Dana’s Santa Fe Chicken Pilaf

by Dana S on May 31, 2011

This is one of my favorite quick and easy meals.  It is a one dish meal that is as simple as opening several cans and a box mix! I adapted this recipe from the back of a Near East rice pilaf mix to supersize the veggies for more nutrients and fiber. This Santa Fe Rice Pilaf is great with orange wedges or other fresh fruit on the side. A great, light summer meal to add to your rotation!


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Santa Fe Chicken Pilaf

Yield – 4 servings

Preparation Time – 5 minutes

Cooking Time – 20 minutes


  • 1/2-1 lb. cooked & diced chicken ($1-2)
  • 1 package of rice pilaf mix ($0.50 w/ coupon)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cups chicken broth (free if made from scratch)
  • 1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, Rotel if you like it spicy ($.55 from Aldi)
  • 1 15 oz. can black beans ($.55 from Aldi)
  • 1 15 oz. can corn ($.55 from Aldi)
  • 1 lb. oranges, cut into wedges ($.50)


  • Prepare rice pilaf according to the box directions, however, replace the water with chicken stock and add cumin along with the spice packet.
  • Add all remaining ingredients, except orange slices, into the rice mixture. Heat until warmed through. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese if desired. Serve with orange slices on the side.

Cost $$3.75

Aren't you jealous of my green stove? ;)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Alea May 31, 2011 at 10:22 pm

This sounds delicious! I love easy meals like this on busy nights.

Love the green stove. :)


Susanne June 1, 2011 at 2:39 pm

just wondering …. I love the sound of this recipe but I don’t like to buy the boxed mixes because of the salt content. What other kind of spices could I add to plain rice to get a similar taste?? Any thoughts?


Dana @ Budget Dietitian June 4, 2011 at 8:30 pm

I agree! I am not a huge fan of processed food either. However, I will buy a rice pilaf mix as I figure that even that is better than a meal out! :)

I would suggest using a rice pilaf recipe (try food.com) in place of the boxed mix. I am sure that it would turn out great if not better!


Bridget July 20, 2011 at 8:01 am

I would suggest making the rice mix yourself. You can make A LOT of rice if you use equal parts of rice, chicken broth, and salsa. (example: 2 cups uncooked rice, 2 cups chicken broth, 2 cups salsa). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes. You could mix in the corn and black beans also.

I love this site, but I’m having trouble with the prices you list. I’m lucky if I can find chicken for $3/lb.


Dana @ Budget Dietitian July 20, 2011 at 8:10 am

Great idea about the rice! That sounds like a simple, tasty sub to the rice pilaf mix.

I live in the Chicagoland area which is a bit pricy but can regularly find chicken for $1.99/#. It isn’t at my national chain grocery store but at a little local produce mart. It goes on sale for $1.99/# every 6 weeks or so and I buy 6 weeks worth at a time. So I definately can’t find it every week. If you are having a hard time finding a good price, I would call around to different stores and ask their meat department what the rock bottom pricing is and how often that sale happens. Or just use less meat! :)


Tiffany October 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Did you drain the tomatoes or keep the juice?


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