Southwest Black Bean Chicken

ISO: A Dinner That Cooks Itself.

I’m feeling desperate.  We’re getting into another busy sports season in our family {four kids in basketball . . . YIKES!} and that means crock pot dinners at our house.  Either that or pizza every night, and I can’t handle the mom-guilt that comes by pizza night #3.  By the time we’re winding up our school day I’m simply too tired to figure out what we’re having for dinner anyway, so it’s better all around if I’ve got that particular hurdle squared away early in the day.

Enter Southwest Black Bean Chicken.

Yes indeed, it practically cooks itself.  And it’s ready whenever we are, just a-waitin’ in the crock pot for us in between homeschool and dashing off to sports.

Southwest Black Bean Chicken Ingredients:

  • 1 small bag frozen corn or 1 can of corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 large frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups of salsa – if you like spicy, use a hotter salsa
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced avocado
  • diced tomatoes

And here’s what you do:

  1.  If you’re using frozen corn, place it on the bottom of the crock pot, then place the chicken on top. If you’re using canned corn, place the chicken on bottom and the corn on top.  Add drained black beans and salsa.  Cook on high for 1 hour, and then on low for 4 hours.
  2. Shred the chicken with forks or in your stand mixer and then mix it back in with the black bean mixture.
  3. Serve with tortilla chips and the additional toppings. The chips give it a great flavor and crunch!

Southwest Black Bean Chicken

Want to create a variation that is a bit healthier?  Try these ideas:

  • I add a lot of vegetable purees to my recipes because my kids are not great vegetable eaters, and I like to add in the vitamin benefits of more veggies for my family.  If you haven’t tried it before, Southwest Black Bean Chicken is a perfect recipe to try it with because the intense flavors and colors of this dish will mask the presence of the puree.  I add about 1 to 2 cups of spinach puree to the black beans and salsa as it’s cooking.  Carrot puree would also be a great addition.
  • You can also leave off the cheese and sour cream.  I’m a huge cheese fan and LOVE creamy foods, but this is really tasty even without them.  (Don’t get me wrong, it would be even better with them; but then again, I love making a little healthier version!)

This dinner really is awesome between how easy it is to fix and how delicious it is, even in its healthier forms.  We’ve also turned it into an on-the-go dinner by putting the filling into soft flour tortillas and taking it along.  My whole family gave rave reviews.  Check out the printable version of the recipe and give it a try.

More From Layers of Learning

You’re a homeschooling mom, and that means you have kids with you all the time.  Well, since they’re here, might as well put them to work!  Here are some tips for cooking with kids to help them not only learn to make food, but also be considerate and respectful of the food and others.  And here are a few more things you’re really going to love from Layers of Learning.

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