Cheesy Salsa Chicken: Quick Weeknight Dinner Recipe

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Cheesy Salsa Chicken is a perfect weeknight dinner. It’s seasoned chicken cooked in salsa and a special blend of shredded cheese, and it takes about 20 minutes from start to finish.

Served with some veggie sides, and you’ve got a balanced meal that’s great for when you don’t want to do a lot of cooking or cleanup.

Cheesy chicken salsa in a white casserole dish

Many years ago, I published this recipe with the only call for cheese being Colby Jack. I later discovered that a mix of about 2/3 Colby Jack and 1/3 Muenster makes a huge, wonderful difference. Cheesy Salsa Chicken, take 2.

And if you’ve got some extra time, you can make your own homemade salsa!

Seasonings

The recipe calls for the seasonings of your choice. This is because you should use whatever you want. I love putting Tony Chachere’s Creole Seasoning on just about anything.

But with this recipe, I find a blend of Tony’s + some hot paprika is great. You could choose powdered garlic and onion if that’s more your taste. Or herbs de provence. Or dried oregano.

Your spices need to go with the salsa, but most seasonings do.

Substituting Cilantro

Cilantro is perfect for this dish, but I realize it’s one of those strange herbs that literally taste completely different to some people than to others. If you’re in that unlucky 20% of people to whom cilantro tastes like soap, you can leave it out or substitute:

Coriander

Even though coriander is the ground seeds of the cilantro plant, but it’s usually more agreeable to people who hate cilantro. Sprinkle it onto the chicken before cooking rather than over the top after it’s cooked.

Thai Basil

This herb has a similar flavor to what cilantro tastes like to people who lack the gene to taste the soapiness.

Dried Oregano

I could put this on everything. It certainly works either cooked on the chicken or sprinkled on after the fact with this dish.

Parsley

Parsley is similar to cilantro. It imparts a very mild green fresh herbal flavor.

Rounding Out the Meal

This is a great entree, so what about sides? If your goal is to keep things simple, you could cook some frozen corn and add Tajin seasoning to give it some Mexican flair.

Take a look at these pages for more inspiration:

Cheesy chicken salsa in a white casserole dish
Yield: 4 breasts

Cheesy Salsa Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Pan seared chicken with cheese and salsa. This recipe tastes as good as it sounds. The mix of Muenster and Colby Jack makes all the difference.

Ingredients

  • 1 large chicken breast, boneless and skinless (to serve two people)
  • Seasonings (see post)
  • 2/3 cup Shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • 1/3 cup Shredded Muenster cheese
  • Salsa (red, green, hot, mild - whatever you like)
  • Cilantro (or your chosen substitute
  • Optional: sour cream, guacamole and cilantro

Instructions

  1. Cut your chicken into slices about 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Sprinkle seasonings of your choice over the chicken.
  3. Melt a teaspoon of butter in a skillet on medium-high heat, then add the chicken slices. Brown both sides of the chicken - about four minutes on each side.
  4. Cover the chicken with salsa.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer the chicken for 6-10 minutes.
  6. Cover it with the mix of cheese, put a lid on it, turn off the heat and allow the cheese to melt.
  7. Sprinkle cilantro over the top.
  8. Serve it with sour cream, guacamole and cilantro.

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Last Updated:

May 24, 2024