JALAPEÑO POPPER CHICKEN CASSEROLE
- 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:
- 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.
Serving: 4oz chicken + toppings: Calories: 401kcal (20%) | Carbohydrates: 3g (1%) | Protein: 37g (74%) | Fat: 27g (42%) | Saturated Fat: 13g (81%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g