Rule #138: Dieting can be delicious.
I originally found this recipe while searching for Keto recipes to make for Jon Boy. He’s decided to go Keto-ish to try and lose a few extra pounds. I say Keto-ish because, I don’t know if you’ve ever done much research, but true Keto dieting is TOUGH y’all [read more here]! So, Jon Boy is going Keto-ish which basically means he’s eating very limited carbs and substituting with a little more fat. It’s really not so terrible… especially when you get to eat something with ‘Jalapeño Popper’ in the title and not feel bad about it.
I’d also like to point out that I’m now in the third trimester of this little pregnancy and by NO MEANS am I concerned with my carb intake. This recipe though… y’all. It made my hungry baby belly happy and also satisfied Jon Boy’s low carb desires.
The recipe below is written for 2 servings, but the pictures show enough for 6 servings. This recipe can easily be ramped up for more people, so don’t sweat the actual amount of ingredients.
diced jalapeños + garlic powder + S&P + cream cheese + cheddar cheese + chicken breast + bacon (not pictured)
Liberally season both sides of the chicken with garlic powder, Kosher salt, and black pepper.
Drizzle some olive oil on the bottom of an oven-proof dish (I use a good ole 13×9 Pyrex pan).
Place the seasoned chicken breasts in an even layer in the dish.
Dollop with cream cheese.
Sprinkle on some diced jalapeños (to be honest… I wish I would’ve put even more than this on this particular batch of chicken). We like it spicy.
Sprinkle on some shredded cheddar and bake at 375 for 50 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. If you’re using thinner chicken breasts, cut the cook time down to about 30 minutes. Sprinkle some crumbled, roasted bacon all over the poppin’ chicken and dig in!
I went for jarred jalapeños instead of fresh because I like having meals like this that can be thrown together in minutes with little to no chopping. And, let’s be real. I’m tired of cutting jalapeños only to touch my eye 2 minutes later which then leads to all kinds of unholy talk spewing out of my mouth. I’ll just skip all that and take the jarred stuff, thanks. Plus, that jar-o-jalapeños will last you quite a while!
The Keto diet (and this recipe) calls for lots and lots and LOTS of bacon. Not yer turkey bacon, folks. The real stuff. Our favorite way to cook bacon is to roast it on some baking racks like this:
The bacon gets nice and crispy, and all of the extra fat just drips down to the bottom of the pan. We roast ours at 400 for about 20 minutes until it’s all perfectly cooked in its piggy perfection.
I’m planning on playing with a few more Keto recipes I’ve found to make them work for both Jon Boy and my pregnant self. They’ll be healthy, but still very satisfying! I’m actually kind of excited to have a new ‘goal’ in the kitchen. I love taking recipes and making them our own. Until I get those all “blog-worthy”, here are some other great Keto recipes I’ve found:
This recipe can EASILY be changed to fit the number of folks you’re feeding. This recipe, as it’s written, feeds two very hungry people (eh hem… Jon Boy and his Baby Mama) or three normally hungry people. If you’re cooking for more or just want leftovers, just double number of chicken breasts, add a few more dollops of cream cheese, and sprinkle on more jalapeños and cheddar.
Another fun swap would be to exchange diced green chiles for the jalapeños! Gotta love a flexible recipe!
Jalapeño Popper Chicken
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs. EVOO
4 oz. Neufchatel (1/3-less fat) cream cheese
3 tbs. jarred, diced jalapeños (or 3 fresh jalapeños, cut-in-half, seeded and membranes removed)
Shredded cheddar cheese
4 pieces of roasted bacon*, crumbled OR bacon bits
Preheat oven to 375.
Generously season both sides of chicken breasts with garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Spread oil on the bottom of your baking dish. Lay seasoned chicken breasts on olive oil and dot with cream cheese. Spoon the diced jalapeños on top of the cream cheese and cover with shredded cheddar cheese.
Bake, uncovered, at 375 for about 50 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Garnish with roasted bacon.
*Place baking racks on a baking sheet. Lay bacon slices on racks and roast at 400 until crisp (about 18-20 minutes).