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. Lisa says

    This exceeded my expectations. Just realized we fixed this Mexican inspired dish on Cinco De Mayo, with mayo. It’s the little things. One word, OLE!

  2. Diana says

    All of my ravenous boys loved it. I halved the mayo with some greek yogurt and added some cumin and chives to it before dipping in the crumbs. Amazeballs. :-)

  3. Char says

    Your recipe calls for 1/2 of oil, but I don’t see it any where in the directions as to where to use it? What is the oil for?

    • Reeni says

      Hi Char! It’s 1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise! Or canola oil mayonnaise! Any mayonnaise you have on hand will work fine!

  4. Andrea says

    Hi. I’m thinking of making this for my husband… Any suggestions for side items? He doesn’t like rice or bean. Help please.

  5. Elizabeth Hansen says

    Baking chicken breasts for 20 minutes truly isn’t long enough. 40 minutes is better for killing salmonella bacteria that naturally occurs on raw poultry. Also, the recipe does not state if the tortilla chips are plain or seasoned like Doritos. Could you please tell us about that? Thanks….I want to make this dish soon!

    • Reeni says

      Hi Elizabeth! 20 minutes is long enough if you pound them out with a meat mallet and make them thin – it also helps tenderize them! That’s what I usually do – I don’t know why I omitted that info from the recipe – that’s a mistake on my part. Tortilla chips – plain corn tortilla chips – my favorite brand is Santitos – they have the best flavor.

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