Tortilla Crusted Chicken Breasts with Queso Sauce

Crispy Tortilla Crusted Chicken with Queso Sauce is an easy delicious dinner that will be on your table in 30 minutes! It’s crunchy, cheesy and so delicious! 

This recipe is inspired by this Pretzel Crusted Chicken that I’ve been making for over ten years. I thought it was time to give it a little south of the border twist by coating it with tortilla chips instead of pretzels and swapping out the original mustard cheddar sauce with a spicy queso. 

Oh my gosh you guys. 

This is sooooo good! 

Plus, it’s baked instead of fried, so we can all feel just a little bit better because of that, right? 

Ingredients needed

  • Chicken Breasts – I used two boneless skinless chicken breasts, that I sliced and turned into cutlets. You can also use chicken tenders.
  • Crushed Tortilla Chips– These will be used to make a crispy coating for the chicken.
  • Spices: Cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, salt & pepper
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil & Butter
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese – Or, another favorite cheese. Pepper jack, swiss and gruyere are also delicious!
  • Canned Green Chiles – Or, for a spicier queso, used canned jalapenos.
  • Cherry Tomatoes – Chopped, for topping. This is optional.
  • Fresh Cilantro – This is optional, but adds nice color to your dish and a bit of freshness.
  • Red Onion – This is also optional. But if you love the bite of onions, they’re delicious!

How to make it

  • Grind chips in a food processor to resemble coarse breadcrumbs. (Or crush them in a large ziploc bag.) 
  • Butterfly chicken breasts and flatten with a meat mallet to 1/4″ thickness.
  • Season chip crumbs with cumin, paprika, garlic powder. 
  • Dredge chicken in flour, then eggs, then chip mixture. 
  • Bake on a wire rack for 12-15 minutes, until crispy & golden brown.

How to make the cheese sauce

This easy queso sauce will be ready to go in just about 5-minutes. You can make it while the chicken is in the oven. 

  • Melt butter in a saucepan. 
  • Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, until golden. 
  • Whisk in milk and cook until thickened, 3-5 minutes. 
  • Stir in cheese, chiles and spices. 

Recipe tips

The chicken’s internal temperature should register 165-degrees with an instant read meat thermometer. If you don’t have one, you can also check the chicken for doneness by cutting into it with a knife. It should no longer be pink inside and the juices should run clear.


  • Sauce: Don’t love cheese? You could also top this tortilla chip chicken with some zesty cilantro lime crema, chipotle crema or pico de gallo.
  • Breading: Swap the tortilla chips for pretzels to make this pretzel crusted chicken. Or, you can use panko or seasoned breadcrumbs.
  • Chicken Tenders: You can use chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts and dip your tenders into the cheese sauce.

Hands holding plate of chicken.

How to make ahead & store

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat the corn chip chicken in a 350-degree oven for about 20 minutes, or heat it in your air fryer (this keeps it crispy). Store the cheese sauce separately, and reheat in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat.

What to serve with it

Wine pairings

  • Prosecco or unoaked Chardonnay would pair nicely with this dish.
  • If you would like to go the red route, I’d suggest a Pinot Noir, or other light bodied red. Avoid hard, oaky tannic reds. 
Tortilla chip crusted chicken cutlets arranged on plate topped with queso, tomatoes and red onion.

More easy chicken recipes

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Tortilla chip crusted chicken cutlets arranged on plate topped with queso, tomatoes and red onion.

Tortilla Crusted Chicken

Crispy Tortilla Chip Crusted Chicken with Queso Sauce is an easy delicious dinner that will be on your table in 30 minutes! It’s crispy, cheesy and so delicious!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people



  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups shredded Cabot Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 ounce can green chiles
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

For serving:

  • Handful of cherry tomatoes (sliced in half)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (a generous handful, chopped)
  • 1/4 small red onion (finely chopped)


  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set a wire rack inside a baking sheet and grease with nonstick spray.
  • Cut each of the chicken breasts in half lengthwise, making a total of 4 thin chicken breasts. Then flatten with a mallet so that they are uniform in thickness, about 1/4″.
  • Put the crushed tortilla chips in a shallow dish and combine with cumin, garlic powder, and paprika. In another shallow dish, beat the eggs with a splash of water. In a third shallow dish combine the flour and salt.
  • Dredge chicken in flour mixture, shaking off excess; dip in egg mixture, and dredge in crushed tortilla chips. Arrange chicken on wire rack.
  • Bake the chicken for 18-20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through (165-degrees or no longer pink).
  • While the chicken is baking, make the spicy cheese sauce.
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the cheese, chiles and spices. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve chicken breasts with a drizzle of spicy cheese sauce and a sprinkle of tomatoes, cilantro and red onion.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @platingsandpairings or tag #platingsandpairings!


Calories: 873kcal | Carbohydrates: 81g | Protein: 55g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 241mg | Sodium: 1559mg | Potassium: 922mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1405IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 705mg | Iron: 7mg

This recipe was originally published in 2018. It was updated in 2023 to add new information. The tortilla chip breaded chicken recipe remains the same. Enjoy!

5 thoughts on “Tortilla Crusted Chicken Breasts with Queso Sauce”

  1. 5 stars
    This recipe was fast and easy to put together and it tasted great. I made it as written, minus the cayenne pepper. My daughter even uses the extra leftover cheese sauce as a dip for tortilla chips! Thanks for the recipe …


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