I Just Discovered 10-Minute Salsa-fied Chicken Breast and It’s a Total Dinner Game Changer

Did we mention you only need one skillet?

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February 10, 2020


Photo by: MSPhotographic


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Raise your hand if your go-to chicken breast dinner recipe is stir-fry. Same. That’s because it’s so darn easy and takes just a few minutes to pull together. But does anyone else get sick of bell peppers and onions sometimes? One can only eat so many green bell peppers, ya feel? Okay, deep breaths. What’s in order is some new inspiration for those go-to chicken breasts.

That’s where salsa-fied chicken comes in. I discovered it by accident one night when I opened up my fridge/pantry and I all really had was chicken breast, leftover takeout rice, a jar of salsa and some shredded cheese. (Hey, it happens to the best of us.)

So what did I do? I chopped up that chicken and sautéed it in a skillet, dumped in the jar of salsa and the rice, and simmered until the salsa and rice were warmed through. Then I sprinkled it with cheese, which melted. Boom, salsa-fied chicken. At the time, of course, I didn’t realize it was called salsa-fied chicken, but after poking around on the Internet, I realized that this dish is a thing. There are recipes for it because others agree that cheesy salsa-coated chicken and rice is brilliantly delicious and easy to make (although I don’t think you need to follow a recipe).

The whole dinner truly took 10 minutes. A pet-peeve of mine is when a recipe is called “10-minute blah blah blah,” and you read it, and realize that the total time clearly doesn’t include washing and chopping ingredients. Lies! But salsa-fied chicken is not a lie. Because if you think about it, there’s very little chopping; really, it’s mostly dumping and stirring.

If you don’t happen to have leftover rice, you could absolutely tear open a package of instant rice and add that – just make sure to add some water too and simmer the rice until it’s cooked — follow the liquid volumes and cooking times on the back of the package.

Really, there are endless ways to customize. Are you the type of person who must eat veggies? Throw in a handful of pre-washed spinach to wilt. Found a can of beans in the cupboard? Add that, too. Using up leftover big-game tortilla chips or flour tortillas or cornbread? Serve them on the side. Love toppings? Garnish with guac, sour cream, diced red onion, cilantro, lime wedges. You get the picture: The name of the game here is the path of least resistance to a great dinner.

Here, a quick blueprint for salsa-fied chicken that’s not quitea recipe because, as I mentioned, this dinner is so easy you don’t reallyneed one.

Salsa-fied Chicken

Level: Easy - Total: 10 minutes - Active: 5 minutes - Yield: Varies


Boneless, skinless chicken breast

Salt and pepper

Olive oil

Jarred salsa

Cooked rice or instant rice

Shredded cheese (around 1/2 cup)


  1. Chop up the chicken and season it with salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until cooked through.
  2. Dump in the salsa and the rice (and any other optional add-ins you’d like, such as spinach or canned beans) and simmer until everything is warmed through.
  3. Top with cheese; if you’d like to get fancy add some guac and serve with tortilla chips or tortillas or cornbread.

Kick up your chicken dinner with this salsa, from Chicago-based Mexican food expert Rick Bayless.

Buy It

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