Salsa Fresca Chicken is bursting with bright colors and bold flavors. It’s an easy low carb meal that’s perfect for busy weeknights!
You simply can’t beat this easy Salsa Fresca Chicken Bake for a fresh and flavorful meal. I whipped this one up for our family dinner last week and everyone dove into it with gusto.
And oh my heavens, did it smell good when it was cooking! The succulent chicken, fresh homemade salsa, and melty cheddar cheese send out mouthwatering aromas.
For a family that adores Mexican-inspired flavors, this easy baked salsa chicken was a massive hit. Just like Easy Taco Pie and Mexican Shredded Beef, we plan on making this healthy meal frequently.
Why you will love this recipe
If you love the bold flavors of salsa, you have to give Salsa Fresca Chicken Bake a try. It’s an easy casserole style dish, with everything layered together and baked in the oven.
You simply chop up the chicken, toss with some taco seasoning, smother it with freshly made Pico de Gallo, sprinkle it with cheese, and bake. By cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces, you can simply scoop it into a bowl, grab a fork, and dig in! I highly recommend it served over some Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice.
The whole process takes under an hour. You could prep both the chicken and the salsa earlier in the day and store in the fridge. Then simply assemble the dish and toss it the oven for a streamlined weeknight meal.
You can also adjust the heat to your liking. If you’re not a huge fan of spicy salsa, use less jalapeño or skip it all together. Don’t like cilantro? Leave it out and it’s still a delicious dish.
Best of all, these flavorful chicken casserole has only 3.7g net carbs for a generous helping!
Ingredients you need
- Chicken: I like chicken thighs in this recipe but you could also use breasts. Chop the chicken into pieces about 1 inch across.
- Taco seasoning: I usually use pre-made taco seasoning, but you can also make your own easily.
- Tomatoes: Good fresh tomatoes are a must for this salsa chicken!
- Jalapeño: You can really adjust the heat to your liking. I do the whole jalapeño with seeds for extra heat.
- Onion: A small amount of minced onion adds flavor.
- Cilantro: Salsa Fresca (aka pico de Gallo) usually uses cilantro, but if you’re not a fan, you can skip it.
- Lime juice: A squeeze of fresh lime juice is fabulous in fresh salsa.
- Garlic: Use fresh garlic for better flavor.
- Cheddar: I shredded my own white cheddar for this recipe. But you could also do pepper jack, Monterey Jack, or even mozzarella.
Step by step directions
1. Prepare the chicken: Pat the chicken thighs as dry as possible and cut into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch. In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the olive oil and taco seasoning until well combined. Spread the chicken out in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish.
2. Make the salsa: In another bowl, combine the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. Assemble the casserole: Use a slotted spoon to spread the salsa over the chicken, leaving as much liquid in the bowl as possible. Sprinkle the cheese overtop the salsa.
4. Bake: Bake at 375ºF for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165ºF on an instant read thermometer. Remove and let cool 5 minutes before serving.
Casseroles with lots of fresh ingredients like Salsa Fresca Chicken Bake tend to release a lot of moisture during cooking. To help reduce the moisture, make sure you pat the chicken as dry as you can before chopping it. Also be sure to use a slotted spoon to drain off the extra liquid in the salsa as you spoon it over the chicken.
You will still end up with a fair bit of liquid in the bottom of the pan, but don’t toss it. It’s absolutely delicious spooned up like soup! So much amazing flavor.
If you are short on time, you can use pre-made Pico de Gallo for this recipe. Again, make sure to use a slotted spoon so that you don’t add unnecessary liquid to the pan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Salsa Fresca, also known as pico de Gallo, contains fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper. It differs from regular salsa in that the ingredients are raw, rather than cooked.
Pico de Gallo is an excellent choice for keto diets, as long as you don’t eat it with tortilla chips. Made with fresh vegetables, it has only 2g of carbs per 2 tablespoon serving. Use it as a sauce for chicken or fish, or make a keto taco bowl with cauliflower rice.
This recipe for Salsa Fresca Chicken has 4.8g of carbs and 1.1g of fiber, so it has a net carb count of 3.7g.
More easy chicken recipes
Baked Salsa Chicken Recipe
- 2 lb chicken thighs boneless skinless
- 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 ½ tablespoon taco seasoning
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes remove seeds
- 1 medium jalapeno, minced
- ⅓ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves chopped
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Pat the chicken thighs as dry as possible and cut into bite-sized pieces, about 1 inch.
- In a large bowl, toss the chicken with the olive oil and taco seasoning until well combined. Spread the chicken out in a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish.
- In another bowl, combine the tomatoes, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and garlic. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper. Use a slotted spoon to spread the salsa over the chicken, leaving as much liquid in the bowl as possible.
- Sprinkle the cheese overtop the salsa and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the chicken registers 165ºF on an instant read thermometer. Remove and let cool 5 minutes before serving.