Quick Hit: Baked Cheddar Chicken with Salsa and Brown Rice

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Another installment in the “Quick Hit” recipe series.  This time I present to you a speedy chicken recipe that is perfect for a busy weeknight.  Whenever I am craving Mexican food but want something lighter, quicker and admittedly, less authentic, I throw this meal together.  It satisifies my craving for a little bit of sweet heat and sour cream.  This recipe calls for guajillo chile powder – see note about Guajillo Chile Powder here.  Since this is a Quick Hit recipe, I also suggest using your favorite jarred salsa.  However, if you have a few minutes to spare, I recommend using this Roasted Tomatillo-Chipotle Salsa – the recipe is about halfway down the page.  Either way, this meal is fast, simple and delicious.  Sometimes, that’s all you want and need.



Quick Hit: Baked Cheddar Chicken with Salsa and Brown Rice

  • Prep time:
  • Cook time:
  • Total time:
  • Yield: 2
  • Difficulty: easy


  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground guajillo chile powder – see note above
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1/2 pound half each)
  • 1/2 cup medium or hot salsa – see note above
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag boil-in-bag brown rice
  • Sour cream to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

  2. Prepare rice per package instructions, set aside and keep warm.

  3. Add first seven ingredients (brown sugar through dry mustard) to a bowl and whisk well to combine.  Rub about 1/2 of this spice mixture onto the chicken breasts.  Place chicken an 8 x 8 pan that has been lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

  4. Add salsa to remaining spice mixture and stir well.  Pour salsa and spice mixture over chicken and spread about evenly.

  5. Roast in oven for 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese onto chicken.  Place back into oven for another 5 minutes or until chicken is done.

  6. Serve chicken over rice, drizzled with any sauce remaining in pan.  Top with sour cream.

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