Salsa Chicken

4.83 from 52 votes
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Get ready for the most tender and juicy salsa chicken you’ve ever had! Baked on a bed of fresh tomato salsa and topped with melty cheese, this dish is bursting with flavor. The chicken soaks up all the zesty, tangy goodness from the salsa, making every bite a delicious mix of savory and cheesy perfection!

If you love these types of chicken recipes, you have to try my easy crock pot salsa chicken quinoa casserole for a hearty and nutritious twist. Also, don’t miss out on my crockpot salsa chicken tacos for an easy weeknight meal!

Baked chicken breasts with salsa and cheese.


 

This super easy salsa chicken recipe is a fantastic protein option that you can incorporate into various meals throughout the week. It’s a timeless classic, requiring just a few simple ingredients and minimal effort. Plus, you can easily tweak the recipe to keep things interesting. Trust me, you’ll be making this one on repeat, and it’s perfect for meal prep to keep you sane on those busy weeknights!

My kids absolutely love this Mexican chicken dish. They get so excited when they see baked salsa chicken on the menu because they know it means taco night! They enjoy shredding the chicken and stuffing it into tacos or making burrito bowls and topping them with their favorite ingredients. Baked salsa chicken has been a staple for ages and it has been a favorite on my blog for years. It’s just a spicy, saucy, and super-flavorful dinner that never disappoints!

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts stay juicy, baked in flavorful salsa, absorbing all the flavors from tomatoes, onions, jalapenos, and garlic. Incredibly simple and so easy to make, this baked salsa chicken is always the perfect recipe for when you’re short on time but still want a delicious, homemade dinner.

Salsa poured over chicken breasts.

What You’ll Need

When it comes to preparing this great recipe, having the right ingredients for salsa chicken is key to bringing out the rich, flavorful taste that makes this dish a family favorite. For full amounts and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe card.

  • Olive Oil: Used for sautéing the chicken breasts, but you can also use vegetable oil or avocado oil.
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts: I advise pounding down the chicken to the same thickness for even cooking. You can substitute with boneless skinless chicken thighs.
  • Ground Cumin: You could also season the chicken breasts with taco seasoning
  • Chili Powder: Provides a mild heat and deep flavor.
  • Paprika: You can use sweet or smoked paprika.
  • Garlic Powder: Fresh minced garlic can be used as a substitute.
  • Salt and Black Pepper: Essential for seasoning the chicken to enhance the flavors.
  • Chunky Salsa: Fresh salsa or your favorite salsa will add tons of flavor and moisture.
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese: Adds a creamy, melted topping. A mix of white and yellow cheddar is what I use, but you can substitute it with Monterey Jack, mozzarella, or a Mexican cheese blend.

How To Make Salsa Chicken

This easy salsa chicken recipe is a snap to prepare. If time allows, start with making your own homemade resturant style salsa. But if you want to use store-bought, that’s cool, too! 

  1. Preheat: Set your oven to 375˚F.
  2. Prep the chicken: Warm olive oil in a large skillet. Flatten the chicken breasts to an even thickness and season them on all sides.
  3. Sear: Cook the chicken in the skillet for a couple of minutes or until browned all around.
  4. Spread: Layer salsa on the bottom of a baking dish, arrange the chicken breasts on top of the salsa, and top with the remaining salsa.
  5. Bake: Cook uncovered until the chicken is done.
  6. Add cheese: Top with cheese and bake until melted and bubbly.
  7. Rest: Remove from oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Baked Chicken breasts in baking dish with salsa.

Salsa Chicken Add-Ins

One of the best things about this baked salsa chicken is its versatility. You can easily customize it with various mix-ins.

  • Beans: Add a drained can of beans like black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans for extra protein and texture.
  • Vegetables: Enhance the dish with diced onion, jalapeño, bell peppers, or corn for added color and crunch.
  • Creamy Additions: Stir in some cream cheese or sour cream after cooking for a rich, creamy finish.
  • Different Salsas: Change the flavor profile by using various types of salsas, such as salsa roja, peach salsa, or make my famous salsa verde chicken.

Serving Suggestions

You can shred the cooked chicken breasts, mix everything together, and store them in the fridge for up to 4 days. Then, we enjoy using this shredded salsa chicken for quesadillas, baked tacos, taco bowls, nachos, burritos, salads, casseroles, etc. Its versatility is endless and makes for delicious recipes throughout the week.

