Skillet Chicken Stew With Black Beans and Corn

Chicken and black bean stew

The Spruce / Diana Rattray

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings

This recipe for skillet chicken stew is full of Tex-Mex flavor, and it's surprisingly fast and easy to prepare and cook. You can also use leftover chicken, rotisserie chicken, or fully cooked chicken breast strips, and that can cut cooking time significantly. 

Serve the stew with crusty bread or cornbread muffins for a meal your family will enjoy.


  • 3 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed and minced)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) stewed tomatoes with juices
  • 1 can (12 to 15 ounces) corn kernels (drained)
  • 1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chile
  • 1 can chicken stock (use as needed)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Steps to Make It

  1. Cut the chicken into 1/2 to 3/4-inch chunks and season with salt.

  2. In a large deep skillet or Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat.

  3. Add the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned outside and white throughout but still juicy, about 4 minutes.

  4. Remove the chicken and set aside.

  5. Reduce the heat to medium and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same skillet.

  6. Add the onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.

  7. Stir in the black beans, stewed tomatoes with their juices, corn, and chiles; bring to a boil over high heat.

  8. Reduce the heat to medium and cook uncovered until mixture is thickened slightly, 10 to 15 minutes. The tomatoes should add enough moisture to the dish, but check it from time to time and add some chicken broth, if necessary.

  9. Stir in the chicken and cilantro; cook until heated through, about 5 minutes longer.

  10. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.