One pan Mexican Chicken and Zucchini Recipe with black beans, corn, tomatoes and melted cheese on top. Low carb and crowd pleasing 30 minute healthy meal.
Our other favorite light skillets include this Caprese chicken and zucchini, pesto chicken, or ground turkey and zucchini.
Table of contents
- Mexican Zucchini and Chicken
- Why This Recipe Works?
- Ingredients for Chicken and Zucchini Recipe
- How to Make Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini
- Top Tips for Best Results
- Optional Add-Ins and Recipe Variations
- What to Serve It With?
- How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Making Chicken and Zucchini Recipe in Advance
- More Chicken and Veggies Recipes
- More Healthy Dinner Recipes
Mexican Zucchini and Chicken
This Tex Mex chicken and zucchini recipe is a variation of my black bean quinoa casserole with added chicken for a protein boost and quinoa replaced by zucchini. Everything is cooked within 30 minutes, right in one pan.
Tender chicken breast, soft black beans, sweet corn and squash, which is added at the very end to preserve the crunchiness. Whenever I make Mexican food like this chicken tostadas, Instant Pot white chicken chili or healthy fish tacos, I know dinner table will be quiet 100%.
This Mexican chicken zucchini was delicious! Chicken and squash are cooked with diced tomatoes, cumin, taco seasoning, topped with cheese and fresh herbs.
I added just a cup of shredded organic Colby Jack cheese and a few handfuls of cilantro and green onions. Fresh herbs are a great way to add flavour to any dish without extra calories.
Enjoy! Also make sure to try my chicken zucchini with garlic corn and zucchini tomato bake. Or any of these healthy zucchini recipes!
Why This Recipe Works?
- Healthy ingredients like lots of veggies – zucchini, bell pepper, corn, tomatoes, and lean chicken breast make this a low carb skillet dinner recipe. Also gluten free and high in fiber!
- Easy to prepare as all you have to do is chop!
- It’s perfect for a large group as this recipe makes a lot. Or great for leftovers!
- The pickiest eaters approved, even kids do not complain.
- Perfect to use up produce especially during July-August months when local produce is in abundance. If you have a garden or went a bit crazy (like me) at the farmer’s market, this recipe is perfect. Try chicken and peppers, too!
Ingredients for Chicken and Zucchini Recipe
You will need very simple ingredients to make this chicken and zucchini recipe.
- Chicken: You can use raw boneless and skinless chicken breasts, thighs or even tenders.
- Zucchini: Green or yellow zucchini. Also patty pan squash or chayote works great too!
- Bell peppers: You can use any color. I like to add 1 green bell pepper for a bit of bitter taste but it’s a personal preference. Only sweet ones will be great! You can also omit bell peppers entirely.
- Corn: Frozen ( no need to thaw), fresh (cut off the cob and uncooked) or canned (drained) corn works.
- Black beans: Low sodium canned and drained black beans. Also you can use homemade beans like black beans cooked in Instant Pot.
- Diced tomatoes: From a can and low sodium or no salt added. All or part of fire roasted tomatoes or Rotel would be great too!
- Onion, garlic and cilantro: Fresh veggies and herbs best because they add most flavor with minimum calories. If you are not a fan of cilantro, omit it and just use green onion or substitute with parsley.
- Spices: Cumin, low sodium taco seasoning, salt and pepper.
- Cheese: I use Colby Jack also known as marble cheese. Tex Mex, white or yellow cheddar cheese will be great too.
- Lime: It rounds out all flavors nicely in a final dish.
If your canned goods are not low sodium, just add 1/4 tsp salt while cooking and then eason more to taste after.
How to Make Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini
Here is a quick step-by-step overview how to make Tex mex chicken and zucchini recipe.
Preheat large deep skillet on low – medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper; saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Move vegetables to the side of the skillet and add chicken. Sprinkle with 1 tsp cumin, salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Make sure side of the skillet with chicken and spices is over direct heat. And not the veggie side – they are already cooked.
Add corn, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, taco seasoning and remaining cumin. Stir, cover and cook on low-medium for 10 minutes.
It is very important not to overcook zucchini. It might be tempting to cook until soft but just cook for 10 minutes and turn off heat while zucchini still appears firm.
Sprinkle with cheese, cover and cook for a few minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with green onion and cilantro. Serve hot, on its own or with brown rice or quinoa.
Shredded at home cheese melts better than store-bought because it doesn’t contain anti-caking agents like cellulose. That’s what I use.
