One pan Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini Recipe with black beans, corn, tomatoes and melted cheese on top. Low carb and crowd pleasing 30 minute healthy meal.

Besides this chicken and zucchini, we also love Caprese chicken with zucchini and tomatoes, chicken and corn and ground turkey and zucchini.

Tex Mex chicken and zucchini recipe with melted cheese and cilantro in blue skillet.

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.

Chicken and zucchini are cooked with diced tomatoes, black beans, corn and simple seasonings, then topped with cheese and fresh herbs. Note that we add squash at the very end to preserve the crunchiness.

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 flavor to any dish without extra calories.

Whenever I make Mexican food like this chicken and zucchini recipe, chicken tostadas, Instant Pot white chicken chili or chicken burritos, I know dinner table will be quiet 100%.

Ingredients for Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini

You will need very simple ingredients to make this chicken and zucchini recipe.

Chicken breasts, zucchini, corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, cheese, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, lime, garlic, green onion, spices.
  • Chicken: You can use raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, chicken thighs or even chicken tenders.
  • Zucchini: Green or yellow zucchini. Also patty pan squash or chayote works great too!
  • Bell peppers: You can use any color peppers. 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 corn (no need to thaw), fresh corn (cut off the cob and uncooked) or canned corn (drained) works in this chicken and zucchini recipe.
  • Black beans: Low sodium canned and drained black beans. Also you can use homemade beans like black beans cooked in Instant Pot.
  • Diced tomatoes: Use canned low sodium or no salt added diced tomatoes. Substitute all or partially with fire roasted tomatoes or Rotel, if you wish.
  • Onion, garlic and cilantro: Fresh veggies and herbs are the best because they add maximum flavor with minimum calories. If you are not a fan of cilantro, omit it and use green onion or fresh parsley instead.
  • Spices: Cumin, low sodium taco seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Cheese: I use Colby Jack also known as marble cheese. Tex Mex cheese, white cheddar or yellow cheddar cheese will be great too. Shredded at home cheese melts better than store-bought because it doesn’t contain anti-caking agents like cellulose. That’s what I use.
  • Lime: It rounds out all flavors nicely in a final dish.
  • Oil for frying: I like to use avocado oil but you can also use olive oil or butter.

Recipe Tip

If you are using not low sodium canned goods, add 1/4 teaspoon salt during cooking and then season more to taste later.

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. Full recipe card is located below.

Sauteed bell peppers with onion and garlic in a skillet.

Preheat deep large skillet on low – medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper; saute for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Sauteed veggies and cubed chicken breasts with seasonings in two piles in a skillet.

Move vegetables to the side of the skillet and add chicken pieces. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon 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.

Sauteed veggies and chicken with cubed zucchini, black beans and corn piled up on top in a skillet.

Add corn, beans, tomatoes, zucchini, taco seasoning and remaining cumin to the skillet. Stir, cover and cook chicken and zucchini recipe on low-medium for 10 minutes.

It is very important not to overcook zucchini. It might be tempting to cook it until soft but cook only for 10 minutes and turn off heat while zucchini still appears firm.

Chicken and zucchini recipe with melted cheese and cilantro in a skillet.

Sprinkle chicken and squash with cheese, cover and cook for a few more minutes or until cheese has melted. Top with green onion and cilantro. Serve hot, on its own or with brown rice or quinoa.

Top Tips for Best Results

Here are my top tips for the best chicken and zucchini recipe from the first try.

  • Do not over cook zucchini: Follow the recipe and do not cook until zucchini appears soft and cooked.
  • Cut garden zucchini smaller: Often garden zucchini are giant. Cut them into cubes instead of quarters.
  • Cook garden zucchini less time: Extra large zucchini from the farmer’s market or homegrown zucchini are more spongy and need to be cooked for shorter amount of time to avoid soggy vegetables.
  • 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 Tex Mex chicken and zucchini.
  • 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 Variations

This chicken and zucchini recipe is very versatile and forgiving. Use what you have on hand. Here are a few ideas:

  • Ground beef: Substitute lean ground beef or ground pork in place of chicken breasts. Saute ground meat until cooked through, breaking into small pieces. You can also drain extra fat, if you wish.
  • For heat: Add chopped, not seeded jalapenos to taste.
  • V8: If you have V8 on hand, feel free to add it instead of some diced tomatoes or for extra sauce. It is one of the reader’s tips.
  • Fresh tomatoes: You can use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes in this Tex Mex chicken and zucchini. Chop them up and saute for 3-4 minutes after cooking bell peppers and chicken but before adding the zucchini.
  • Can of diced green chiles: It will add nice extra Tex Mex flavor.
  • Make it vegetarian: Just omit chicken, use meatless crumbles or diced tofu. No other changes to the recipe are necessary.
Closeup of Tex Mex chicken and zucchini recipe with corn and black beans topped with melted cheese.

