Home » Recipe Index » Dinner Recipes

Southwest Bowls

Inspired by our favorite restaurant Southwest bowls, this recipe makes an easy, healthy meal for busy nights. Chicken and rice bowls are loaded with protein, grains, and veggies to fill you up without weighing you down.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. For more information, please read my disclaimer.

Overhead view of Southwest Bowls in a gray bowl with a spoon.

Some nights are just packed with activities, from work events to kids’ sports. Getting everyone around the table for a healthy meal can feel impossible. These Southwest bowls are made for busy nights! 

Ingredients are easy to meal prep ahead of time, and the recipe itself is super flexible. Everyone can build their bowl to order based on their flavor preferences and what is leftover in your refrigerator!

It didn’t take many visits to Applebee’s and Moe’s for me to realize that this chicken and rice bowl recipe could be made as easily in my kitchen as my mild taco seasoning. We usually have most of the ingredients on-hand as normal pantry staples. Plus, this Southwestern chicken bowl recipe is a fantastic way to use up leftover rice or chicken from a previous meal!

Ingredients needed to prepare southwest bowls.

How to Make Southwest Bowls

A full printable version of this recipe with ingredient measurements is available at the bottom of this post.

Save This Recipe!
Enter your email and we'll send this recipe right to your inbox. Plus you'll get amazing recipes in our newsletter!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Overhead view of taco seasoning, salsa and sour cream in an offwhite bowl.

STEP ONE: Stir together your taco seasoning, salsa, and sour cream, then set the mixture aside for later.

Single serving of rice in a gray bowl, waiting on additional toppings.

STEP TWO: Split the cooked rice between 4 bowls. Top with cooked chicken, corn, black beans, peppers, and cheese.

Each ingredient for southwest bowls on top of rice in a gray bowl, ready to be stirred together.

STEP THREE: Top each Southwest chicken bowl with sauce and serve!

Close up view of a spoon holding a single bite of a southwest bowl.

What to Serve with a Southwest Bowl

Variations for Southwest Bowls

  • Meal prep your Southwest chicken bowl for lunch during the week. Make rice, chicken, black beans, and veggies ahead of time, then portion them into bowls. Just add the sauce after heating up your lunch.
  • Want to change it up? Switch out your rice for quinoa or a rice and quinoa blend. You’ll get the same Southwest bowl flavor with more wholegrain texture and flavor.
  • If you are a vegetarian and prefer a meatless Southwest bowl, quinoa and some extra black beans will give you a nice dose of protein and fiber in your burrito bowl.
  • Add fresh avocado to your bowl! It really takes it to the next level!
  • Do you have leftovers after you serve your Southwest bowls? Pile them into a tortilla for a quick, healthy chicken burrito the next day.
  • Grilling on the weekend? Throw a few chicken breasts on the grill, then pop them in the fridge for the week. You’re halfway done with your Southwest bowl meal prep already!
  • Don’t like black beans? We like the taste of lentils and white beans in this Southwestern bowl recipe as well. 
Overhead view of 4 southwest bowls on a white marble background.

What Are Southwest Chicken Bowls?

Southwest chicken bowls are a great solution for healthy eating. Each Southwest bowl starts with a base of fluffy, cooked rice and is topped with a combination of chicken, vegetables, and black beans.

Then, each chicken and rice bowl is topped with an easy sauce that is beyond delicious and brings the whole dish together!

How Do You Cook Corn For A Southwest Chicken Bowl?

No need to cook corn separately for this Southwestern chicken bowl recipe — simply open up a can and call it a day!

However, it is also delicious to slice freshly grilled or roasted corn off the cob for these bowls. I’ve even used leftover air fryer corn on the cob in a pinch!

Angled view of ingredients for a southwest bowl resting in a gray bowl ready to be combined.

Can I Use Leftover Chicken In Southwest Bowls?

Absolutely — the only rule is your chicken needs to be cooked. If I know this recipe is in my meal plan, I cook extra chicken earlier in the week.

Then, all I have to do is dice it up when I’m making each chicken and rice bowl. You can also use rotisserie chicken from the grocery store to save extra time.

Other Southwest-Inspired Recipes You’ll Love:

Love air frying? Join our newsletter! You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, or join our free Facebook Air Frying Community.

Overhead view of Southwest Bowls in a gray bowl with a spoon.

Southwest Bowls

Samantha Erb
Southwest bowls are easy and healthy for busy weeknight dinners, or as a simple meal prep solution for healthy lunches on the go!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dinner Recipes
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 777 kcal


  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 4 cups cooked white rice about 1.5 cups raw
  • 2 cups diced chicken cooked
  • 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn drained
  • 1 bell pepper chopped
  • 1 cup shredded tex mex cheese or Mexican cheese

For Serving

  • Lime wedges


  • In a small bowl stir together the taco seasoning, sour cream, and salsa; set aside
  • divide the white rice in the bottom of 4 bowls, then top each with an even amount of chicken, black beans, corn, pepper and cheese
  • Add the sauce, toss when ready to eat, and serve with lime wedges (optional)


Serving: 1gCalories: 777kcalCarbohydrates: 85gProtein: 38gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 14gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 128mgSodium: 1546mgFiber: 12gSugar: 8g

This nutrition information is based on the exact products I used in this recipe. Brands and sizes of products could alter exact nutrition and should always be calculated independently.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


About Samantha

I’ve always had a love of cooking and creating new recipes, so it only made sense to create a food blog so I could share those recipes with you. This site is designed to provide easy and flavorful recipes with as little ingredients as possible. That means you still get great flavor combinations without all that extra time and effort. Read more...

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


as seen on promo graphic


as seen on promo graphic