Baked Salsa Chicken
This salsa chicken recipe is SO EASY and SO flavorful AKA it’s destined to become a go-to chicken dinner favorite! Best of all, everything bakes in ONE pan which means super easy clean up and no extra sides to prepare! To make salsa chicken, chicken breasts are slathered in spices then laid on a bed of salsa, corn, beans and rice, smothered with more salsa, baked, then finished with ooey gooey melted cheese. The salsa chicken emerges dripping with flavor, loaded with texture and incredibly versatile. You can serve the salsa chicken as-is, or chop up the chicken and use it for nachos, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, etc. You can also prep the entire dinner ahead of time then refrigerate and bake when ready for all those busy weeknights. Winner winner, salsa chicken dinner!
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Baked Salsa Chicken
  • 4 small boneless skinless chicken breasts or 2 large breasts cut in halfabout 24 oz.
  • 1 Tablespoon melted butter or olive oil
  • 1 1/2teaspoons chili powder
  • 1tsp EACH ground cumin, garlic powder
  • 1/2tsp EACH onion powder, smoked paprika dried oregano, salt
  • 1 15 oz. can black beansdrained and rinsed
  • 1 15 oz. can can corndrained and rinsed
  • 115 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes, drainedoptional if not using chunky salsa
  • 2cups cooked rice
  • 1 4 oz. can mild chopped green chiles
  • 1 1/2cups salsadivided
  • 1cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1cup freshly grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • Fresh cilantro chopped (optionalto taste)
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Whisk the seasonings together; set aside. Pound chicken to an even thickness. Pat dry then drizzle the top of the chicken with olive oil or butter. Sprinkle half of the seasonings over the chicken and rub in. Flip chicken and repeat; set aside.
  3. Add beans, corn, rice, green chilies, 1 cup salsa 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to a lightly greased 9×13 baking dish. Stir to combine then spread into an even layer. Add the chicken on top of the mixture. Spoon 1/2 cup salsa over the chicken.
  4. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through (reaches 165 degrees F on an instant read thermometer). Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the chicken breasts, so I recommend using an instant read thermometer to know when it is done. If needed, continue to bake an additional 10-20 minutes OR until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and sprinkle with the cheeses. Bake an additional 4-5 more minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  6. Garnish with sour cream, avocados fresh cilantro etc.
Recipe Notes

*See post for tons of  serving ideas!

how to make AHEAD

This salsa chicken makes a great make ahead meal!  To make ahead:

  • Completely assemble according to recipe directions but don’t add the cheese.
  • Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate.
  • When ready to bake, let the dish sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  • Bake according to recipe directions, adding an additional 10 minutes to the cooking time.

HOW TO STORE and reheat 

  • Storage: If you should be so lucky to have leftovers, store salsa chicken in airtight container for up to 5 days.
  • Reheating leftovers:  I recommend chopping or thinly slicing the chicken when reheating so it warms evenly and at the same time as the corn/rice/beans.   You can reheat in the microwave for 90 seconds then for 20 second intervals or in a skillet over medium-low heat until warmed through.

How to freeze

This salsa chicken recipe  makes a great freezer meal:

  • Assemble salsa chicken according to recipe directions but don’t add the cheese.
  • Double wrap in plastic wrap then double wrap in foil.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months.
  • When ready to bake, defrost in the refrigerator overnight then let sit on the counter for 20 minutes before baking.
  • Bake according to recipe directions, adding an additional 10 minutes to the cooking time.