Jalapeno popper chicken is a delicious twist on the classic appetizer. Juicy chicken breast topped with seasoned cream cheese, cheddar, diced jalapenos, and bacon!
It’s a low carb chicken recipe that is packed with flavor, easy to make, and over the top delicious.
YOU’LL LOVE THIS EASY JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN:
- It’s quick! No stressful pounding, stuffing, or rolling chicken breasts. Just layer everything in the dish and pop it in the oven.
- It has all the flavor of those tasty jalapeno poppers, but adding the chicken makes it a perfectly filling dinner.
- BACON. If a chicken recipe calls for bacon, you know it’s gonna be good!
- The smooth cream cheese is a perfect balance to the crunch of the jalapenos and crisp bacon.
- Even though it’s naturally keto friendly, it will be enjoyed even by carb lovers.
A CHICKEN RECIPE THE WHOLE FAMILY WILL ENJOY
This bacon jalapeno chicken recipe is low carb, gluten free, and keto friendly. But I didn’t tell my family that the first time I served it, and they had no idea. Every one of them gobbled it right up!
It is perfect for my keto diet, but you can of course make it lower in fat if you prefer. Just use light cream cheese and milk in place of the cream. And of course you can use less cheese, but man I love it loaded with cheese!
How do you cut a jalapeno pepper?
Peppers release oil that can burn your skin (and especially your eyes!), so it’s best to use a glove on the hand holding the jalapeno.
Wash and dry your jalapeno, then cut off both ends with a sharp knife. Cut the jalapeno in half lengthwise. Scrape out the middle membrane and discard. If you want a more mild dish, you should also remove the seeds. Leave them in if you like the heat.
Cut each half into strips, then cut across the strip till the pepper is diced as small as you desire.
Can I use canned jalapeno peppers instead of fresh?
I prefer the crispness, flavor, and texture of fresh jalapeno peppers, but you can definitely use canned if you prefer.
Do I have to brown the chicken first?
Browning the chicken is an optional step, but the searing does add extra flavor and help hold in the juice of the chicken breast. If you skip the step, you will need to bake your chicken for at least 30 minutes. Check to make sure it’s 165 degrees inside.
Can I use chicken thighs instead?
Absolutely! Thighs are actually better for keto because they are higher in fat. I just don’t care for them, so I use chicken breast. If you use thighs, your baking time will decrease because they cook faster. Watch closely so they don’t get above 165° and dry out.
HOW TO MAKE KETO JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN
- PREP – Let your cream cheese come to room temperature. Dice your jalapenos. Cook the bacon till crispy; crumble and set aside. Cut your chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Spray a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray.
- BROWN CHICKEN – Sprinkle both sides of each halved piece of chicken with salt and pepper. Brown each side in olive oil for 3-4 minutes over medium high heat. While chicken is cooking preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- CREAM CHEESE MIXTURE – In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese till smooth. Add cream, garlic, and onion powder and beat till creamy.
- ASSEMBLE – Arrange chicken in prepared pan. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over each chicken breast.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese, diced jalapeno peppers, and bacon.
- BAKE – Place pan in preheated 375° oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the internal temperature of the chicken is 165°. (Use my free printable meat temperature chart for reference!)
- Make sure your cream cheese is at room temperature, or it is hard to spread on the chicken. For this recipe, you can heat it in the microwave for a few seconds if you need to.
- Chicken breasts are easier to cut in half if they are partially frozen.
- You will get the most ooey gooey cheese on top if you grate the cheese yourself. Pre-shredded cheese is coated to keep it from clumping, so it doesn’t melt together as well.
JALAPENO POPPER CHICKEN RECIPE VARIATIONS:
- Instead of using large chicken breast pieces, you can cube the chicken instead. If you brown the chicken cubes, the baking time will only be 8-10 minutes.
- Switch out the cheddar for pepper jack, colby jack, mozzarella, or another type of cheese you love.
- Add a layer of parmesan cheese between the cream cheese and cheddar layer.
- For extra crunchy chicken, you can dip the chicken breast in butter, then panko bread crumbs before browning in the bacon fat. (Of course the recipe will no longer be low carb, but boy will it be tasty!)
- To make this recipe even faster, I often use the precooked bacon bits from Costco.
What to serve with jalapeño popper chicken?
- Green salad is usually my go to for this keto chicken, and of course I top it with my homemade ranch dressing.
- Low carb jalapeno popper chicken is also tasty served on top of mashed potatoes, rice, or pasta.
- You can’t go wrong with a side of corn bread or homemade garlic knots.
Low Carb Side Dish Options:
- Roasted Cauliflower
- Sesame Green Beans
- Over a bed of cauliflower rice
- With a side salad
- Alongside some Keto Cheddar Biscuits
- 8 slices of bacon
- 3 12 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 tsp salt (or more)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 Tbsp bacon grease
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/8 tsp onion powder
- 2 small jalapeño peppers minced
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Cook bacon till crisp. Crumble and set aside. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease.
- Cut chicken breasts in half lengthwise. Sprinkle each of the six sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Brown each side of the chicken breasts for about 4 minutes per side. You don't need to cook through, just brown the outside.
- Place the browned chicken in a 9x13" baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
- In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and cream till smooth. Beat in the minced garlic and onion powder. Spread over the tops of each chicken breast.
- Sprinkle cheese, diced jalapenos, and bacon bits over the top of the chicken.
- Bake at 375° until chicken reaches and internal temperature of 165° about 20-25 minutes.