Soooo we went a little bit crazy with Pumpkin Palooza! We got so excited that we made more recipes than we planned and so here is the bonus one for you! Oven Baked Pumpkin Salsa Chicken simply drips with the goodness of cheese and salsa!
The chicken is crispy from being pan fried on the stove top for a few minutes before placing it in the oven, so it doesn’t even have the same texture of the slow cooker version we made. The prep time on this one (if you have the Chunky Pumpkin Salsa ready) is under 15 minutes. You can knock several things off your to-do list while this cooks in the oven and makes your house smell divine!
We don’t talk too much about entertaining here on savorandsavvy.com because we know you are all busy. Welp! This is going to be one of the few times that I can say “invite those friends over” and present this chicken to them. You don’t have to spend hours preparing it, you won’t be left in the kitchen working over the hot pans while everyone else is laughing in the other room. NOPE! You popped it in the oven and poured a glass of wine. 🍷 It’s gorgeous and delicious and it’s also why when we accidentally tried this out and we were standing in our kitchen going “hey now…what just happened here??” It was so good it deserved a spot on the blog!
This doesn’t take away from the Slow Cooker Pumpkin Salsa Chicken at all! They are two completely different kinds of recipes in my head, don’t you think? When I think of when I need a Slow Cooker recipe, my mind immediately goes to thinking busy nights. No time. Rush. Crazy. Eat while standing up. Frenzied nights. You probably can relate!
There is a reason we all love our slow cookers as they solve that problem for us. We can have homemade meals and not frozen corn dogs! Blech. With the Oven Baked Pumpkin Salsa Chicken, there is a bit more time to make a salad or side dish. You are probably going to eat sitting down as well. Ha!!
Now that you invited friends over, let’s cook this up!
You’ll be ready for fall, and the aroma of this chicken cooking will have your mouth watering. The ingredients are lovely together, and this filling meal is easy to make. Here are the main ingredients in the dish:
Chicken Breasts – I love making this dish with chicken breasts. They are easy to work with, and you don’t have to worry about bones. You can also use boneless skinless thighs too. The way it tastes is incredible no matter which cut you choose.
Chunky Pumpkin Salsa – My homemade chunky pumpkin salsa is a drool-worthy combination of pumpkin, tomatoes, corn relish, garlic, onion, and green chilies.
Cheese – Any sliced cheese will work, but we typically use provolone. You could go with mozzarella, cheddar, or even Colby Jack to change the flavors a bit. Cheese is the perfect way to finish the dish.
If you haven’t done so, make up a quick batch of the Chunky Pumpkin Salsa! Make this ahead of time and store in the fridge as you can keep it for up to two weeks. Then, pull it out as you want to make this!
Step One: Start by pan frying four chicken breasts on medium high heat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Step Two: Once they are almost toasty brown on both sides, pour half of the Chunky Pumpkin Salsa into a casserole dish. Lay out the chicken breasts on top and pour the remaining Chunky Pumpkin Salsa on top. Cook at for 25-35 minutes. Sprinkle cheese on top and place back in the oven for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley and serve.
** Since writing this, I was at Lidl and saw the Corn Salsa which made me realize you could easily substitute Lidl Corn Salsa for the corn relish. You are looking for the corn “punch” that is packed full of flavor to help make this! Think Food Network’s Sandra Lee for putting an official name to that concept that I love.
🍲 Meal Prep
These are great to meal prep! There are two big options for you!
- Make sure you either make the pumpkin salsa beforehand or you have it purchased.
- Precook the chicken. If you choose this option, make sure to fully cook your meat and then when you put it in the oven, you are simply heating it all up and melting the cheese. This will take about 20 minutes is all.
If you do these two options, you can just dump and go at this point.
🍗 Related Recipes
One Pan Cranberry Chicken Thighs are so good and should be given the honor of serving to guests. The cranberries are delish and tart with the mild chicken in the background all done in one pan!
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken is a staple in quick and easy crockpot meals! This one is so versatile that you can serve over rice, in tortillas for tacos or use the meat to roll up into enchiladas!
Oven Baked Pumpkin Salsa Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 Chunky Pumpkin Salsa made in the link
- 4 slices cheese we used provolone
- 2 tbsp parsely fresh, chopped
- Preheat oven at 375 degrees.
- Make sure there to have a batch of the Chunky Pumpkin Salsa (or Pumpkin Salsa of your choice) before starting.
- Heat stove top to medium high and place large saute pan on hot stove top. Allow to heat up 3-4 minutes. Pour in the 2 tbsp of olive oil and it should smoke. Place the 4 chicken breasts on the hot oil and cook for 4-7 minutes each side.
- While the chicken is cooking in the pan, pour 1/2 of Chunky Pumpkin Salsa in a baking dish.
- When chicken has been browned on both sides (it will not be finished cooking), place on top of the salsa. Top with remaining salsa. Bake for 25-35 minutes at 375 degrees.
- Once the internal temerature of the chicken has reached near 165 degrees. Top with the cheese of choice and cook for an additional 5 minutes so cheese has a chance to melt and become gooey. Removce from oven.
- Sprinkle chopped parsley on top of chicken and serve over rice, noodles or on its own.