Sheet Pan Chicken with Corn Salsa bursts with sweet, spicy and smoky flavors from chipotles. It will totally wow your guests and can be made is 30 minutes. This is the perfect dinner for a busy weeknight or a fancy dinner party.
Sheet Pan Chicken with Corn Salsa is one of my favorite dinners that my whole family loves, and from start to finish, I can get it on the table within thirty minutes.
Quick to make and impressive to serve!
- fresh corn kernels - White or yellow -- both are great! During the summer, you should be able to find fantastic corn at your local Farmers' Market. Choose corn with bright green, tightly wrapped husks. The silks should be white or yellow. If you buy pre-shucked corn, the kernels should be firm and plump.
- tomatoes - Color and feel are the best cues to ripeness. Ripe tomatoes should be slightly firm, but have a little give when gently squeezed, and they should have a deep red color (or whatever the color is intended to be).
- red onion - Choose onions that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- cilantro - Look for bright green, perky bunches.
- ground cumin
- fresh lime juice
- fresh lemon juice - Use Meyer lemons if they're available. They are a touch less tart and a bit sweeter. And with a thinner skin and fewer seeds, they are incredibly juicy.
- kosher salt - I cook with Kosher salt because of its larger flake size and it usually doesn't contain additives. If you use table salt, use half the amount.
- cayenne pepper
- unsalted butter - I almost always use unsalted butter to better control exactly how much salt is in the recipe.
- chipotles in adobo sauce - Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce are jalapeño chiles that have been dried, smoked and packed in a sauce made of tomatoes and spices. They come in a can and you should be able to find it in any major grocery store.
- olive oil
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts -
- avocado - For garnish.
(See recipe card below for quantities.)
- If you don't have fresh corn, or it's out of season, you can use canned or frozen. Drain it thoroughly if it's from a can, and thaw completely before using if it's frozen.
- For a little less heat, remove some of the seeds from the chipotles in adobo.
- You can substitute the chicken breasts with other cuts of chicken. Note that if you use thighs or bone-in pieces of chicken, the cooking times will be longer.
- It's important not to skip pounding the chicken, as this helps it cook evenly and much more quickly.
- If you don't have a meat mallet to flatten the chicken, you can easily use the bottom of a small sauté pan.
How to Make it
This recipe has three components: chipotle butter, corn salsa and the chicken.
- For the corn salsa, mix the corn with the lime juice, tomatoes, cilantro, red onion and a touch of cayenne pepper. (I like to mix yellow and white corn.)
- To make the chipotle butter, mix chipotles in adobo sauce with the cumin, lemon juice, softened unsalted butter and olive oil. Set aside.
- Trim any excess fat off the chicken and gently pat it dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breasts on a clean dry surface, and place a large piece of plastic wrap over and under them. Use a smooth meat mallet to gently pound the thicker side of the chicken breast, so that it’s even with the rest, and then pound the whole thing to make it about ½ inch.
- Spread a thin layer of the chipotle butter on the parchment-lined sheet pan, and place the chicken breasts on top. Divide the remaining chipotle butter among each one, spreading it evenly on top. Now add the corn salsa to the sheet pan, around and between the chicken.
- Bake in a preheated 375°F oven just until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
I always serve this with sliced avocados. That, with the chicken and corn salsa is enough -- however, if you want to add more variety to your meal, or bulk it up, a rice dish and/or a salad would be great. Here are a few things I like to serve with it:
And if you want, you can just make the corn salsa. It's incredibly delicious on its own as a summer side dish, and it's fantastic with tortilla chips, in wraps or on, or mixed into salads.
Can you make it ahead?
- The corn salsa can be made a day ahead and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- The chipotle butter can be made up to five days ahead and stored tightly wrapped in the refrigerator. And FYI, it's great on other things, too. Try it on fish, shrimp, scallops, toast . . .
- For the chicken to be super juicy, I wouldn't recommend cooking it ahead.
Other Scrumptious Sheet Pan Dinners
Sheet Pan Chicken with Corn Salsa is one of my favorite recipes during the summer when corn is at its best. I hope you love it too!
Chipotle Chicken with Corn Salsa Reicpe
For the Corn Salsa
For the Grilled Chipotle Chicken
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ½ tablespoon chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons olive oil (plus a bit extra for grilling)
- 1½ teaspoons lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- about ½ large avocado, thinly sliced (click here for How to Peel and Cut an Avocado)
- Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
For the Corn Salsa
- Prep corn (if using fresh). Wash and dry the corn. Then use a chef's knife to remove the kernels and add them to a medium-sized mixing bowl.
- Mix ingredients. Add the remaining salsa ingredients and set aside.
For the Chipotle Chicken
- Make chipotle butter. In a small bowl, mix the butter with the chipotles, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice and salt. Mix until smooth.
- Pound chicken. Trim any excess fat off the chicken and gently pat it dry with paper towels. Place the chicken breasts on a clean dry surface, and place a large piece of plastic wrap over and under them. Use a smooth meat mallet to gently pound the thicker side of the chicken breast, so that it’s even with the rest, and then pound the whole thing to make it about ½ inch. This will help it cook evenly and quickly. (If you don't have a meat mallet, you can easily use the bottom of a small sauté pan.)
- Assemble. Spread a thin layer of the chipotle butter on the parchment-lined sheet pan, and place the chicken breasts on top. Divide the remaining chipotle butter among each one, spreading it evenly on top. Now add the corn salsa to the sheet pan, around and between the chicken.
- Bake. Bake in the preheated 375°F oven just until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
- Serve. Serve with the avocado slices. (For a more elegant presentation, slice each breast and top it with the avocado slices, followed by the salsa.)
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