When you take all the savory goodness of a jalapeno popper and use it to deck out boneless skinless chicken breasts, you've got a dinnertime masterpiece on your hands! This Jalapeno Popper Chicken is comforting, decadently delicious, and your family will be begging you to make it again!
It features juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breasts smothered by a melty trio of cheeses that come speckled with bits of thick-cut bacon and diced jalapenos.
Any person who loves jalapeno poppers will positively swoon for this Jalapeno Popper Chicken! And, all of you healthy eaters out there will be glad to know this dreamboat of a dinner is also gluten-free, low-carb, and even keto-approved!
HOW TO MAKE JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN
- Prep | Preheat the oven, grab the casserole dish, chop the bacon and jalapenos, grate the cheese, and pound out and season the chicken.
- Stovetop Work | Cook the bacon bits and remove them from the pan. Add the chicken and sear it on both sides. Remove the chicken and place it in the baking dish. Add the diced jalapenos. Stir until cooked and remove from the heat.
- Make the Filling | Combine the cream cheese, bacon, jalapenos, Monterey Jack cheese, and Cheddar cheese in a bowl and mix to combine.
- Assemble and Bake | Divide the cream cheese mixture amongst the chicken breasts, top with more cheese, and bake at 375°F for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
Big fan of this flavor combo? Try our Jalapeño Popper Dip as well!
JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN PREP WORK
First things first, get that prep work out of the way!
To start, preheat your oven to 375°F and have ready a 9x13" casserole dish. Knock out all of your chopping and grating, and then, it's on to the chicken.
For this recipe, we're pounding out the chicken. This step ensures quick and even cooking, and also provides a flat surface for that jalapeno popper filling to sit and stay put on.
POUND OUT THE CHICKEN
The easiest way to pound out boneless skinless chicken breast is to place it inside of a ziptop bag and pound it with a kitchen mallet or rolling pin.
You want to make the chicken an even thickness all the way around, so start pounding on the thick end. Once it closely resembles the same thickness of the thin end, you're done. The chicken should be about a ½" thick!
SEASON THE CHICKEN
Transfer the chicken to a work surface and pat it dry with a paper towel. This step will remove the excess water from the exterior of the chicken breast. Removing water from the exterior of the chicken helps both the oil and the seasoning to stick and also helps you to get a better sear on the chicken!
The seasoning consists of a simple blend of salt and pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
Once the boneless skinless chicken breasts are seasoned, set them aside and move on to the stovetop work!
ON THE STOVETOP
The stovetop is where we are going to build lots and lots of flavor in our Jalapeno Popper Chicken recipe!
COOK THE BACON
Add diced, thick-cut bacon to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir that around until the bacon is looking nice and crisp to your liking -- this should take about 6 to 8 minutes.
Remove the bacon and place it on a paper-towel-lined plate to absorb any of the excess oil.
SEAR THE CHICKEN
Now, we're going to lock some bacon flavor into those chicken breasts. Place the seasoned chicken breasts in the pan with the bacon grease and cook each breast for about 3 minutes on the first side. Then, flip and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.
Take care not to overcrowd your pan. If the breasts are crammed in there together, you won't be able to get a proper sear on the chicken. Once all of the chicken is seared, transfer it to the 9x13" baking dish and set it aside.
Searing the chicken for this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Recipe will not cook it all the way through. We're just giving it a headstart in the pan and because of this, it will cook faster in the oven.
SOFTEN THE JALAPENOS.
Time to put a little jalapeno in this Jalapeno Popper Chicken! It's best to use fresh jalapenos rather than canned jalapenos for this recipe. Both the flavor and texture will be much more enjoyable.
Add the diced jalapenos straight to the pan and stir to coat. At this point, the jalapenos are picking up on all that savory goodness left behind from both the bacon and the chicken. They should take only a few minutes to soften, then you can remove them from the heat, and it's time to make that jalapeno popper filling!
DO JALAPENOS MAKE THIS CHICKEN SPICY?
Jalapeno peppers won't make this chicken spicy unless you fail to remove the seeds and ribs during the deseeding process. And really, even if you were to leave a few seeds behind, this Jalapeno Popper Chicken should not be overwhelmingly spicy by any means.
The jalapeno scores very, very low on the Scoville scale; a scale that determines the heat rating index of a pepper.
To put it in perspective, my young children are perfectly capable to eat this dish without any issues whatsoever!
MAKE THE CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE
At this point, we are wrapping up the recipe and whipping up the cream cheese jalapeno popper mixture!
Add a block of softened cream cheese, the cooked bacon and jalapenos, freshly grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, plus 1 large egg (slightly beaten), to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Use a handheld mixer or a whisk to get everything nice and evenly combined and that's it!
ASSEMBLE AND BAKE THE JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN
Add big dollops of the cream cheese mixture over the top of the chicken breasts and finish off the dish with a big sprinkle of Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese on top.
Bake the chicken for about 25 minutes, or until the chicken is fully cooked through.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN
There are lots of yummy side dishes that would pair well with Jalapeno Popper Chicken!
6 MORE CHICKEN RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken
- Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts
- Cornflake Chicken
- Bacon Chicken Ranch Casserole
- Stuffed Chicken Breasts
This Jalapeno Popper Chicken features juicy, perfectly cooked chicken breasts smothered by a melty trio of cheeses speckled with bits of thick-cut bacon and diced jalapenos. It's a crowd-pleasing chicken dinner that's also gluten-free, low-carb, and even keto-approved!
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon canola or avocado oil
- 1 ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, diced
- 6 jalapenos, seeded and diced
- 1 (8-ounce) block of cream cheese, softened
- ¾ cup freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese, separated
- ½ cup freshly grated Mild Cheddar Cheese, separated
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 375°F and have ready a 9x13" baking dish.
Place the chicken breasts in a ziptop bag (or sandwich in between two sheets of wax paper) and pound them out one at a time using a rolling pin or mallet. Begin at the thick end, and continue until the chicken is of even thickness, about a ½" thick.
Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and transfer a work surface. Drizzle the chicken with the oil and season evenly with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder. Rub all over to adhere. Set aside.
Place a skillet over medium-high heat and bring to temperature. Add the bacon and cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring often. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.
Add the chicken to the skillet (taking care not to overcrowd the pan and cooking in batches as needed) and sear for 3 minutes on one, then flip, and cook 2 minutes more. Transfer the chicken to the casserole dish and set aside.
Add the diced jalapeños to the pan and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring often.
Transfer the softened jalapenos, along with the bacon to a medium-sized mixing bowl. Add the cream cheese, ½ cup of Monterey Jack cheese, ¼ cup of Cheddar, and the egg. Use a handheld mixer at medium-high speed (or a whisk) to mix the ingredients.
Divide the mixture (about 2 large dollops) evenly over the tops of the chicken breasts. Top with the remaining ¼ cup of Monterey Jack and ¼ cup of Cheddar. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the chicken is completely cooked through. Serve and enjoy!