This creamy Jalapeño Popper Chicken is an easy and flavorful family dinner. Ready in 45 minutes, it has all the flavors of your favorite appetizer in a low carb, keto friendly casserole.
Raise your hand if you need more easy in your life. Oh, I see you. And you, And you. And me. I think it’s pretty safe to say that we can all use more easy in our lives.
Well nothing beats this Jalapeño Popper Chicken for an easy and family friendly meal. And an inexpensive one at that.
Every time I think life is going to slow down a bit, I find myself just as busy as ever. So creating easy keto dinner recipes is always top of my priority list.
But those easy dinners have to taste great, too! It’s no good creating healthy meals if no one wants to eat them. I threw this meal together one day when I was short on time, and it was an instant hit with the whole family.
Getting three grumpy teens to all agree on one meal? Priceless!
Why this recipe is so awesome
We all know how much keto dieters love their jalapeno poppers. I mean, what’s not to love? Jalapeños? Good. Cheese? Good. Bacon? Gooooood! They’re a classic appetizer that is easily made low carb, and are always so full of flavor. So it’s no wonder that they’re a beloved keto snack recipe.
It’s also easy to take those same flavors and use them in other delicious ways, to make them into a full keto meal. Soup, meatloaf, meatballs – so many great ideas. My husband adores Jalapeno Popper Pizza, it’s one of his favorite recipes.
Those flavors really shine when they are combined with chicken. Smother some chicken thighs in a cream cheese sauce, add cheese, jalapeños, and bacon, and it’s a match made in keto heaven.
And the Jalapeno Popper Chicken recipe comes together in less than an hour. Best of all, it has only 2g carbs per serving!
“Oh boy. This was sensational. I’ve yet to have a single recipe of yours that I don’t like. They are all amazing. Thank you for your genius recipes.” — Yvette
“I made this last night for dinner, followed the recipe exactly, and it was soooooo delicious. It is going to be a regular on our dinner menu. This is why I own so many of your cookbooks! Your recipes are all tried and true.” — Yvette
“Carolyn, you have hit it out of the park once again. This was a huge hit and will be made again and again. We both loved all the flavours in this chicken and since we had home grown jalapenos it made it even better. I have passed this recipe on to many friends, all of whom loved it also. Please keep them coming. We appreciate all your hard work you do creating such great recipes.” — Wendy
Ingredients you need
- Bacon: If you use pre-cooked bacon, you will need a little oil to brown the chicken thighs.
- Boneless skinless chicken thighs: Some readers used chicken breast instead. If you do use chicken breasts, cut them into thinner pieces.
- Cream cheese: Use full fat cream cheese.
- Heavy whipping cream: This is mixed with the softened cream cheese to make a creamy cheese sauce for the chicken.
- Garlic: I prefer using fresh garlic, but you can also use garlic powder.
- Jalapeño peppers: If you want something less spicy, you can use poblano or anaheim peppers. If you like more spice, keep the seeds or use serano chiles.
- Shredded cheddar cheese: You can shred your own or use pre-shredded cheese. Any variety of cheddar, from sharp to mild, can be used. You can also use colby jack cheese.
- Salt and pepper
1. Cook the bacon: In a large skillet over medium, cook the chopped bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate and remove all but 1 tablespoon of the grease.
2. Brown the chicken: Pat the chicken thighs dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook until nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and transfer the thighs to a glass or ceramic baking dish.
3. Prepare the sauce: In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, whipping cream, and garlic. Spread over the chicken in the dish.
4. Assemble: Sprinkle with the jalapeno and cheddar cheese, then sprinkle with the chopped bacon.
5. Bake the casserole: Bake at 375ºF for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.
Chop the bacon before cooking it, as it gets more evenly crisp this way. Drain most of the grease from the pan but keep about one tablespoon for browning the chicken.
Browning the chicken before baking brings out more flavor. If you just add the sauce and toppings to raw chicken, the casserole ends up more watery as well.
Make sure the cream cheese is really soft before making the sauce. I like to pop mine in the microwave for 15 seconds or so first. It makes the sauce more creamy and smooth.
You can store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze leftovers for up to 3 months.
This jalapeño popper chicken recipe has 2.1g of carbs and 0.2g of fiber per serving. That comes to 1.9g net carbs per chicken thigh serving.
You can make this keto dinner recipe as mild or as spicy as you like. If you don’t like too much heat, try using milder peppers like poblanos, or even just regular green pepper. For a spicier version, add more jalapeños and keep the seeds in.
More healthy keto chicken recipes
Keto Chicken Marsala
This Keto Chicken Marsala is a classic recipe with a healthy twist. You can’t beat this golden pan-seared chicken topped with succulent mushrooms in a rich, velvety sauce. And it has only 4.5g of carbs per serving!
Spinach Stuffed Chicken
Succulent and juicy, this Spinach Stuffed Chicken is a deliciously satisfying keto dinner. Take chicken breasts to the next level with a rich spinach cheese filling and a buttery garlic pan sauce.
Easy Sheet Pan Chicken
Juicy and succulent, these easy Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs are a family favorite! Baked together with low carb veggies, this keto dinner recipe comes together with minimal effort. So full of flavor!
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Recipe
- 4 slices bacon chopped
- 6 chicken thighs boneless, skinless
- Salt and pepper
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 to 4 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- 2 small jalapeno peppers minced
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
- In a large skillet over medium, cook the chopped bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate and remove all but 1 tablespoon of the grease.
- Pat the chicken thighs dry and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs to the skillet and cook until nicely browned, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat and transfer the thighs to a glass or ceramic baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, whipping cream, and garlic. Spread over the chicken in the dish.
- Sprinkle with the jalapeno and cheddar cheese, then sprinkle with the chopped bacon. Bake about 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through.