This Santa Fe Chicken is a one-pan recipe packed with your favorite southwestern flavors. Juicy seasoned chicken is paired with peppers, onions, and tomatoes in a creamy, cheesy sauce!
Juicy and Tender Southwestern Chicken
I love southwestern food. There’s something so special about the way the seasonings and chilies pair together. And chicken is easily my favorite protein when making southwestern dishes. So it probably goes without saying that I love this Santa Fe chicken recipe. The meat is perfectly cooked, juicy, and packed with spices. Cheese, cream cheese, and cream make the dish rich and decadent, while green chilies and chili powder give it a nice kick. There’s just so much flavor in this dish.
It’s also very easy to make. This Santa Fe chicken recipe uses ingredients that you’re likely to already have on hand and takes less than 30 minutes to make. It’s an easy dish to make whenever you’re craving restaurant-quality chicken at home.
Why You’ll Love This Keto Chicken Recipe
Whether you need a fun and fancy meal on the weekends or some quick protein on a weekday, this is a great dish to make. Here’s why I know you’ll love making it … and eating it!
- So easy. Despite being jam-packed with flavor, this is a really easy recipe to make. It only takes 25 minutes, and it’s a simple recipe to follow. You can easily make this Santa Fe chicken recipe after work and not feel stressed.
- Low carb. If you’re looking for a tasty protein-packed dinner, this recipe is for you. It’s loaded with protein from the chicken breasts, and each serving has only 6.7 net carbs. Anyone on a low-carb diet needs to try making this dish.
- Decadent. This keto chicken may be high in protein and low in carbs, but it’s still super decadent. It has just enough cheese, cream cheese, and cream to be incredibly rich. It tastes so creamy, but you’ll still feel good after eating it.
Southwest Chicken Ingredients
Here’s everything you need to make this tender, juicy, and spicy chicken. Scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of the page to see the exact amounts for each ingredient.
- Olive oil – You could also use another neutral oil such as avocado oil if you prefer
- Chicken breasts – Small boneless, skinless breasts work best for this recipe. If you prefer using boneless skinless chicken thighs, that would work, too.
- Spices: for this recipe, you will need cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Onion, Peppers, Ro-tel – I use a yellow onion for this recipe, but white and red onions will also work. This is best with both red and green bell peppers, but other combinations will work. Make sure to drain the can of Ro-tel (or your favorite brand of canned tomatoes with green chilies).
- Heavy cream: no subs here! Regular milk or almond milk will not give you the same results.
- Chicken broth: vegetable broth can be substituted if needed. You can easily make your own Chicken Stock for a super flavorful ingredient that costs you barely anything at all.
- Cream cheese: full-fat cream cheese melts best. Allow it to come to room temperature before melting for the smoothest texture.
- Shredded cheddar cheese: For best results, shred your own cheese, but pre-shredded works fine too.
How to Make Santa Fe Chicken
Here’s how to make this quick and easy keto chicken recipe. All you need is a skillet, spatula, and spoon.
Season & cook chicken
In a small bowl, mix together the spice blend (cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper). Once well mixed, sprinkle this all over both sides of the chicken breasts. Make sure each piece is well covered for flavor in every bite.
Place a large skillet over medium heat, then add olive oil. Once shimmering, place the meat in the pan and sear until nicely browned. This usually takes about 2-3 minutes, then flip and repeat. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Sauté the veggies
Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet, then add bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Sauté for about 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are soft.
Make the sauce
Add the drained tomatoes and green chilies, chicken broth, cream cheese, and heavy cream. Turn the heat down to medium-low and stir until cream cheese is completely melted.
Make it cheesy
Add part of the cheddar cheese to the skillet and stir until it melts. Once smooth, place the chicken back in the skillet and top them with the rest of the shredded cheese.
Put the lid on the skillet and simmer over low heat until chicken is cooked all the way through. This should take approximately 6-8 minutes. I recommend using a meat thermometer and removing from the heat once the chicken reaches 165 degrees F in the center.
