Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken

January 30, 2020

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.

sliced jalapeno popper stuffed chicken on a wooden cutting board

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!

three bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken breasts on a wooden cutting board

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:

  1. Prepare the jalapenos. Split the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds and ribs.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bake. 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.
  7. Get saucy. When the chicken reaches 150 degrees F, baste with BBQ sauce. I prefer to use my homemade Kansas City Style BBQ Sauce for this recipe.
  8. Finish cooking. Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. I prefer using an instant read thermometer like the ThermoPop. It’s only $34 and works like a champ!

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.

More Jalapeno Popper Recipes

Looking for all the tasty jalapeno popper recipes? Hey Grill Hey is here to hook you up! We have a plethora of jalapeno popper recipes on the site to satisfy any and all appetites. Check out a few of our favorites below:

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers
Smoky Jalapeno Popper Mac and Cheese
Raspberry Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Recipe

Watch the video below and I’ll show you how I make this jalapeno popper chicken at home. I’m here to help you make better BBQ, feed the people you love, and become a backyard BBQ hero. Check out more of my smoking and grilling recipe videos on YouTubeInstagram, or our Facebook Page.

Making dinner for your family should be easy, and Hey Grill Hey is here to help! Over at Patio Provisions, we have sauces, rubs, and more to save you time and energy when making something for an upcoming get together. Check it out today!

jalapeno popper stuffed chicken

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Chicken

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.
4.93 from 26 votes
Prep Time : 20 mins
Cook Time : 2 hrs
Resting Time : 10 mins
Total Time : 2 hrs 30 mins
Servings : 4 people
Calories : 344kcal

Video

Ingredients
 

  • 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 Hey Grill Hey’s Sweet BBQ Rub (link in recipe notes)

Instructions

  • 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!!

Nutrition

Calories: 344kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 133mg | Sodium: 399mg | Potassium: 520mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 850IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 238mg | Iron: 1mg
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**This post was originally published January 2018. It has since been updated with more information and helpful tips. The recipe remains the same.

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136 thoughts on “Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Chicken

          1. So basically there is no conversation it’s just heat at 250 in the oven for 2 hours? That’s kinda ridiculous for those of us wanting to make this for a weeknight dinner. I’d rather spend the time at the table chatting with my family and eating a nice dinner than waiting for it to cook.

          2. Then don’t make this for a weeknight dinner.
            I made this, basically following the concept and recipe and it came out very good. The results depend on, as all cooking does, the quality of the ingredients you use and how good a cook you are.
            I don’t think 2 hours is necessary, even on a lowish smoker at 225, breast pounding to 1/4 – 1/3 inch and wrapped in bacon only needs about 90 min tops to get to temp.
            I’d recommend pre-cooking the jalapeno peppers to medium rare and letting them cool before stuffing in the chicken breasts unless you like pretty raw peppers.
            Expect inconsistency in the heat of jalapeno peppers, there’s no way of predictably knowing – mild to damn hot all look the same.

          1. I think the biggest issue could be the sauce caramelizing too soon and not letting the bacon render/crisp. Other than that, it should be ok.

        1. REFRESH YOUR PAGE

          ADAPTATIONS
          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.

        1. You can follow the same time and temperature instructions as the written recipe if you are wanting to do this in the oven. Feel free to read through the other comments as well as others have tried this in the oven.

    1. We make our version all the time and we use the thin chicken breasts instead of strips and we cook them at 375 for 30-45 minutes! If you make a bunch you might need to cook for an hour. If you are using smaller chicken you can place oven on 350 just check juices and bacon after 35 minutes! Best if you use a broiler pan or a cookie sheet with a cookie rack. Remember to line the bottom of the pan that’s catching the fat and cheese drippings with foil for an easy clean up!! I hope this helps ????

    2. Put them on a wire rack then put that rack on a cookie sheet lined with foil. ( catches the drips, thank me later)
      I would go low and slow with the oven, 250 for a half hour, mix some liquid smoke into the bbq sauce to get some smokey taste.
      I would use thick sliced bacon by the way.
      After they have cooked a 1/2 at 250 move temp to 325 for 1/2 hour.
      Just my take on this goodness!!

  1. Great recipes. I love smoking and grilling. I am a KCBS judge and have tasted alot of bbq. I enjoy your sight and recipes!

      1. In the original instructions it states to bring the grill to 250° so I would guess that is what the oven temp should be as well and cook till the internal temp is 165°. I hope that helps. 🙂

  2. Looks amazing! Any tips on how to keep your bacon from sticking to the grill? Maybe it’s just a user error ???? I’m going to make this soon!