What to Serve Chicken and Zucchini Recipe With?

You can serve this Tex Mex chicken and zucchini on its own as is, that’s what we usually do. Or feel free to top it with sour cream, diced avocado, cilantro and black olives after the cheese has melted. Then top with crushed tortilla chips. Delicious!

Use it as a filling in wraps. We love to do that with chicken burrito skillet!

How to Store and Reheat

Refrigerate leftovers for healthy lunch up to 3-4 days in an airtight container.

Freeze: I do not recommend to freeze this chicken and zucchini recipe. Zucchini will become a total mush once thawed because it consists of 95% water.

To reheat, simmer in a skillet on low heat on stovetop for 5 minutes while covered. If you use non-stick skillet, you should not need any water or oil to reheat it as zucchini will release water.

Make It Ahead

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.

Chop vegetables and refrigerate covered for up to 2 days. Also cut up chicken breasts and refrigerate separately in an airtight container for up to 2 days as well.

You can also grate cheese in advance and store it in airtight container. Feel free to measure out spices and store them in a small container in a pantry.

FAQs

Why is my chicken and zucchini too watery?

If you have a lot of extra liquid in the skillet, it is more likely because you overcooked the zucchini. Squash consists of 95% water and the longer you cook it, the more water it releases.

Can I use cooked chicken?

Yes, any leftover cooked chicken works in this chicken and zucchini recipe. Cook it only for a few minutes until warmed through.

Can I freeze this chicken and zucchini recipe?

I do not recommend to freeze cooked chicken and zucchini recipe because its delicate texture doesn’t hold up well freezing. Once thawed and reheated, the amount of extra water will be too much for an enjoyable and appealing dish.

Can I omit tomatoes?

If you are allergic to tomatoes or for another reason, you can substitute tomatoes with 1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth and add more to taste, if necessary. Also chopped marinated roasted red peppers would be great too.

More Chicken and Zucchini Recipes to Try

Or any of these healthy zucchini recipes!

More Healthy Dinner Recipes

Closeup of melted cheese on chicken and zucchini skillet.
Tex Mex chicken and zucchini recipe with melted cheese and cilantro in blue skillet.

Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini Recipe

One pan 30 minute Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini Recipe with black beans, corn, tomatoes and melted cheese on top.
4.95 from 512 votes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 323
Diet Low Calorie
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients  

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Notes

  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.75cups | Calories: 323kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 699mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Tex Mex
Author: Olena Osipov
Did you make this recipe?Mention @ifoodreal or tag #ifoodreal!

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About Olena

Welcome! I grew up in Ukraine watching my grandma cook with simple ingredients. I have spent the last 11 years making it my mission to help you cook quick and easy meals for your family!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this using leftover rotisserie chicken. It was easy and beautiful and my husband and I loved it. It’s a keeper. I took a picture but don’t know how to post it.

  2. 5 stars
    So tasty! I used up a few chopped mushrooms as well and then topped also with some Cojita cheese to add a little smokiness. Very healthy!

  3. I just tried this. The flavors were great! I didn’t add corn or beans since I am low carb (didn’t use rice either) What other vegetables would you suggest in place of corn & beans? I could have used cauliflower rice but they are sometimes too wet and there was already a lot of liquid. Anyway, it was very tasty and I will definitely cook it again.

    1. I would add cauliflower rice. Sauté it from frozen first and keep in a separate bowl then add back in. You can also add greens or spaghetti squash noodles. Broccoli. Cabbage. any low carb veggie you like.

  4. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious, thank you Olena!
    Because I was using whole chicken thighs and wanted the skin to crisp, I first prepared and lightly cooked the veg, then put them into a casserole dish. I then put the spices on the chicken and browned it in the same pan. I put the thighs on top of the veg and cooked it all in the oven. When it was time to add the cheese I avoided the chicken so the skin wouldn’t lose its crispness. It worked really well and there was plenty left over for the next day.

  5. 5 stars
    I really like this recipe! I had all the ingredients already and decided to give it a try. Once I came to the last step, it looked more like a soup than a casserole. I strained everything and transferred to a casserole dish covered with cheese and more jalapeños and broiled it for 7minutes. It came out delicious. Will be eating all week haha

      1. 5 stars
        I made this tonight for the first time. It’s really good. Looking forward to leftovers tomorrow night and also freezing some for a later time. Thank you for sharing your recipe.

    1. 5 stars
      I’ve made this a few times and put my own spin to it. Extra seasonings, veggies (green, orange and yello peppers, red onion, mushrooms), diced chiles and put it over Mexican rice. Also, I’ve used basmati rice in the past and it’s just as good. Topped it with cheese, sour cream and a few dashes of nandos garlic sauce. Fan favorite in my house!

4.95 from 512 votes (81 ratings without comment)

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