Ancho Chicken Breast with Black Beans, Bell Peppers & Scallions


In this healthy chicken recipe, the meat is rubbed with ancho chile powder, a spice made from dried poblano peppers. It adds mild heat and subtle smokiness to the rub on the chicken, but you can use regular chili powder here instead. This recipe makes an extra 1/2 cup of the black bean mash--try it wrapped into a burrito for lunch or as a taco filling (see Tips, below).




  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans low-sodium black beans, rinsed

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Chicken & Vegetables

  • 16 scallions, trimmed

  • 3 medium red bell peppers, cut into 1-inch strips

  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus 2 teaspoons, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper

  • 2 (8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and halved crosswise

  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder (see Tips)

  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar


  1. To prepare beans: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and cumin seeds; cook, stirring, until fragrant and starting to brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in beans, lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook until hot, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and mash with a potato masher until mostly smooth. Refrigerate 1/2 cup of the mashed beans for another use (see Tips, below). Cover the remaining beans to keep warm.

  2. To prepare chicken & vegetables: Position rack in upper third of oven; preheat broiler to high. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

  3. Toss scallions and bell peppers in a large bowl with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Broil, stirring twice, until the vegetables are charred, 8 to 12 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, place chicken between 2 large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan to an even 1/2-inch thickness. Combine chile powder, cinnamon, cocoa, brown sugar and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Brush both sides of the chicken with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and coat both sides with the spice mixture.

  5. Coat a large grill pan or skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and add half the chicken. Cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165 degrees F, 2 to 4 minutes per side. Repeat with the remaining chicken, reducing the heat if necessary.

  6. Place about 2/3 cup of the beans on each of 4 dinner plates and top each portion with scallions, bell peppers and chicken.


Tips: Ancho chiles--dried poblano peppers--are one of the most popular dried chiles used in Mexico; ancho chile powder has a mild, sweet spicy flavor. Look for it with specialty spices in large supermarkets or Mexican grocers.

Turn leftovers into black bean tacos for lunch: Spread the 1/2 cup leftover beans on 2 corn tortillas. Top each taco with 1/4 cup each chopped romaine lettuce and tomato, 1 Tbsp. each shredded Cheddar cheese and tomato salsa and a squeeze of lime juice. Serves 1.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

396 Calories
14g Fat
36g Carbs
32g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Serving Size 3 oz. chicken, 2/3 cup beans, 3/4 cup peppers & 4 scallions each
Calories 396
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 11g 40%
Total Sugars 11g
Added Sugars 1g 2%
Protein 32g 65%
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 2g 12%
Cholesterol 63mg 21%
Vitamin A 3620IU 72%
Vitamin C 132mg 146%
Folate 157mcg 39%
Sodium 464mg 20%
Calcium 124mg 10%
Iron 5mg 27%
Magnesium 50mg 12%
Potassium 959mg 20%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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