This Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet is the ultimate, easy weeknight dinner that will have everyone begging for seconds. Seared chicken thighs, bacon bits, garlic and onion with plenty of spicy jalapeños, cream cheese and cheddar make for a cheesy, gooey and delicious meal that comes together in one skillet. A low carb and keto friendly meal that will become everyone’s favorite dinner!
Are you getting a little tired of the same old chicken dinner every night? Craving something super decadent and delicious? Behold – one of our most popular creations to date – the jalapeño popper chicken skillet! This skillet suits even the pickiest of eaters. It’s rich, creamy, decadent and a little spicy, but not over the top. We loooove dinners that can be made in one cast iron skillet. It leaves for little mess, and this comes together quite quickly with minimal ingredients.
If you eat keto, low carb or gluten free, this meal was made with you in mind. Even if you don’t eat that way, you’re gonna love this meal. It comes with a lot of praise from our friends and family who have tried it. Some of them eat low carb and some don’t, but across the board, this one gets requested over and over again. This mashup of a chicken dinner and jalapeño poppers is one of our best creations to date, and you only need a few simple ingredients.
Here’s What You Need For A Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet:
- Unsalted butter or cooking oil
- Chicken thighs or Breasts
- Bacon or bacon bits (we like using Kirkland bacon bits)
- Cream cheese (full fat)
- Sour cream (full fat)
- Shredded colby jack, cheddar cheese or Mexican cheese blend
- Salt & Pepper to taste
What Spices or Seasonings Should I Use For This Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet?
The only real spices you need for this dish are simple – salt and pepper! You can add a pinch of smoked paprika if you want a hint of smokiness, or a pinch of cayenne pepper for more heat, if you want. The main flavors of this dish come from the fresh garlic, onion and spice from the jalapeños. Fresh garlic and onion are the bases of most great tasting dishes, and we promise they add a lot of flavor. Of course you can always adjust the seasonings to your preference. If you’d rather leave out the fresh onion and garlic you can add garlic powder and onion powder to taste. We’d recommend starting with 2 tsp of each spice, and then adjusting from there.
What Chicken Should I Use?
Our personal favorite for this dish would be chicken thighs, but you could of course use breasts, canned chicken even, or leftover rotisserie chicken. Skipping out on cooking the chicken can save a lot of time and effort. Using leftovers of course does too! If you opt to use canned chicken or leftover rotisserie, you can definitely still crisp it up in the pan if you want with a little butter and some salt and pepper, but it’s not entirely necessary. You could always just add it to the skillet later on to warm the chicken through.
Is This Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet Spicy?
Slightly, but overall we’d say no, it doesn’t have a huge spice element to it. Mostly it’s just creamy, cheesy and rich with flecks of salty bacon and seared chicken in there. It’s very flavorful from the fresh onion, garlic and jalapeños that add a subtle kick. The spice level is sort of covered up by all the creamy dairy in this dish! However, always taste so you can ensure to get the flavor that you want.
How Can I Reduce The Spice Level In This Dish?
It’s important to note that each jalapeño is different and sometimes you don’t know what you’re gonna get! It might be a good idea to taste taste a bit of the jalapeño before adding, so you know how spicy the particular pepper is. Did you know that wrinkly white lines on your jalapeño indicate that it’s likely going to be a very spicy pepper? Keep this in mind when shopping for jalapeños!
Another tip would be to scrape out the seeds and discard them. Most of the spice of the jalapeño is held in there, so you can scale back the spice level in way. Additionally, you could always add less jalapeños to your personal taste preference. Lastly, we’d also recommend buying jarred or pickled jalapeños. You can chose from “tamed” or “hot” and this can control the spice level a little bit if this is concerning to you.
Here’s More Easy Keto Dinners You Might Like:
- Pepperoni pizza chicken skillet
- Reuben skillet
- Keto bacon wrapped brown sugar chicken
- Cheeseburger casserole skillet
- Creamy parmesan chicken and butternut squash skillet
- Loaded keto “potato” soup with jalapeño, smoked sausage and bacon
- Chorizo stuffed poblano peppers
- Cajun chicken alfredo
- Cajun shrimp, sausage and peppers skillet
Here’s What You Need A Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet:
Start by preheating your oven to 375°F. Dice 3 of the jalapeños, and cut the 4th jalapeño into thin rounds to top the skillet if desired. Dice your onions and mince your garlic. Set aside.
Preheat your cast iron skillet over medium heat. Season your chicken thighs with plenty of salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp of butter to the skillet, reserving 1 tbsp of butter for later. Brown your chicken thighs in a skillet over medium heat, when cooked thru remove from the skillet and set aside to rest for a few minutes.
Add in the rest of your butter, then your diced jalapeños and onions to the pan. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add your bacon bits to crisp up. This should take about 3 minutes. Add your cream cheese and sour cream, then stir to combine. Turn the heat down to low.
Cut your chicken thighs into bite sized pieces, then add to the skillet. Stir to combine. At this point, give it a quick taste. Adjust seasonings to your liking. If you want the sauce to be a bit creamier, you could add in some heavy whipping cream, half and half, milk, or whatever you like.
Add in about 1/3 of the shredded cheese, stir to combine. Save the rest of the cheese for topping the skillet.
When the cheese is mostly melted, top the skillet with the remaining cheese, and add thinly sliced jalapeños, and more bacon bits to the top if you want. Put the skillet in the oven, uncovered for 20 minutes. To get the cheese to crisp up, broil on high for 3-5 minutes to get the cheese a little browned.
Put the skillet in the oven, uncovered for 20 minutes. To get the cheese to crisp up, broil on high for 3-5 minutes to get the cheese a little browned.
Serve warm and enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to subscribe to our email newsletter so you’re the first to know about new recipes we post on our blog.
Until Next Time,
Briana & Chamere
Jalapeño Popper Chicken Skillet
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
- 1.5 lbs chicken thighs
- 3 whole jalapeños, diced
- 1 whole jalapeño, sliced into rounds
- 100 grams onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 220 grams cooked bacon, in small pieces (we often use bacon bits)
- 8 ounces full fat cream cheese
- 5 ounces sour cream
- 10 ounces shredded cheese of choice, divided (we use cheddar or colby jack cheese)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Start by preheating your oven to 375°F. Preheat your cast iron skillet over medium heat. Season your chicken thighs with plenty of salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp of butter to the skillet, reserving 1 tbsp of butter for later. Brown your chicken thighs in a skillet over medium heat, when cooked thru remove from the skillet and set aside to rest for a few minutes.
- Add in the rest of your butter, then your diced jalapeños and onions to the pan. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the bacon bits to crisp up, this will take about 3 minutes. Add your cream cheese and sour cream, then stir to combine. Turn the heat down to low.
- Cut your chicken thighs into bite sized pieces, then add to the skillet. Stir to combine. . Adjust seasonings to your liking. You can thin the mixture with heavy whipping cream if desired. Add in about 1/3 of the shredded cheese, stir to combine until cheese is mostly melted.
- Top the skillet with remaining cheese, jalapeño rounds, and bacon bits if desired. Put the skillet in the oven, uncovered for 20 minutes. For an additional 3-5 minutes, turn the broiler on high to get the cheese crispy on top.
These nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy and are only estimates. We cannot guarantee the accuracy.