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A close up of a plate of food with a slice of pizza, with Chicken and Salsa

Baked Salsa Chicken

BAKED SALSA CHICKEN is an easy weeknight dinner that my family requests often. It’s so simple to throw together but there is so much flavor thanks to the salsa and cheese. 

low carb salsa chicken next to a baking pan

Raise your hand if you could eat Mexican food every single night of the week!

(Picture me over here with both hands in the air, jumping up and down like a maniac.) 

I just love Mexican flavors. The authentic stuff is good, the American-ized stuff is good, the fusion stuff is even good! 

We make a lot of Mexican dishes in our house and tonight I’m sharing an easy one with you. This baked salsa chicken recipe is one of the easiest ways to get dinner on the table and my kids love it too!

Chicken and salsa go together perfectly and there’s just 2 net carbs per serving, too!

cheesy salso chicken on a white plate with an old fork

How to make salsa chicken: 

This is stupidly simple, so this is going to be quick. 😉 

We prefer boneless, skinless chicken breasts in our house, but you can use thighs if you prefer those. 

Start out by pounding out your chicken to an even thickness. This will ensure that it bakes up nice and evenly.

How to pound out chicken: 

  • I lay out a large piece of plastic wrap, place one chicken breast slightly off center, and fold one side of the wrap loosely over the top of the chicken. The plastic wraps keeps the chicken juices from flying all over your kitchen.
  • Grab a meat tenderizer/mallet and pound the chicken. You can also use a rolling pin or other heavy object to pound your chicken out. 
  • You don’t want to flatten the chicken – just get it an even thickness. 
seasoning for chicken in white bowl

Season the chicken breasts with some garlic salt, chili powder, and cumin. 

My spice cabinet is bursting at the seams with all kinds of spices, but if you don’t have quite the same collection as me, you could also just use some taco seasoning here. 

Spread a bit of salsa into a 9×13 baking dish and then place the chicken on top. Pour more salsa over the chicken to coat and then pop this in the oven.

raw chicken with salsa in baking dish

This restaurant style salsa is our FAVORITE! It’s good for dipping pork rinds, too. 

Once the chicken is cooked through, sprinkle the top with cheese – and don’t skimp!

We use pepper jack cheese if we have a milder salsa or cheddar cheese if the salsa is on the spicy side. Either work great!

baked salsa chicken in a white baking dish

Now that the cheese is melty and the chicken is tender and juicy, it’s time to dig in. Serve this up with a side of cilantro lime cauliflower rice

You can even top it off with some sliced avocado or homemade guac, if that’s your style.

Enjoy!

white plate of cheesy chicken

More Mexican-inspired recipes:

Crockpot Chicken Fajitas: Serve them over cauliflower rice or in a low carb tortilla!

Taco Pizza: Made with my favorite low carb pizza crust.

Keto Taco Casserole: We make this one often!

Guacamole Chicken Melt: If you love guac, this is for you.

Keto Enchilada Sauce: So simple and flavorful!

cheesy chicken and salsa in baking dish

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A close up of a plate of food with a slice of pizza, with Chicken and Salsa

Baked Salsa Chicken

This baked salsa chicken is so easy, but it comes out juicy and bursting with flavor thanks to the salsa!

Yield 4 servings
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 chicken breasts, about 6 ounces each
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 ½ cups salsa
  • 1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness.
  3. Season the chicken with the garlic salt, chili powder, and cumin.
  4. Pour ½ cup of salsa in the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish and spread to coat the bottom.
  5. Place the chicken on top of the salsa. Pour the remaining salsa over the top of the chicken.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees. 
  7. Remove from the oven and sprinkle the top of the chicken with the cheese. Return to the oven for 3-4 minutes to melt the cheese.
  8. Sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Notes

The nutrition info is based off salsa containing 2 carbs per 2 tablespoons. If the salsa you use has more sugar, the nutrition info will vary accordingly.

Swap out the pepper jack for cheddar, if you'd prefer a more mild cheese.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield: 4 servings Serving Size: 1 chicken breast
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 216Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 63mgSodium: 1314mgCarbohydrates: 4gNet Carbohydrates: 2gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 22g

All information and tools presented and written within this site are intended for informational purposes only. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information is accurate.

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28 thoughts on “Baked Salsa Chicken”

  1. Laura Samaniego-Johnson

    What kind of Store red salsa do you recommend or do you have a recipe for one?

  2. Could you use boneless chicken thighs instead of breasts? If so what do you recommend changing the cook time to?

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Liz! I’m sure you could change it up, but I’m not sure how long it would take to bake. We don’t like thighs in our house, so don’t cook with them often. ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Just got done making it with chicken thighs, cook time only varied by 5-10 mins. So yum and simple.
        Thank you!

  3. Can this be made ahead of time, say in the morning, and just pop it in the oven when I get home in the evening, or even the day before?

    Thanks.

  4. Kimberly Walker

    Delicious! Best of all super easy to make especially on a work night. My family loved it so much I had to make it again the next day! I used sliced pepper jack cheese because my local store didn’t have shredded, otherwise I made it exactly as the recipe says. Served it with cilantro lime rice.

    1. Karly Campbell

      We normally use this homemade salsa, but any store bought salsa that you like with 2 carbs per 2 tbsp should be fine. Tostitos is our preferred brand for store bought.

    1. Karly Campbell

      I’ve never tried freezing it, but I think it would freeze like any other chicken recipe. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Karly,
    I too have to watch sodium intake!! The salsa I use comes from Wal-Mart produce departement, its fresh not bottled and sodium content is 160 mg for 2 TBPS, I use garlic powder and onion powder instead of garlic salt, use monzeralla cheese for 160 mg sodium I use more pepper to season instead of salt. I think these amounts are with in reason, so far its worked for me. I hope these tips help someone somewhere. Thanks Karly for all you do. Lan

  6. Excellent! Chicken was moist. Great flavor. And super easy! Thanks for the recipe.

    โค๏ธโค๏ธ
    Tiffany
    Phlanx’s Marketing Specialist

  7. Megan Smith

    I cook up chicken breasts in the Crock-Pot using green salsa and top it with Mexican blend cheese and guacamole. Ole!

  8. This sounds absolutely amazing! Our family has at least 1-2 Mexican meals per week, but it’s time for something new instead of the same ol’ repeats. I’ll be adding this to next week’s menu for the family. Thank you for sharing.

      1. Jeanine R Lawley

        Does sound delicious. Sodium is too high for me. I know it’s not from the chicken. Is it the salsa?

    1. Karly Campbell

      Hi Elisa! I’m not sure what you’re asking exactly…what is salsa? It’s a chopped up mix of tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, and spices. What brand did I use? I either use homemade (linked to in the recipe) or Tostito’s resturant style most often, but any brand you like is fine.

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