One-Pan Salsa Chicken

We were fortunate to not have significant amounts of leftovers from Christmas dinner. I guess it would have been nice to have enough that we could have had it again today, but it was so good that almost everything was eaten. That being said I really didn’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen today. I wanted to spend time with my girls playing with their new toys and with my husband since he was off of work, so last week I made a big batch of Salsa Chicken for days just like this.

There are versions of this recipe all over the internet these days. Most of them involve a crock pot, which I don’t own. I did until recently, but several months ago I tossed mine after a long streak of crock pot fails. I just got tired of forcing my family to eat food that I had made in it that none of us liked, or worse, wasting the food and throwing it out. I’m not made of time or money and I felt that the crock pot, a contraption that is supposed to save me both, was not on my side. So after a particularly less than satisfying dinner, it went straight into the trash. I didn’t even wash it.

And I haven’t looked back, until I thought about this recipe. This was one meal that I used to make in the crock pot that was actually good and super easy, so I decided to give it a try in the oven. The good news is that its just as easy and tastes just as good. The only negative is that you can’t leave it cooking all day and come home to find dinner ready. I’m not going to leave you hanging, though. This is so easy to prepare in advance and refrigerate to eat later in the week or make a huge batch, like I did and freeze for quick meals over the next month or so. When you warm it up, just make sure you do so on the stove. It only takes about 10 minutes from frozen in a covered sauté pan. That time and washing the pan is completely worth it so you don’t end up with rubber microwaved chicken.

One-Pan Salsa Chicken

Serves 8

Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1 red onion
1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cup frozen corn, you don’t even need to defrost it
1 24 oz jar of salsa (mild, medium, hot is up to you)
shredded cheese for serving

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 400. Place chicken breasts in 9×13 baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cumin. Cut the onion in to wedges and place between the chicken breasts. I like to add these in larger chunks and cut it up after it cooks so the onion retains some texture and the beautiful purple color, but you can go ahead and cut them up if you want.

Add the black beans, frozen corn and finally cover everything with the salsa. Bake for about 45 minutes. It may take a little longer if your chicken breast are really thick.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Shred the chicken in the pan, cut the onions, and mix with the black beans, corn and salsa. Here is where you can freeze for later if you want. It’s not very pretty in the pan, but it tastes good!

If you’re ready to eat, divide into bowls, top with shredded cheese and enjoy!