Baked Queso Chicken will be your new favorite weeknight meal! It’s not only QUICK and EASY, but delicious. With just a few ingredients and a special tip, you’ll have moist and tender chicken on the table with almost no effort.
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Are you looking for something to fix for dinner that doesn’t take much work and uses just a few ingredients. Queso Chicken is going to be you’re new “go-to” recipe when you can’t come up with something for dinner. Or maybe it’s your turn to cook during vacation and you want to find a meal that everyone will love without putting in too much effort.
With just six ingredients you’ve got a fabulous dinner that both kids and adults will love. While I enjoy experimenting with a ton of ingredients and making dishes with lots of steps, this is not one of those recipes. You basically just dump everything into a casserole dish and bake. A couple of things will help make this dish stand out. Start out by marinating your chicken.
How to make TENDER chicken breasts:
All you need is buttermilk and 30 minutes, overnight is even better for tender and juicy chicken. Just pour the buttermilk over the chicken in a ziplock and let it do it’s magic. I learned this from my mother-in-law who makes the best fried chicken in the South. Since buttermilk is slightly acidic, it tenderizes the chicken without making it tough and helps break down the protein. Once it’s marinated, rinse the buttermilk and pat the chicken dry.
Don’t have buttermilk, no worries, just add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar to a measuring cup and add 1 cup of milk. Let it sit for 5 minutes and now you’re set.
What is Queso?
Queso is a Mexican cheese but it is also short for chili con queso which translates into chili with cheese. It is the creamy dip you see in most Mexican restaurants. You can make your own with Velveeta and Ro-tel tomatoes or add some chorizo for a spicy queso dip. If you have a few minutes, then make homemade queso with American cheese, for the absolutely best queso around.
But for this recipe I used a prepared queso from the grocery. I like to use a good quality queso like Leigh Oliver’s, that uses white American cheese and nothing artificial. You can find it in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods. Fresh Market also carries prepared queso in their refrigerated section. If you have some leftover, queso is great drizzled over grilled chicken or beef tacos.
If you can’t find queso dip in the refrigerated section, then use a jar of queso dip that you can find in the chip section of the grocery.
How do you make queso chicken
Step 1: Marinate the chicken in buttermilk. On those nights when I haven’t planned ahead and marinated the chicken overnight, I’ll cover it with buttermilk the minute I walk in the door and let it sit for 30 minutes. Then just rinse and pat dry.
Step 2: Place the chicken in a baking dish and sprinkle the chicken with taco seasoning.
Step 3: Drain and then pour Ro-Tel Tomatoes over the top, cover with queso and top with grated cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes depending on how thick the chicken breasts are. A meat thermometer should read 165º.
You can put this together in less than 10 minutes. The tomatoes and queso combined with the juice from the chicken make a fantastic sauce that’s great over rice or pasta, or serve with a baked potato and pour the cheesy sauce over the potato!
If you don’t have taco seasoning, don’t worry, it’s just a combination of chili powder, cumin, oregano, and onion and garlic pepper. For this dish, just sprinkle some chili powder and cumin on the chicken breasts. Here’s a fabulous recipe for taco seasoning mix you can make at home.
Why you have to try Queso Chicken?
- Super tender chicken breasts
- A cheesy Tex-Mex flavored sauce that is great with rice or pasta
- ONLY 10 minutes to prepare
- On the table in 35 minutes start to finish
- Everyone will love it
What are you waiting for!
FAQ’s and tips
Start by marinating for at least 30 minutes in buttermilk
Add a tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to a 1 cup measuring cup and fill with milk. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Chop up a fresh tomato and a jalapeno pepper
The best queso is found in the refrigerated section where the cheese or fresh salsa is located. You can also use the queso that is found on the potato chip aisle.
If you need more ideas for quick and easy dinners, give some of these recipes a try:
- Lemon Chicken Penne a light and fresh pasta dinner.
- Parmesan Crusted Chicken Fingers because who doesn’t love chicken fingers!
- Baked Apple Pancake for nights when you want breakfast for dinner.
- Go Tex-Mex with Chicken Enchiladas .
- Have left over turkey, then try Spicy Hot Browns.
Still in the mood for chicken, you’ll love these
- Roasted chicken with dates
- Chicken meatballs
- Tex-Mex chicken and rice
- Taco grilled chicken
- Chicken galette
- Chicken tamale pie
- Peach and chicken taquitos
- One pan chicken
- Slow cooker chicken
- Nut crusted chicken
- 1 cup Buttermilk
- 4 boneless chicken breast
- 2 teaspoons taco seasoning
- salt and pepper
- 10 ounces Ro-Tel tomatoes and chilies
- 1 cup queso 12 ounces
- 1 cup pepper jack and cheddar cheese shredded
- Place chicken in ziplock bag with buttermilk and let sit overnight or at least for 30 minutes. Drain, and pat dry.
- Preheat oven to 375º.
- Sprinkle chicken with taco season and salt and pepper. Place in a glass baking dish.
- Drain tomatoes and chilies and place half on chicken, cover with queso and place the rest of the tomatoes on top. Cover with grated cheese mixture.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes, until instant thermometer reads 155º. They will continue to cook once removed from the oven.
Barbara’s Tips + Notes
- For tender chicken marinate in buttermilk for 30 minutes
- If you don’t have Ro-tel tomatoes, chop fresh tomatoes and a jalapeno
- You can find queso in the refrigerated section of the grocery or on the potato chip aisle
- This is great served over rice
If you make Queso Chicken, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Above all, I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I would love to see your creation.