This southwestern chicken is wonderful to eat all on its own, but I love to serve it on top of zucchini noodles or cauliflower rice. It’s also great when served with a veggie side dish. Here are a few of my favorites.
Leftover Santa Fe chicken can be stored in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 3 days. Make sure chicken is completely cooled before refrigerating or freezing. Keep scrolling for freezing and reheating instructions.
You can definitely freeze this low-carb chicken recipe. Make sure it is cooled completely, then store it in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Make sure to defrost or thaw the chicken entirely before reheating it (preferably over night in the fridge).
This dish is best rewarmed in an oven at 350 degrees F for about 10 minutes. You can also microwave it, but I recommend using 50% for 1 minute intervals until warmed throughout. This helps prevent any exploding chicken making a mess in your microwave!
Tips and Tricks for the BEST one pan chicken
If you’re going to make this keto chicken, then make sure to try out some of these tips.
- Use low-sodium chicken broth. I like to use a low-sodium stock when making this recipe. There are a lot of salty ingredients in this dish, and it can get too salty if the broth is also packed with sodium. If you use a low-sodium broth, then you can more easily control the amount of salt in the recipe. Once the sauce is done, taste it and add more salt if necessary. You could make your own Chicken Stock as well!
- Check the temperature. I always use an instant-read thermometer when cooking chicken. That way I can stop cooking the meat as soon as it reaches 165F. Using a thermometer is more accurate than using cooking time, and will help you make sure that the chicken breasts aren’t overcooked at all.
- Garnish. This recipe is amazing when topped with chopped scallions, cilantro, and pickled jalapeños. But you can add any of your go-to toppings, including fresh jalapeños, sour cream, avocado, and hot sauce. This chicken dish is a lot better when topped with fun garnishes, so make sure to add your favorites.
More Easy Keto Chicken Dinners
I never get tired of eating chicken. If you’re like me, then you’ve got to try some of my other favorite keto chicken dishes.
- Crockpot Buffalo Chicken – This easy slow cooker recipe makes the best filling for sandwiches, lettuce wraps, nachos, and more! This is perfect for meal prep.
- Slow Cooker Zesty Ranch Chicken – This chicken recipe has just a little kick from pepperoncini. It makes the BEST quesadillas and nachos!
- French Onion Chicken – Forget slow cooking onions all day long. This keto chicken dinner makes quick work of these traditional, delicious, cheesy flavors.
- BBQ Chicken and Smoked Sausage Skillet – Packed full of protein and healthy veggies! This is great in a skillet or on the Blackstone.
- Blackened Chicken and Brussels Sprout Chicken – Bring out the absolute best in these healthy Brussels sprouts with an easy blackening seasoning! Chicken stays nice and juicy while the sprouts get tender.
- 50+ Easy Chicken Breast Dinners
- Keto Chicken Meal Prep Ideas
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 4 small chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH chili powder, garlic powder. salt, black pepper
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper
- 1 (10-ounce) can Ro-tel (tomatoes with green chilies), drained
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Cilantro, green onions, and pickled jalapeños (optional garnishes)
- Combine the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat, then add 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Sprinkle the spice mixture on both sides of the chicken.
- Sear the chicken in the skillet for 2-3 minutes per side until nicely browned, then remove and set aside.
- Add the remaining olive oil to the skillet, then add the onion, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté for 4-5 minutes until softened.
- Add the Ro-tel, heavy cream, chicken broth, and cream cheese, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir until the cream cheese melts entirely.
- Add 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese to the sauce and stir until the cheese is melted.
- Put the chicken back in the skillet, and cover with the remaining cheese.
- Place a lid on the skillet and simmer over low heat for 6-8 minutes, or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days, or in the freezer for 3 months.
- Reheat in a 350F oven for 10 minutes.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1 chicken breast + 1/4 cup sauce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 417Total Fat: 27.5gCholesterol: 134.8mgSodium: 957.5mgCarbohydrates: 7.9gNet Carbohydrates: 6.7gFiber: 1.2gSugar: 2.2gProtein: 34.5g