One-Pot Mexican Skillet

Apr 06, 2022

This Mexican skillet is quick to prepare, easy to clean up, and loaded with iron, protein, and fibre to keep you well fuelled and energized!

Looking for a flexible and delicious meal to make at home? This is it! We love that this recipe comes together in one pot for easier prep and clean up. The skillet is loaded with fibre from a variety of vegetables, brown rice, beans, and lentils. It gets a boost of hunger-satisfying protein from two sources: lentils and ground meat!

You can customize this recipe by swapping in any vegetable you have in the fridge, making it dairy-free by subbing avocado for the cheese, or even transforming it into a vegetarian dish by removing the ground meat altogether.

As Registered Dietitians, we love that the recipe is exceptionally high in iron from both animal and plant-based sources. The ground bison (or beef) offers a highly absorbable source of heme iron and then lentils and beans offer an additional source of non-heme iron. If you'd like to learn more about iron, we discuss the types of iron and how to optimize iron absorption in this podcast episode and this article.

In addition to be rich in protein, fibre, and iron this meal is sure to keep your blood sugars stable thanks to the combination of food groups it provides. Lets take a look at how this One-Pot Mexican Skillet recipe fits with the Fundamental Four Food Groups:

  • CARBOHYDRATE: brown rice, lentils, black beans
  • VOLUME: bell pepper, zucchini, corn, diced tomatoes 
  • PROTEIN: beef and/or bison 
  • FAT: canola oil & shredded cheese





  • 1 pound (454g) extra lean ground beef or bison
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup uncooked brown rice
  • ½ cup uncooked lentils, rinsed 
  • 2 cups broth
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 ounce can diced green chiles
  • 1 small zucchini, shredded
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup frozen or canned corn
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce*
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • Optional: cilantro for garnish

*we used Frontera's Red Enchilada Sauce from Sobeys


  1. Heat a large pot or skillet over medium high heat and add the ground beef or bison. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until brown. Remove the cooked meat from the pot, drain, and place in a separate bowl.
  2. Add one teaspoon of canola oil to the pot and add in the onion and garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add in the brown rice, lentils, and broth. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 35-45 minutes, or until the lentils and rice are tender. 
  4. Season the rice and lentils with chili powder, cumin, and a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  5. Add all of the remaining ingredients except for 1/4 cup of the grated cheese and let cook for another 10 minutes on medium high heat.
  6. Top the mixture with the remaining cheese and cover with a lid. Heat on low until the cheese is melted and the mixture is bubbly.
  7. Scoop a serving into a bow, garnish with cilantro, and enjoy. For an added crunch, scoop the mixture with tortilla chips or crumble tortilla chips on top!



This recipe is a rich source of iron - an essential nutrient that has many uses in our body, particularly in oxygen transport. Having a diet rich in iron helps give our bodies energy and fight off infections. 

In food, iron is found in two forms: heme and non-heme iron. This recipe contains both types of iron, as heme iron is found in animal products (e.g., beef, bison) and non-heme iron is found in plant products (e.g., lentils, beans, brown rice). In the body, heme iron is more easily absorbed than non-heme iron. However, non-heme iron absorption can be enhanced by pairing such foods with foods high in Vitamin C. In this recipe, the Vitamin C found in the bell peppers, tomatoes, and corn help to enhance the non-heme iron absorption. You can read more here or listen to our Podcast episode on iron!


Did you try this recipe or a variation of it? Comment below! Snap a photo and tag us on Instagram so we can see your creation!


Ready to bring the evidence-based nutrition support of our Registered Dietitians into your kitchen? 

Check out Comprehensive Nutrition Coaching!

Hungry for more? 

Get recipes, tips, and updates from the Vitality Nutrition team straight to your inbox!
Don't worry, your information won't be shared.