Quick and Healthy Santa Fe Chicken

Santa Fe Chicken baked in a blue casserole dish.

On the look out for a good chicken breast recipe? This Quick and Healthy Santa Fe Chicken meal is a super easy dinner idea that’s perfect for your family, but also works great if you’re feeding a large group.

Seasoned chicken breasts are surrounded with colorful bell peppers and purple onion, topped with a good sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Fast, easy, delicious….and a healthy, low fat meal.

Quick and Healthy Santa Fe Chicken Recipe

Santa Fe Chicken on a white plate.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We?? 🙂

Chicken is kind of a treat for us around here since we raise beef cattle. Our freezer is always stuffed with all kinds of beef cuts, so that’s what we eat primarily.

Chicken provides us some variety and I really like that. Plus, it cooks quickly so I can get dinner on the table in a flash.

A couple of my family’s favorite chicken meals are Alma June’s Crescent Roll Chicken Bundles and Cast Iron Chicken Marsala. I also like Instant Pot Low-Carb Tuscan Chicken.

If you’re looking for a Mexican meals that include chicken, give Chicken and Bacon Black Bean Enchiladas and 6-Ingredient Baked Chicken Tacos. Ole!

What to love about this recipe –

  1. Tons of flavor and color.
  2. A hearty meal, yet low in fat and carbs.
  3. Feed a family or feed a crowd – this chicken recipe is easily doubled or tripled!

Which ingredients do I need to make Santa Fe Chicken?

  • Chicken breasts, thin cut, or sliced in half horizontally if super thick
  • Olive oil
  • Spices: Chili powder, cumin, kosher salt, pepper
  • Sweet bell peppers – red, orange, yellow, or green
  • Red onion
  • Diced green chilies
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

How to make this baked chicken casserole in 5 easy steps –

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  2. Place the chicken breasts onto the baking sheet; drizzle with a bit of olive oil, then season with the spices. Bake, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of each chicken breast is 160-165 degrees F.; keep warm. Don’t overcook or your chicken will be dry and chewy!
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, preheat 1-2 Tbs. olive oil over medium high heat; when the oil is hot, add the bell peppers and onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened but still vibrant in color; toss with the lemon juice and green chilies.
  4. Top each chicken breast on the baking sheet with the vegetable mixture, then top with cheese.
  5. Return the chicken to the oven for 3-5 minutes, or just until the cheese has melted. Serve at once.
An overhead shot of a white plate loaded with a serving of Santa Fe Chicken

Common Questions Asked About This Recipe

Which tools are helpful for making this chicken breast recipe?

  • You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet and a skillet for this recipe. I love to use my 12-inch Lodge cast iron skillet for just about everything that I cook on my stove top. Cast iron is inexpensive and it’s heavy so it holds the heat well and cooks evenly. And, they last forever!
  • If you want to pound out the chicken breasts so they are thinner (and cook more quickly), a good mallet is super handy. When and if you need to trim some fat from your chicken breasts, a good pair of kitchen shears work the best.
  • I really like silicone spatula spoons for stirring ingredients. Once you get used to using this tool, you’ll have a really difficult time ever going back to using a mixing spoon or wooden spoon. My favorite brand of silicone spatula spoons is Le Cruset and they last forever. Love all their colors, too – so dang pretty!

What should I serve with Santa Fe Chicken?

We usually have Mexican rice, seasoned black beans with corn, warm flour or corn tortillas, and salsa.

Can I substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the chicken breasts in this recipe?

Yep and I do so all the time. I love boneless, skinless chicken thighs since they are much more juicy than breasts and also a whole lot cheaper at the grocer.

Baked chicken santa fe casserole in a bright blue baking dish

If I want my chicken breasts to be thinner so they cook faster, how should I do that?

You can use a mallet to pound out a chicken breast so it’s thinner, OR, you can take a nice, sharp knife and slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally.

Either way, you’ve just turned your chicken breasts into chicken cutlets and they will definitely cook much more quickly.

What’s the best way to pound out a chicken breast with a mallet?

Place the chicken breasts, one at a time, in a gallon freezer bag. Using the smooth side of the mallet, proceed to pound of the chicken breasts until it’s the thickness you desire. Use your other hand to feel the breast at you’re pounding it out so you know exactly where you need to pound.

The freezer bag keeps all the splatter inside the bag instead of all over your counter. If you don’t own a mallet, you can always slice the chicken breasts in half horizontally, no problem.

How do I take the internal temperature of the chicken breasts?

  • Use an instant-read thermometer to test the internal temperature. Since chicken breasts are rather thin, it’s best to insert the thermometer from the side, making sure you go to the center of the breast.
  • After you’ve inserted the instant-read thermometer, you’ll see that after about 10-15 seconds, the dial will stop moving, indicating that’s the internal temperature of the chicken. The ideal and safe internal temperature for cooked chicken breasts if 160-165 degrees F.
  • Keep in mind that instant-read thermometers are not designed to remain in the food while it is cooking but rather used near the end of the estimated cooking time to check for the final temperature.
Santa Fe Chicken Breasts topped with colorful bell peppers.

More Favorite Recipes to Enjoy

Printable Quick and Healthy Santa Fe Chicken Recipe –

Santa Fe Chicken baked in a blue casserole dish.

Quick and Healthy Santa Fe Chicken

On the look out for a good chicken breast recipe? This Santa Fe Chicken recipe is a super easy dinner idea that's perfect for your family, but also works great if you're feeding a large group. Seasoned chicken breasts are surrounded with colorful bell peppers and purple onion, topped with a good sprinkle of cheddar cheese. Fast, easy, and delicious!
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 368kcal

Ingredients

  • 6 medium boneless skinless chicken breasts may substitute 8-10 boneless skinless chicken thighs, if desired
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, seeds and membranes removed, thinly sliced (red, orange, yellow, or green)
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 4 oz. can diced fire-roasted green chilies
  • 2 Tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese for topping, as desired

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    Coat a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick spray.
  • Place the chicken breasts onto the baking sheet; drizzle with a bit of olive oil, then season with the spices.
    Bake the chicken breasts, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of each chicken breast is 160-165 degrees F; keep warm.
    **Don't overcook or your chicken will be dry and chewy!
  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, preheat 1-2 Tbs. olive oil over medium high heat; when the oil is hot, add the bell peppers and onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables are softened but still vibrant in color; toss with the lemon juice and green chilies.
  • Top each chicken breast on the baking sheet with the vegetable mixture, then top with cheese.
    Return the chicken to the oven for 3-5 minutes, or just until the cheese has melted. Serve at once.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Southwestern, Tex Mex
Keyword: cheesy, chicken, dinner idea, easy

Nutrition

Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 51g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 147mg | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 995mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1703IU | Vitamin C: 59mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

Yum!!! You can never go wrong with bell peppers , onion and cheese!!!!!

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