Jalapeno Popper Chicken

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Jalapeno Popper Chicken topped with cream cheese, cheddar cheese and jalapenos is a low carb and healthier way to enjoy your favorite jalapeno poppers!


This simple twist on Jalapeno Poppers made with chicken breast, cream cheese, diced jalapenos, and cheddar cheese. It's cheesy, spicy, and you will be licking your plate. We like to serve it with Roasted Cauliflower, Garlic Green Beans, or Baked Oven Fries

We’re keeping it simple today with this grilled or baked Jalapeno Popper Chicken. It couldn’t be any easier and is seriously delicious. Let’s talk about the players involved – fresh diced jalapenos, green onions, cream cheese, and cheddar cheese. And no one would judge you if you added in some chopped bacon, just saying. Everything is baked on a juicy chicken breast to create a quick and surprisingly low-calorie meal with under 250 calories.

Worried about the spice level? You could substitute in some roasted red peppers for a spice-free version or use Poblano peppers for a milder spice. Regular bell peppers would also work and you could even use some shredded zucchini but you would lose the whole jalapeno popper theme. However with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and green onions – no matter what veggies you use, you are guaranteed a yummy dish.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken in a baking dish with fresh jalapenos and cheddar cheese on top.

Make Jalapeno Popper Chicken Pasta

Believe it or not, this dish can be easily converted into the most delicious creamy and spicy pasta recipe. Start by cooking your pasta until al dente and reserve some of the pasta cooking liquid. You will want about 2 ounces per person. Meanwhile, chop the chicken into bite size pieces. Season it with salt, pepper, and some garlic powder. Add it to a hot pan with a touch of oil or cooking spray. Cook until cooked through and set aside. Add the jalapenos and green onions to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes until just tender. I like them to still have a little crunch.

Next, add the pasta and chicken to the pan. Stir in the cream cheese (you may need extra) and a little of the pasta cooking liquid. Stir until a creamy sauce forms. Lastly comes the cheese. Either stir it into the pasta or sprinkle it on top and cover for a few minutes for the cheese to melt. This is so so good!

How to Make Bacon Jalapeno Popper Chicken?

Needless to say, this chicken is super delicious with some bacon. To keep things on the lighter side, reach for some center cut bacon, turkey bacon, or chicken bacon. Simply cook it until crispy and then sprinkle on top of the chicken before serving. 

Can I Use Chicken Thighs?

If you prefer dark meat, jalapeno popper chicken can easily be made with chicken thighs. Just adjust the cooking time based on the type of chicken thigh you are using. Boneless skinless chicken thighs cook more quickly than a bone-in thigh. Either way, make sure to remove the skin before cooking since it will get soggy under the cream cheese topping.

Can I make it crunchy?

Absolutely! A great option for adding crunch to this dish is with some breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs will give you the most crunch. Simply sprinkle a thin layer on top after adding the cream cheese and jalapeno mixture. If you need a low carb option, you could sprinkle some finely chopped almonds on top. 

Chicken with jalapeno popper topping in a dish with melted cheese and jalapenos on top.

Tips for Making Jalapeno Popper Chicken

  • It's really easy to control the spice level in this dish. If you like things spicy, leave in the seeds when dicing the jalapenos. For a milder spice, remove the seeds and veins. You can also try different peppers. Poblano peppers have a milder heat than jalapenos and for no heat at all, just use a green or red bell pepper. For extra heat, add a serrano pepper to the mix or just add some chili powder or cayenne to the cream cheese mixture.
  • If you prefer to make a casserole style dish, start by layering in the chicken over a bed of cauliflower rice. Layer the raw chicken over the cauliflower rice and top with the cream cheese mixture. Baked for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Sometimes I make a little extra cream cheese and jalapeno pepper topping for this option. 
  • To make sure your chicken isn't overcooked, you may need to adjust the cooking time based on the thickness of the chicken.  It's fine to add the jalapeno popper topping a little early so that the chicken doesn't overcook.
  • To ensure even cooking of the chicken, you may want to pound or slice the chicken into a uniform thickness. This will also speed up the cooking time.
  • For a bubbly and browned topping, broil the dish for the last couple minutes of cooking.
  • Any cheese will work for this recipe - part-skim mozzarella, pepper jack, Monterey jack, basically anything that melts well.
  • To make this dish really special, drizzle the whole thing with buffalo sauce when it comes out of the oven. Bar food at its best.
  • If you are looking to make something in the slow cooker with similar flavors, try this Slow Cooker Jalapeno Chicken.

This recipe originally appeared back in 2015 but has been udpated with a video, new photos, and tips.

The Recipe
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Jalapeno Popper Chicken

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  • 1.33 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast, 4 pieces
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup jalapenos, seeded and diced
  • 2 oz. reduced fat cream cheese
  • 3 tbsp. green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese

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Preheat your grill or preheat the oven to 425 degrees.


