Santa Fe Baked Chicken

Santa Fe Baked Chicken

Chicken coated in crushed tortilla chips and baked to a golden brown crispy crunch then topped with salsa and Monterey jack cheese for a zesty kick of Tex-Mex flavor.

The chicken is first coated in light mayonnaise – a trick I learned from Hellmann’s. Not only does it help the tortilla crumbs adhere but it keeps all the succulent moistness of the chicken inside right where it belongs.

This zoomed right to the top of my dinner favorites list! First because it comes together quickly using pantry ingredients for those times when an overwhelming urge for Southwestern food hits me. And secondly because it’s all together better than the sum of its parts.

It’s like chicken covered in nachos. . .

In a totally-delicious-deconstructed-moreish kind of way.

Baked Santa Fe Chicken

Santa Fe Baked Chicken

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Santa Fe Baked Chicken

Tortilla chip crusted chicken with salsa and Monterey jack cheese.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/4 pounds)
coarse salt and fresh black pepper
1/2 cup olive oil or canola mayonnaise
1 + 1/2 cups tortilla crumbs*
1 + 1/3 cups salsa
1 + 1/3 cups shredded Monterey jack or extra sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides with parchment or grease well.
  2. Pound out the chicken breasts between two pieces of saran wrap with a meat mallet until they are a thin, even thickness, about 1/4-inch thick. If they are very large cut them in half. Season well on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. Set up a dredging station with the mayonnaise in a shallow bowl and the tortilla crumbs in another.
  4. Working one at a time coat each chicken breast lightly with mayonnaise, then tortilla crumbs, patting them on with your hands if needed.
  5. Bake about 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165 - 170 degrees F.
  6. Remove the pan from oven and top each piece of chicken with 1/3 cup salsa topped with 1/3 cup cheese. Put the pan back in the oven about 5 minutes until cheese is melted, alternately you can turn on the broiler and broil them about 1 minute until cheese is melted with some golden spots.
  7. *For homemade tortilla crumbs, process 8 - 9 cups tortilla chips in a food processor or put them in a heavy duty plastic bag and pound them out with a meat mallet.


Inspired by Kraft

Copyright ©2013 Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano All Rights Reserved.

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  1. BeadedTail says

    Tortilla chips huh? Brilliant Reeni! My hubby would love this! So would Isabella since she loves tortilla chips and chik-hen! :)

    Moon, we could have cheesecake for dessert too! Purrs, Angel & Isabella

  2. Louise says

    Boy oh boy, Reeni, that’s some good lookin’ chicken. I’ve taken that “trick” from Hellman’s and applied it to cooking on the grill. It works! As you know, I’m a Mayo girl from way back and I will be adding this spicy goodness to my recipe file.

    Thank you so much for sharing…

  3. Tanya says

    This looks so good! A great way to spice up the regular boring chicken dinners. Thanks for the recipe.

  4. Anne ~ Uni Homemaker says

    That’s genius! Especially with chicken breasts, they can dry out easily. I love this idea of coating the chicken with some mayo to keep it moist. Looks absolutely delicious Reeni. Thanks for sharing this with us and have a great week!

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