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Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole in a baking dish scooped with spoon

Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole


  • Author: Sara Nelson
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

This Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole features seasoned chicken shredded and mixed into a deliciously rich mixture of crispy bacon, cream cheese, hot sauce, and spicy jalapeños before being topped with shredded cheese and baked to bubbling browned perfection. It’s the ideal casserole for family dinners and can be made in just over 1 hour!


Ingredients

  • 20 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 6 slices (~6 oz) bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, finely chopped (~50g)
  • 12 oz cream cheese, cubed
  • 1/4 cup (60g) mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) hot sauce
  • 1 cup (4 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with foil. Place baking rack atop lined baking sheet.
  2. In a mixing bowl, toss chicken thighs in salt and pepper. Transfer seasoned chicken to prepared baking rack. Transfer baking sheet to oven and bake until internal temperature of chicken reaches 165 degrees, about 30 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a pan over medium heat, cook chopped bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and place on paper towel-lined plate to remove excess grease. Do not discard bacon grease.
  4. In pan of bacon grease over medium heat, add chopped jalapeños and cook until softened and edges are browned, about 3 minutes. To pan, add cubed cream cheese, mayonnaise, and hot sauce and cook until cream cheese has softened and all ingredients are well-combined, about 5 minutes.
  5. Once chicken has finished cooking, remove baking sheet from oven. Do not turn oven off. Transfer chicken to mixing bowl and shred using two forks. Mix in crumbled bacon and cream cheese mixture.
  6. Transfer mixture to 8×8 baking pan and, using a rubber spatula, spread into an even layer. Sprinkle shredded mozzarella and shredded cheddar atop mixture. Transfer baking pan to middle rack of oven and bake for 10 minutes before turning oven broiler on and broiling for 2-3 minutes. Remove pan from oven and allow casserole to cool slightly before cutting into pieces.

Recipe Notes:

Chicken Thighs Substitution: Rotisserie chicken, chicken breast, or tenderloins make great chicken thigh alternatives although, chicken thighs are fattier and tend to have more flavor.

Jalapeños Substitution: You can use jarred jalapeños if you cannot find fresh jalapeños. Serrano peppers would work great, too.

Cream Cheese Substitution: You can use vegan cream cheese or, if you consume nuts, you can substitute almond milk cream cheese at a 1:1 ratio.

Mayonaise Substitution: Full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream can be used instead of mayo at a 1:1 ratio.

Hot Sauce Substitution: You can use 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper (or up to 1/2 tsp if you like a lot of spice) in place of hot sauce.

Shredded Mozzarella Substitution: Shredded provolone or white cheddar can be used in place of mozzarella.

Shredded Sharp Cheese Substitution: Colby or Monterey jack will work here.

Net Carbs: Per serving, this jalapeño popper casserole contains 3.7 grams of net carbs. The recipe, as written, yields 6 servings. Net carbs are calculated by taking total carbs, subtracting fiber, and subtracting sugar alcohols.

Side Dish Suggestions: A simple side salad, seasoned cauliflower rice, and/or roasted broccoli would make for excellent side dishes to serve alongside your jalapeño popper chicken casserole.

Preparing In Advance To Bake Later: Follow the directions in the recipe until it’s time to bake, then refrigerate for up to 4 days. When you’re ready to eat, follow the baking instructions in the recipe and enjoy!

Refrigerator Storage: Store the cooked dish in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To reheat, pop it in the microwave until heated throughout or in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

Freezer Storage: Store the cooked and cooled casserole in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 slice

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