Salsa chicken is the easy weeknight meal you didn’t know you needed. Tender, juicy chicken breasts are baked with salsa, sweet corn, and cheddar cheese in this simple recipe that’s ready in less than 30 minutes and will become a fast family favorite.

Close up of a casserole dish filled with baked salsa chicken and corn.
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Oven-baked salsa chicken

If cheesy, simple dinners are your thing, you’re going to love this recipe. Salsa chicken is about as easy as it gets but offers all the melted cheesy goodness and tender oven-baked flavor of a meal that took a lot of effort.

With just a few ingredients and 30 minutes, this recipe will become a weeknight favorite for the whole family. If you’re short on time but want a home-cooked meal on the table, this baked salsa chicken recipe is the perfect fit.

Chicken breasts, corn, tomatoes and other ingredients on a white marble table.

Ingredients needed

The beauty of this recipe is the simple ingredient list. Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy chicken and salsa dinner.

Chicken breasts: Cutting the chicken in half lengthwise makes thinner breasts that cook faster and more evenly. It’s also a hack to save money rather than buying tenders or thinly sliced breasts from the store. If you prefer thighs, swap out boneless chicken thighs for the breasts.

Taco seasoning: A packet of taco seasoning is a home cook’s best friend when it comes to saving time on meal preparation while still putting flavorful meals on the dinner table. We love using a premade blend for our Mexican ground beef skillet, and it’s the perfect seasoning for salsa chicken, too.

Salt and pepper: Additional seasoning to complement the taco spices. Adjust this to your tastes depending on how salty your taco seasoning packet is.

Olive oil: Used to quickly sear the chicken in a skillet before baking.

Salsa: This is the main flavor component of the dish, so it’s essential to pick a salsa you love with good flavor. A smoky-flavored salsa is an excellent choice for some extra added depth to the dish. You can also use a homemade salsa or a salsa verde to switch things up.

Sweet corn: A can of drained sweet corn adds some texture and flavor to the dish. If your chosen salsa already has corn, you can skip adding more, but we enjoy the extra heartiness it offers.

Cheddar cheese: Choose a good quality cheddar and grate it yourself. Pre-shredded cheese never melts the same because of the added anti-sticking agents. Be generous with the amount for that decadent melted cheesy chicken vibe everyone loves.

Cilantro: An optional fresh garnish for the finished dish, which isn’t necessary but offers a lovely bright and fresh flavor to the savory salsa chicken.

How to make this salsa chicken recipe

Preheat the oven to 400°F and place the olive oil in a large cast-iron or non-stick skillet on the stove-top over medium-high heat.

Season the chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, and taco seasoning. Once the skillet is hot, add the chicken and brown on each side for three minutes.

Transfer the seared chicken breasts to a baking dish. Pour the salsa and corn on top and around the sides. Top with the grated cheddar cheese and bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes until the chicken is fully cooked and has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. The cheese should be melted and bubbly.

Remove from the oven and let the dish sit for five minutes before garnishing with fresh cilantro and serving.

Why you’ll love this meal

  • This oven-baked version is much faster than the typical crockpot salsa chicken recipe. If you prefer a slow cooker meal, try this four-ingredient slow cooker pulled chicken, which is very similar in flavors.
  • With just six basic ingredients and five minutes of prep time, this is a 30-minute meal perfect for any crazy weeknight.
  • All-around palate pleaser for kids and adults!
  • It’s an affordable meal that uses pantry staples.
A casserole dish with cheesy salsa chicken.

Other variations

The base recipe for salsa chicken is simple, quick, affordable and delicious. However, if you want to switch things up, there are plenty of ways to customize this easy dinner recipe.

