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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  1. 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. 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.

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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!!

  6. Seriously, why do they do that!? Haha! I have thought many times!

    The chicken looks great! I’m always looking for new chicken recipes!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.