This is an easy dish for a weeknight meal that is full of flavor; sauteed chicken breasts, tomatillo salsa, and Mozzarella cheese combine for Tomatillo Salsa Verde Chicken Breasts.
I didn’t really plan this dish; there was no time spent at the kitchen table wondering what new and hopefully wonderful main course I could make with a couple of chicken breasts that I had thawed. I was very happy to have a container of homemade salsa verde in the fridge and while it is great with chips, I thought a more concerted effort to use it would be nice too.
It took only minutes to decide to combine the two with some melted cheese and a nice handful of cherry tomatoes. I admit that in the back of my head I was certainly inspired by my own recent story about the tomatillo salsa verde; I had mentioned that my daughter had made a chicken dish with it…so I asked her. She couldn’t remember what it was but chicken with the salsa had been on my mind.
Without my homemade Tomatillo Salsa Verde on hand, I would have used a store brand too; I’m partial to the 505 Green Chile Salsa, it’s also made with tomatillos and available in most larger grocery stores.
Very glad I made that decision…this was a real winner. HA; winner-winner chicken dinner right?! I love chicken but most often use dark meat, I’ve preferred it since I was a kid, but I like using chicken breasts for dishes just like this; ones that have a substantial amount of flavor delivered from the condiments and spices used in the making of it.
I loved that this was a one pot dish too. I made it all in my Amazon Basics Enamel Cast Iron Covered Casserole which is really like a frying pan with short handles; it works on the stovetop, in the oven, and as a serving dish. I’ll be honest…I bought this for a second one, my first was a beautiful blue LeCreuset that I ended up giving to my niece.
She coveted a specialty pan like that, I have so many so I sent mine to her after I bought this; and it’s worked just as well (although I do miss it sometimes; it was SO pretty!). For FAR less $$$$ too; always a plus in my book! Lots of colors if white isn’t your thing.
But I’m not here to try and sell you a pan for your cooking, but to sell you on making this dish for your family! Steps are easy enough too…
- Chicken is sauteed in butter and olive oil until brown on both sides; then simmered covered for ten minutes.
- I added the salsa and tomatoes to the pan, topped the chicken with cheese and then covered and cooked it for an additional 10 minutes; check the internal temperature of your chicken and either remove or cook until 165° (the thickness of your chicken is going to have the time vary). Really easy. Really delicious!
I served it on rice with sliced avocado on the side and a dollop of sour cream on top. Honestly in these days of staying home, it was as good as a restaurant meal and made for a pretty plate too.
For most of my life I stayed away from chicken white meat, avoiding the breast on turkey at Thanksgiving too. It took a lot of years and my own experience to figure out the simple reason why. Way too often it is over-cooked. When done to the proper temp it should be moist and tender; letting it cook too long ruins both of those.
Dark meat is different, it is fattier and can take more variation; truth is when I grill or fry dark meat I let it get closer to 175-180° internally; I think that is when the meat is really ‘fall off the bone’ tender; even if there is no bone!
For me a temperature probe is the answer; sure maybe some people can press the flesh of the meat and discern the unique difference between too raw and overdone, but not I! I remember when I bought this and shared on Facebook how much I loved it. A woman had to let me know that I should have bought the pricier Thermapen.
People are funny aren’t they…I bought this because it wasn’t so pricey and it has worked just fine so no, pricier does not always mean better. Maybe with perfume but not a kitchen utensil like this.
This was easy and delicious and even more? I made more than I needed. Sometimes I find myself having the same thing for dinner four nights in a row but sometimes I’m smarter than that and freeze portions for leftovers later. This froze beautifully; I made it last week and thawed a portion last night, made some rice, and had a wonderful and EASY dinner. Don’t you love those?
PIN IT! ‘Tomatillo Salsa Verde Chicken Breasts’
Tomatillo Salsa Verde Chicken with Melted Cheese
A delicious and easy chicken dish with Mexican cheese and tomatillo salsa verde.
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1.5 – 2 lbs. total), cut diagonally in half
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 9-12 slices of Queso de Oaxaca or substitute Mozzarella cheese to cover
- 8 ounces of Green Salsa Verde or try my homemade Green Tomatillo Salsa
- 1 container small tomatoes halved
For Garnish (optional)
- 2 green onions sliced
- Sour cream
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Season chicken with garlic powder, salt and pepper on both sides; place in the hot skillet.
Sear chicken on each side until golden brown (about 4 minutes per side). Cover and let simmer on low for 10 minutes.
Remove the skillet lid and top the chicken with the cheese, add the salsa verde and tomatoes to the skillet, reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for another 10 more minutes or until chicken's internal temperature is 165° F.
Serve chicken over rice; top the chicken and rice with the tomatoes and salsa verde from the pan. Garnish if desired with green onion.