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Santa Fe Chicken

Grilled boneless chicken breasts covered in a creamy Southwestern Sauce, topped with a Black Bean-Corn Salsa, tons of cheese, and crispy tortilla strips. It’s spicy, delicious, and maybe the perfect southwestern chicken dish.

Santa Fe Chicken


Do you have any cookbooks that you’ve flipped through a million times, ogling the pictures and recipes, but for one reason or another you’ve never actually made anything from it? That’s been the case with me and Southern Living Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous Cookbook.

Santa Fe Chicken

It spotlights dining establishments from around the southeast and features 1-3 recipes from each place. They’re the kind of places that are a joy to stop at on a road trip. The cookbook has lots of fabulous pictures not only of the foods, but of the restaurants themselves plus scenic photos from around the south.

Sometimes I get a little nervous making recipes from restaurants because they tend to cook in such huge quantities and the recipes aren’t always scaled down that accurately for the home cook.

Santa Fe Chicken

But this recipe for Santa Fe Chicken from Rosie’s Cantina in Huntsville, Alabama is fabulous. I’ve never been to Huntsville, but if I go, I will definitely be dining at Rosie’s Cantina.

The Southwestern Sauce with mayonnaise, sour cream, red bell pepper, cayenne pepper, a few more seasonings, and rice vinegar is what makes this dish so creamy and delicious. The rice vinegar, something I don’t really associate with southwestern cooking, gives just a hint of tang to the sauce and it is wonderful.

And who can resist a Black Bean-Corn Salsa? I’ve added more salsa than the recipe calls for and then it almost becomes an all in one meal. You can crumble some tortilla chips on top, but I really recommend frying (or baking) up your own. Just cut flour tortillas in strips and fry in vegetable oil for a few seconds. Or coat with cooking spray and bake in a hot oven until lightly browned.

Santa Fe Chicken

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Santa Fe Chicken

Santa Fe Chicken

A creamy and spicy south western chicken dish with black bean-corn salsa.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 18 minutes
TOTAL: 33 minutes


Southwestern Sauce

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper, cayenne
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded Provolone cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • Tortilla Strips, I make my own by cutting flour tortillas into strips and frying in vegetable oil
  • 1/2 avocado, diced

Black Bean-Corn Salsa

  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper


  • Prepare Southwestern Sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate.
  • Prepare Black Bean-Corn Salsa. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat (or use a grill pan). Brush chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Grill chicken 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until done.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased baking dish. Top each breast with 1/3 cup Southwestern Sauce, 1/2 cup Black Bean-Corn Salsa, and 1/4 of the cheese.
  • Bake for 7 to 8 minutes of until cheese melts.
  • Serve with tortilla strips and avocado.


Calories: 872kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southwestern

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Recipe Source: adapted from Southern Living Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous

Santa Fe Chicken

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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14 thoughts on “Santa Fe Chicken”

  1. Randall Watson

    This recipe is the best! Almost spot on with the Pollo Santa Fe they serve at Rosie’s Cantina! Thank you so much!

  2. Oh this is soooo my kind of meal! I loveeee anything mexican flavored (probably a little too much! ha!) and this sounds delicious. Especially with that fresh black bean salsa and crispy tortilla strips!

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      I can’t resist Mexican food either. Hope you aren’t getting too much sleet and ice up your way!

  3. This looks incredible Christin! I have some cookbooks that I go through and admire the pictures but haven’t tried making the recipes yet either. So glad that you are sharing this Santa Fe Chicken with us – it sounds amazing! I love the black-bean corn salsa and the tortilla chips are such a nice touch 🙂

  4. oh it looks awesome Christin 🙂 I hope you are ready for our winter storm. Our local weather channel says we are going to get 12+ inches of snow and sleet between now and end of the day on Thursday!

  5. Such a nice chicken dish, I love the creamy layer…looks delicious Christin!
    Have a wonderful week my dear 😀

  6. Consuelo @ Honey & Figs

    Black bean corn salsa?? Now, this sounds awesome to me! I need to try this soon 😉

  7. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    Yes, I have so many cookbooks that I take out often and admire all the pretty pictures but have yet to try any of the recipes. I’m so glad that you made this recipe because it looks perfect for dinner. Love the black-bean corn salsa!

  8. DessertForTwo

    I’ve pretty much flipped through all of the Southern Living books in my family again and again. My grandma has some, my Mom has some, and I have a few, too. The recipes are flawless and they never go out of style.
    I’ve been craving spicy food lately, thanks for the push to make this 🙂

  9. The sauce sounds yummy! Chicken sounds yummy! And salsa also .. yummy! Maybe cause it’s dinner time 😀

  10. Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen

    Oh yum Christin! This looks amazing. We love chicken dishes – I’m adding this to our must try list! Have a great week!

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