Salsa-Marinated Chicken

This quick and easy marinated chicken can be baked or grilled to brighten any of your favorite Mexican dishes.
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We absolutely love Mexican food. It has some of our favorite flavors and dishes and always makes for a fun night of cooking. One thing that we have learned with making so many different Mexican dishes is that a flavorful and moist chicken is essential. Our Salsa-Marinated Chicken recipe brings together the light and fresh flavors of salsa and lime juice with some of our favorite Mexican seasonings to add a hint of heat.

Salsa-marinated shredded chicken in a serving dish
Here’s how to marinate chicken in salsa for deliciously juicy and flavorful results:
  1. Add your favorite mild, medium, or hot salsa to a bowl with chicken tenders. We love using Pace picante sauce for this marinade!
  2. Season with lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, and sea salt.
  3. Stir to combine and fully coat the chicken, then let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before cooking.

Whether this salsa chicken is baked or grilled, it will surely create the perfect base to your meal. This chicken can be used in many of our favorite Mexican dishes, such as our Chicken Burritos Ranchero and Shredded Chicken Tacos. Or if you’re not in a Mexican mood, it makes for a light meal served with your favorite veggies and some bread!

We hope that you enjoy this salsa chicken recipe as much as we do. Let us know in the comments what your favorite dish is to prepare with Salsa-Marinated Chicken!

A serving dish of shredded salsa-marinated chicken

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5 from 3 votes

Salsa-Marinated Chicken

This quick and easy marinated chicken can be baked or grilled to brighten any of your favorite Mexican dishes.
Servings 4 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes


  • 1 lb raw chicken tenders
  • 1 cup salsa*
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp ground red cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • Sea salt


  • Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir well to combine.
  • Let the chicken marinate for about 20 minutes at room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a large baking sheet with foil.
  • Transfer chicken tenders to the baking sheet.
  • Bake until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.*
  • Slice or shred and use in dishes like our Chicken Burritos Ranchero or Shredded Chicken Tacos, or pair with our Cilantro Lime Rice for a delicious dinner!*


Salsa: Use your favorite salsa for this recipe! We use Pace Picante (we know, it’s not technically salsa…) and it cooks into the chicken beautifully.
Baking the chicken: Baking times will vary based on the thickness of your chicken pieces. Cut open the thickest piece to check for doneness and cook longer if necessary.
Serving suggestions: This chicken tastes great in any Mexican-inspired dish, or on its own with a side of rice and veggies! We love using it for burrito bowls with Mexican-Style Rice or Cilantro Lime Rice and as a filling for our Shredded Chicken Tacos and Chicken Burritos Ranchero!
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Author: Alex
Calories: 157kcal
Course: Dinner, Ingredients, Lunch, Main, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: cayenne, chicken, chicken tenders, cinco de mayo, cumin, garlic, kashmiri chili powder, lime juice, mexican, onion, paprika, salsa


Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 643mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 550IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 32mg | Iron: 1mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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Join the Conversation

  1. Abbi Passero says:

    5 stars
    This is the best chicken marinade ever! So simple but packed with flavor. Plus we always have a jar of salsa in the fridge so no more needing to buy taco seasoning. We used this chicken for burrito bowls.

    1. So happy you liked it! This chicken is perfect for burrito bowls, we make those all the time 🙂

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