Cheesy Baked salsa chicken is a delicious and easy recipe that’s perfect for busy weeknights or anytime you’re in the mood for a flavorful, cheesy chicken dish. This dish features tender chicken breasts baked in a zesty salsa sauce and topped with melted cheese for a satisfying and comforting meal that the whole family will love. With just a few simple ingredients and minimal prep time, this baked salsa chicken recipe is a great choice for anyone looking for a quick and easy dinner option that doesn’t skimp on flavor.
Baked Salsa Chicken Recipe
When I am thinking about easy dinner recipes most of the time the first thing that comes to mind is a chicken recipe. We are big and of Mexican food in our house and so when coming up with this easy salsa chicken recipe my goal was an easy meal, with little prep work that was perfect for busy nights.
This healthy baked salsa chicken recipe was one the whole family loved when I was creating it and testing things to make it perfect. There is only a few minutes of prep needed for this easy Mexican baked chicken recipe which makes it perfect for nights when I need to get dinner on the table quickly.
With a handful of ingredients including salsa, boneless chicken breasts, cheese, and seasonings, you can have a tasty dinner on the table in no time. Plus, this easy-to-make recipe is sure to please everyone in the family – even the pickiest of eaters.
Easy Mexican Dinner Recipes
- Cheesy beef enchiladas
- White chicken and chili enchiladas
- Baked chicken enchiladas with red sauce
- Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken and Veggies
- Avocado Chicken Burritos
What is Salsa Chicken?
Salsa Chicken is an easy-to-make Mexican-flavored chicken dish. Boneless skinless chicken breasts are seasoned, then baked with salsa and topped with cheese. The result is a flavorful and juicy chicken dish that can be served on its own or with rice, vegetables, or other sides. Salsa chicken is a simple and easy-to-make meal that is also relatively healthy, as it is low in fat and calories and high in protein.
Can I Use Chicken Thighs?
Yes, chicken thighs can be used in this recipe. The cooking time may need to be adjusted, however, as chicken thighs tend to take a bit longer to cook than chicken breasts. If using chicken thighs, you may also need to adjust the amount of salsa needed depending on the size of the thighs.
What to Serve with Baked Salsa Chicken
This Baked Salsa Chicken pairs nicely with a variety of side dishes. There are many side dishes that pair well with this easy chicken recipe to make a complete meal. Depending on what we are in the mood for I change up the sides that I serve, here are a few of our favorite side dishes to make with it:
- Restaurant Style Mexican Rice
- Mexican Street corn pasta salad
- Tortilla chips and fresh salsa
- Black Beans
How to Serve Salsa baked chicken
You can serve this as a main dish meal with side dishes along with it, which is what we typically do but you can also use this chicken in other recipes if you want to. We tend to use any leftover chicken the next day to change things up and eat it for lunch, but you can also use the chicken to make other dishes as well.
Top with avocado. For an extra flavor boost, i like to top my salsa chicken with chopped avocado and sometimes a spoonful of homemade guacamole.
Chicken tacos. Shred the chicken after it is done baking and make chicken tacos.
Mexican chicken salad. Use this chicken on top of salad to make a Mexican chicken salad.
Burrito bowls. Add rice, the cooked salsa chicken, black beans, and cheese to make a delicious Mexican burrito bowl.
Variations of this recipe
Change up the salsa. You could also try different types of salsa, like mild or medium heat, depending on how much flavor you’d like in the dish. You can use a smooth or chunky salsa depending on your preference. If you want to use homemade salsa that will work too.
Make it spicy. If you want to have more of a kick to it you can use a spicy salsa and also add more chili powder.
Change up the cheese. I like using Mexican cheese blend but you can use pepper jack cheese or cheddar cheese as well.
Tips for the Best Salsa Chicken
For the best results, it is important to make sure your chicken breasts are evenly sized. This will ensure they all cook through at the same time. If the chicken breasts are very large, slice them in half lengthwise.
Additionally, you should use an oven-safe baking dish to bake your Baked Salsa Chicken. If you don’t have an oven-safe baking dish, line a regular baking pan with aluminum foil before adding the chicken and salsa.
Finally, make sure to check the internal temperature of your chicken before serving. Use a meat thermometer to ensure that the cooked chicken reaches at least 165°F.
How do I know when the chicken is done?
The actual cooking time for your chicken will vary by the thickness of the chicken breast. The best way to determine if the chicken is fully cooked is with a meat thermometer. The internal temperature of the chicken should be at 165° Fahrenheit.
Do I need to brown the chicken? and for how long?
I prefer to brown my chicken prior to baking it in the oven. This will not only give your chicken breast a nice color but it will also seal in the juices and help ensure you have a nice and juicy chicken breast.
How Store Leftovers
Refrigerate the leftovers in an airtight container. Be sure to wait until the baked salsa chicken is fully cooled before placing the lid on the container. The leftovers will last for up to four days in the refrigerator.
Can I freeze this recipe?
Yes! If you want to meal plan and enjoy it later you totally can. Just bake the chicken according to the recipe and then allow the leftovers to cool. Put the chicken in a freezer bag and store in the freezer. I like to freeze it in single servings so that it is easier to reheat later as a lunch. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to reheat Frozen Leftovers
To reheat the salsa chicken, place it in the refrigerator overnight or reheat it from frozen. To reheat the chicken, place the salsa chicken on a microwave-safe plate. Heat for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.
Baked Salsa Chicken Recipe Ingredients
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- (slice in half lengthwise if big)
- 16 ounces jar salsa or homemade
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 8 ounces Mexican cheese blend
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil for browning the chicken
- cilantro and jalapeno for serving (optional)
How to Make Baked Salsa Chicken
Preheat oven to 375°.
In a small bowl add all of the spices and then mix well to combine.
If you have thick chicken breasts, cut them in half length wise so they are thinner.
Rub the spices mix on both sides of the chicken breast.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil and then add the chicken breasts.
Cook the chicken breasts for 3 minutes per side.
Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
Pour half of the salsa on the bottom of the baking dish, place the partially cooked chicken breasts on top of the salad, and then pour the remaining salsa on top of the chicken breasts.
Bake the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°.
While the chicken is baking shred the cheese if you are not using pre-shredded cheese.
Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle cheese on top of the chicken.
Place the chicken back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.
Easy Chicken Dinner Recipes
Baked Salsa Chicken
- Preheat oven to 375°.
- In a small bowl add all of the spices and then mix well to combine.
- If you have thick chicken breasts, cut them in half length wise so they are thinner.
- Rub the spices mix on both sides of the chicken breast.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil and then add the chicken breasts.
- Cook the chicken breasts for 3 minutes per side.
- Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour half of the salsa on the bottom of the baking dish, place the partially cooked chicken breasts on top of the salad, and then pour the remaining salsa on top of the chicken breasts.
- Bake the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°.
- while the chicken is baking shred the cheese if you are not using pre-shredded cheese.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle cheese on top of the chicken.
- Place the chicken back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.