One Pan Taco Chicken Bake

When I stumbled upon this One Pan Taco Chicken Bake recipe, I was looking for something that could bring a bit of the vibrant Mexican taco night into our weekday dinners without the mess and fuss. This dish, with its savory, spicy flavors and ease of preparation, was an instant hit in my household. The aroma of taco seasoning mixed with the bubbling cheese and tangy salsa made for an irresistible dinner that had my family asking for seconds. It was not only a delightful meal but also a wonderful way to enjoy the essence of tacos in a form that’s hearty and comforting. Here’s a detailed guide to creating this simple yet flavorful dish.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 taco seasoning packet
  • 1 1/2 cups salsa
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, sliced


  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and lightly coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Spread 1/2 cup of salsa evenly at the bottom of the dish and arrange the chicken breasts on top.
  3. Evenly sprinkle the taco seasoning over the chicken breasts, then pour the remaining 1 cup of salsa over them.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar and pepper jack cheese over the chicken and return to the oven for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
  6. Garnish each chicken breast with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of sliced green onions before serving.

Nutrition Facts

Servings: 4 Calories per serving: Approximately 350 calories

Preparation Time

Total preparation and cooking time: 45 minutes

Additional Tips

  1. Customize the Salsa: Depending on your preference for heat, you can use mild, medium, or hot salsa. For a chunkier texture, opt for a chunky salsa variety.
  2. Cheese Varieties: Feel free to experiment with different types of cheese. Monterey Jack or a Mexican blend can offer a new flavor profile.
  3. Serving Suggestions: This dish pairs wonderfully with a side of rice, quinoa, or a simple green salad for a complete meal.
  4. Leftover Makeover: Leftovers can be sliced and served in tortillas as tacos for lunch the next day, giving the meal a delightful second act.
  5. Marinade Option: For even more flavor, consider marinating the chicken breasts in the salsa and taco seasoning mix for a few hours or overnight before baking.

FAQ Section

Q1: Can I use chicken thighs instead of breasts? A1: Absolutely! Chicken thighs can be a juicier alternative to breasts. Just adjust the cooking time as needed, as thighs may cook a bit faster depending on their size.

Q2: Is this recipe gluten-free? A2: Yes, as long as the taco seasoning packet and salsa you use are gluten-free, this recipe should be safe for those with gluten sensitivities.

Q3: Can I make this dish ahead of time? A3: You can prepare the chicken with the seasoning and salsa in the baking dish a day ahead. Just cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to bake.

Q4: How do I know when the chicken is fully cooked? A4: The safest way is to use a meat thermometer. Chicken is done when its internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).

Q5: Can I add vegetables to this dish? A5: Yes, adding vegetables like bell peppers, onions, or zucchini can make this dish even more nutritious and colorful.

Q6: What if I don’t have taco seasoning? A6: You can make a simple homemade blend with chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano, paprika, ground cumin, and salt.

Q7: Can this recipe be made in a slow cooker? A7: Yes, you can easily adapt it for a slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours, adding the cheese in the last 30 minutes.

Q8: Is this dish spicy? A8: The spice level largely depends on the taco seasoning and salsa you choose. Adjust according to your preference.

Q9: Can I freeze this dish? A9: Yes, you can freeze the baked chicken for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat in the oven or microwave.

Q10: How can I make this dish low-carb? A10: This recipe is already fairly low in carbs. For an even lower carb option, use a sugar-free salsa and serve with a side of vegetables instead of rice or quinoa.

This One Pan Taco Chicken Bake offers a delicious, fuss-free way to enjoy the flavors of a taco night with minimal cleanup. Its versatility and ease of preparation make it a perfect dish for busy weeknights or whenever you’re in the mood for something flavorful and satisfying. Give it a try, and it might just become a new favorite in your dinner rotation.