Cheesy Salsa Chicken Skillet
Tender chicken breasts topped with salsa, sautéed sweet bell pepper, and melted cheese make a fast and easy chicken skillet dinner filled with flavor.
The idea for this easy chicken skillet dinner was inspired by a recipe I saw in the newspaper years ago.
The original was a microwave version with just three ingredients – turkey cutlets topped with jarred salsa and shredded cheese. Never being a fan of microwave cooking, I used to make it in a skillet as a quick lunch.
This new, and much improved version calls for boneless chicken breasts, sweet bell pepper, garlic, scallions, cilantro and shredded Monterey Jack cheese.
It's still a fast, easy recipe, but the rich flavor of this dish bears little resemblance to that original version.
If you have a little extra time and are so inclined, try making this recipe with our Easy Homemade Salsa. The bright, fresh flavor is worth it.
- 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 lbs)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 to 3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium sweet bell pepper (red, orange, green or combination)
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup salsa, store-bought or homemade
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth (or water)
- 1 cup finely shredded Monterey Jack or Mexican blend cheese
- 1 to 2 scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- If necessary, remove the tenderloins from the chicken breasts and reserve them for another use, then place the breasts between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and pound them to an even thickness of about 1/2-inch.
- Once pounded, cut the chicken into 8 evenly sized pieces. Season on both sides with salt and pepper and sprinkle lightly with dry breadcrumbs. Use the back of spoon to rub them in a bit to be sure they adhere. (Note: You're not trying to bread the chicken. The crumbs help the chicken to stay tender and add a a bit of toasty flavor too.)
- Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and coat the bottom with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Cook the chicken for 1 minute per side, transfer to plate and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil, then reduce heat to medium and add the onion. Sauté until slightly softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
- While the onion cooks, remove the core and seeds from the pepper and cut it into 1/4-inch strips. Add the pepper to the pan along with the garlic and continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes longer, then stir in 1/4 cup of the salsa.
- Push the pepper mixture to the sides of the pan and pour the chicken broth in the center. Return the chicken to the pan in a single layer.
- Spoon equal portions (about 1 tablespoon) of the remaining salsa on top of each piece of chicken and top each with about 1 tablespoon of the shredded cheese.
- Cover the chicken with the pepper mixture and scatter the remaining cheese on top. Cover the pan and simmer for 3 minutes until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.
- Scatter the scallions and cilantro over the top, plate individual portions and serve.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 497 Total Fat: 26g Saturated Fat: 9g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 134mg Sodium: 747mg Carbohydrates: 18g Fiber: 3g Sugar: 8g Protein: 49g