Top Tips for Best Results
- Do not over cook zucchini: Follow the chicken zucchini recipe and do not cook until zucchini appear soft and cooked.
- Cut garden zucchini smaller: Garden zucchini often are giant. Just cut them into cubes instead of quarters.
- Cook garden zucchini less time: Extra large zucchini from the farmer’s market or homegrown are more spongy and need to be cooked for shorter amount of time to avoid soggy veggies.
- Do not drain diced tomatoes: Its juices add flavor and substance to the sauce. Just like with this Ukrainian borscht.
- Add less salt: If canned black beans and diced tomatoes you have on hand contain sodium and are not “low sodium” or “no salt added”, make sure to start cooking with less salt to avoid overly salty dish.
- Use very large skillet: This chicken zucchini recipe makes a lot and not overcrowded skillet results in more firm zucchini. I used 14 inch Green Pan, you can also use 12 inch skillet with very tall walls, around 2-3 inches high.
- Good kitchen tools are key: This dish comes easily as there is just quick chopping involved. Having a sharp knife and sturdy cutting board help tremendously to get chopping done fast.
Optional Add-Ins and Recipe Variations
- Ground beef: Substitute lean ground beef or even pork in place of chicken. Just cook until separated and cooked through. You can also drain fat, if you wish.
- For heat: Add chopped and not seeded jalapenos to taste.
- V8: If you have V8 on hand, feel free to add some in place of some of diced tomatoes or for extra sauce. One of the reader’s tips.
- Fresh tomatoes: You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned in this chicken and zucchini recipe. Chop them up and saute for 3-4 minutes after cooking peppers and chicken but before adding zucchini.
- Can of diced green chiles: It will add nice extra Mexican dish flavor.
- Make it vegetarian: Just omit chicken or use meatless crumbles. No other changes to the recipe are necessary.
What to Serve It With?
You can serve this Mexican chicken and zucchini on its own as is – that’s what we usually do. Or as a garnish, feel free to add sour cream, diced avocado, cilantro and black olives after the cheese was melted. Top with crushed tortilla chips.
Use as filling in low carb wraps, garnished with sliced avocado. We love to do that with chicken burrito skillet!
You might also like to serve it with one of these healthy grill recipes or healthy pasta recipes!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
Refrigerate leftovers for healthy lunch up to 3-4 days in an airtight container.
Freeze: I do not recommend to freeze this Tex Mex chicken zucchini recipe. Zucchini will become a total mush once thawed. Again, it is because of 95% water content issue.
To reheat, simmer on low heat in a skillet for 5 minutes covered. If you use non-stick skillet you should not need any water or oil to reheat it as zucchini will release water.
Making Chicken and Zucchini Recipe in Advance
To make chicken and zucchini recipe in advance, you can definitely prep ingredients ahead of time. Great for busy weeknights when you want to eat healthy. Especially, with work, kids and sports.
Chop vegetables and refrigerate covered for up to 2 days. Also cut up chicken and refrigerate separately for up to 2 days as well.
As well as cheese can be grated in advance. Can even measure out spices and store in a small bowl in a pantry.
If you have a lot of extra liquid in the skillet it is more likely because you overcooked zucchini. This vegetable comprises of 95% water and the longer you cook squash, the more water it releases.
Yes, any leftover cooked chicken works – just cook it for a few minutes until warmed through.
I do not recommend to freeze cooked zucchini dishes because their delicate texture doesn’t hold up well to it. Once thawed and reheated the amount of extra water will be too much for an enjoyable and appealing dish.
If you are allergic to tomatoes or for another reason, you can substitute tomatoes with 1/2 cup any low sodium broth and add more to taste, if necessary. Also chopped marinated roasted red peppers would be great too.
More Chicken and Veggies Recipes
- Chicken mushroom recipe
- Chicken bell pepper recipe
- Chicken cauliflower recipe
- Chicken broccoli recipe
- Chicken tomato recipe
More Healthy Dinner Recipes
Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini Recipe
- 1 lb boneless & skinless chicken breasts cut into 1″ pieces
- 2 large zucchini diced
- 2 medium bell peppers chopped
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup corn frozen or fresh
- 1 tbsp oil for frying
- 14 oz can low sodium black beans drained & rinsed
- 14 oz can low sodium diced tomatoes not drained
- 1 tsp store bought or homemade taco seasoning
- 1 tbsp cumin divided
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 1 cup Tex Mex or Colby Jack cheese shredded
- 1/2 cup green onions chopped
- 1/2 cup cilantro chopped
- Preheat large (12 inch) deep skillet on low – medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper; saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Move vegetables to the side of the skillet and add chicken. Sprinkle with 1 tsp cumin, salt and black pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add corn, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, taco seasoning and remaining cumin. Stir, cover and cook on low-medium for 10 minutes.
