Spicy Salsa Verde Chicken

A bright, refreshing and spicy salsa verde chicken recipe for when you need dinner quick.

You know that moment when you’re standing at the cash register with your wallet open awaiting change, grabbing all your grocery bags, trying to dig your keys out of your pocket and simultaneously putting your gloves back on because it’s 8 degrees outside and then the cashier goes to hand you your change and does that thing where she puts the change on top of the receipt and shoves it in your hand all together?


Spicy salsa verde chicken

I mean, she’s a she. She has a wallet. She knows how they work. Bills in one compartment, change in another and receipts (if you’re ocd like me) in another or at least shoved into your bag, not your wallet. With all my hands occupied, how the hell am I supposed to easily take that mess and put it away quickly? And I totally wouldn’t mind standing there for a minute to put it all in it’s proper place but then you have the next customer in line breathing down your neck as he vies for the check out spot before you can even say “thanks” to the cashier who just put you in this predicament to begin with.

salsa verde

That all happened the other day at the store buying the ingredients for this salsa. Except this time the change went flying all over the bagging area and the floor and I just couldn’t contain my frustration. So while I tried to pick it all up I said something along the lines of “why does everyone DO THAT?” to which the poor cashier looked at me like I was nuts with a completely lost expression on her face. So of course I felt the need to clarify myself, “Why do all cashiers hand you your change on top of the receipt? You realize how awkward that makes it for me trying to put it away in my wallet? Try giving people the change in one hand and the bills & receipt in another. I swear you’d make people’s lives easier.”

No response, just a baffled expression.

And then guess who was all up in my face before I could even turn to leave? Mr. Must Get to the Checkout Spot Now behind me.

salsa verde chicken

Moral of this story? There’s two.

1. I’m crazy

2. See the lengths I go to just to share a kickin’ spicy green salsa chicken dish with you? It’s fresh, bright, spicy and pretty much everything this horridly cold weather is not right now. It’s exactly what I was craving and even worth the “incident”.

Spicy Salsa Verde Chicken

Spicy Salsa Verde Chicken

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

A bright, refreshing and spicy salsa verde chicken recipe for when you need dinner quick.


  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed
  • 1 cup cilantro, packed
  • 1/2 cup parsley, packed
  • 1/2 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 small shallot ,chopped
  • zest of 1 lime
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice (fresh is best)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts
  • extra virgin olive oil for grilling


  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in a blender.
  2. Blend until pureed.
  3. Combine chicken breasts with half the salsa mixture in a large bowl, toss to coat, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, up to overnight.
  4. Heat a stove top grill pan (or outdoor grill if it's not 8 degrees where you are) over medium heat and grease with extra virgin olive oil.
  5. Place chicken breasts on grill pan and cook for about 5-7 minutes per side or until chicken is cooked through. This will depend on how thick your chicken is.
  6. Once cooked through, remove from grill pan and spoon remaining salsa over the top of each chicken breast.
  7. Serve with a lime wedge and garnish with cilantro.


Please leave a comment & rating below or share a photo on Instagram and tag @runningtothekitchen



    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      so true. Unfortunately my ghetto little asian produce store doesn’t have that option and it’s the one place I go to multiple times a week!

  1. Alicia @ energEAT

    I totally understand! I work as a cashier at a pizza restaurant and my boss trains us to always put the change in the customer’s palm FIRST! It’s more old fashioned and that way the coins don’t go flying everywhere! So you’re not crazy. Or at least, I’m crazy too.

  2. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers

    I understand! I end up shoving my recipe and money in my coat pocket oat the bottom of my purse. But look at it this way, sometimes I forget the money is there and one day I pull a 5 out of my pocket! Yah! Anyway the chicken dish sound perfect! I love it and I have to give it a try! I love me some spicy chicken!!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I’m so scared I’m going to lose money if I shove it in pockets! I found a $20 in the back pocket of my jeans the other day (after they had gone through the wash) because when I was wearing my wrist brace for those 2 weeks, I just couldn’t do it all at the check out line. Instead of being happy about finding it, I was all crazy that I “almost lost $20!” haha.

