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Baked queso chicken with tomatoes is an easy, cheesy, delicious chicken dinner that takes just 30 minutes to cook. The best weeknight dinner. |

Baked Queso Chicken

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Marinate Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings


Baked queso chicken with tomatoes is an easy, cheesy, delicious chicken dinner that takes just 30 minutes to cook. The best weeknight dinner. 


  • 4 chicken breasts (about 2 lb. total), skinless and boneless 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • jalapeño, diced (optional)
  • 2 cups queso sauce, homemade or store-bought
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro (for garnish)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange oven rack on the top shelf.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. In the same skillet, add onion, tomato, and jalapeño and sauté until soft, about 2-3 minutes.
  5. 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).
  6. Bake on the top rack of the 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.
  7. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with cilantro lime rice, crusty bread, or over pasta if desired.


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, 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.

  • Category: Chicken
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Mexican

Keywords: baked queso chicken, queso chicken bake, baked chicken with queso, how to use leftover queso, queso chicken