For an easy weeknight meal, pair the chicken with a big leafy green goddess salad or fiesta rice. For a lighter option, try serving it with coconut lime cauliflower rice—it always hits the spot!

Overhead close-up of four baked chicken breasts arranged in a baking dish with tomato salsa.

Storing Leftovers

This salsa chicken recipe is a meal prep dream as it stays fresh in the fridge for 3-4 days, and you can even freeze it for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw the chicken overnight in the fridge and reheat it in a saucepan over medium heat, or use the microwave.

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4.83 from 52 votes

Baked Salsa Chicken

Enjoy the most tender and juicy salsa chicken, baked on a bed of fresh tomato salsa and topped with melty cheese. Each bite is a perfect blend of zesty, tangy, savory, and cheesy goodness.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 serves

Ingredients 

  • tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to an even thickness
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • cups salsa, you can also use store-bought chunky salsa
  • 1 cups shredded cheddar cheese, I use a mix of white and yellow cheddar
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Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness and season them with cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Transfer the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes per side or until browned.
  • Spread about 1/2 cup of salsa on the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange the browned chicken over the salsa and top the chicken breasts with the remaining salsa.
  • Bake uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes or until the chicken is done. Use a thermometer to check for doneness – chicken is done when its internal temperature reaches 165˚F.
  • Remove from oven and add the shredded cheese over the top. Bake for 3 to 5 more minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  • Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Video

Notes

Store leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for 3 to 4 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 6ounces | Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 1011mg | Potassium: 744mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 1205IU | Vitamin C: 3.2mg | Calcium: 242mg | Iron: 1.4mg

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

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66 Comments

  1. Jay says:

    Truly love this recipe!!! For my Added tip we made boxed Spanish rice. Then when the chicken was done we cut it into bite size pieces, and put it on top of the Spanish rice, garnished with cilantro.. Don’t be too shy with the cheese!!! It all melts in your mouth!!!! Truly a comfort food😋

  2. Nancy Watkins says:

    I have made this a few times now and love it every time!

  3. Augustde says:

    Had some jarred salsa that wasn’t the greatest so used it for this. Seasoned with taco packet. Husband loved it! Will definitely try again with breasts instead of thighs.

  4. Angela says:

    Yum yum! Definitely making this one again. Recommend a green salsa!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  5. carol says:

    fyi, paul newman’s salsa is the lowest in sodium i have found. i also am on a low sodium diet.

    1. Brad says:

      Me too Carol – DIALYSIS: ( lol

    2. carol says:

      That’s what I use as I am on a low sodium diet too. It’s an excellent salsa. Try his Mango salsa.

  6. DD says:

    Have made this many times and it delicious! We are not fans of cheddar so I use
    Monterey Jack, Colby or a mixture of Jalapeno Jack. Turns out good each time/

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s wonderful! I’m very glad you and your family enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

      1. Janice Jones says:

        This was amazing I seasoned my chicken with black pepper, salt, garlic powder and garlic salt. Used shredded Mexican cheese it was amazing and the leftovers 2 days later was even more delicious 😊

        1. Katerina Petrovska says:

          That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  7. Debbie says:

    Very easy & delicious

  8. Brad says:

    Hi! I haven’t made this yet but plan to do so soon. How cooked should the chicken be when it is done initially on the pan? Is the internal temperature not very relevant at that point since it is just going in the oven anyway?

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Yep, it’s going to cook through in the oven. You just want to brown it a little bit on the stove top.

  9. Linda Thom says:

    Tried this tonight. It was absolutely delicious! My husband loved it too. I will be making this again & again. Low on my diet points too. So easy to make too. Thank you!

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      That’s great! I’m very glad you enjoyed it! Thank YOU! 🙂

  10. Pam says:

    Fantastic! I injured my hand and wasn’t able to cook so I needed a recipe that was super simple for my husband to make (he is definitely not a cook) and this recipe fit the bill. He followed the recipe exactly and served with rice and roasted asparagus. It was delicious. Thank you for such an easy, flavorful recipe.

    1. Katerina Petrovska says:

      Thank you so much! I am very glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

      1. Eddie says:

        Just made this with the Fiesta Roce. It came out much better than I anticipated. I used some Salsa Roja from the local Mi Tierra and it was fabulous though it came out much more spicy than uncooked Salsa Roja. I used boneless skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts

        1. carol says:

          LOVE Mi Tierra! I go there every time I’m in Texas. I will get some this December for this recipe.