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, carb-free 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, that’s very low in carbs, 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.
Cheesy Salsa Chicken Skillet
Tender chicken breasts topped with salsa, sautéed sweet bell pepper and melted cheese make an easy chicken skillet dinner that’s low in carbs, yet filled with flavor.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 25 minutes
- Yield: 4 servings
- Category: Main Dishes
- Cuisine: American
- 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
- Olive oil
- 1 medium sweet bell pepper (red, orange, green or combination)
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3/4 cup mild or medium 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 olive oil. Cook the chicken for 1 minute per side, transfer to plate and set aside.
- Add a bit more olive oil if needed, 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.
Recipe Keywords: skillet chicken, easy chicken recipe