Salsa Chicken
Because the average chicken breast tends to weigh several ounces more than the average chicken thigh, I use slightly more seasoning and toppings in the chicken breast option.

Yield: 4 servings
For Chicken Breasts
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon taco seasoning mix (from a store-bought packet or use optional recipe below)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup shredded cheese (sharp cheddar, mozzarella, or a Mexican blend are a few good options*)
For Chicken Thighs
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning mix (store-bought or my favorite homemade option
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
  • Optional toppings: sour cream, chopped avocado, cilantro, scallions, and/or a few crushed tortilla chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F for chicken breasts. If using the chicken thigh option, set the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place the chicken in a lightly greased baking dish that is big enough to comfortably fit the chicken without lots of extra room. Sprinkle the taco seasoning on both sides of chicken, and pour the salsa over all.
  3. Bake the chicken for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the breasts/thighs, or until the chicken is nearly cooked through (internal temperature should read about 155 degrees F at this point). Remove the baking dish from the oven, sprinkle the cheese evenly overtop, and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted and the chicken is fully cooked (internal temperature for fully cooked chicken is 165 degrees F). Serve with optional toppings, as desired.
Notes
  • You can experiment with the cheese and salsa, pairing a spicy pepper jack with a mild salsa or a mild mozzarella or Monterrey jack with a hot salsa—or go all spicy or all mild.
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