You just line a baking dish with chicken breasts, pour over plenty of salsa verde, bake, sprinkle with some cheese, bake some more, and presto wham-o you're there. Serve over rice to absorb the sauce.
This recipe is so easy, it's surprising how good it is!
Use Jarred or Homemade Salsa Verde
If it's not the season for fresh tomatillos to make the salsa verde from scratch, it is easily available jarred (look for it in the salsa section, or Mexican food section, of your grocery store). Thankfully with our ginormous tomatillo harvest this summer, we have plenty home canned in the pantry.
Many thanks to my dear friend Bruce, who came up with this recipe and urged me to give it a try. It's perfect for a midweek meal. Enjoy!
Try It With Chicken Thighs or Tenders
Try this with chicken tenders, which will bake up more quickly. Or, use skinless chicken thighs, which will take a little longer to bake but have even more flavor. (Chicken should reach 165 ºF on a meat thermometer.)
Salsa Verde Chicken in the Slow Cooker
Try this tip from commenter Nichole: Add the chicken and salsa verde to a slow cooker and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours. Shred the chicken, place it back in the crock, cover with cheese, and cook for 15 to 20 minutes more. She serves it over rice and says it's "delicious!"
Use Rotisserie Chicken for a Shortcut
Here's a shortcut tip from commenter Emily: Use cooked rotisserie chicken breast. Put a little salsa verde at the bottom of a casserole dish, place the chicken breasts on top, and top with the remaining salsa verde. Top with cheese. Bake at 350ºF for about 20 minutes, or the chicken reaches 155 ºF, on the middle rack. Move the dish to the top rack for 10 more minutes to brown the cheese, making sure the chicken has reached 165 ºF.
Since the chicken is already cooked, we suggest covering the dish with foil for the first 20 minutes of this shortcut so it doesn't dry out.
More Easy Southwestern Dinner Recipes!
- Twice Baked Southwestern Sweet Potatoes
- Cheesy Taco Pasta
- Santa Fe Pork and Black Bean Stew
- Creamy Cheesy Turkey Enchiladas
- Arizona Cheese Crisp
Salsa Verde Chicken Bake
While the chicken is cooking, prepare some rice or quinoa to serve with the chicken. The recipe produces a lot of sauce which will go well with the sides.
You could easily make this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well. You may need to cook them just a few minutes longer than the breasts.
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 (15-ounce) jar (1 3/4 cups) tomatillo salsa verde
4 ounces Monterey jack and/or pepper jack cheese, grated (1 1/4 cups)
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, optional
Preheat the oven:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut the chicken breasts and place them in the dish:
Cut the chicken breasts into halves.
Line a 1 1/2- to 2-quart casserole baking dish with the chicken pieces. Try to cover the bottom as completely as you can with the chicken.
Cover with the salsa verde:
Cover completely. There should be no exposed chicken or it will dry out.
Bake the chicken:
Bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes. If you have a meat thermometer, use it. The chicken should be removed from the oven when the internal temperature of the breast meat reaches 150°F.
Worried about taking the chicken out at 150°F? No problem — it goes right back into the oven to finish baking in the next step.
Increase the heat, top with cheese, and return to oven:
Increase the oven heat to 400°F. Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken, and return to the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes, enough time for the cheese to melt and the sauce to get bubbly.
Remove from oven. Serve immediately. Spoon over cooked rice or quinoa. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips for crunch if you would like.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 16g||20%|
|Saturated Fat 7g||36%|
|Total Carbohydrate 7g||2%|
|Dietary Fiber 2g||7%|
|Total Sugars 4g|
|Vitamin C 13mg||65%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|