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This salsa chicken recipe has tender pan-fried chicken that’s smothered with salsa and melty cheese. It’s super easy to make and will be your new favorite way to jazz up chicken!
Why you’ll love it
What can I say? Chicken and salsa and ooey, gooey Mexican-blend cheese make for a pretty irresistible weeknight dinner. In just 30 minutes it’s on the table. I think everyone can appreciate a new and creative way to enjoy chicken to change it up.
Probably my favorite part of this cheesy chicken recipe is how much sauce it makes. The seasonings in your fave kind of tomato salsa play so well with the hot and bubbly cheese topping. As far as Mexican-inspired dishes go, this one is a winner!
What you’ll need
- Chicken – we’re using four boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in half lengthwise so they cook faster and more evenly
- Garlic powder and chili powder – along with salt & pepper, it’s to season the chicken directly. Note that while chili powder is generally mild, some varieties can be hot.
- Flour – it helps get a nice browning on the chicken in a short amount of time
- Butter and olive oil – for pan frying
- Chicken broth – to add moisture and more savory flavor to the sauce
- Salsa – use a jar of your favorite variety!
- Cheese – we’re using Mexican blend
Tools for this recipe
Check out Natasha’s favorite kitchen essentials, gadgets, and cookware!
- I use my Le Creuset oven-safe skillet to finish the chicken in the oven.
- Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut the chicken into cutlets.
- This is my favorite measuring cup set to accurately measure ingredients.
- A pair of kitchen tongs makes it easy to flip and serve the chicken.
- An instant read thermometer will tell you when it’s 165F and cooked perfectly.
How to make salsa chicken
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven. Cut the chicken lengthwise to make four thinner cutlets. Sprinkle on the garlic and chili powder along with salt & pepper, then dredge in flour. Pan sear them, then transfer to a plate. Deglaze the skillet with the broth, and then pour in the salsa.
Return the chicken to the pan, and let the sauce bubble gently. Spoon a little over the chicken, top with the cheese, and pop it in the oven until melty. Broil carefully if desired, add extra salt & pepper if needed, and top with cilantro if using.
Substitutions and variations
- If you like it spicy, add some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or use a jar of hot salsa instead.
- Instead of seasoning the chicken as suggested, try my Homemade Taco Seasoning to amp up the flavor even more.
- You could chop up some avocado and scallions too for topping if you wish for a pop of freshness. And even add a dollop of sour cream if that’s your thing!
What to serve with salsa chicken
- This recipe makes plenty of sauce, so it’s perfect for serving over rice or even with tortillas or some crusty bread to scoop it up.
- These Mashed Potatoes or Asparagus are great veggie sides as well.
- If you’re looking for a salad pairing, try my Black Bean Corn Avocado Salad with Rice that has a zesty lime dressing.
Leftovers and storage
- Store any leftovers of this pan fried chicken in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
- Reheat over a low heat on the stove or in the microwave until warmed through.
- I don’t recommend freezing this one.
If you gave this easy salsa chicken recipe a try, please leave a star rating and review below! Talk to me if the blog post didn’t answer any questions. Find me on Instagram.
Skillet Salsa Chicken
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Flour for dredging
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1 (14.5 ounce) jar salsa use your favorite kind
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Fresh cilantro, chopped to taste (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400F and move the rack to the middle position.
- Cut the chicken in half lengthwise so you have 4 thinner cutlets. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with the garlic powder, chili powder, and salt & pepper, then coat them in flour.
- Add the butter and oil to an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, sear the chicken for 3-4 minutes/side until lightly golden. Take the chicken out of the pan and set it aside.
- Add the chicken broth to the pan and scrape up any brown bits. Stir in the salsa.
- Add the chicken back into the pan and let the sauce start to bubble. Spoon some of the salsa over the chicken and sprinkle the cheese over top.
- Place the skillet in the oven and let it cook for 5-7 minutes (chicken will cook through completely and the cheese will melt). Optional: broil it for a couple minutes (watch it carefully).
- Serve with fresh chopped cilantro if desired. Season with extra salt & pepper as needed.
- If your skillet isn’t oven-proof, for step 5 you can either transfer the skillet contents to a baking dish or simply keep cooking the chicken in the skillet (cover it with a lid so the cheese melts).
- If your chicken breasts are smaller, no need to cut them in half lengthwise, but you will need to increase cooking time. If you’re unsure about whether chicken is cooked, always use a meat thermometer to ensure it’s 165F in the deepest part.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
© Salt & Lavender Inc. Content and photographs are copyrighted. Sharing this blog post is much appreciated, but copying and pasting full recipes without authorization to social media is strictly prohibited.
This recipe was originally published on November 1, 2019. It’s been updated with new photos and better instructions but is the same great recipe!