All of the delicious flavor of cream cheese jalapeño poppers are stuffed into this Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole recipe to make a quick, easy, and over the top tasty dinner. You will find tender chicken breast layered with cream cheese and topped with fresh jalapeño peppers and rich cheddar cheese and finished off with the perfect amount of crispy bacon. If you love jalapeño poppers as an appetizer you are going to go crazy for this easy dinner recipe. Not only is it super delicious, as a bonus, it is gluten free, low carb, and keto friendly!
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Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole Recipe
I have been creating easy chicken dinner recipes for a long time. I have quite a lot of them! When it hit me the other day that I had never put all the flavors of one of my favorite appetizers into a chicken dinner, it was kind of a “well, duh!” moment.
I mean what could be better than chicken layered with cream cheese, peppers, cheddar and bacon? It was pretty much mean to be, right?
So I started playing around, and it did take me a couple of tries to get the recipe just right, but this last one I made was definitely worthy of sharing, especially after it got high praise from my husband, who is pretty hard to please when it comes to dinner. He is my chief food critic, and after eating all of the hundreds of chicken meals I have made over the years, he is pretty hard to impress these days.
The best part is that not only is this recipe hands down delicious, but it is also really simple with only a few ingredients and made in one basic casserole dish so you can get from the fridge to the oven in as little as 15 minutes.
How to serve Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole
It is a little hard to imagine this Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole not going well with something, but there are a few sides that do pair extra well with this recipe. Once you remove the Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole from the oven, you will want to serve it while it is nice and hot. Generally a serving is about 4 oz of chicken which can vary based on size, but is generally around half of an average grocery store chicken breast. I like to serve the chicken and all the jalapeño popper toppings with a couple of sides to make a well rounded meal. Here are a few suggestions:
Traditional Serving Options
- On a bed of rice
- With a side of ranch smashed potatoes – These are our favorite!
- With a side of corn bread
- On top of a baked potato or mashed potatoes
- With garlic toast
Low Carb Serving Options
- On a bed of Cauliflower Rice
- With a side of Roasted Cauliflower
- With a side salad
- On a bed of sautéed spinach – Pictured above!
- With a side of veggies like broccoli, brussel sprouts, or these super delicious garlic sautéed green beans
I like to combine a veggie and a traditional side to make a nice rounded meal, but you can mix and match however you like and fits your family’s diet and taste preferences. If you have a great serving suggestion I missed, make sure and leave me a comment below so I can give it a try!
How to make Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole
This recipe is both super tasty and also super quick and easy! I am going to walk through some of my tips on making this Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole recipe, so if you have any questions, hopefully they will be answered below. If not, you should always feel free to drop questions in the comment section below and I will try to help! If you just want the quick version of the recipe, feel free to skip down to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.
Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole Ingredients
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless, chicken breast- This will be about 3-4 average sized chicken breasts. If the chicken breasts are thick, I recommend cutting them in half so that they are half the thickness. This will help the dish cook more quickly and evenly.
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened- I use regular Philadelphia cream cheese when I make this recipe. You can also sub light cream cheese, but fat free cream cheese will not work will since it doesn’t melt the same way.
- 1/2 pound fresh jalapeño peppers (about 5-6 peppers)- You can find fresh jalapenos in the produce department of any grocery store.
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated- I really prefer sharp cheddar for this recipe. It is great because it packs a lot of flavor. If you are in a pinch you can substitute mild cheddar or mexican blend cheese.
- 1/2 cup crumbled crispy bacon- I think fresh bacon works best for this. I like to cook bacon in the oven like this and then throw the leftovers in a bag in the freezer so I can reuse them easily in any recipe. Make sure the bacon is nice and crispy, then crumble it up until you get half a cup.
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Instructions
A few notes on making this recipe so that you get the best results!
First, make sure your chicken isn’t too thick. As mentioned above you can cut it in half to make it thinner so that it can cook more quickly and evenly. Also, since most chicken breasts from the average grocery store are more than one serving, you can cut them up before you place them in the casserole dish if you want, or use chicken tenderloins instead. The smaller you cut the chicken, the more quickly it will cook.
Make sure that your cream cheese is nice and soft. You want to be able to spread it easily on top of the chicken without a big hassle that it will give you if it is still cold. If you didn’t take it out of the fridge earlier in the day, you can pop it in a microwave safe bowl and heat it for 30 second increments, stirring in between until it is smooth and soft.
This is a BIG one! How the jalapeños are prepared will determine how much heat this dish has. First you will wash the jalapenos, then if you want the dish to be mild, trim all of the seeds and ribs out of the peppers before slicing, If you want a little more heat, leave some seeds and ribs. The more seeds and ribs left in the peppers, the hotter the end dish will be. I sliced out all the seeds and ribs from mine and all 3 of my small children ate it without complaints of it being spicy.
When you bake this, you do not have to cover it. It helps the extra liquid released while cooking to evaporate when you cook it uncovered. Also, once you take it out and add the bacon, you want it to be uncovered so the bacon can continue to cook and retain it’s crispiness. If you do notice it getting more browned than your liking, you can loosely cover with foil, but remove the foil once you add the bacon to the top.
I really hope that you enjoy this recipe as much as our family did! It is such a treat to have a meal that is both easy to make and really delicious to eat. If you do get a chance to try it, I would love it if you let me know! You can leave me a comment below, or if you post a picture on Instagram, make sure to tag me @easyfamilyrecipes so that I can see what you are cooking up! It makes my day to see others enjoying the recipes that I share!
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Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole
- 2 lbs chicken breast boneless skinless, (about 3-4 chicken breasts)
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 pound jalapeño peppers fresh, about 5-6 peppers
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 1/2 cup crispy bacon crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 375˚F
- Lay chicken breasts flat in a casserole dish. Season them with the garlic powder then spread the cream cheese over them evenly.
- Wash the jalapeño peppers and then cut the tops off. Remove the seeds and stems if you want it milder, or leave some if you want more spice, then cut the peppers into strips and lay them on top of the cream cheese then sprinkle the cheddar cheese over top.
- Bake for 40-45 minutes, remove from oven 5 minutes before cooking is complete and sprinkle with bacon then return for the remaining cook time. Chicken is done when cooked through to an internal temperature of 165˚F.
- Serve warm with a side of potatoes, veggies, or a baked potato. Enjoy!
- You can cut the chicken in half, chunks, or use chicken tenderloins in lieu of full chicken breasts to make serving easier. Cooking time may be reduced.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 days in the refrigerator or in the freezer for up to a month.
(Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.)