Looking for a quick way to use up the salsa in your pantry? Look no further than this easy and delicious salsa chicken recipe! As a weeknight favorite, this simple dish can be dressed up with black beans, Spanish rice, or canned corn. Whether you prefer mild or hot flavors, salsa is the star of the show.

Jump to the recipe

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Servings: 4 chicken breasts

Picture juicy chicken breasts coated with fresh salsa and melted cheese; can you think of a better combo? The salsa brings tomato, onion, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, and other tasty flavors to the table. Altogether, the dish is low carb, packed with flavor, and guaranteed to satisfy everyone.

Salsa chicken is perfect for when you want a simple and easy household favorite. This makes it great for using up chicken from the back of the freezer on weeknights and meal prepping. Make a huge batch and you can enjoy it throughout the week in a variety of different meals. Shredded salsa chicken works as a delicious topping in tacos, fajitas, salads, burritos, rice bowls, and even mac and cheese.

How to Make Salsa Chicken

The dish comes together with barely any preparation but tastes like you’ve been slaving over the stove for hours. Salsa chicken only needs a few ingredients to get started and is ready to eat in under an hour.

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of your favorite chunky salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Prep & Season Salsa Chicken

Begin by pounding the chicken breasts to an even thickness using a meat tenderizer. This step helps the chicken to cook evenly in the oven. Next, make sure the chicken tastes delicious by adding your seasonings of choice. Salt and pepper the chicken generously to your liking. We also recommend paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin but feel free to experiment and make the recipe your own.

Cooking tip: If you don’t have a meat tenderizer, try using a rolling pin or the back of a knife instead!

Brown Salsa Chicken

Next, you want to brown the chicken before you finish it off in the oven. Add olive oil to a pan and heat over medium for a nice sear. Brown the chicken breasts for 2 minutes on each side. While this step may seem like extra work, it helps to seal the juices in, so your chicken stays moist and tender.

Bake Salsa Chicken

Now that the chicken is browned, it’s time to bake it in your favorite salsa. Spread about half of the salsa on the bottom of a baking dish, place the chicken breasts on top, then add the remaining salsa over the chicken. Bake the dish uncovered for 30 minutes at 375°F.

Add Cheese & Finish Salsa Chicken

After 30 minutes have passed, remove from the oven, and evenly cover with shredded cheese. Cheddar is a tasty option that goes well with the flavors of the salsa. Bake the dish for an additional 5 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked (165°F internally). The cheese should be melted and bubbly. If you can wait, let the salsa chicken stand for 5 minutes and then serve.

Cooking tip: Garnish the salsa chicken with cilantro or serve with sour cream to compliment the salsa.

FAQs About Salsa Chicken

What to Serve with Salsa Chicken?

Salsa chicken is a classic meal that pairs well with a variety of sides. Whether you’re looking for a richer or healthier meal, there’s an option for you. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Leafy green salad
  • Mexican rice
  • Refried beans
  • Chips and salsa

What Substitutions and Add-Ins Work with Salsa Chicken?

Salsa chicken is a great way to use up everything from your pantry and freezer. Adding in black beans or corn pairs nicely with the flavors of the salsa. If you have any leftover veggies, sauté them, and mix in with the chicken for an additional layer of deliciousness.

Salsa chicken only has a few ingredients and virtually all of them can be substituted. If you don’t have chicken breasts, try boneless chicken thighs instead. For those who are vegan, vegetarian, or want a healthier option, chicken can easily be replaced with chicken-style seitan or tofu. Salsa can be homemade or store-bought for quicker preparation. Try out your favorite taco seasoning for even quicker preparation.

How Do I Store Salsa Chicken?

Leftover salsa chicken can last for up to 3 days in the fridge using an airtight container. Enjoy the next day by heating up in the microwave for an easy and delicious meal. Alternatively, you can freeze the leftovers for up to 6 months.

This go-to, simple recipe for salsa chicken is sure to become one of your favorites. Salsa chicken is a great weeknight meal for sharing with your friends and family. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to use salsa, sign up for our email list!

Easy & Delicious Salsa Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 – 1.5 cups of your favorite chunky salsa
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
  3. Pound chicken breasts to an even thickness using a meat tenderizer.
  4. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, and cumin.
  5. Place in heated skillet and brown for 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Transfer half of the salsa to a baking dish in an even layer.
  7. Place chicken breasts on top and add remaining salsa to cover.
  8. Bake chicken uncovered for 30 minutes.
  9. Remove for oven and sprinkle cheese over the top.
  10. Bake for 5 more minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.
  11. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before serving.