This Mexican Chicken Sweet Potato Skillet is a scrumptious, fulfilling, and easy-to-make meal that will be on your dinner table in under 30 minutes. Juicy chicken thighs, crispy bacon, and tender sweet potato cubes are cooked in spices, salsa, and green chilies and all this goodness is topped with melty cheddar cheese.
I love this one-pot meal which is an excellent fridge-cleaning recipe. Customize it with plenty of different leftover vegetables, grains, and a combination of Mexican spices.
Use what you have on hand but don’t skip the salsa or green chilies. They make the whole dish come together in the most delicious way with ton of flavor.
My few comments on the ingredients + don't forget to read the Tips section!
The full recipe and ingredients can be found in the recipe card below this post.
- Chicken breast or thighs - boneless chicken pieces, either breast or thighs. Spices like cumin and oregano give the chicken flavor of a traditional Mexican-style meal that combined with sweet potatoes is one great winner-winner chicken dinner. Boneless skinless chicken thighs or even a quick-fix-dinner-solution rotisserie chicken can be used as an alternative. Also, try this similar recipe with ground beef.
- Cheese- I used mozzarella as it melts beautifully and quickly in the skillet without oven. Or feel free to sharp red cheddar or any other good old melty cheese like gouda, pepper jack, Monterey jack. Salty melty cheese is something you can’t skip in this dish. The more the merrier, but ½ cup is a good place to start.
- Salsa - I used mild salsa as we already have spicy elements like green chilies and chipotle powder.
- Red Chili flakes - or chipotle powder (for some ultra smoky aroma), cayenne, or chili powder.
- Sweet potatoes - I like the sweet flavor here but feel free to use butternut squash, sweet pumpkin, or even regular starchy potatoes here. These go in parboiled or lightly steamed. Be careful not to overcook the sweet potatoes before adding them to the skillet.
- Want an even more fulfilling dinner? Add a small can of sweet corn or more beans and lentils. However the more ingredients you add here the more servings you’ll have. This dish is for 2 - 3 main course servings.
- Quinoa for serving or to mix in the potatoes - I used regular white quinoa, about 1 cup raw for two servings. Cook it according to package directions. Quinoa cooks up very fast and you can meal prep it 1-2 days in advance.
- Jalapenos - over time I've made this with fresh and jarred jalapenos or green chilies, and I prefer jarred ones the most. Chop them very fine.
In a small bowl mix together spices, salt, black pepper, and diced chicken.
Brown the chicken in a medium or large skillet over medium-high heat until almost fully cooked. About 3-4 minutes per side.
Lower the heat and add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Set aside.
Add parboiled sweet potatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, garlic, salt and black pepper. Stir to combine and cook for another 5-10 minutes until veggies are softened.
Stir, salsa, black beans.
Top with cheese and close the lid. Once cheese is melted, remove the skillet from heat.
Serve with a drizzle of squeezed lime juice and freshly chopped cilantro (or parsley). Serve over a bed of cooked quinoa.
- If you don’t have the spices listed in this recipe, a premixed store-bought taco, burrito, or fajita seasoning can help you with achieving a great flavor.
JULIA'S TIP one of my favorite variations of this recipe is making a sweet potato and turkey skillet. You can use ground turkey or turkey breast for a leaner and healthier meal.
- Salt and black pepper - you might not need those at all as you have salty salsa in the mix. Start with a little seasoning of chicken in the beginning and taste test in the middle of cooking and add more if needed.
JULIA'S TIP Fresh lime juice drizzled over the final dish helps to offset the spiciness and balances all the flavors. Plus it also helps with the digestion of all those different ingredients mixed in this one pot skillet dinner.
- More veggies to consider adding - the best part of this dish is that you can add other veggies like portobello mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini (largely chopped to avoid these becoming mushy), green beans, or broccoli.
- You can also use an oven-proof skillet or dutch oven skillet and make your meal prep easier. Brown the chicken on the stovetop first and then add all the rest ingredients. Transfer to oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, top with plenty of cheese and return to oven. Bake until the cheese is melted.
- Add more flavor by using seasoned salt, we like homemade Celery Salt.
This dish is a wholesome meal on its own. To keep the Mexican theme, these chicken quinoa bowls can be served on their own or with a small side salad or fresh salsa such as Pico De Gallo.
Freezing And Storing Instructions
Store any cooled leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days.
To freeze, the same steps for 2-3 months.
To reheat, thaw first if frozen and reheat in a pot over the stovetop. You may need to add some extra water or chicken broth to thin it out. I don’t recommend reheating this in the microwave as the potatoes and veggies will or may become too soggy.
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Mexican Chicken and Sweet Potato Skillet
- ½ pound boneless skinless chicken (thighs or breast)
- 1 ½ cups sweet potato (diced and parboiled)
- 1 cup canned black beans
- 1 tablespoon green jalapeno or green chili peppers (pickled (canned) or fresh)
- 6 tablespoons mild salsa
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese
- 1-2 tablespoon olive oil (for cooking)
- ⅓ cup red bell pepper (diced)
- ½1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground oregano
- salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
- Lime wedges for serving
- Cilantro for serving
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa (optional)
- If serving with quinoa, start cooking it now.
- In a small bowl mix together spices, salt, black pepper, and diced chicken thighs.
- Brown the chicken in a medium or large skillet over medium-high heat. Lower the heat and add in garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Set aside.
- Clean the skillet with paper towels and add sweet potatoes, jalapenos, garlic, bell peppers. Stir to combine and cook for another 5-8 minutes until warmed through and veggies softened. Stir in salsa, black beans.
- Top with cheese and close the lid. Once cheese is melted, remove the skillet from heat. Serve with a drizzle of squeezed lime juice and freshly chopped cilantro and quinoa.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)