Wrapped Up Southwest Chicken

By Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N.

This is an easy recipe which is really a meal in a packet for the busy or working mom. You can fix this before you go to work and pop it in the oven when you get home. The clean-up is quick and easy. Add some fruit for dessert and you dinner is done!

Nutritional Information Per Serving:  495 calories, 24 grams protein,  23 grams of fat, 46 grams of CHO, 5 grams dietary fiber,  1275 mg sodium.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Serves:  4


  • 1 cup instant brown rice, uncooked
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning mix
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 green pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 red pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • ½ cup reduced fat finely shredded taco cheese or cheese of choice
  • 4 tbsp reduced fat sour cream


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Fold all sides of 4 large pieces of heavy duty foil or double layer of regular foil to form about 1-inch rim.  Spray with cooking spray before adding any ingredients. Combine rice, water and taco seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Spoon evenly into foil packets.  Top with chicken tenders, pepper strips, salsa and cheese evenly over the 4 packets. Fold to close. Place in 15 X 10 X 1-inch pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until chicken is done.  Cool for 5 minutes. Cut slits in foil packets before opening the packets.  Add 1 tbsp of sour cream over the top of each packet before serving.

Note: These packets can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerate until ready to bake.


Shopping List

  • instant brown rice
  • taco seasoning mix
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • chunky salsa
  • reduced fat finely shredded taco cheese or cheese of choice
  • reduced fat sour cream

Image from: www.eatathomecooks.com

Barbara Day, M.S., R.D., C.N., is a registered dietitian with a Master’s Degree in clinical nutrition.  The former publisher of Kentuckiana HealthFitness Magazine, Kentuckiana Healthy Woman magazine and radio show host of Health News You Can Use, Barbara has over 30 years of experience in promoting healthy lifestyles to consumers.  Barbara worked as Nutrition Consultant to the Navy SEALs (8 years) and the University of Louisville Athletic Department (10 years). Barbara has private practice, DayByDay Nutrition, www.DayByDayNutrition.com, where she counsels clients on weight loss, cholesterol management, performance nutrition and an array of other medical issues.  Visit Barbara’s new website which is an on-line health & wellness magazine, www.KentuckianaHealthWellness.com. Barbara writes nutrition and health columns for www.LiveStrong.com as well as a weekly nutrition column for the Southeast Outlook. She also designs and presents employee wellness programs to small and large businesses. Barbara is a runner, cyclist, hiker and a mother and grandmother to 12 grandchildren.    





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