Baked Salsa Chicken

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If you are looking for a great tasting weeknight dinner, this Baked Salsa Chicken is it. Salsa, cheese and cilantro make for an easy & delicious meal.

Looking for a quick and easy weeknight dinner idea? This mouthwatering salsa-topped chicken is sure to please.

The recipe is simple to follow and only requires a few ingredients. Best of all, it’s healthy and delicious. Serve the chicken with some brown rice or black beans for a complete meal. It’s one of those easy dinner recipes you’ll keep coming back to.

overhead view of baked chicken breasts in a dish

About this Baked Salsa Chicken Recipe:

  • Flavor: The chicken is juicy and flavorful with a slightly crispy exterior. The salsa adds a nice sweetness to the dish, while the cheese adds a creamy richness. The cilantro gives the dish freshness and brightens up all the flavors.
  • Texture: The chicken will be tender and juicy. Salsa is generally chunky so you will have the texture of those vegetables.
  • Method: This chicken bakes in the oven in a baking dish. If you don’t have a white ceramic baking dish, you can use a 9×13″ baking pan.

Ingredients for Salsa Chicken

There are a few ingredients such as olive oil, salt and black pepper that are very common. Here are a few key ingredients:

  • Chicken. This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but use boneless, skinless chicken thighs if you’d like.
  • Salsa. Choose a salsa that you enjoy because it will be the main flavor of this baked chicken. Using salsa is great because it already has onion, garlic and tomatoes.
  • Cheddar and Monterey Jack Cheese. I prefer freshly shredded cheese. Pepper jack cheese adds an extra kick of flavor.
  • Cilantro. The cilantro not only looks pretty, but adds flavor. If you don’t like cilantro, you could add parsley or oregano.
ingredients for salsa chicken on a table

How to Make Baked Salsa Chicken

  • Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  • In a large skillet add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmery and hot, add the chicken. Cook on both sides until the chicken is browned, about 3 minutes per side. It does not have to be fully cooked through as it will finish in the oven. You’re just looking to sear/brown the chicken on each side.
  • In a casserole dish, add 1 cup of the salsa at the bottom of the dish, place the chicken on top, and add the rest of the salsa on top of the chicken breasts.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on the chicken breasts.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165˚F (use an internal meat thermometer). The exact timing will depend on the size of the chicken breasts.

Should you bake chicken covered or uncovered in the oven?

Always follow a recipe and what it states for baking the chicken. Sometimes chicken is covered so that it doesn’t dry out for the amount of time it needs to be in the oven. For this recipe, there is no need to cover the chicken because it is in for such a short time.

Recipe Variations

  • If you’re looking for a little more heat, you can add diced jalapeños to the salsa.
  • If you want a creamier dish, you can add sour cream or Greek yogurt to the salsa.
  • Slow Cooker Option: After searing the chicken, layer the salsa, chicken and cheese in a slow cooker and cook on low for about 3 hours or until the chicken is done.
  • Season the chicken with other seasonings such as cumin, homemade taco seasoning, chili powder or garlic powder.
a spoon with a baked chicken breast with cheese and salsa on it
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Make it a meal.

The chicken goes great with cilantro lime rice (or low carb cauliflower rice), corn casserole, black beans or even homemade tortillas on the side. You can also serve it with a salad or some steamed vegetables.

Storage Instructions

Store the salsa-baked chicken in the fridge for up to four days. Just reheat in a skillet over medium heat until hot and bubbly.

overhead view of baked salsa chicken in a serving dish
overhead view of baked salsa chicken in a serving dish

Baked Salsa Chicken

4.50 from 4 votes
If you are looking for a great tasting weeknight dinner, this Baked Salsa Chicken is it. Salsa, cheese and cilantro make for an easy & delicious meal.
Servings 4
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 26 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cups salsa low sodium if possible
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey jack
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375˚F.
  • Season the chicken with salt and pepper
  • In a large skillet add the olive oil. Once the oil is shimmery and hot, add the chicken. Cook on both sides until the chicken is browned, about 3 minutes per side. It does not have to be fully cooked through as it will finish in the oven. You're just looking to sear/brown the chicken on each side.
  • In a baking dish, add 1 cup of the salsa at the bottom of the dish, place the chicken on top, and add the rest of the salsa on top of the chicken.
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese on the chicken breasts.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165˚F. The exact timing will depend on the size of the chicken breasts.
  • Serve immediately. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired.

Notes

  • I recommend using low-sodium salsa to keep the dish from getting too salty.
  • You can use any type of shredded cheese that you like.
  • If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can leave it out or substitute another fresh herb like parsley or oregano.
Refer to the article above for more tips and tricks.
The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 9 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information. The information in the nutrition box are calculated through a program and there is room for error. If you need an accurate count, I recommend running the ingredients through your favorite nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 1597mg | Potassium: 776mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 915IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 248mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Calories 308
Keyword easy chicken recipe, easy mexican dinner

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About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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