- Sprinkle with cheese, cover and cook for a few minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with green onion and cilantro.
- Serve hot, on its own or with Instant Pot brown rice or Instant Pot quinoa. Or as a garnish, feel free to add sour cream, cilantro and black olives after the cheese was melted. Top with crushed tortilla chips. Use as filling in low carb wraps, garnished with sliced avocado.
- Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 – 4 days. Do not freeze.
- To reheat: Simmer on low heat in a skillet for 5 minutes covered. If you use non-stick skillet you should not need any water or oil to reheat the dish as again zucchini will release water.
- Do not over cook zucchini: Follow the recipe and do not cook until zucchini appear soft and cooked.
- Cut garden zucchini smaller: Garden zucchini often are giant. Just cut them into cubes instead of quarters.
- Use very large skillet: This recipe makes a lot and not overcrowded skillet results in more firm zucchini. I used 14 inch Green Pan, you can also use 12 inch skillet with very tall walls, around 2-3 inches high.
Made it a couple of months ago and everybody loved it, even the dust eating kids and wife haha
Making it again tonight 😋😋😋
I am so happy to hear this, Richard!
A lime is in the picture but I don’t see it listed or with any instructions in the recipe? Otherwise amazing!!!
Would love to hear your alternative to store bought taco seasoning if we don’t have any.
Your recipes are my fav I only follow you now for ideas!!! So good!
A squeeze of lime at the end is optional. 🙂 Making your own taco seasoning is always an option – taco seasoning recipe. So glad you enjoy the recipes and thank you for the kind words!
This is just a terrific recipe! I used one zucchini and used canned chicken but I followed the recipe otherwise. Since it is just my husband and me, I was afraid to make the meal too big. But oh my – we sure do love it! And we will have enough to have left overs. Thanks for this wonderful recipe!
So glad you enjoyed it!
I was considering making this recipe with tofu (we have some at the house) instead of chicken.. any recommendations cooking the tofu?
Hi Kristin, tofu is a great idea, it will definitely soak up the flavors of the dish. You could either make crispy pan fried tofu and stir it in right before you add cheese or sprinkle it with the cumin, salt and pepper, then add to the skillet in step 2, but cook it 2 minutes or so on each side. This won’t be as crispy as the pan fried tofu, but more soft in texture in final dish.
My daughter made this for me last night. Flavor was amazing. Giving 5 stars. Will for sure eat this again.
So glad you enjoyed it!
Hi! I’m so excited to try this recipe! Do you think it could be done in a slow cooker?
Sorry recipe has not been tested as such, I think the veggies would get mushy slow cooked.
This sounds wonderful! Can it be made in a pressure cooker?
You can do so without zucchini, pressure cook for 5 mins, then add zucchini and cheese, close the lid and let it all sit for a few minutes.
Made this for the second time today (first time I followed the recipe exactly) this time I added mushrooms, christophene, carrots, used red beans instead of black (cuz ick) and used fresh tomatoes.
Overall love, love this recipe. Didn’t cover at all when cooking because it sprouts too much liquid. When cooking just stirred every minute.
Keep up the wonderful recipes Olena 🙂
So glad you enjoyed it Chelsea!
OMG! I loved it!!!! I read most of thew comments before i made this dish. As it was the first time I followed the recepie to the teeth, only I used spicey taco seasoning and i used 3 tbs. I only coocked the dish for 5 more minutes after adding the Zucchini. Could have done with only 3-4. So keep an close eye with the dish after adding the Zucchini not to over cock them. I served it with rice, the sause on top and a little spoon full of sour cream on the top and a few nacho chips sticking up from the sourcream. Sprinkeled with Mexican cheese mix and jalapeno pieces! Everybody loved it!!! This is so delish that I had to go for a 2nd plate but just took the sause without anything extra and just a few nacho chips to scoop it up! DELISOUS! Defenantly a keeper!
So glad you enjoyed it Jennie!
I have a weird question. Would this dish still work if I used left over salmon instead of chicken, or would that make something totally not edible?
It would change the taste of the dish for sure 🙂 You might try just making without chicken and serving the leftover salmon on the side.