This Southwest Chicken Bowl starts with griddle chicken breasts that are marinated in a chipotle and citrus marinade. Serve the chicken over some fresh greens or cooked rice, and add some fajita vegetables, black bean corn salsa, and a quick avocado ranch dressing for a flavor-packed and healthy griddle recipe!
Just a few weeks ago I made these awesome Blackstone steak fajitas that my wife proclaimed to be “the best fajitas” that she had ever eaten. The magic of that recipe was in the bright and flavorful citrus marinade that paired perfectly with the steak and vegetables.
So of course we had to develop a Southwest chipotle marinade that would be perfect for griddle chicken!
And since we’ve been filling up on tacos and grilled stuffed burritos recently, we had to turn our Blackstone griddle chicken into a healthy dinner bowl!
This Southwest Chicken Bowl is a nutritious and satisfying option that combines fresh greens, spicy grilled chicken, and a zesty dressing that will leave you feeling both full and refreshed. The combination of crunchy veggies and tender chicken is perfectly balanced with the bold flavors of chipotle peppers, cumin, and chili powder, making every bite a fiesta in your mouth.
So grab a fork and get ready to enjoy a healthy Blackstone griddle recipe that’s sure to become a new favorite!
Southwest Chicken Bowl Ingredients
You can add whatever toppings you like to your Mexican style Southwest Chicken Bowls – sour cream, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeños, tortilla strips, or even serve a few cheese quesadilla triangles on the side.
But here are the ingredients that I used for my chipotle chicken bowl:
For the Healthy Southwest Chicken Bowl:
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts
- Bell peppers and onion
- Cotija cheese – If you’ve never had it, Cotija cheese is like a Mexican version of parmesan. A drier, more crumbly cheese that pairs perfectly with the other flavors in this chicken bowl.
- Romaine lettuce – We made a salad bowl, but you can definitely substitute cooked Mexican-style rice.
- Canned black beans and corn – I made a simple black bean corn “salad” as a topping for my bowl.
To make this quick salad topping or side dish, just combine drained and rinsed black beans, canned Southwest style corn, diced jalapeños, lime juice, cilantro, and Cotija cheese in a large mixing bowl. Salt and pepper to taste, and that’s it!
For the Chipotle Chicken Marinade:
Here are the ingredients that you need for the homemade Southwest chipotle marinade:
- Canned chipotles in Adobo
- Juice and zest of a lime
- Juice of an orange
- Olive oil
- Spices – chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, oregano
*CHEF’S TIP – You’ll only use a few of the chipotle peppers out of the can, so divide the remainder into snack sized Ziploc bags, label the bags with a permanent marker, and freeze the leftover peppers for future recipes.
For the Avocado Jalapeno Ranch Dressing:
I highly recommend serving your spicy Southwest griddle chicken with this easy and vibrant avocado ranch dressing. The creaminess of the sour cream and avocado combined with the brightness of the lime juice and cilantro makes a perfect addition to your chicken bowl or salad!
Just add these ingredients to a blender cup and blend until the dressing reaches the consistency that you like:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup store-bought ranch dressing – I always recommend going with a dressing from the refrigerator section of the grocery store, not the shelf-stable dressings. We used Litehouse Homestyle Ranch, but the Marzetti’s brand is good also.
- 1/2 to 1 avocado
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 jalapeno – seeded and chopped
- 1 green onion
- handful of cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
Making the Southwest Chipotle Chicken Marinade
Before you turn on the griddle, you’ll need to marinate your chicken breasts.
To start, cut each breast in half lengthwise so that you have two thinner pieces. Then, pound out any thicker areas on the chicken so that each piece is uniform. This extra step helps you get juicy chicken on the griddle, because the entire piece of chicken will cook evenly instead of the thinner areas drying out while the fatter areas finish cooking.
After you’ve prepped the boneless skinless chicken breasts, make the chipotle citrus marinade by combining all of the marinade ingredients in a blender or food processor. Because you’re using whole chipotle peppers and jalapeños and a minimum amount of liquid, the marinade will be quite thick, more like a paste. Also, feel free to adjust the number of peppers down if you want a less spicy Southwest chicken.
When the marinade is finished, add it to a gallon sized zip top bag with the chicken breasts and mix so that each piece of chicken is well-coated. Then, allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for about 2 hours.
Other Ideas for the Southwest Griddle Chicken
The wife and I were trying to eat healthy, so we turned our griddle chicken into this awesome Southwest bowl, but once you’ve cooked the Mexican style chicken, the possibilities are endless!
Here are some other ideas for using your spicy chipotle chicken breasts:
- Slice the cooked chicken for fajitas.
- Make Southwest chicken nachos.
- Dice the cooked chicken and make a Southwest rice bowl.
- Try a Mexican style fried rice with diced chicken, bell peppers and onions, salsa, and your favorite Mexican toppings.
- Use the leftover chicken in a tortilla soup.
- Make Southwest chicken enchiladas.
- Use the chicken for a Mexican chicken and rice bowl like this one:
How to Cook Southwest Chicken on the Griddle
Chicken breasts are so easy to cook on the griddle, but let’s face it… chicken can be quite bland. So if you’re wanting to make some awesome and flavorful Blackstone griddle chicken, then this recipe is for you:
Add the marinated chicken breasts to the Blackstone.
