Delightfully zesty Jalapeno Popper Baked Chicken Breasts prepared with juicy chicken topped with cream cheese, jalapenos, more cheese, and bacon! An easy low-carb chicken dinner cooked to delicious perfection. Kids love it, too!
Jalapeno Popper Baked Chicken
In the realm of comforting, homemade meals, our Jalapeno Popper Baked Chicken Breasts stand out. This Keto-friendly chicken recipe is a quick and flavorful dish that comes together in roughly 35 minutes. It’s a clever reinvention of the much-loved Jalapeno Poppers, packed with the same creamy and rich flavors we crave. This family-favorite recipe is a quick and easy way to serve chicken breasts. With all the ingredients evenly distributed, every bite is filled with a bit of crunch and a lot of creaminess.
Drawing inspiration from the ever-popular Baked Crack Chicken recipe, this is basically where two fabulous recipes merge into one to become one very unforgettable dish that leaves a lasting impression on the taste buds. It’s where the simplicity of baking chicken meets the richness of cream cheese, the spicy kick of jalapenos, the mellow taste of chicken, and the smoky hint of bacon. It’s a dinner match made in chicken-dinners-heaven!
How To Make Jalapeno Popper Baked Chicken Breasts
In a nutshell, we are going to deconstruct our jalapeño poppers and layer all those ingredients on top of chicken breasts. Then, bake. And that’s it. 👊
- thick cut bacon, diced
- vegetable oil & butter
- boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika
- cream cheese
- jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into long strips or diced
- shredded white and yellow cheddar cheese
- Start with frying the bacon until crispy.
- Remove bacon from the skillet, but keep the bacon grease in the skillet. Add the chicken breasts and cook for 2 minutes per side or just until browned. Transfer the chicken breasts to a baking dish. Set aside.
- Return the skillet to the burner and add the cream cheese; cook for 1 minute or until just creamy. Add dollops of cream cheese on top of each chicken breast.
- Remove the seeds from the jalapeño peppers (keep the seeds if you love the heat), cut the peppers into strips, and arrange them over the cream cheese. Top with shredded cheese and bake for 18 minutes or until done.
- Remove from oven and serve.
Why You’ll Love This Chicken Recipe
- Flavor Profile: The combo of cream cheese, jalapenos, bacon, and chicken offers a dang good blend of smoky, spicy, and creamy notes in every bite.
- Quick and Easy: With just about 35 minutes from start to finish, this is a perfect option for a quick dinner on a busy weeknight or a no-fuss meal to impress guests.
- Keto-Friendly: This recipe adheres to keto dietary guidelines, making it an excellent choice for those following a low-carb diet.
- Versatility: This dish can be tailored to individual preferences. Not a fan of heat? Remove the jalapeno seeds. Want it more indulgent? Add more cheese.
- Adaptable to Different Types of Chicken: Though the recipe calls for chicken breasts, it’s adaptable to chicken thighs, allowing for flexibility based on what you have on hand or personal preferences. Bone-in chicken thighs will need a bit more time in the oven. Use an Instant Read Meat Thermometer to check for doneness. Chicken is done at 165˚F.
- Kid-Friendly: Despite the inclusion of jalapenos, kids love this recipe. The creamy, cheesy topping on the tender chicken is a surefire crowd-pleaser.
- Great for Make-Ahead Meals: The dish can be assembled in advance and refrigerated, making meal prepping a breeze.
Tips & Swaps
- Chicken: Pound your chicken breasts to an even thickness. This ensures they cook evenly.
- Spice Level: Adjust the amount of jalapenos to your liking. If you love heat, leave some seeds in. If you prefer a milder flavor, remove all the seeds. Also, ff you can’t find fresh jalapenos, pickled jalapenos are a good substitute and will add a tangy twist to the dish.
- Make Ahead: Assemble everything inside the baking dish and tightly cover it with plastic wrap and aluminum foil; refrigerate for up to 1 day ahead. Remove wrap and foil; bake as directed in the recipe.
- Bacon: If you prefer turkey bacon or a vegetarian bacon substitute, feel free to use that instead of traditional bacon.
- Cream Cheese: Full-fat cream cheese can be replaced with a lower-fat or non-dairy alternative, if desired.
- Shredded Cheese: Use your favorite cheese in place of cheddar. Monterey Jack, Colby, or a Mexican blend would all work well in this recipe.
- Chicken: Although this recipe calls for chicken breasts, you can use chicken thighs if you prefer. Adjust the cooking time as needed to ensure the chicken is cooked through.
- Soup & Salad: Never underestimate the power of a simple Asparagus Salad and/or a side of summery Tomato Soup! Either of these two is great with this chicken breasts recipe.
- Pasta: Our Balsamic Penne Pasta would be a healthy and colorful addition to the meal.
- Grilled Vegetables: I love these Grilled Vegetables with Halloumi, and they’d make a fantastic meal when paired with Jalapeno Chicken.
- Cauliflower Rice: This zesty, aromatic Coconut Lime Cauliflower Rice will add a refreshing element to the chicken.
- Once cooled, transfer any leftover chicken into airtight containers. Store in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- Reheat in a preheated oven at 325°F until warmed through, about 15 minutes. You can also reheat the chicken in a microwave.
More Low Carb & Keto Chicken Recipes
- Cheesy Chicken Spinach Bake
- Chicken Breasts Recipe with Creamed Spinach
- Hasselback Tuscan Baked Chicken Breasts
- Easy Baked Salsa Chicken
Jalapeno Popper Baked Chicken Breasts
- 4 slices thick cut bacon, diced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 4 (1-pound, total) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4-inch thickness
- salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon smoked or sweet paprika
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 4 to 5 jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut into long strips or diced
- 4 ounces shredded white and yellow cheddar cheese
- chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400˚F.
- Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Add diced bacon to a large skillet and cook until crispy over medium-high heat.
- Remove bacon from skillet and set aside. Do not discard the bacon grease.
- Return the skillet to the burner and add vegetable oil to the remaining bacon grease.
- Pound chicken breasts to a 1/4-inch thickness and season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika.
- Place the chicken breasts in the skillet. If your skillet isn't large enough to accommodate all the pieces without overcrowding, you may need to cook the chicken in batches. Sear the chicken for about 2 minutes or until golden brown.
- Flip the chicken breasts, add butter, and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.
- Remove chicken breasts from the skillet and transfer them to the prepared baking dish. Set aside.
- Return skillet to heat and add in the cream cheese; cook for 1 minute, or until smooth and creamy.
- Add dollops of the cream cheese over the chicken breasts in the baking dish.
- Take half of the bacon and add on top of the cream cheese.
- Arrange strips of jalapeño peppers over the bacon and cream cheese.
- Top with shredded cheese.
- Bake, uncovered, for 17 to 19 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and cheese is melted and lightly browned.
- Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before cutting.
- Garnish with remaining diced bacon and fresh parsley, and serve.
- Chicken: To ensure even cooking, pound the chicken breasts to a 1/4-inch thickness. Chicken thighs can replace chicken breasts but adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Spice Level: Modify the jalapeno quantity based on your heat preference. You can also use pickled jalapenos.
- Prep Ahead: You can assemble the dish a day ahead, refrigerate it, then bake it as directed.
- Bacon: You can substitute traditional bacon with turkey or vegetarian bacon.
- Cheeses: Opt for lower-fat or non-dairy cream cheese, and choose your preferred shredded cheese like Monterey Jack or Colby.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.