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Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole Recipe

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole Recipe
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole Recipe

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole Recipe

Introduction

This Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole combines the creamy, spicy flavors of jalapeno poppers with tender chicken, all baked into a satisfying and hearty casserole. It’s the perfect dish for spice lovers and a great way to enjoy the flavors of your favorite appetizer as a main course. Let’s dive into this delicious recipe.

Ingredients

For the Casserole:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup cooked and crumbled bacon
  • 4-6 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (adjust to your spice preference)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or green onions for garnish (optional)

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup crushed buttery crackers or breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
  2. Prepare the Chicken:
    • Season the chicken breasts with garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, salt, and black pepper.
    • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add a bit of oil.
    • Cook the chicken breasts for about 4-5 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and cooked through.
    • Remove the chicken from the skillet, let it cool slightly, and then cut it into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Prepare the Creamy Mixture:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, crumbled bacon, diced jalapenos, and grated Parmesan cheese. Mix until well combined.
  4. Combine and Layer:
    • Add the cooked chicken pieces to the creamy mixture and stir until the chicken is evenly coated.
    • Transfer the mixture to the greased baking dish and spread it out evenly.
  5. Prepare the Topping:
    • In a separate bowl, combine the crushed buttery crackers or breadcrumbs with the melted butter.
    • Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the top of the casserole.
  6. Bake:
    • Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the casserole is bubbly, and the topping is golden brown.
  7. Serve:
    • Remove the casserole from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
    • Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro or green onions if desired.

Tips

  • Wear disposable gloves or wash your hands thoroughly after handling jalapeno peppers, especially if you touch your face, as the oils can cause irritation.
  • You can adjust the level of spice in this dish by adding or reducing the amount of jalapeno peppers. Removing the seeds and membranes from the peppers can also help reduce the heat.
  • For a crunchier topping, broil the casserole for 1-2 minutes after baking until the topping is nicely browned.
  • This casserole is perfect as a main course, but you can also serve it as a dip with tortilla chips or as a side dish.

Variations

  • You can make this casserole even heartier by adding cooked pasta, such as penne or rotini, to the creamy mixture before baking.
  • To make it a low-carb or keto-friendly option, replace the crackers with crushed pork rinds or almond flour for the topping.
  • For a smoky flavor, try using smoked cheddar or smoked Gouda cheese in the creamy mixture.

This Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole is a crowd-pleaser and a great choice for a family dinner or potluck. Enjoy the creamy, spicy goodness!

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