Last Minute Dinners: Salsa Chicken (and a Mexican Coleslaw)

01-20-10 096-1 Looking for something quick, easy and delicious to throw together for a last-minute dinner? This Salsa Chicken has been the answer to many of my “Oh no! It’s 5 o’clock already! What am I going to cook tonight?” dilemmas.

Simply brown some chicken breasts (generously seasoning with garlic powder, cumin, and chili powder).

01-20-10 080-1 Mix together a jar of taco sauce or salsa with just a little cocoa powder and cinnamon and pour over your chicken. (since there is a lot of sauce with this dish, I use a mild or medium variety of taco sauce/salsa) Cover and cook about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in some chopped cilantro.

Top with cheese – Provolone is my favorite, but I also use Swiss, cheddar or Muenster if I don’t have any provolone.

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Let the cheese melt and serve with rice. We like Vigo brand “Yellow Rice”, a mild saffron flavored Spanish rice.

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And if you are organized enough to plan ahead for this dinner, this Mexican Lime & Cilantro Coleslaw goes really well with it:

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The coleslaw goes together really quickly if you use a prepackaged coleslaw mix. The pre-planning just comes in the grocery shopping part.


Salsa Chicken

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4-6 chicken breasts, trimmed
1 Tbs oil
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 ½ cups taco sauce or salsa
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/8 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbs (or more) chopped fresh cilantro
4-6 slices Provolone or Swiss cheese

Heat oil in skillet; add chicken. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder (I don’t usually measure these spices; I just sprinkle them on both sides of the chicken). Cook until chicken is browned on both sides. Combine salsa, cocoa, and cinnamon. Pour over chicken. Cover and cook about 10 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in cilantro.

Just before serving, top each chicken piece with a slice of cheese. Cover and let cheese just begin to melt. Serve over rice (our favorite is Vigo brand “Yellow Rice”, a Spanish saffron flavored rice).

Mexican Lime & Cilantro Coleslaw

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1 bag coleslaw mix
5 green onions, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup mayonnaise
2 T fresh lime juice, (about half of a large lime)
red or green Tabasco sauce to taste (I use 5 “shakes”)
½ tsp salt (or to taste)
½ tsp fresh ground pepper (or to taste)

Combine coleslaw mix, green onions and cilantro.

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Mix dressing into cabbage mixture.

Serve immediately, or chill for a few hours.

Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen


1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes, Side Dishes

One response to “Last Minute Dinners: Salsa Chicken (and a Mexican Coleslaw)

  1. What a fantastic meal!! This is MY kind of dinner.


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