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Jalapeño Chicken

Spice up chicken with this Mexican-inspired casserole featuring a kick of jalapeño. 

April 30, 2018

Spice dinner up — or down — with this easy, cheesy, jalapeño-filled casserole. Perfect for a Cinco de Mayo buffet!

Serves eight


  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken tenders
  • 5 slices thin-cut bacon
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • One 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 pound (about six medium) fresh jalapeño peppers 
  • 4 to 6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 to 3 scallions, sliced, for garnish
  • 3 cups cooked rice


Cut bacon into slices crosswise and cook until crisp. Remove from pan and set aside on a paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile, prepare the jalapeños. Cut off the stem end and slice the peppers into quarters. Remove the seeds, unless you like a lot of heat. For no heat at all, remove the ribs. Set peppers aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter or spray a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

Lay the chicken pieces side by side in the prepared dish. They should just fit in a single layer. Season chicken with the garlic powder, then dollop the softened cream cheese over the top. With an offset spatula, spread the cream cheese over the chicken like frosting. 

Lay the pepper strips on top of the cream cheese layer. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the top and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven, sprinkle with cooked bacon and return to the oven for a final five minutes. To serve, sprinkle with scallions and arrange rice around the sides of the casserole to absorb the pan juices. 

Cook’s note: The recipe does not turn out as well with canned jalapeños.