You’ll love Santa Fe Chicken, with Tex-Mex seasoned baked chicken breasts and a crushed tortilla chip crust, salsa, avocados and Pepper Jack cheese!You'll love Santa Fe Chicken, with Tex-Mex seasoned baked chicken breasts and a crushed tortilla chip crust, salsa, avocados and Pepper Jack cheese!Anyone out there love a good Tex-Mex kick to their chicken? We sure do, which is why this Santa Fe Chicken tastes fantastic!

This easy to prepare dinner dish features baked, seasoned chicken breasts with a crushed tortilla chip coating. the chicken is covered with salsa, melted Pepper Jack cheese, and avocados! Can you say “YUM”???!

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! My husband and I loved the flavor of the finished Santa Fe Chicken, and I hope you will, too!

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How To Make Santa Fe Chicken

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). These crumbs will be the coating for the chicken, so you want them to be in small pieces.  Place the crumbs onto a dinner plate, and set it aside.

Crushed tortilla chips ready to coat Santa Fe chicken.


Prepare The Chicken

Season the boneless chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and a light sprinkling of cumin and garlic powder.

NOTE: 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. You can place the chicken breasts (one at a time) between two pieces of plastic wrap to do this, which will help minimize splatters. If you are using very large chicken breasts like I did, slice them horizontally in half (then no need to pound them).

Chicken breasts, lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and spices are used to make Santa Fe Chicken.
Coat each piece of chicken on both sides with mayonnaise – I know… weird, right? The mayonnaise helps keep the chicken very moist as it bakes. It also holds the tortilla chip crumbs onto the chicken! I was able to use my homemade mayonnaise to do this, which is why it has a slight yellow hue in the photo below.

Mayonnaise is brushed onto seasoned chicken breasts, to coat

Dredge each chicken breast in the tortilla chip crumbs on BOTH sides. You can use your fingers to help pack down the crumbs, if necessary.

Santa Fe chicken breasts are dredged in crushed tortilla chips, to coat.

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

Chicken breasts with tortilla chip topping in white baking pan

Bake The Santa Fe Chicken

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

Baked Santa Fe chicken breasts are topped with salsa after baking.

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

Grated Jack cheese is added to the salsa on top of Santa Fe chicken.

This is how it looked, right when it came out of the oven. Not sure if you’ll agree with me or not, but I think Santa Fe Chicken looks like a Tex-Mex version of Chicken Parmigiana!

Santa Fe Chicken with melted jack cheese out of oven.

Serving Santa Fe Chicken

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

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

Santa Fe Chicken, garnished with avocado slices and cilantro and ready to eat!

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.

If you’re looking for additional chicken recipes with a Southwestern taste, you might want to check out my recipes for Chicken Enchilada Mole Casserole, Chili’s Chicken Enchilada Soup (a copycat recipe), or a delicious Layered Chicken Enchilada Casserole. I have LOTS of chicken recipes (of all kinds) on this blog. You can find them all, listed in the Recipe Index at the top of the page.

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Recipe Adapted From:

0 from 0 votes
Santa Fe Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins

You'll love Santa Fe Chicken, with Tex-Mex seasoned baked chicken breasts and a crushed tortilla chip crust, salsa, avocados and Pepper Jack cheese!

Category: Entree
Cuisine: Southwest
Keyword: Santa Fe chicken
Servings: 4 servings
Calories Per Serving: 691 kcal
Author: JB @ 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 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 tortilla chips by processing them in a food processor (or in large plastic sealable bag using a meat mallet or rolling pin) until they are small crumbs. Place crumbs onto 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, 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 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 oven for 20-25 minutes. When done, chicken should have reached 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. Remove from oven. Serve chicken with a garnish of avocado slices and chopped cilantro. Enjoy!

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. Caloric calculation does NOT include avocado garnish.

Nutrition Facts
Santa Fe Chicken
Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
Calories 691 Calories from Fat 405
% Daily Value*
Fat 45g69%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 116mg39%
Sodium 1283mg56%
Potassium 781mg22%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 37g74%
Vitamin A 830IU17%
Vitamin C 3.3mg4%
Calcium 380mg38%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Here’s one more to pin on your Pinterest boards!You'll love Santa Fe Chicken, with Tex-Mex seasoned baked chicken breasts and a crushed tortilla chip crust, salsa, avocados and Pepper Jack cheese!



Santa Fe Chicken

4 Comments on Santa Fe Chicken

  1. 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!

    • 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!

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