This decadent jalapeno popper chicken casserole is loaded with tender chunks of chicken smothered in ranch-infused cream cheese, crispy bacon, and bold jalapenos under a blanket of melted cheese.
If you are a jalapeno popper junky, like myself, you need this easy casserole in your life. This delicious meal is loaded with all of the classic jalapeno popper flavors you love in each comforting bite!
This low carb meal will be a huge hit for anyone on a keto diet, but it is also the perfect dish for anyone craving some delicious comfort food.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts - You can substitute other cuts of chicken meat such as chicken thighs, or use a rotisserie chicken to save time, but chicken breasts are best for this casserole.
- Bacon - I recommend regular cut bacon rather than thick cut bacon so it doesn't get too soft in the casserole sauce.
- Fresh jalapeño peppers
- Cream cheese
- Ranch seasoning packet
- Mild cheddar cheese & mozzarella cheese - Pre-shredded cheese is best. You can use also substitute other varieties of cheese, such as Colby-Jack.
- Customize - You can also include your own additions such as fresh green onions, garlic powder, and onion powder to customize this decadent dish into a meal the whole family will love! If spicy jalapeños aren't enough for you, add a little bit of hot sauce too!
How to make it
Begin making this jalapeno popper chicken casserole recipe by preheating your oven to 400 degrees and bake your chicken breast in a baking pan until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. This will take approximately 25 minutes, depending on how thick they are. (You can make the chicken ahead of time, or use leftover chicken.)
Once the chicken is done baking, let it cool slightly, then shred it into large chunks and spread the chicken evenly across the bottom of your casserole dish.
Cut your bacon into small chunks and cook in a frying pan over medium-high heat while your chicken breasts bake. Saute the bacon until it is almost crisp, then drain most of the fat from the pan and add 4 chopped jalapenos. Saute the bacon and jalapenos until the peppers have softened and the bacon is crisp.
Reduce the stovetop to low heat and combine cream cheese, mayo, and ranch seasoning with the bacon and jalapenos in your skillet. Cook until the mixture is well combined into a creamy sauce.
Pour the cream cheese mixture into your baking dish over the shredded chicken, then sprinkle cheese over the mixture in an even layer and top with slices of the remaining jalapeno pepper.
Reduce the heat of your oven to 350 degrees and bake the jalapeno chicken casserole for 15 minutes, then set your broiler to high and broil until the cheese has fully melted and begins to turn golden brown. Then remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and serve.
Storing and Reheating Leftovers
Leftover jalapeno popper casserole should be covered in aluminum foil or placed in an airtight container and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. The leftovers can be easily microwaved in individual servings to be reheated.
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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole
- 9x13 Baking Dish
- Large skillet
- 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 9 slices bacon
- 5 fresh jalapeno peppers (divided)
- 16 oz cream cheese
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- 1 ounce ranch seasoning packet
- ¾ cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place chicken breasts in 9x13” baking pan and bake until the internal temp reaches 165 degrees. Approximatley 25 minutes, depending on thickness.
- Set chicken aside until cool enough to handle and then shred into large chunks. Then spread the chicken evenly across the bottom of the baking pan.
- While chicken is baking cut bacon into 1” chunks and sauté in a large skillet over medium high heat until almost crispy, then drain most of the bacon fat from the pan, reserving 1 tablespoon of fat in the pan, and add 4 chopped jalapenos and continue cooking until the jalapeno has softened and the bacon is crispy.
- With the skillet set over low heat add cream cheese, mayo, and ranch seasoning to the bacon and jalapeno mixture. Then cook until the mixture combines into a sauce, stirring as needed.
- Pour sauce over shredded chicken in your 9x13” pan (both sauce and chicken should still be warm). Then top with cheddar and mozzarella cheese. Cut the final jalapeno into slices and place the jalapeno slices evenly on top of the cheese.
- Set your oven temperature to 350 degrees and place your casserole dish in the oven for 15 minutes. Finish cooking the casserole under the broiler for 5 minutes, or until all cheese is melted and browned slightly. Rotate as needed to prevent burning.
This recipe was originally published here on December 9, 2016.