Black Bean Chicken Nachos – A Last Minute Meal

Where does the time go? My kids are not babies anymore, I’ve been married for almost 20 years, and just last week, I realized that it was almost lunchtime and I had forgotten to put the chicken into the crockpot. Yes, time flies after breakfast. And when you’re happily married, raising kids, and all that.

I have no advice on keeping time from moving so quickly. I can, however, give you an idea for a quick meal for when you haven’t managed to prepare anything in advance. It all starts with frozen chicken. This is because not only did you not start lunch or dinner on time, you also forgot to thaw the chicken. For all of you perpetually prepared people out there, don’t worry – thawed chicken will also work in this recipe. For the rest of us, we rejoice in the fact that frozen chicken and a cold crock pot does not prevent us from putting a great meal on the table in a short amount of time.

This recipe is a result of me realizing at 11:30 one whirlwind morning that while I had been planning to serve Chicken Tacos for lunch that day, not only was the chicken still frozen, I didn’t have any tortillas prepared or purchased. Without thinking too hard, I chucked the frozen chicken into a saucepan on the stove, dumped on salsa, and hoped for the best. I covered the pan and turned the heat on low. Within an hour, my chicken thawed, cooked in delicious salsa flavors, and was ready for lunch – which we had with chips instead of tortillas. It turned out so delicious, I decided we would make it this way again and again. This recipe turned out to be a “six out of six” which means that all six of our family members loved this.   A brainless, effortless, healthy recipe that we all liked? Score!

Black Bean Chicken Nachos

Black Bean Chicken NachosYum

Black Bean Chicken Nachos - A Last Minute Meal
Serves: 6
  • 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 cups cooked black beans (or one can of prepared beans, if you've - you know - not remembered to soak and cook them ahead of time while you were busy not thawing your chicken...)
  • tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, and other nacho toppings of your choice
  1. Place chicken and salsa in a medium-sized saucepan.
  2. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes (if chicken is thawed) or 45-50 minutes (if chicken is frozen).
  3. Use a fork and knife to shred chicken and stir it back into the salsa.
  4. Stir in black beans, and continue cooking until beans are hot - about five minutes more.
  5. Serve with shredded cheese and other nacho toppings of your choice.
  6. Scoop up Black Bean Chicken nachos with tortilla chips and congratulate yourself for throwing together such a wonderful meal with such minimal effort.

Then, before you forget, get out the meat for tomorrow’s meals so it can be thawed and ready to use. Not being prepared certainly worked for this recipe, but let’s not push it.


  1. Melissa says

    You need an instant pot! It’s an electric pressure cooker and you can cook all sorts of stuff in there frozen that you forgot about and have it be ready in under 45 minutes!


    Susan Parker Reply:

    Melissa, I have been thinking about getting an electric pressure cooker, what brand do you have?



    Melissa Reply:

    I bought one called “instant Pot” off Amazon. I use it several times a week! You can cook a whole chicken in it in 45 minutes and then use it to make awesome broth. It also serves as a slow cooker and rice maker.


    Heidi Reply:

    I have a cuisinart electric pressure cooker, works well. I like it, especially for cooking dried beans. Cost was about $100.


  2. Marina says

    I make this all the time, but in the crockpot with cream cheese. Funny thing, I never thought to do it on the stove! Thanks!


    Laura Reply:

    Me neither until that fateful day I had no choice but to throw it on the stove. Worked great!


  3. Amy says

    Hi Laura, once again you have a wonderful simple recipe for me to try (and funny story). I feel so blessed to have found you! I love getting your emails and my family always enjoy all of your recipes! Thank you for sharing all of your simple yet yummy ideas with all of us. I have two huge glass jars of vanilla brewing for end of year teacher gifts and to sell. Thank you Thank you!!


  4. Patti says

    Have you tried shredding your chicken in your mixer? My daughter turned me on to this idea and it is an awesome way to do it!


  5. Rhoda says

    We’ve been doing this for years–it is my go to recipe when life gets crazy, hectic, or just plain busy (so about 3-4 X per month)! Is also good with hamburger, sausage (my family’s favorite), or any shredded beef. Can add mushrooms, peppers, and anything else you want. We like to eat this over rice. Thanks for the heads up on crock potting it. Never thought of that. But I guess, that would mean actually preparing to do this early enough in the day to get it up and going!


  6. Susan Parker says

    Just read your salsa story – how sweet it must be to go into a local store and see jars of salsa and know it was all created in the heart and home of your mother. That’s a precious gift to remind you everyday of God’s blessings upon us.

    I hope you can sell your Mom’s salsa on your website. Would love to buy it.



  7. carole says

    lol- waaaay back in the corners of my mind, I remember reading this post and thinking, “oh- that is SO ME!!!”. Well, today, it’s 12:30 (vs. your 11:30) and I’ve forgotten to thaw the chicken for dinner and we leave the house in less than 2 hours, needing to have dinner in tow. I’m SO thankful for your “search by ingredient” bar, which enabled me to quickly pull up this post (which i can’t believe i remembered, but the image of you dumping salsa on top and hoping for the best, really stuck with me!). Dinner is going strong 5 min. after my mini panic attack ;-) Thanks, Laura!


  8. Kris says

    Hey, I made this yesterday for a quick lunch and it was a hit!!! I used frozen smoked chicken and added peppers and onions…wow. It took about 10 minutes to cook everything together and it was GONE! It was pretty on the plate and super tasty. My DH usual response is “it’s fine” but actually said “That was good. Do you have anymore?” So thank you!


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