This Healthy Baked Salsa Chicken is Paleo, grain-free, dairy-free and Whole30. And there is an adorable little story that goes along with it!
Way back when I was just a blushing bride-to-be, my bridesmaids and mom had this awesome idea to create a recipe book as part of a wedding shower gift for me. When mailing all out the invitations to my family and friends, they included a few blank recipe cards in the envelope with the request to write down some of the guest’s favorite family recipes to pass on to me as I started building my own little family.
So, at the end of my wedding shower, I received a lovely little red recipe book filled with tried-and-true recipes from the people I love and trust most in the world.
How stinking cute is that!?!
Ken’s mom included the birthday cake she had made him every year since he was a child. Two of my cousins wrote down our nana’s classic Pink Veggie Dip recipe (a combination of mayo, ketchup, and spices that I have loathed since I was a child, but appreciated as a token as a piece of my deceased grandmother).
My own mother wrote down some of my favorite recipes from childhood (which I need to get on putting here on the here) and one of my aunts included THIS recipe for salsa baked chicken
Healthy baked salsa chicken
Actually, this is not exactly the original recipe.
Don’t get me wrong, the original recipe is heavenly. Thick with breadcrumbs and butter. Dripping with melted cheese….it was near impossible not to love it. I made it many times as a newlywed and it was a regular meal in our young home.
However, as I started to cleaning up my eating habits about 6 years ago, I realized this recipe wasn’t exactly the healthiest of options and I tucked it away in my wedding recipe book…..soon forgetting all about it.
Fast forward to a few months ago. We had just made a big move into a new apartment and I was unpacking and organizing the bookshelf in our dining room. The red leather-bound recipe book caught my eye and I nostalgically started to thumb through the memories.
As I started at the long lost (and loved) recipes, I started to think about how much history they had…and how I didn’t want to let them slip away from my cooking and dinner table. Now much more confident in my healthy cooking skills, I was determined to reinvent the recipes Ken and I had been brought up on and give them a new, healthier life that I could feel good about feeding to my family.
This recipe was the first to receive a makeover.
My healthy baked salsa chicken recipe makeover
I swapped out those breadcrumbs for almond meal and spices. Ditched the butter for coconut oil (though a little butter in your life is okay in my book). And left the cheese off entirely. As I popped the new and (hopefully improved) Salsa Baked Chicken in the oven, I crossed my fingers that this new version would be as wonderful as I recalled the original one.
Guys….it was better. The chicken was so juicy and flavorful. The almond meal breading was perfectly crispy. And the zesty salsa paired with the creamy avocado made for such a great flavor finish that the cheese was not even missed. My husband inhaled it. My 5-year-old food critic, I mean daughter, ate every bite and asked for seconds.
Score! Salsa Baked Chicken is now back in my (healthier) life and can now be part of your’s.
Other healthy chicken recipes you are going to love…
- Veggie-Loaded Chicken Bites
- Instant Pot Creamy Mushroom Chicken
- Veggie-Loaded Chicken Burgers
- Veggie-Loaded Spring Chicken Salad
Loving this healthy baked salsa chicken recipe and hungry for more?
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Healthy Baked Salsa Chicken (Paleo, grain-free, dairy-free, Whole30)
- 4 boneless chicken breasts
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 1 cup almond meal
- 1/4 cup gluten-free nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup salsa (I suggest mild if serving to children)
- 1 avocado 1 avocado pitted and sliced
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a medium bowl, combine almond meal, nutritional yeast, sea salt, garlic powder, paprika, and onion powder. Stir a few times to mix ingredients. Set aside for a minute.
- Dip each of the chicken breasts into the whisked eggs until they are throughly coated. Then place chicken breasts in almond meal mixture and coat all sides of the chicken with the almond meal mixture.
- Place chicken on a baking sheet or in a large baking dish and cook for about 25 minutes, or until juices run clear and the breasts are no longer pink in the middle.
- Remove from oven and top each chicken piece with salsa and avocado.
- Enjoy warm.
The nutritional information is provided as an estimate only and may vary based on the product type, servings and other factors. If you are following a diet, please consult with a professional nutritionist or your doctor. Stay healthy!
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Emily @ Recipes to Nourish
This sounds absolutely delicious! Love that beautiful crust on there!
That crust on the chicken looks amazing with just the almond meal! So crispy!
This recipe looks very enticing to me! I love the crispy chicken, salsa, avocado combination you have going on in this. Making me very hungry!
Becky Winkler (A Calculated Whisk)
This looks so good! Pinning to try during my Whole30.
Oh, this looks good. Can’t wait to try it. Just got back from Mexico and still craving salsa!
I love your story about how everyone gave you recipes. That is such a great idea for a wedding gift! And so cool that you are revising the recipes to fit your lifestyle now! This looks so good that I’m glad you got that book and are sharing with us 🙂
I cherish that cookbook so much for so many reasons! And there are so many classic recipes out there that can be made to fit different eating styles with a touch of creativity!
These look and sound delicious!!! The best part is they would be very easy to make as well. The seasoning on the chicken sounds yummy too.
I love when easy and delicious come together in one great recipes!
These look absolutely delicious !! I love that crunchy texture and citrusy flavor from the salsa! Another amazing dish from you that I have to try !
This just looks way too good! The seasoning is nearly identical to the way I make chicken for my family – their favorite!
Oh fun! I’ll have to check out your recipe! Is it on your blog?
I don’t have nutritional yeast.. should I proceed to make or wait till I purchase it? the
I would continue! The nutritional yeast just adds a nice flavor to the "breading" but doesn’t break the recipe
This chicken looks amazing and I’m so glad you decided to give the original recipe a makeover. This is a meal my family would love!
You know, I think I actually like it better made over! I hope your family gobbles it up like mine does!
Real Food with Dana
Woah holy gorgeous, this sounds so delicious and easy to make!
I have no almond meal tonight. Could flaxseed meal, super fine natural almond flour or tapioca flour work instead ??
Another fabulous option to enjoy chicken in a new yet healthy way – delicious!