This Southwestern Baked Chicken is one of my go-to weeknight meals. It is both wholesome and ridiculously delicious, yet takes just ten minutes of hands-on time. You are going to love how easy it is to make ahead so that dinner is ready to pop in the oven at the end of a busy day. This recipe does have a kick to it thanks to the jalapeno, garlic, and onion, but lends itself easily to adjusting individual portions for picky little ones.
Southwestern Baked Chicken Backstory
Although many people say that they feel a letdown when the holidays are over, I adore this time of year.
There is such a sense of renewal.
I love this time to refocus on my goals and redefine what is important to me.
One of the biggest goals that I have for our family this year is to get and stay healthy.
Although I always try to eat well, last year was not the best year for me in this regard. Things were crazy and too often I found myself reaching for what felt like the easy way out.
I know many of you are right there with me.
Often, these choices left me feeling not my best. And, I felt like I wasn’t true to what I knew was right for myself and my family.
This year, I’m determined to get back on track. This is an achievable resolution and one I’m committed to sticking to.
In the kitchen, I plan on keeping things simple, like with this Southwest Baked Chicken recipe.
I have a soft spot for anything with Southwestern flavors, and this Baked Southwestern Chicken is just about the perfect weeknight meal. It works well with a side of rice or cauliflower rice. Alternatively, you can keep it lower in carbs and serve it with a simple green salad.
If I’m in the mood for something rich and creamy, I’ll often drizzle this with a little sour cream. It is just the right balance for the heat of a jalapeno.
It is so fast and easy to throw together, leaving you time to spend with the family while it is cooking in the oven.
(Or lock yourself in the bathroom. Depending on what type of day it has been.)
Frequently Asked Questions:
I recommend taking it out when it is about 160 degrees, which is 5 degrees shy of the recommended temperature. This is because the temperature will continue to rise as it sits in a hot pan, and taking it out a touch early will ensure that it is not overcooked.
I would cook it for 30 to 35 minutes.
Yes, it can be prepped up to one day ahead of time and cooked just before serving.
Tips for Making This Recipe:
- If you have time, salt the chicken the day before and let it sit overnight covered in the refrigerator. The salt will denature the proteins and help the breasts to retain more moisture when cooking. (Yay to no more dried out chicken breasts!)
- Invest in an instant-read thermometer so that you never have to worry about whether your chicken is done. According to the USDA, the chicken should be at least 165 degrees F.
If You Like This Southwest Baked Chicken You May Also Like:
Southwestern Baked Chicken
Southwestern Baked Chicken
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 ounces shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tomatoes sliced thin
- 1 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 6 cloves garlic sliced thin
- 1 jalapeño sliced thin
- 1 lime juiced
- Cilantro for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- In a small bowl, mix together onion powder, chili powder, smoked paprika and sea salt.
- Place chicken in a baking dish and brush with olive oil. Sprinkled evenly with spice mixture.
- Sprinkle with cheese and top with tomatoes, onion, garlic and jalapeño.
- Bake for 25 minutes, until cooked through.
- Squeeze lime juice over chicken and garnish with chopped cilantro and green onions.