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24 June 2020

This salsa chicken is so easy to make, with chicken breast that is seasoned, seared, then baked or simmered in your favorite salsa. Easy weeknight dinner!

If you’re looking for a super easy weeknight chicken dinner, my friends, look no further than Salsa Chicken. Salsa chicken is a simple dish of boneless chicken breasts or chicken thighs that are seasoned up with your preferred blend of seasonings, quickly seared to seal in their juices, then baked with your favorite blend of salsa.

The result is tender and juicy chicken that is BIG on flavor, and everyone is sure to enjoy. The great thing about it is how easy it is to customize with your own preferred seasonings, your own salsa, either homemade or store bought, and you can toss in other vegetables and ingredients as desired to make it your own, like fresh tomato and jalapeno, corn, or black beans.

It’s a super customizable chicken dish, making it incredibly versatile. You can serve it with our without melted cheese, and you can also either bake it or cook it up in a crock pot or slow cooker.

I hope you enjoy my version.

Let’s talk about how we make salsa chicken, shall we?

Salsa Chicken on a plate, before slicing

Salsa Chicken Ingredients

  • Oil. Use 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil.
  • Chicken. Use 4 medium-sized chicken breasts (6 ounces each). You can also use chicken thighs, which are very tasty.
  • Seasonings. I use 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon dried basil, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional, for spicier), 1/2 teaspoon cumin and Salt and pepper to taste. You can use your favorite seasonings as well. See the Recipe Tips and Notes section for suggestions.
  • Salsa. Use 2 cups  chunky salsa, or use your favorite salsa recipe or store bought brand. Try it with my salsa ranchera recipe.
  • Optional Extra Veggies. I like to add 2 medium sized tomatoes, diced as well as a couple of extra diced jalapeno peppers for additional chunkiness and some spiciness. You can skip them if you’d like and just use salsa. You can also add in other spicier peppers, like serrano peppers or habanero peppers. Ghost peppers, anyone? Yes!
  • Cheese. For a cheesy salsa chicken. I used 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese blend, though you can use another melty cheese, such as Monterrey jack or pepper jack. Or serve it without the cheese, if desired.

How to Make Salsa Chicken – the Recipe Method

Steps for making salsa chicken

Season and Sear the Chicken. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan to medium heat.

Season the chicken breasts with paprika, garlic powder, basil, cayenne, cumin and salt and pepper. Sear them in the pan a couple minutes per side to lightly brown them.

Bake the Chicken. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Pour some of the salsa into the bottom of a large baking dish.

Set the chicken breasts into the pan and cover with remaining salsa. Top with diced tomatoes and jalapeno peppers, if using.

Bake the chicken for 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 C) when checked with a meat thermometer.

Remove from heat, cool slightly and serve.

Scooping up a piece of salsa chicken with no cheese

FOR CHEESY VERSION

Top the baked salsa chicken with shredded cheese and return to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted through.

Remove from heat, cool slightly and serve.

Serving up a piece of salsa chicken with melted cheese

CROCKPOT SALSA CHICKEN

To make salsa chicken in the crockpot or slow cooker, season and sear the chicken breasts as above, then set them into a crockpot with the salsa, diced tomato and jalapeno pepper.

Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or cook on high for 1.5-2 hours, or until the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 C) when checked with a meat thermometer.

Serve as is, or you can transfer the salsa chicken to a baking dish, sprinkle with cheese, and bake for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted through.

Boom! Done! Salsa chicken is so easy to make, isn’t it? This is a perfect simple and easy weeknight dinner that the whole family will enjoy.

Taking a piece of my salsa chicken from the plate

Recipe Tips & Notes

  • Other Ingredients. This recipe is great with other additions. Try tossing in some fresh or frozen corn kernels, or adding a can of black beans. Very tasty!
  • Seasonings. Feel free to use your favorite seasoning blend for the chicken before searing them. Try it with a good taco seasoning blend, Cajun seasonings, a good poultry seasoning or others.
  • For Serving. I like to sprinkle on spicy chili flakes and top the salsa chicken with sliced peppers as a garnish, along with fresh chopped parsley or cilantro. If the chicken is a bit too spicy, serve it with sour cream or Mexican crema to help cool the heat. It’s also great served with rice or cauliflower rice. Patty loves hers with tortilla chips!

That’s it, my friends. I hope you enjoy my XXX recipe. Let me know if you make it. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you. Keep it spicy!

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Sliced salsa chicken with cheese and tortilla chips

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m happy to help. If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Salsa Chicken Recipe
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Salsa Chicken Recipe

This salsa chicken is so easy to make, with chicken breast that is seasoned, seared, then baked or simmered in your favorite salsa. Easy weeknight dinner!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: baked, chicken breast, crock pot, salsa
Servings: 4
Calories: 538kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 medium-sized chicken breasts 6 ounces each
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne optional, for spicier
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups salsa use a good chunky salsa, or use your favorite salsa
  • 2 medium sized tomatoes diced (optional, for extra chunky salsa chicken)
  • 1-2 jalapeno peppers diced (optional, for extra chunkiness and heat)
  • 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese optional, for a cheesy version - or use another melty cheese, such as Monterrey jack or pepper jack

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pan to medium heat.
  • Season the chicken breasts with paprika, garlic powder, basil, cayenne, cumin and salt and pepper. Sear them in the pan a couple minutes per side to lightly brown them.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Pour some of the salsa into the bottom of a large baking dish. Set the chicken breasts into the pan and cover with remaining salsa. Top with diced tomatoes and jalapeno peppers, if using.
  • Bake the chicken for 30 minutes, or until the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 C) when checked with a meat thermometer.
  • Remove from heat, cool slightly and serve.

FOR CHEESY VERSION

  • Top the baked salsa chicken with shredded cheese and return to the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted through.
  • Remove from heat, cool slightly and serve.

CROCKPOT SALSA CHICKEN

  • To make salsa chicken in the crockpot or slow cooker, season and sear the chicken breasts as above, then set them into a crockpot with the salsa, diced tomato and jalapeno pepper.
  • Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or on high for 1.5-2 hours, or until the chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 C) when checked with a meat thermometer.
  • Serve as is, or you can transfer the salsa chicken to a baking dish, cover with cheese, and bake for 5 minutes until the cheese is melted through.

Nutrition

Calories: 538kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 66g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 189mg | Sodium: 1310mg | Potassium: 1014mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1985IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 382mg | Iron: 3mg
Salsa Chicken

2 comments

  1. 5 stars
    I made this the other night. I made it mild for my wife. It came out fantastic! It was moist, and the flavor was great! This is definitely a do again meal!!!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Excellent! Thanks, Steve. We really love this dish.






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