days. If you need to store it for longer, it can be wrapped in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and frozen. 

Thaw overnight in the fridge and then reheat it in the oven at 350 degrees F for about 35 minutes.

TikTok Dinner Recipes

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TikTok Mexican Style Chicken, Cheese and Rice


Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
TikTok gets it right again with this Mexican Style Chicken, Cheese and Rice. A delicious blend of tomato based rice (cooked the right way), with tender stove top seasoned chicken and a generous pouring of Queso Blanco Cheese. Ready in just about 30 minutes, this dish goes amazing with tons of toppings like green chilies, sour cream, black beans and a hint of salsa. While it may not be a one pot, one pan chicken and rice bake, its still done quickly and will be a great dinner recipe rotation. Fast clean up and makes delicious left overs the next day. 

Ingredients
 

Mexican Style Rice

Mexican Style Chicken

  • 2-3 chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
  • butter for melting
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin

Queso Cheese Sauce

  • 1 pound Queso Blanco Velveeta
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Instructions

Cooking Mexican Style Rice

  • Heat up a some vegetable oil on the bottom of a sauce pan. You wont need too much, just drizzle a little.
  • To the sauce pan, add 2 cups of long grain rice, like basmati or jasmine. Cook rice in oil until rice starts to brown.
  • Once the rice begins to brown, add in jar of tomato sauce. Continue cooking over medium-heat, stirring constantly to prevent any sticking or burning.
  • Add in garlic powder, onion powder, chicken bouillon seasoning and cumin.
  • Add in 4 cups of chicken broth to rice. Cover the sauce pan with a lid and continue cooking on medium heat for about 25 minutes. You may need to stir rice a few times to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking. After 25 minutes, turn heat off and let rice sit in pan with lid ON the pan for an additional 10 minutes to absorb left liquid and be fully tender.

Cooking Mexican Style Chicken

  • Melt a tablespoon of butter in a non-stick skillet and add 2-3 (already cut up) chicken breast.
  • While chicken is cooking, add in all chicken seasonings. Cook chicken breast until chicken is fully cooked and tender.

Queso Blanco Cheese

  • Cube 1 pound of Queso Blanco Velveeta Cheese in a sauce pan.
  • Add in approximately 1/2 cup of milk and 1 tablespoon of butter and heat on low heat until fully melted.

Assemble Chicken, Cheese, and Rice

  • Add a scoop of tomato based rice on bottom of plate, top with seasoned chicken and drizzle on Queso Blanco Cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 807kcal | Carbohydrates: 102g | Protein: 58g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 3416mg | Potassium: 1677mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 1802IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 800mg | Iron: 5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer: The nutritional data provided here is auto-calculated and intended for your convenience only. As it’s generated via automation, its accuracy may be compromised. For precise nutritional insight, please compute the values utilizing the actual ingredients in your recipe through your chosen nutrition calculator or application.

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