  • Add a can of beans — Black beans or pinto beans help to bulk up this meal and are a great economical way to stretch a pound of chicken for a family of four. Try our taco lasagna recipe also for something with similar ingredients.
  • Toppings — Sliced avocado and sour cream make great toppings for the chicken while sticking to the theme of the dinner.
  • Bell peppers — A bag of frozen sliced peppers (or fresh if you have them) can also be added to the baking dish on top of the chicken.
  • Make it spicy — Love spice? Add a sliced jalapeño to the mix, or buy a jar of spicy salsa to use in the recipe. 

What to serve with this salsa chicken dinner

Rice is the perfect side dish to soak up all the salsa in this dish. You can make stove-top rice in the same time it takes to cook the chicken, or for convenience, use a microwave rice packet. Cauliflower rice is a good lower-carb option that also doubles as a vegetable side.

If you’re looking for some extra vegetables to go with this dinner, we recommend keeping it easy with a healthier creamy cucumber salad or a refreshing jicama salad. A light green salad or coleslaw are also good pairing options.

Salsa chicken in a baking dish with a wooden spoon.

How to store and reheat leftovers

Store any leftover chicken in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. 

To keep the chicken moist while reheating, you can either reheat it in the oven at 350° and add a bit more salsa on top or warm the chicken in a skillet on the stove top with a lid, adding a splash of water if the salsa starts to dry out.

Can you freeze salsa chicken?

This recipe freezes quite well. Let the cooked salsa chicken come to room temperature before placing it in a freezer-safe bag or container. It will keep frozen for up to a few months. 

Let thaw under refrigeration and reheat using the methods described above.

Overhead shot of a salsa chicken recipe in a white casserole dish.

More chicken recipes like this to try

Chicken Sorrentino is a cheesy chicken dish with an Italian twist. It’s oven-baked just like this salsa chicken recipe and a classic comforting meal.

Stuffed chicken marsala is another classic Italian dish with a cheesy twist. Also baked in the oven, it’s oozing with melted cheese and a tomato butter filling.

Grilled Hawaiian chicken takes dinner to the grill with stuffed chicken breasts filled with cheese, pineapple and ham and coated in a sweet teriyaki glaze everyone will love.

4.96 from 45 votes

Easy Baked Salsa Chicken

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Close up of a casserole dish filled with baked salsa chicken and corn.
Dinner has never been so easy with this salsa chicken recipe. Chicken breasts are seared then topped with salsa and cheese. Baked to perfection in the oven with a cheesy melted sauce, this will become a go-to weeknight dinner.


  • 1 pound chicken breasts, halved lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups salsa
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Season chicken on both sides with taco seasoning, salt and pepper.
  • Heat a cast-iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil then sear the chicken on both sides for 3 minutes. Transfer to a 9×13 inch baking dish.
  • Pour salsa around the chicken. Sprinkle sweet corn and cheese around and on top of the chicken breasts. Bake in the oven for 15-18 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese melts.
  • Remove from oven, let sit for a few minutes then garnish with cilantro and serve.



Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 329kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 33gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 101mgSodium: 1465mgPotassium: 829mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 979IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 243mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Founder and Writer at Running to the Kitchen | About

Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    The wife loved it! This was delicious, and super easy to make. I served it with a salad and rice on the side. It’s definitely a regular now.

  2. 5 stars
    I’m a crockpot fan but this baked version won me over and it tasted so much better. The chicken was so tender and the sweet corn makes it so satisfying. This is my kind of dinner!

  3. 5 stars
    The cheddar cheese on top is the perfect gooey addition. And I love how it melts into the salsa making each bite a cheesy delight. I also added a jar of hot salsa and it just the right amount of heat without being too overpowering. I loved it!

  4. 5 stars
    I love quick and easy dinners like this. The salsa kept the chicken moist and added a ton of flavor. Thanks for sharing, This one is going into our weekly rotation.

  5. 5 stars
    Can’t believe how quick and easy this recipe is! Perfect for busy weeknights when I need to get dinner on the table fast. And it’s so flavorful too!

  6. 5 stars
    Used homemade salsa for this recipe, and it turned out fantastic! Definitely recommend adding extra cheese for that gooey goodness.