Start by heating your griddle until it reaches a temp of about 375-400 degrees F. Then, apply a thin layer of oil and spread it around using your spatula. Oiling the griddle top helps the thick marinade not stick so much to the surface, but you’ll still need to “clean as you go”.
After you lay the chicken on the griddle, let it cook untouched on the griddle on the first side so that it has a chance to develop a nice crust. Also, be sure that as you’re putting the chicken breasts on the Blackstone, that the chicken is flat and the entire length of the breast is in contact with the griddle surface.
Your Southwest Blackstone chicken breasts should look something like this after you put them on the griddle:
Flip the chicken half-way through, and cook until done.
When the chicken is about half-way cooked through, or once it has developed a nice char on the first side, use your tongs to flip the breasts to the second side to continue to cook. After your chicken breasts have cooked for about 3-5 minutes on the second side, depending on the temperature of your griddle, you’ll want to start checking the internal temperature.
One of the biggest mistakes that people make when cooking chicken breasts on the Blackstone is overcooking them. Chicken breasts are very lean, so they can dry out in a hurry if you’re not careful. But a good instant read thermometer can help with that! *You can see my favorite thermometer and my other must-have griddle accessories here.
Use an instant read probe thermometer and insert the probe into the thickest part of each breast. When each individual piece of chicken reaches 165 degrees F, remove it from the griddle and transfer to a cutting board to rest.
For my Southwest chicken bowls, I started cooking the bell peppers and onions on the griddle when the chicken only had a few minutes left of cook time (see photo above). Since I was adding the vegetables to a salad, I wanted them to be more of a “tender crisp” instead of caramelized like you would do for fajitas.
Let the griddle chicken breasts rest before slicing.
As each piece of chicken is done, transfer it to a cutting board to rest. Like most pieces of cooked meat, resting the chicken breasts helps for the juices to calm down a bit so they don’t just run out all over the cutting board.
After about 5-10 minutes of rest time, slice the Southwest chipotle chicken breasts against the grain into thin strips. Then, add the chicken to your bowl or salad and pile on the other toppings like this:
I hope you enjoy this easy and healthy Blackstone griddle recipe! And be sure to check out some of my other Southwest and Mexican-influenced griddle recipes down below:
- Grilled Stuffed Steak Burrito on the Blackstone Griddle
- Best Ever Blackstone Steak Fajitas (with Homemade Marinade)
- Blackstone Chicken Fajitas to Feed a Crowd – Easy Griddle Recipe
Southwest Chicken Bowl with Homemade Avocado Cilantro Ranch Dressing
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise
- 2 tbsps your favorite cooking oil *I use and recommend avocado oil
- 1 can black beans rinsed and drained
- 1 can Southwest-style corn drained
- 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
- 1 lime
- Cotija cheese
- 1 green bell pepper sliced
- ½ onion sliced
- chopped romaine lettuce *Or substitute cooked Mexican style rice for a rice bowl
For the Southwest Chicken Marinade:
- 3 chipotle peppers in Adobo *3 individual peppers and a spoon of sauce from the can
- juice of 1 large orange
- juice and zest of 1 lime
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tbsp garlic powder
- ½ tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp paprika
For the Avocado Cilantro Ranch Dressing:
- ½ cup sour cream
- ½ cup ranch dressing *I recommend a refrigerated variety like Litehouse or Marzetti's
- juice of 1 lime
- ½-1 avocado
- 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
- 1 green onion chopped
- handful of cilantro *Adjust to your preference
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add all marinade ingredients to a blender cup or food processor and blend until smooth. Marinade will be thick like a paste. Add the marinade and the chicken breasts to a gallon size zip top bag and mix so that all of the chicken is coated. Refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Preheat griddle until it reaches about 375 degrees F.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of cooking oil to the griddle and spread it around with your spatula. Add drained Southwest corn to the heated oiled griddle in a thin layer. Allow the corn to char and toast a bit (about 4-5 minutes). Then, add the warm corn to a medium bowl with black beans, juice of 1 lime, diced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, and crumbled Cotija cheese. Mix well to combine and set aside.
- Make the avocado ranch dressing by combining all dressing ingredients in a blender cup. Blend until smooth, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Add about 1 tablespoon of your favorite cooking oil to the heated griddle surface and spread it around with your spatula. Place the marinated chicken breasts on the oiled griddle, making sure that each breast is fully in contact with the griddle surface.
- Cook the chicken breasts on the first side until about half-way cooked through and a nice crust develops (about 5 minutes). Flip chicken to the second side and continue to cook until done. After about 4-5 minutes, use an instant read probe thermometer to probe each piece of chicken, and remove each piece when it reaches 165 degrees F internal temp. Transfer cooked chicken to a cutting board to rest.
- While chicken is cooking on the griddle, add the sliced bell peppers and onions to the griddle. Saute until done to your liking. *I cooked mine to a "tender crisp" since I was adding them to a salad bowl.
- After about 10 minutes of rest time, slice the chicken breasts against the grain.
- Make your Southwest chicken bowls. Start with a bed of chopped romaine lettuce (or cooked rice). Add the black bean and corn salad and the sautéed peppers and onions. Top with sliced chicken and the avocado ranch dressing. Add your favorite Mexican toppings (salsa, diced tomatoes, sour cream, pico de gallo, etc) and serve.