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Baked Salsa Chicken

Baked Salsa Chicken is an easy weeknight dinner loaded with spicy, cheesy flavor! Perfectly seasoned chicken, salsa and cheese are baked in one pan for a versatile meal that’s ready in no time.

Everyone needs a few dinner ideas that can be ready in 30 minutes or less. If you like baked salsa chicken, our Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas Recipe is another recipe to add to your meal plan this week!

Baked salsa chicken in a 13x9 with melted cheese on top.

Why this Recipe is Best

The combination of salsa and seasonings in this chicken dinner is pure perfection. Every bite is better than the last! You’ll love how easy it is to make, even on those nonstop busy weekdays.

  • Chicken baked in salsa. The meat absorbs the tangy, spicy flavors as it bakes.
  • Bubbly cheese topping. Cheese makes everything better!
  • One pan recipe. Fewer dishes and less cleanup time is always a good thing.
  • Nourishing and delicious. This salsa chicken is hearty without weighing you down.

Serve this delicious meal with a side of cilantro lime cauliflower rice and a side of easy sugar free chocolate chip cookies!

Ingredient Notes

Ingredients needed to make baked salsa chicken.
  • Salsa – Use chunky salsa to give this dish a satisfying variety of textures! You can use any salsa from mild to extra hot, depending on your preference, just make sure it contains no added sugars.
  • Chicken Breasts – They get juicy and tender as they bake thanks to the salsa.
  • Seasonings – We rubbed the chicken with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt to add more robust spicy flavor. You could also swap them out for our homemade taco seasoning instead.
  • Mexican cheese – Sprinkled over the chicken in the last few minutes of baking, it melts beautifully over the salsa chicken.
  • Cilantro – Adds a zesty freshness to the baked chicken that makes it even better!
Step by step photos showing how to layer salsa chicken in a casserole dish.

Tips and Tricks

  • Cheese options: Swap out the Mexican cheese blend with pepper jack, colby or cheddar cheese if you prefer.
  • Serving suggestions: Baked Salsa Chicken is amazing served over a bowl of Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. Don’t forget the chunky guacamole!
  • Salad. Swap out the ground beef in our taco salad for today’s salsa chicken instead!
  • Storing: Store leftovers of this baked chicken in an airtight container. Keep it refrigerated and enjoy within 3 days.
  • Slow cooker. Add salsa, seasonings, and chicken to slow cooker. Heat on low for 6 hours. Shred and enjoy topped with cheese.
Salsa chicken on dinner plate with cauliflower rice and sliced avocado.

Recipe FAQs

Can I make salsa chicken with chicken tenderloins?

Yes, chicken tenderloins would work well in this recipe too. They may cook more quickly than chicken breasts, so check on the dish a few minutes before the end of baking time to avoid overcooking.

What kind of salsa is best?

You can use any kind of chunky red salsa for this recipe. Different salsas have different levels of spiciness so make sure to choose one with the heat level you prefer.
Do NOT use pico de gallo (fresh salsa) in this recipe. It will not work.

Can I use green salsa?

I have not tested my Baked Salsa Chicken recipe with green salsa (salsa verde) but I’m sure it would work here. Green salsa tends to be less thick than red salsa and is made with tomatillos rather than tomato, so the finished dish would have a different flavor for sure.

What side dishes go well with salsa chicken?

I always serve this chicken in bowls over cauliflower rice. Sauteed fajita vegetables like bell peppers and onions would be a perfect low-carb side dish option as well.

How can I tell when the chicken is done?

Chicken is done when its internal temperature reaches at least 165 F. Pierce the center of the chicken breast with a meat thermometer to gauge the temperature. In my oven, this takes around 30 minutes but yours might take more or less.
Consuming undercooked chicken is dangerous, so I always use a meat thermometer to make sure my chicken is fully cooked, no matter the recipe.

Baked salsa chicken in a 13x9 baking dish.

More Easy Chicken Dinners

Yield: 6 servings

Baked Salsa Chicken

Baked Salsa Chicken is an easy weeknight dinner loaded with spicy, cheesy flavor! Perfectly seasoned chicken, salsa and cheese are baked in one pan for a versatile meal that's ready in no time.

Baked Salsa Chicken is an easy weeknight dinner loaded with spicy, cheesy flavor! Perfectly seasoned chicken, salsa and cheese are baked in one pan for a versatile meal that's ready in no time.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chunky salsa, divided
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3-4 breasts)**
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In the bottom of a 13x9, spoon 3/4 cup of the salsa in the bottom of the dish.
  3. Season the chicken with cumin, chili powder, and garlic salt. Place chicken breasts over the salsa.
  4. Spoon the remaining salsa over the top of the chicken breasts.
  5. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
  6. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese over the top. Return to oven for about 3-4 minutes, until melted. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Notes

  • Pound chicken breasts to even thickness before baking to help cook evenly.
  • Cheese options: Swap out the Mexican cheese blend with pepper jack, colby or cheddar cheese if you prefer.
  • Serving suggestions: Baked Salsa Chicken is amazing served over a bowl of Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice. Don't forget the chunky guacamole!
  • Salad. Swap out the ground beef in our taco salad for today's salsa chicken instead!
  • Storing: Store leftovers of this baked chicken in an airtight container. Keep it refrigerated and enjoy within 3 days.
  • Slow cooker. Add salsa, seasonings, and chicken to slow cooker. Heat on low for 6 hours. Shred and enjoy topped with cheese.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

6

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 338Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 146mgSodium: 782mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 3gProtein: 52g

It’s easy to clean your plate when Baked Chicken Salsa is what’s for dinner!

Assembled taco salad drizzled with sour cream.
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Taco Salad
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Lemon Garlic Chicken

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