Cheesy Chicken Avocado and Salsa Bake

by Emily Kemme
cheesy chicken salsa bake

Raise your hand if you’ve been cooking your heart out since March 2020 or thereabouts. In fact, if you want to, raise both hands. Because even though states began relaxing their stay-at-home orders a few months ago, many of us venture out to eat at a restaurant infrequently, if at all. Like me, you’re probably beginning to wonder if being wedded to your range is one part of the “new normal” that promises to last the entire stretch of the pandemic.

Some nights it’s fun to challenge your cooking skills and try a new recipe, one with step-by-step instructions and measurements that require a lot of cups and spoons, not to mention that you have to pay attention to precision. Other days, the thought of take-out beckons once again. Instead, step away from DoorDash and throw together this easy cheesy chicken salsa bake. All you need to dress it up is sliced avocado, your favorite jarred salsa, and a generous sprinkling of mixed, shredded cheese.

To keep chicken breasts moist, start them off in a hot oven sprinkled with salt and pepper to taste. I like setting the oven at 400℉ to sear the outside and keep juices intact. Roast the chicken for 20 minutes and then pull it out of the oven and top with salsa, strips of avocado, and a liberal sprinkling of shredded cheese.

Follow the easy steps and let hunger guide your measuring. All you’ll need for tools are a 9″ x 11″ baking dish and a paring knife.

Cheesy Chicken Avocado and Salsa Bake How-to’s


  • 4 boneless chicken breasts, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ lengths
  • 1 jar of your favorite chunky salsa
    • Note: chunkier salsa holds up its consistency during cooking better than a runnier salsa. Other than that, experiment with flavor combos to create different textures and finishes. In the mood for sweet heat? Design your dish around Sting N Linger’s Raspberry Chipotle, Pineapple, or Prickly Pear salsa. If eye-watering hot is your ideal balance alongside creamy avocado, the Arizona company’s Habañero salsa is the one. That’s the coolest thing about no-recipe cooking. There are no rules.
  • Desired handfuls of mixed, shredded Mexican cheese
  • Mexican crema or sour cream for drizzling
    • Note: if you’ve never tasted it, check out Cacique Crema Mexicana. You can find it in most large grocery stores. With a consistency of pourable créme fraîche, it’s table cream with tantalizing heft. Drizzle it over the baked chicken immediately before serving for a beautifully decorated plate. If you are serving steamed corn on the cob, pat with butter and drizzle the corn with Cacique Crema for a decadent mouthful! It’s just another way to elevate this super easy dish.

The How-to’s:

Preheat oven to 400℉.

Spray baking dish with cooking spray, if you like, to prevent sticking and allow for easy cleanup. Place chicken breasts in dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Bake chicken uncovered for 20 minutes. Using oven mitts, remove baking dish from oven. Pour salsa on top of chicken, then layer strips of avocado. Sprinkle generously with shredded cheese and return baking dish to oven. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, until chicken registers at least 165℉ with an instant read thermometer and cheese is evenly melted.

Serve immediately drizzled with Crema Mexicana alongside steamed summer corn and a green vegetable.

Serves 4. Doubles easily.

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