Nothing like this delicious, easy, cheesy Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet to spice things up for a quick dinner any night of the week! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo and whenever you're craving Mexican. Plus, it's keto-friendly and gluten free.
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Key Ingredients & Substitutions
As in recent posts, I'm thinking about all of us relying on basic pantry and fridge ingredients. That family pack of chicken breasts and thighs is looking pretty valuable right now, as would a perfectly tender rotisserie. Whatever you have, and even combined with sausage or steak, would create a delicious basis for this Mexican-themed skillet recipe.
Once you have your proteins sorted out, or have decided on a vegetarian version with portobello mushrooms or tofu, start layering on the delish with a spiced up cream cheese sauce. Obviously, you'll skip the bacon if going vegetarian.
The next layer is a combination of bell, poblano and jalapeño peppers. Fan them out in whatever design you like or simply let them fall where they may.
More cheese gets piled on top before heading to the oven or grill. I had a block of cheddar on hand, but you can also use Monterey or Colby jack, or smooth melting Mexican Oaxaca cheese.
In just 15 minutes or so you'll have a creamy, cheesy, kicked up chicken skillet to dig into.
You can serve this Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet with tortillas, chips, over rice, or just straight out of the pan. Crack open a cold one and enjoy! Stay well, friends!!
More Mouthwatering Mexican-Inspired Recipes!
Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet
- 8 ounces bacon , chopped
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken* breasts or thighs , cooked and shredded (about 4 cups)
- 1 tablespoon garlic , minced
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 8 ounces cream cheese , room temperature
- ¼ cup milk (optional)
- 4 jalapeño peppers , 2 seeded and thinly sliced vertically and 2 thinly sliced crosswise for serving
- 1 red bell pepper , thinly sliced vertically
- 1 large poblano pepper , thinly sliced vertically
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese , grated
- ¼ cup green onion , thinly sliced, plus extra for garnish
- Fresh cilantro or parsley
- Preheat oven to 375˚F (or preheat grill on medium).
- Heat a cast iron skillet or other large, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add chopped bacon and cook 7-10 minutes until crisp, stirring frequently. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.
- Turn heat up to medium-high. Add chicken, garlic, paprika and cumin to bacon grease in skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Cook to heat through, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir cream cheese into chicken mixture to melt. Thin the mixture with the milk if needed.
- Remove skillet from heat and sprinkle half of the bacon over chicken mixture.
- Arrange vertically sliced jalapeno, bell and poblano peppers on top.
- Spread the cheddar cheese over the peppers and sprinkle with green onions and remaining bacon.
- Bake in oven or place in covered grill for 15-20 minutes until bubbly and the cheese has melted.
- Garnish the skillet with horizontally sliced jalapeño, extra green onion and cilantro or parsley. Enjoy!
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