Santa Fe Chicken

Anyone out there love a good Southwestern kick to their chicken? I sure do, which is why this Santa Fe Chicken tasted fantastic! This easy recipe features baked seasoned chicken breasts, a crushed tortilla chip coating, covered in salsa and Monterey Pepper Jack cheese! Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe is very simple to prepare. I used two large chicken breasts and cut them horizontally in half, which gave me 4 thin chicken breasts, for 4 servings! I loved the flavor of the finished chicken, and I hope you will, too! Here’s how you prepare this simple recipe:

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.  Finely crush tortilla chips in your food processor (or crush in a sealable plastic storage bag, using a rolling pin or mallet to crumble). This will be the coating for the chicken, so you want it to be in small pieces.  Place crumbs on a dinner plate. Set aside.

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and a light sprinkling of cumin and garlic powder. If using whole chicken breasts, be sure to pound out the chicken with a mallet until it is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick, If using large breasts as I did, slice them horizontally in half (then no need to pound them).

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Coat each piece of chicken on both sides with mayonnaise (I know… weird, right? Yet the mayo helps keep the chicken very moist as it bakes! I was using my homemade mayonnaise, which is why it has a slight yellow hue).

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Dredge each piece of chicken in the tortilla chip crumbs on BOTH sides. Use your fingers to help pack down the crumbs, if necessary.

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray, then place the coated chicken breasts in the pan.

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Bake the chicken, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes (or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees). I baked mine for 25 minutes. When done, remove pan from oven. Top each piece of chicken with salsa. I used the homemade salsa I canned last summer!

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle the grated Monterey Pepper Jack cheese on top of the salsa. Place the chicken back into the oven and continue cooking for 5 more minutes (until the cheese is melted).

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

This is how it looked, right out of the oven. (I think it looks like a Tex-Mex version of Chicken Parmigiana)!

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

To serve, garnish each piece of chicken with a couple slices fresh avocado, and some chopped cilantro.  Garnishing the dish is optional, but it adds additional flavor AND beautiful color!

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

That’s it! See how easy it is to whip up this delicious dinner for 4? I really believe you will love the Tex-Mex flavor (and the amazing tortilla chip crust) on these baked chicken breasts! Sure hope you will give them a try… I KNOW I will be making these again!

Have a wonderful day, and may you KNOW today just how much you are loved by the One who created you! May God bless you in all you do today…

Santa Fe Chicken / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:

Santa Fe Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Baked chicken breasts with a Southwestern flavor featuring a crushed tortilla chip crust, Salsa, and Monterey Pepper Jack cheese!
Category: Entree
Servings: 4 servings
Author: JB at The Grateful Girl Cooks!
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 2 large breasts, cut in half horizontally!)
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Cumin (to sprinkle on chicken breasts)
  • Garlic powder (to sprinkle on chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (can substitute olive oil, if necessary)
  • 1 + 1/2 cups tortilla chip crumbs (chips processed in food processor or pounded in plastic sealable bag)
  • 1 + 1/3 cups salsa
  • 1 + 1/3 cups grated Monterey Pepper Jack Cheese (may substitute sharp cheddar)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 ripe avocado , peeled and thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a casserole dish with non stick spray (or use parchment paper on bottom of pan).
  2. Finely crush the tortilla chips by processing them in a food processor (or in a large plastic sealable bag using a meat mallet or rolling pin) until they are small crumbs. Place crumbs on a dinner plate. Set aside.
  3. If using 4 chicken breasts, pound them down to about 1/4-1/2 inch thickness by placing them between sheets of plastic wrap. Use a meat mallet to pound them out. If using 2 large breasts, just cut them in half horizontally (no need to pound them down thinner). Lightly season each piece of chicken with salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic powder.
  4. Spread mayonnaise onto both sides of each piece of chicken (one at a time), then dredge mayonnaise coated chicken in the tortilla chip crumbs, turning to coat both sides. Use your fingers to press on additional crumbs, if necessary.
  5. Bake chicken (uncovered) in 400 degree F oven for about 20-25 minutes. When done, chicken should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  6. Remove pan from oven. Spoon salsa over top of each chicken breast, followed by grated Pepper Jack cheese. Place chicken back in oven for an additional 5 minutes, until cheese has melted.
  7. Remove from oven. Serve with a garnish of avocado slices and chopped cilantro.
Recipe Notes
To thinly slice avocado... cut in half, remove seed. Run a large spoon under and around avocado half and remove entire half of avocado in one piece. Thinly slice.




4 Comments on Santa Fe Chicken

  1. Nancie
    June 3, 2016 at 11:47 AM (2 years ago)

    Came across your recipe an it sounded so good! My husband and two grown sons, loved this chicken recipe as did I. As my husband said, “This chicken recipe tastes as good or better then any resturant!”. That made me so happy! Thank you for your post!

    • jb
      June 3, 2016 at 1:11 PM (2 years ago)

      Thank you so much for taking the time to tell me, Nancie! We really enjoyed this chicken recipe, as well! We also have two grown sons. Often they ARE the true judges of which recipes are keepers or not. Ha Ha! Glad you enjoyed it!

      • Nancie
        June 6, 2016 at 12:51 PM (2 years ago)

        You made me LOL, cause, you can understand where I’m coming from with two grown sons!!!
        Back looking for another of your recipes.

        • jb
          June 6, 2016 at 6:40 PM (2 years ago)

          Absolutely!!! Ha Ha!


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