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

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  1. Heather says

    This looks delicious! Its baking in my oven right now, and I can’t wait to serve it! I added about a 1/2 layer of enchilada sauce in the dish prior to baking, just to add a little moisture and extra flavor – it smells amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

  2. Doris says

    A Mexican Parmigiana! I will surely make this over the weekend. Have a great evening!

  3. Wendy says

    So often, Reeni, I read your posts in the morning and find out what I will be cooking for dinner that night! This chicken looks easy and delicious! Great for a busy weeknight and all of the ingredients are sitting in my pantry (or fridge) already! Quick question about the mayo coating. Can you taste the mayo at all in the finished chicken? My son dislikes the flavor of mayo and I am wondering if I should coat his chicken in something else. Thanks!

    • Reeni says

      Hi Wendy! That’s so cool! I love hearing that – thank-you! You can’t taste the mayo at all but you could always use beaten eggs instead!

      • Wendy says

        Everyone love this, Reeni! You were correct about the mayo. My mayo hating son had no idea there was mayo in this recipe and simply enjoyed his tender chicken. I even made this for my veggie daughter using a tofu “chicken” fillet.

      • Reeni says

        Thank-you Wendy! I’m glad your son liked it! I love the idea of making it with tofu too. Have a good weekend!

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