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

Spicy salsa verde chicken
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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?


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”.

More chicken recipes like this to try

Salsa chicken is a cheesy version of this dish that uses jarred salsa, cheese and corn to create a comforting meal that couldn’t be easier to make.

Air fryer frozen chicken breasts can be substituted for the grilled chicken in this recipe and topped with the salsa verde.

Pecan crusted chicken is another easy way to liven up some chicken for dinner with an easy crunchy coating and delicious honey mustard sauce to drizzle on top.

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5 from 1 vote

Spicy Salsa Verde Chicken

Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 1 hour
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 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


  • Combine all ingredients except chicken in a blender.
  • Blend until pureed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Once cooked through, remove from grill pan and spoon remaining salsa over the top of each chicken breast.
  • Serve with a lime wedge and garnish with cilantro.


Serving: 1SERVINGCalories: 147kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 25gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 73mgSodium: 139mgPotassium: 556mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1297IUVitamin C: 23mgCalcium: 36mgIron: 1mg

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

Additional Info

Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: Mexican
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. Oh that’s perfect. (the chicken). You’d set yourself on fire if you saw my wallet and purse, hahaha!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 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!

  6. 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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. I was in the very same predicament yesterday. This is why I almost always try for self checkout when it’s available. This chicken looks like such a healthy and delicious weeknight meal!

    1. 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!