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Tex-Mex Chicken Breasts with Rockin' Red Sauce

Updated on July 4, 2021

Tex-Mex Chicken Breasts with Rockin' Red Sauce

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Tex-Mex Chicken Breasts with Rockin' Red Sauce

This Tex-Mex Chicken recipe was inspired by crushed tortilla chips. Not just any crushed tortilla chips, mind you, but the super-thin chips often offered gratis at many Tex-Mex restaurants. These beauties are also available at some supermarkets. No matter how carefully they are packed, there are always many chips left at the bottom of the bag that are mere crumbles--no good for anything, really, except for use in another recipe.

So I went down the list of possible recipes: Tortilla soup? Nah. A Mexican Casserole, maybe? Borrrrinnnng! Hmm, what else was available for a possible solution? Aha! Some lovely chicken breasts, which were procured from one of those fabulous Coleman Organic chickens that we bought at Costco. Winner!

This recipe has a few other ingredients, (which are staples in this kitchen's pantry), and the combination made for a very tasty meal. Try this one at home paired with your favorite side dishes, or go with a couple of the familiar Tex-Mex side dishes: Mexican rice pilaf and refried beans. It's a very simple recipe with a fast preparation time.


For the chicken breasts:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 to 3 cups of crushed tortilla chips*
  • salt and pepper to your taste
  • chili powder, as needed
  • garlic powder, as needed
  • paprika, as needed
  • ground cayenne pepper, as needed
  • cooking oil spray

*Please note: The tortilla chips used in this recipe were unsalted. If you use salted tortilla chips for coating your chicken breasts, adjust the salt accordingly.

For the sauce:

  • One 6-ounce can of tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne powder (use more if you like more heat)
  • salt and pepper to your taste
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2-1 tsp. garlic powder (McCormick's California Blend was used in this recipe)
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • water, as needed


For the chicken breasts:

  1. Use a baking pan with room for both breasts without crowding. You should have room for both breasts with about 1-2 inches between them and 1-2 inches between the breasts and the sides of the pan. Spray pan with cooking spray.
  2. Set oven to 350 degrees to preheat.
  3. Crush tortilla chips until they are all relatively the same size (between 1/4" to 1/2"). They don't need to be crushed into powder (see pic).
  4. Salt & pepper breasts to your taste. Sprinkle spices on each side of each breast (also to your taste).
  5. Spray breasts with cooking spray on one side and coat with chips. Spray the other side and coat with chips.
  6. Place the coated breasts "presentation side" up (the side that doesn't have the tenderloin attached). Sprinkle the tops of the breasts with additional crushed tortilla chips if desired.
  7. Place baking pan in oven and bake uncovered for 20 minutes.
  8. Cover pan with a lid and bake an additional 20 minutes.*

*Please note: Your oven "mileage" may vary so keep a meat thermometer handy to check the internal temperature of the breasts. The USDA recommends an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

For the sauce:

  1. While the breasts are baking, prepare this quick sauce to accompany them.
  2. Place tomato paste in a small saucepan on medium heat. Add water as needed to thin the paste 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup. You want it thin but not too thin.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the sauce and heat through.


  1. Garnish with fresh avocado slices if desired.

Enjoy your Tex-Mex Chicken Breasts with Rockin' Red Sauce!


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