Season the chicken with salt and pepper.


Grill it for 5-7 minutes per side or until cooked through. In the oven, place the chicken in a baking dish and cook for 25-30 minutes or until cooked through and juices run clear.


Meanwhile, mix together the jalapenos, cream cheese, green onions, and cheddar cheese.


For the grill – take the cooked chicken and place it on a piece of foil. Spread the cream cheese jalapeno mixture on top and return to grill. Close top with grill for 3-4 minutes until cheese begins to melt.


For the oven – remove the baking dish and spread the cream cheese jalapeno mixture over the chicken. Return to oven and cook 8-10 minutes or until cheese I creamy and melted.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 226
Calories from Fat 42
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 85mg
Sodium 223mg
Total Carbohydrate 2g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 1g
Protein 37g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Jalapeno Popper Chicken
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January 6, 2023 - 11:07
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Inspired by the suggestion of cooking this on a bed of cauliflower rice, and people in the comments mentioning pickled jalapeños I decided to experiment with this meal a bit. I Thawed out 2 packs of cauliflower rice as well as a frozen pack of chopped spinach. I cut two chicken breasts into cubes and mixed it together in a casserole dish with the cauliflower and spinach. I mixed cream cheese as well as the last spoonful of sour cream I had left in a container together. I opened a can of pickled jalapeños and added the juices to the cheese mix and dumped the whole can of pickled jalapeños into the casserole dish then tossed everything together with the cheese mix. I baked it in the oven at 425 for about 30 mins. The results were a spicy and tangy casserole that makes 4 good sized bowl fulls. I didn’t bother using salt or pepper since I was using a whole can of pickled jalapeño and I skipped using green onions and cheddar. Give it a good stir when it comes out of the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving it.
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Michelle Johnson
July 17, 2022 - 08:18
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Can this be made on a crockpot?
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October 26, 2021 - 13:51
I cut the chicken into strips and baked it.
After adding the cream cheese mixture and getting it soft and gooey, I topped it with shredded parm and breadcrumbs.
Sprayed it with Pam and browned it.
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August 7, 2021 - 17:18
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What’s a good side dish to pair with this? Great recipe. It’s really tasty!
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August 9, 2021 - 13:37
So happy to hear you enjoyed it! We normally serve it with roasted vegetables and either rice or cauliflower rice. A baked potato or sweet potato would also be delicious.
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Barbara Stoner
September 21, 2019 - 12:55
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One of the best recipes I’ve made in a long while. I Used chicken tenders and so reduce the initial bake time by a few minutes. I also coated my chicken in some ranch dressing powder and used pickled jalapeños instead of fresh. My husband and kids are still talking about it. The next day I shredded up the leftovers and ate it like a dip. So good.
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September 13, 2019 - 08:25
Has anyone ever used the pickled jalapenos in the jar? I'm going to make this tonight. Looks so good!
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Barbara Stoner
September 21, 2019 - 12:56
I used pickled jalapeños and it was fantastic! I did squeeze out some of the excess juice so it wouldn’t make it runny.
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Jill Moran
March 18, 2019 - 14:35
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This is one of our favorites! So good! If you devein and deseed the jalapeño it will not be spicy. Great recipe!
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Becky Hawkins
July 24, 2019 - 14:26
What did you make for the sides
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October 30, 2018 - 11:39
I don’t have green onions HELP can I substitute- I’ve had this before and loves it
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March 18, 2019 - 10:18
You can just leave them out and add a touch of onion powder. Diced red onions would work too!
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June 6, 2018 - 18:47
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This was absolutely delicoius ! Will for sure be making this again!
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Cyn Troxell-pawling
February 15, 2017 - 19:37
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Easy, quick, and absolutely decadent! Thanks for this family-pleasing recipe.
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Freda Potter
January 16, 2017 - 15:09
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This was good, quick, and easy. Husband loved it.
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Christine Catone
March 5, 2016 - 06:51
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This will be come a staple at Catone Cottage - tons of flavor and so easy!
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Kriston Crisler
February 22, 2016 - 21:52
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Have made this twice already! Love it!
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Erin Fitzgerald
February 16, 2016 - 20:44
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This was delicious and we will be making it again!
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Renee Todd
February 4, 2016 - 11:15
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Love this! Will most definitely be making again :)
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Gena Norton
September 18, 2021 - 17:40
This was so good. Had a lot of jalapeños from the garden and needed to use. Didn’t have cream cheese so substituted goat cheese and used red onion instead of green onion. Served with avocado corn salad. Perfect!!
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September 20, 2021 - 14:25
Yum!! Serving this with goat cheese sounds so good!
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