This easy Baked Salsa Chicken is bursting with flavor and made with a secret shortcut ingredient for a healthy chicken dinner everyone will love.
Salsa Chicken is layered with juicy chicken breasts, fresh salsa, and melty cheese for a mouthwatering dish you won’t be able to get enough of. Serve it up alongside rice or a side salad for a healthy and delicious meal that guarantees to impress!
If you know me, you know how much I love Mexican food. From main courses like fish tacos and burrito bowls to side dishes like street corn and cowboy beans, I love it all! I come up with new healthy Mexican-inspired recipes often, because I love the bright and bold flavors and I like to keep weeknight dinners exciting.
This Salsa Chicken recipe is super simple and combines some of my favorite things: Juicy chicken, fresh homemade salsa, and melted pepper jack cheese. With only a few minutes of prep time and 30 minutes in the oven, this delicious healthy dinner recipe can be made from start to finish in under an hour.
It's a nice twist from the more traditional Salsa Verde Chicken most people make.
When I serve this dish, I like to pair it with sides like rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or a side salad. If you’re looking for delicious low-carb meals, Salsa Chicken and cilantro lime cauliflower rice are a serious dream team. You can also serve this dish on its own as a complete meal, since you’ve already got protein and veggies.
This dish is loaded with nutrients, beyond easy to make, and absolutely bursting with fresh flavors. Whether you’re looking for healthy meal prep recipes or a main course for your next dinner party, this juicy and flavorful chicken dish is the perfect choice. Simply layer up your ingredients, pop the dish in the oven, and enjoy!
To make this vibrant dish, you will need the following key ingredients:
- Chicken breast: This lean and tender meat is packed with protein and pairs perfectly with the rest of our flavors. You can also use boneless skinless chicken thighs, if you prefer.
- Vegetables: You will need roma tomatoes, white onions, and jalapenos to make the simple salsa used in this dish. If you don’t feel like making your own from scratch, you can use your favorite chunky store-bought salsa.
- Herbs and spices: To season this dish, you will need salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and cilantro.
- Lime juice: This ingredient enhances and brightens the flavors of the whole dish, making it even more flavorful and delicious.
- Cheese: I like to use sliced pepper jack cheese for a little heat, but you can use monterey jack or cheddar cheese if you prefer.
Recipe Ideas and Variations
Here are some of my favorite ways to switch up this dish:
- Use store-bought salsa: For an even quicker ‘dump and go’ style recipe, swap out the homemade pico de gallo for your favorite chunky store-bought salsa.
- Make it heartier: To make this dish even more filling, add extra ingredients like black beans and corn. Between these additional ingredients and the avocado on top, this dish will be filling enough to serve as a complete meal.
- Sear the chicken: For enhanced flavor and a beautiful outer crust, sear the chicken breasts over medium-high heat for approximately 2-3 minutes per side before adding them to your casserole dish.
- Make it in the slow cooker: If you’re looking for an easy meal you can cook while you nap or run errands, you can easily pop this dish in the slow cooker to cook on LOW for 2-6 hours or HIGH for 2-3 hours.
Side Dish Ideas
When I serve this dish as part of a larger meal, I love pairing it with side dishes like rice, quinoa, salad, and cooked veggies. For a low-carb meal, you can never go wrong with cauliflower rice. When done right, it’s ultra flavorful and does a great job of soaking up the salsa juices. If you’re in need of some guidance on what to pair with this tasty dish, here are some of my favorite side dishes to serve with Salsa Chicken:
- Garlic Cilantro Brown Rice
- Cilantro Lime Quinoa
- Easy Spring Mix Salad
- Southwest Quinoa Salad
- Roasted Green Beans
How to Store Baked Salsa Chicken
If you find that you’ve made too much, don’t worry about it. This dish tastes great the next day, and the day after that, so it’s ideal for meal prep. I love pairing my leftover chicken with a salad or rice for a quick and easy lunch.
To store leftovers of this dish, simply transfer it to an airtight storage container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. Because of the high water content in the salsa, I do not recommend freezing this dish. Watery veggies and cheese don’t tend to do well when frozen, as they don’t retain their texture well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this flavorful dish:
Is this dish good for you?
Absolutely. This dish is high in protein and extremely low in carbs, making it a perfectly healthy meal for any diet geared towards weight loss or weight maintenance. It’s also grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, and keto-friendly.
What toppings can I use?
Some of my favorite toppings for Salsa Chicken include fresh avocado or guacamole, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, lime wedges, crushed tortilla chips, hot sauce, and sliced jalapenos. Feel free to get creative based on what you have laying around at home!
What do you serve with this dish?
While this dish works great on its own, I love serving it with rice, quinoa, or a side salad for a larger and more filling meal. I highly recommend making extra pico de gallo when preparing this dish. When paired with tortilla chips, the chunky salsa makes a fantastic appetizer to munch on while you wait for the chicken to cook!
More Healthy Chicken Recipes
If you liked this healthy chicken recipe, try these next:
Baked Salsa Chicken
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- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast (4 filets)
- 2 cups pico de gallo (store bought or homemade)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt (more to taste)
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 oz pepper jack cheese (slices or shredded)
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
- 1 lime (for serving)
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* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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