Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken is the food that dreams are made of. Creamy and cheesy stuffed jalapenos are wrapped in juicy chicken breasts and salty bacon. It’s then slow smoked for maximum flavor and basted with homemade BBQ sauce for a jalapeno popper like you’ve never had before.
Jalapeno Popper Chicken
My husband and I first had a dish similar to this at a restaurant called Pork Belly’s in his small hometown. We ordered the “Chicken Bomb,” and stared with eyes wide as the waitress brought this beautiful bacon wrapped gift to our table. Once we sliced it open and all of that glorious, gooey cream cheese came spilling out of the popper, I knew this was a recipe I would be recreating at home.
This jalapeno popper chicken is completely packed full of ingredients and flavor, and it’s perfect for tailgating, dinner, game day, and so much more. If you love jalapeno poppers, you’ll love this recipe.
Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken
This jalapeno popper stuffed chicken is all about layers. Everything is wrapped in another tasty ingredient, and it all works together beautifully.
I start this guy with a classic jalapeno popper filling of softened cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and then add my own twist with an addition of my Homemade BBQ Sweet Rub. This adds a little smokiness and sweetness to the inside of the popper itself. Next, wrap the jalapeno popper in chicken breast and then wrap that in bacon. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough goodness for you, the whole thing is smothered in BBQ sauce. Seriously, folks, you’ve gotta try this!
How To Make Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken
Follow these instructions to assemble and bake your stuffed chicken. While there are a handful of steps, don’t be intimidated. The whole thing comes together quite easily:
PREPARE THE JALAPENOS.
Split the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds and ribs.
MAKE THE JALAPENO POPPERS.
Combine the cream cheese mixture in a separate bowl, and then use the back of a spoon to press the filling into the jalapeno halves. Place the halves back together.
CUT THE CHICKEN BREASTS.
Press down with one hand on top of the breasts and use the other hand with the knife parallel to the cutting board to slowly slice through the breast. Make sure you don’t cut all the way through. Leave one side of the breast completely intact so you can easily open and close the chicken.
STUFF THE CHICKEN.
Set the stuffed popper in the middle of the opened breast and then fold the top flap of the chicken over to envelop the popper completely.
WRAP IN BACON!
I like to use a regular thickness of bacon on this chicken so the fat has time to render and crisp by the time to chicken is done cooking.
With your smoker (or oven) preheated to 250 degrees F, place the stuffed chicken on the smoker or in the oven. Close the lid and cook until the internal temperature has reached 150 degrees F.
Tips for Making Jalapeno Popper Chicken
I make my jalapeno popper stuffed chicken in my smoker, but if you don’t have one you can absolutely use an oven or a regular gas or charcoal grill. All you have to do is follow the same time and temperature guidelines in the written recipe below. In your oven, make sure the bacon fat has somewhere to go. I recommend cooking on a roasting rack above a baking sheet so the fat can drip down and not saturate the bottom of your chicken.
If you’re cooking these in a regular grill, it’s important to cook the chicken over indirect heat. Turn on half of your burners and then cook the chicken on the half where the burners are off. The radiant heat will cook them without having do deal with the flare ups and grease fires from the bacon fat dripping down onto your coals or open flames.
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 4 large jalapenos
- 12 pieces bacon
- 2 Tablespoons Hey Grill Hey’s Sweet BBQ Rub (link in recipe notes)
- 1/2 cup Kansas City bbq sauce (link in recipe notes)
JALAPENO POPPER FILLING
- 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 4 oz medium cheddar cheese (shredded)
- 1 Tablespoon Sweet BBQ Rub
- Preheat your smoker (or oven). Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees F for indirect heat with mild wood like apple or hickory. You can also bake these in the oven at the same temperature.
- Clean the jalapenos. Prepare your poppers by slicing the tops off of the jalapenos, cutting them in half, and scraping out the ribs and seeds inside of the poppers.
- Make the jalapeno poppers. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and 1 Tablespoon of sweet rub. Use the back of the spoon to press the filling mixture into each half of the cleaned out peppers and then press the pepper halves back together.
- Prep and fill the chicken. On a large cutting board, slice the chicken breasts open, without slicing all of the way through the breasts. Set one filled popper inside of each chicken breast and fold them closed.
- Wrap in bacon! Wrap each chicken breast with about 3 slices of bacon. Secure the bacon ends with toothpicks, if necessary. Season the stuffed chicken on all sides with more of the sweet rub.
- Cook the jalapeno popper chicken. Place the chicken breasts on the smoker, close the lid and cook until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees F. This process usually takes an hour and a half. Baste the chicken liberally with BBQ sauce, close the lid, and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
- Rest and serve. Remove the chicken to a cutting board or serving platter and allow it to rest for about 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!!