This Chicken Ranchero recipe was inspired by a trip down to South Texas for a family graduation. Quick and easy, this simple Mexican inspired dish can be dressed up or down to suit the tastes and needs of the entire family! The chicken is quickly seared and simmered in a spicy, flavorful sauce that thickens as it cooks…DELISH!
Chicken Ranchero is super easy, quick and healthy meal that’s also low carb and keto friendly that the whole family will love. BONUS…it also is ready in under 30 minutes and has just a few ingredients, some of which you may have on hand or may be waiting around in the fridge to be used.
Preparing the chicken for the Chicken Ranchero
There are a few ways you can go here for this chicken recipe. You want the chicken to be on the thin side so it cooks quickly and stays juicy. My local grocery store sells milenesa style chicken, which are basically thin chicken cutlets. If you can’t find thin chicken cutlets or milenesa, you can slice whole chicken breasts in half crosswise to create a thin cutlet.
Depending on how thick your chicken cutlets are, for this chicken ranchero recipe you may need to thin or even the cutlets out with a meat mallet or tenderizer but if I’m in a hurry I just slice them and cook them! But…if I have time, I like to use my favorite meat tenderizer to pierce holes in the meat so the seasoning quickly flavors the chicken. These Jaccard style tenderizers are great for all types of meat like pork chops and steaks…so much better than the old school hammer! For more information on my favorite kitchen gadgets, click here.
Ingredients for the Sauce
The ingredients for this sauce are simple and you probably have them already in your pantry or fridge! A ranchero sauce is just a spiced up tomato based sauce with onions and peppers and around here, everyone has a special recipe but this one is simple, quick and tastes amazing.
- White Onion
- Bell Pepper – Any color will do but I love the color!
- Lots of Garlic
- Jalapeño – One pepper halved lengthwise or chop it up
- Spices – Paprika & Cumin
- Crushed Tomatoes
- Chicken Stock or Bone Broth
Making the easy ranchero sauce
The sauce for the Chicken Ranchero is made all in one pan by sautéing the peppers, onions and garlic in the same pan the chicken was seared in, then everything goes back in the pan to simmer in the sauce….literally in 30 minutes dinner is ready! The key to this dish is everything is cooked in one pan…so the flavors are effortlessly layered… AMAZING!
How to serve Chicken Ranchero
This easy keto friendly and low carb Chicken Ranchero served with some sliced avocado and Mexican Cauliflower Rice…is simply perfect. I sometimes like to top my chicken with a little Monterey jack cheese or quest fresco and sour cream! To keep it dairy free, serve with avocado or guacamole and use avocado oil in place of the butter. For the carb eaters in the family, like The Cowboy, this Chicken Ranchero can be served with brown rice! A delicious low carb, keto friendly meal in 30 minutes…in one pan…WINNER!
Looking for more keto Tex-Mex or Mexican recipes? Check these out!
- Keto Mexican Shredded Chicken
- Low Carb Mexican Cauliflower Rice Skillet – All Day I Dream About Food
- Keto Fideo
- Keto Mexican Cauliflower Rice
- Keto Mexican Spaghetti Casserole
- Tex-Mex Tomato Carpaccio
30 Minute Chicken Ranchero
- 1 tablespoon butter**
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1.5 pounds of thin chicken breast cutlets or milanesa or 3 whole breasts cut in half crosswise into cutlets
- 1 bell pepper sliced
- 1 yellow onion halved and sliced
- 1 half or whole fresh jalapeño** optional **see notes
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 cloves garlic finely minced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Salt pepper and granulated garlic
Salt, Pepper & Granulated Garlic
Garnish: Avocado, Monterey Jack or Queso Fresco, Sour Cream, Chopped Cilantro, Lime Wedges
- Season chicken cutlets on all sides with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Let the chicken sit while you cut up veggies.
- Combine butter and avocado oil in large skillet over medium high heat to melt butter. When butter sizzles or oil is hot, add chicken. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Chicken will cook the remainder of the way through in the sauce.
- Add onion, bell peppers and chopped or sliced jalapeno, if using, to same pan, seasing with 1/2 tsp. salt and saute over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add garlic, cumin and paprika and cook for another minute, stirring constantly so garlic does not burn.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes stirring to loosen the bits on bottom of pan. Add chicken back to pan and simmer for 5-7 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens up. If your using the jalapeno half, add it to the sauce with the chicken, simmer in the sauce and remove prior to serving. Taste the sauce and adjust salt and pepper as needed. Serve over cauliflower rice and garnish as desired.
Nutrition facts are approximate and will vary depending on the ingredients used. Carbs from sugar alcohols have been excluded since they have shown to have no impact on blood sugar.