30 Minute Chicken Ranchero

Chicken Ranchero was inspired by a trip down to South Texas for a family graduation.  After the event we all went out to eat to the only real restaurant in town which was a hopping Mexican food joint.  It was so crowded that we had to divide up and sit at different tables.  We all squeezed into a booth and made the best of it!  The Cowboy ordered chicken fajitas but when they came out it just wasn’t what he was expecting…it was so much better!!

The fajitas were served as a thinly sliced chicken breast often called milanesa.  It sears up super fast, stays super juicy and is so flavorful.  These fajitas were hands down wonderful and with the charred veggies…over the top!  I kept stealing bites of chicken off his plate and dipping it into the ranchero style sauce on mine…As I ate, I knew I would have to recreate this…so a few days later I went to work!

Chicken Ranchero with onions and peppers
The cast of characters for the Ranchero Sauce.

My Chicken Ranchero is super easy, quick, healthy, whole foods meal 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.

Chicken Ranchero with onions and peppers
I used my favorite Jaccard meat tenderizer to pierce the meat so the seasoning quickly flavors the chicken. It also tenderizes and helps the chicken cook quickly!

The chicken is thin so it only takes a minute or two to sear.  Using my favorite meat tenderizer, I pierced holes in the meat so the seasoning quickly flavored 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.

The sauce is made in the same pan by sauteing the peppers and onions and then everything goes back in the pan to simmer in the sauce.  Literally in 30 minutes dinner is ready…and in only one pan!  A ranchero sauce is really just a tomato based sauce with onions and peppers and around here, everyone has a special recipe.  This one is simple, quick and tastes amazing.  If you want the sauce with some heat you can add a half of a jalapeno while it simmers.

The key to this dish is everything is cooked in one pan…so the flavors are effortlessly layered… AMAZING!  Served with some sliced avocado and some brown rice…simply perfect.  To be as quick as possible I used frozen, organic brown rice that you steam in the microwave…doesn’t get much quicker than that.  Low carb version?  The Cowboy my prefer brown rice but my favorite is served over cauliflower rice!  A clean, delicious, whole foods meal in 30 minutes…in one pan…WINNER!

Chicken Ranchero with onions and peppers

30 Minute Chicken Ranchero with Onions & Peppers

June 24, 2017
: 4
: 10 min
: 20 min
: 30 min
: Easy

Chicken Ranchero with Onions & Peppers is a delicious, quick & easy one pan meal that is ready in 30 minutes. Savory, tender chicken in a spicy, quick ranchero sauce....Cowboy and kid approved! Low Carb? Serve over cauliflower rice!


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1.5 pounds of chicken breast, thinly sliced (milanesa) tenderized if desired
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 half of a fresh jalapeno (optional for spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt, pepper and granulated garlic
  • Step 1 Season chicken on all sides with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic. Let the chicken sit while you cut up veggies.
  • Step 2 Combine butter and olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat to melt butter. When butter sizzles, add chicken. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side or until golden…but no longer. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Chicken will cook the remainder of the way through in the sauce.
  • Step 3 Add onion and peppers to same pan and saute over medium high heat for 5-7 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring constantly so garlic does not burn.
  • Step 4 Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken stock and crushed tomatoes stirring to loosen bit on bottom of pan. Add chicken back to pan with salt and cumin and half of jalapeno if you want the sauce spicy.
  • Step 5 Simmer for 5-7 minutes or until sauce reduces and thickens up. Serve over white or brown rice or spaghetti squash for a low carb option.


3 thoughts on “30 Minute Chicken Ranchero”

  • My husband loves this but is trying to not eat carbs. Is there a veggie dish you think would go well with this?

    • Sorry Brandi…your comment got lost in Neverland!! My favorite is the Chicken Ranchero over cauliflower rice!!! We try to watch carbs to but the Cowboy is not giving up his rice! Good luck!

  • great flavor , definitely a repeat dinner. reduced time (4-5 min) of simmer to avoid over cooking the chicken. stays tender. easy and fun to make. enjoy !

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