Salsa Chicken


A zesty baked chicken dish with creamy salsa

This easy baked salsa chicken recipe is the perfect meal for busy nights. The possibilities to enjoy this five ingredient dump and go meal are limitless with instructions for Instant Pot and slow cooker.

This is the kind of recipe you need to have around for the days you didn’t plan dinner, don’t feel like cooking, or just don’t have the time to do a lot of dinner prep. Just dump over Spanish rice or shred the salsa chicken recipe to scoop up with tortilla chips.

melted cheddar cheese on top of baked chicken with red salsa surrounding the dish

With only five ingredients, this salsa chicken uses ingredients you probably already have in the house, can be tossed together in minutes, and is ready to eat in thirty minutes! You can even dump everything in the slow cooker in the morning so that dinner is already made for you at the end of a long day. Or for a quicker fix, make it Instant Pot salsa chicken.

Salsa chicken in a pressure cooker and slow cooker salsa chicken can be shredded and used for multiple meals like chicken tacos or burritos.

How to make salsa chicken

  1. Prepare chicken thighs or breast by seasoning with salt, pepper and taco seasoning.
  2. Spread on a mixture of softened cream cheese and drained Rotel or salsa on top o the chicken.
  3. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
  4. Remove the chicken top with shredded cheddar cheese. Then bake for a few more minutes so the cheese can melt.
  5. Serve with rice and top with sour cream and cilantro.

Optional: If you want shredded chicken, gently shred with 2 forks or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on low speed.

a small plate with a piece of salsa chicken over rice and topped with sour cream, cilantro and next to asparagus

Key ingredients & substitutions

  • Chicken – Choose boneless, skinless chicken for this recipe. You can use either chicken breasts or thighs. Chicken thighs will be more tender and juicy because of their higher fat content.
  • Taco seasoning – Store-bought taco seasoning works just fine, but you can always make your own customizable and homemade taco seasoning that doesn’t have a bunch off added fillers, junk or sugar. Plus, this option is less expensive.
  • Rotel – This is a great all-in-one tomato, chili, and seasoning option, but you can also use salsa or even finely diced fresh tomatoes with a can of green chilis.
  • Cream cheese – Makes this chicken salsa recipe creamy and satisfying.
  • Cheddar cheese – Cheddar cheese is what I used, but feel free to use other types like pepper jack, a Mexican blend, or Colby to change up the flavor. If you don’t have shredded cheese, you can crumble up or shred block cheese.

Salsa Chicken Recipe Video

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Salsa Chicken Ingredients

  • 2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken (breast or thighs)
  • 4 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (10 oz) can Rotel or salsa, drained
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Salsa Chicken Directions

  • Salsa Chicken
  • an oval skillet with 8 pieces of baked chicken thighs topped with melted cheddar cheese and salsa around

    Ways to serve salsa chicken

    Salsa chicken can be served as whole chicken thighs or breasts with the salsa and cheese mixture spooned on top, or the chicken can be shredded, with everything mixed together. Here are some ideas of how to use salsa chicken.


    a baking dish with baked salsa chicken topped with cheese

    Topping ideas

    While salsa chicken is packed with flavor all by itself, try these toppings to add some extra spice, nutrition, and fun flavor to your dinner:

    • Guacamole
    • Sliced green onions
    • Crumbled queso fresco
    • Jalapenos
    • Pickled red onions
    • Fresh lime juice, squeezed on top!
    • Cilantro
    • Sour cream
    • Avocado slices

    Storage information & meal prep instructions

    This dish is so quick and easy to toss together, making it perfect for meal prepping! Make this salsa chicken ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.

    To reheat, just cover the chicken in foil in an oven-safe dish and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes, or until heated through. You can also reheat it in the microwave, covered, for 30-90 seconds.

    Salsa Chicken: FAQS

    How do you thicken chicken salsa?

    If your chicken salsa is too watery, you can add more cream cheese or cheddar cheese to help thicken it.

    How do you reheat chicken for salsa?

    To reheat baked salsa chicken, cover the container in foil and place it into an oven preheated to 350 degrees. Bake for 5-10 minutes or until heated through.

    How to make salsa verde chicken?

    To make salsa verde chicken, you will follow this base recipe for salsa chicken but instead of using red salsa or rotel, use green salsa, aka salsa verde.

    Nutritional information & Macros

    Nutrition Information

    Salsa Chicken

    Servings: 6

    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 295
    Fat 16.5g
    Protein 30.4g
    Total Carbs 3.4g
    Net Carbs 3g

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    1. BIG HIT!
      My husband is not Keto but absolutely LOVED this. He even said it had a nice “warm” mouth feel (he’s not a fan of spicy food). He said he’d eat the rest of this if I didn’t want any more & that he wants me to add this to our rotating menu. Thank you!

    2. This was very good and I would make it again! I had trouble mixing my softened cream cheese into the salsa. I thought the lumps of cream cheese would smooth out as it baked, but they didn’t. Next time, I will try using whipped cream cheese instead or sour cream. I also added sliced bell peppers on top before baking to get some vegetables in. I’m giving it 4 stars because it was hard to mix the cream cheese/salsa as written, but it is a really good and easy recipe!

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