Baked queso chicken is the easy, cheesy, delicious chicken dinner you’ve been looking for. Seared chicken breast is topped with sautéed onions and tomatoes and a generous amount of creamy queso. The best part? This flavorful tender chicken takes just 30 minutes to cook, which make it the perfect dish to make when you are short on time or energy. Hello new favorite weeknight dinner! Plus, it's seriously the best way to use up any leftover queso.
Why You’ll Love Baked Queso Chicken
- It's so easy to make. This chicken recipe is so easy to make, and one that is great for beginners to try too. a perfect one to try for beginners too. perfect for novice cooks. Whether you’re feeding a whole family or just cooking for one or two, baked queso chicken will save you time and energy.
- Simple ingredients. Not only is this an easy to dish to make, but you only need some simple ingredients including chicken, olive oil, tomatoes, onion, and queso. And if you have your spice rack stocked, then you likely won't have to run out to by any extra spices for the chicken marinade.
- Seared and baked. For baked queso chicken, you’ll need to sear your chicken in a cast-iron skillet before popping it in the oven. The combination of searing and baking adds deep flavor, gives the chicken a slightly charred texture, and ensures they are cooked through but not overcooked or dry. It's the perfect combo.
To make easy and delicious baked queso chicken, you will need the following ingredients:
- chicken breasts
- chicken marinade - made with olive oil cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano (or Italian seasoning), salt, and pepper.
- olive oil
- jalapeño - optional for extra spiciness.
- queso - you can use homemade Mexican queso or store-bought, whichever is easier! I love making homemade queso and using leftovers for this dish.
- fresh cilantro - for garnish.
How to Make the Best Baked Queso Chicken
- Marinate the chicken. In a large ziploc bag, combine chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and all seasoning including cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Press air out of the bag and seal tightly. Press the seasoning around the chicken to coat. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes, up to overnight in the fridge.
- Sear the chicken. When ready to cook, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast-iron skillet for 2 minutes over medium-high heat until the hot oil sizzles. Sear the chicken breasts until nicely browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Once done, transfer onto a plate.
- Sauté aromatics. In the same skillet, add onion and tomato and sauté until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble. Return the chicken to the skillet and top with sautéed onion and tomato. Spread queso sauce evenly over each chicken breast. (If you don't have a cast-iron skillet, use a 9x13-inch casserole pan).
- Bake. Bake on the top rack of a 400F preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until fully cooked through and queso turns golden brown. The internal temperature for the chicken should reach 165F as read on a meat thermometer.
- Serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with cilantro lime rice, crusty bread, or over pasta if desired.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
- How to serve: Some people might be happy eating this baked queso chicken on its own, but others will want to pair it with something. You can serve this dish over cilantro lime rice, pasta, salad, potatoes, or your favorite vegetable side dish. You can also eat it with toasted bread or tortillas for major dunking into that delicious sauce. Another option is to shred the chicken after baking for an easy-to-spread chicken queso that you can eat with tortilla chips. So good!
- How to store: Allow the chicken to cool to room temperature. Then, transfer into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
More Skillet Chicken Recipes
- Skillet Chicken Fajitas
- Chicken Marsala
- Creamy Lemon Parmesan Chicken
- Lemon Chicken Piccata
- Chicken Parmesan (Parmigiana)
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.