  3. Emily

    You are so right. Wallet/purse organization is key to a sane life, and it’s frustrating when people make things more difficult.

    This is a great recipe–I make a variation (basil + cilantro + onions) that does not have jalepenos or lime. I’m going to try it your way. This chicken is great to heat you up in the cold!

  4. Iulietta

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who gets irritated at the change-on-top-of-the-receipt mess. I have to awkwardly slide the change from the receipt into the zippered change pocket that inevitably ends up everywhere BUT the change pocket and then squish the wad of paper in with the dollar bills until I can fix it later.

    And the sauce sounds fabulous, btw.

  5. Alicia

    A few things:

    1) amen to the stupid change-on-receipt problem.

    2) my other pet peeve? when people suck at counting back change.

    3) at least you don’t live in California where you now have to either pay 10 cents for a bag, remember a reusable bag, or simultaneously juggle receipts/change/a purse full of groceries because you may be forgetful when it comes to reusable bags, but you’re also stubborn (cheap?) and won’t pay for one.


    also, now I’m STARVING because that looks delicious.

  6. Kari@Loaves n Dishes

    Oh Gina…I just let them wait behind me. Not only do they have to wait for me to put the money in my wallet, but the bills need to face the right way and be in numerical order.
    On to the yummy chicken, love the salsa verde, I could slap it on all kinds of stuff!

  7. Melissa @ Melissa Running It

    This was great. Just great. I don’t think I’ve even been out in 8 degree weather, but I feel your pain. And I want this for dinner. We’re out of chicken. Hmm, maybe I’ll go buy some and have an angry outburst at the register. That would be awesome.

  8. Melinda

    Oh how I HATE the change on top of the receipt! Especially if I’m in a drive-through window where all the change can fall between their window and my car. As for the person that jumps in and has to take over the spot at the register (which seems to happen so often while I’m bagging my groceries) I have on more than one occasion asked the person if they were going to pay for my groceries and then enthusiastically thanked them for their generosity. Wonder how many of them start waiting their turn after that…

    This recipe looks awesome! Can’t wait to try it.

  9. Maria @ Pappa Don't Preach

    If you’re crazy, then I am too! I know EXACTLY what you’re referring to! I feel that every time I check out – it’s a challenge. GO! Give the self check out a shot, then it’s real challenge! Scanning, bagging, and maneuvering your purse, cart, etc. #thatshitcray

    This recipe looks amazing!! I’ve been craving spicy food lately and this sounds perrrrfect!!

  10. Alison

    Totally agree about the change on top of reciepts/money thing! I noticed that became more common about five years ago, wonder if it’s a training thing? If so, it’s an ass-backwards way to do things. When you go to put everything away, the coins slide right off the reciept onto the floor. Ugh.

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  12. Anna Alexander

    I made this recipe last night for dinner and it was incredible. I thought of you when the cashier handed me my $$ and change with the receipt when I bought the ingredients to this receipt.

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  14. Cinnamon @ eatpraytri

    I have asked myself that same question ever since I first bought things. It is one annoyance that I will NEVER understand. I have had that exact same thought before, “the buy things…they know how annoying this is..so why do they still do it???” ARGH!!!

    1. Running to the Kitchen Post author

      I can’t get over how many of us hate this stupid little thing they do and yet they all still do it!

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  16. Janine

    I think there are a lot more serious things in life to get so frustrated and angry about…. The change thing isn’t THAT big of deal.

    1. Gina Matsoukas Post author

      Indeed there are. Today’s events at the Boston Marathon are quite indicative of that. However, last time I checked this was my blog and not a news site where I can write about whatever I want. If you want to read about more serious things, I suggest you look elsewhere.

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