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Salsa Chicken Bake Recipe – How to Make it in 9 Simple Steps

Everyone needs a file of recipes that are quick, easy, and delicious. Our recipe for Salsa Chicken Bake ticks all of those boxes as well as being very nutritious! Serve it over rice or use it to fill taco shells or tortillas.

A serving of salsa chicken bake on a plate.

Those who are trying to eat healthy love boneless skinless chicken breasts. These convenient cuts of meat cook quickly and have very little fat, but are a wonderful source of protein. Until the late 1980s, cooks who wanted to make chicken had to buy chicken with both skin and bones.

While most people could find whole chickens that were cut up into various pieces (breasts, thighs, legs, etc.), cooks always had to deal with chicken skin and had to carefully monitor the cooking temperature of their chicken to make sure that it was fully cooked. In the late 1980s, Holly Farms a poultry processing company came up with an idea that changed the way that consumers shopped for, cooked, and ate chicken forever. Someone at Holly Farms thought it would be a brilliant idea to market chicken breasts that were cut from the bone and with no skin.

A serving of salsa chicken bake on a plate.

Salsa Chicken Bake Recipe

April Freeman
Every parent should have a file of quick and easy recipes. These are the recipes that you turn to time and time again on those evenings when everyone is tired, in a rush, and you need a meal for the family, pronto. This recipe for Salsa Chicken Bake is going to go in that file. It comes together quickly and simply, and almost everyone will love the Mexican inspired flavors it provides.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4 Servings

Equipment

  • 9 inch Square Pan
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Small bowl
  • Large Spoon
  • Instant-Read Thermometer

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a nine-inch square pan with cooking spray and set it aside.
  • Using a sharp knife and a cutting board, chop the chicken into 1 to 2-inch bites and spread the chunks in an even layer in the prepared pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.
    The various spices of the recipe are mixed in a small bowl.
  • Use a spoon to sprinkle these seasonings over the chicken. Take care to sprinkle them evenly so that all of the meat has the same flavor.
    The spices are then sprinkled over the chopped chicken breasts.
  • Measure out your 1 cup of salsa. If the salsa is too runny and has plenty of liquid, use a large spoon to drain the excess off of the salsa, gently tipping your measuring cup while holding the salsa in the measuring cup with a spoon. Spoon the salsa in an even layer over the top of the seasoned chicken
  • Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the salsa and chicken in an even layer.
  • Bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes in the center of the oven, or until the chicken reads 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
  • Serve the chicken in bowls over prepared white rice for a deliciously easy meal. Alternately, you can use this chicken for filling taco shells or tortillas.
  • To make this dish ahead of time, the morning that you want to serve it, follow all of the steps except for baking it. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and put it in the fridge for up to 12 hours before baking as directed.

Notes

It took a few years for the idea to catch on, but once consumers learned how convenient and healthy boneless skinless chicken breasts were, there was no going back. Now everyone who cooks probably has at least a couple of these handy cuts of meat in their fridge or freezer, and it’s hard to imagine making a weekly meal plan that doesn’t include at least one meal with boneless skinless chicken in it.
There are a few downsides, however, to the boneless skinless chicken breast. First of all, since much of the flavor and moisture in a cut of meat comes from the skin and the fat, boneless skinless chicken can end up dry and tasteless if it is not cooked with care. Home cooks must be diligent to season the chicken well and pay close attention to the cooking time to avoid drying out the chicken.
Alternately, you can cook boneless skinless chicken in a sauce to help avoid drying it out and to help maximize the flavor. You can get a meat thermometer to help measure the internal temperature of the chicken and make sure that it is fully cooked without drying it out. Chicken should always be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
This recipe is one that takes perfect advantage of all of the benefits of boneless skinless chicken. The mild flavor of the chicken is a perfect foil for the Mexican seasonings of garlic and cumin. The salsa gives the chicken a tangy, spicy zing, which you can customize to your taste by choosing a hotter or milder salsa. The salsa also helps to keep the chicken nice and moist as it bakes and provides a nice sauce for the finished dish. The cheesy topping deliciously accents all of the tasty flavors in the meat and sauce.
This recipe is perfect for serving in bowls over rice or you can also put it in a tortilla or taco shell as a filling. Alternately, just dipping it into bowls is a good way of eating our recipe for Salsa Chicken Bake.
Keyword Main Course, Recipe, Salsa Chicken Bake

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Related: 23 Chicken Breast Recipes | 24 Chicken Thigh Recipes | Salsa Chicken Recipes