    1. I grill my chicken cut up and add cream cheese put in my pepper wrap bacon around them and cook on rack with drip pan. I spray rack with pam

          1. You could enter the ingredients onto Myfitnesspal dot com and it will calculate the calories per serving for you.

      1. You could also cut a veggie like zucchini or potato in even thickness rub olive oil, salt pepper garlic and place on the grill under chicken at first.

    1. The most important thing is the internal temperature of the chicken. It could take about two hours or be a little more/less depending on how thick your chicken is and how hot your oven runs.

  3. Tried this recipe for the first time for Super Bowl Sunday and they turned out FANTASTIC! I was worried, given I’m pretty new to grilling (ex-husband used to be in charge of that), and haven’t had the best luck with chicken breasts so far, however, the bacon really helps ensure that the chicken stays moist, and the jalapenos and cheese inside add just the right amount of flavor! Thank you for sharing!

  4. About how long should you cook after basting with the bbq sauce? I see about 1.5 to get to 150deg but not time for 165. I am trying to plan for dinner time and getting everything else ready.
    Thanks.

  5. We had this for dinner last night…I made a few adjustments to quantities and products used but it was a HUGE success. I baked it in the oven at 250* F for 2 hours. Each breast was 4.5 oz.

    1. If you are eating something full of cheese, chicken, rubs, bacon, and BBQ sauce, you don’t care!

    1. You can, but it’s not ideal. It will increase your overall cooking time and since you’ll be cutting the chicken off the bone to eat it, you’ll lose a lot of bite that have the bacon on the outside.

  6. This was sooo good and I felt like I made a gourmet dinner! Great presentation.
    I baked it (250 degrees) for 1 hr. 30 minutes then glazed it and baked for another 30 minutes. I wish I could attach our pictures, you’d drool!

  7. I’ve baked this and it is soooo good. But I wonder if anyone has attempted it in a slow cooker? Not ideal, I know, but for those nights where we have after school practices and what not it would be a life saver!

    1. I haven’t heard of anybody trying it in a slow cooker yet! If you give it a try, come back and let us know! My biggest concern would be the bacon being soggy, maybe you could broil them for a couple of minutes after they are done cooking?

      1. I also to could try lining the bottom of the slow cooker with thick slices of onion and putting the chicken on top. Adds flavor and gives the bacon grease somewhere to drain too.

      2. Try putting a rack in the slow cooker so it doesn’t sit in the fat. I haven’t tried but will and then I will post the results

  8. We don’t own a grill. Is it possible to do this in the oven? If so, what temp and time would you recommend?

    1. Hey Beth- I recommend cooking it low and slow still, 225 degrees F for 2 hours. The fat renders slowly from the bacon and helps it crisp up without burning. Make sure the chicken is elevated on a cooking rack above a baking sheet to catch any bacon drippings.

    1. Hey Ruth! I would recommend some grilled zucchini (like this ) and maybe a fresh fruit salad or sliced watermelon. The chicken is definitely savory and filling, so I keep my side dishes light.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Donna! I like the jalapenos to have a little texture to them still, but definitely roast them a little if you want them super soft.

    2. I wish this has been mentioned in the post. We like our peppers softer and would have cooked them some first had I known. I guess I should be sure to read ALL comments before cooking!

      1. It wasn’t mentioned in the post because it is not how I make it. I love it when people take my recipes and make them their own. I don’t pre-roast my jalapenos because I like the peppers to have a little texture to them. Absolutely try the pre-roast technique next time you make these.

  9. Made this tonight as written in my Traeger. Next time I will make a few changes. I will roast the jalapeños for a few minutes to soften, and cook the bacon slightly before wrapping. The bacon didn’t crisp up during cooking and was kind of chewy…husband liked it, but that’s just my taste preference. Will definitely make again! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Hey Christie, while I cant provide accurate cooking times or the quantity of ingredients, you decide to try this with steak I would definitely recommend using a thin, lower quality steak (like skirt or flank), wrapping the sectioned steak around the popper, and then wrapping it all over in bacon to create a “log”

  10. For the love of your sanity, WEAR GLOVES when handling fresh jalapenos! Take my word for it, I learned the hard way after HOURS AND HOURS of burning fingers.
    Recipe sounds amazing, but not worth hands that burn like fire and no way to stop it except time.

    1. My wife and I use latex throwaway gloves when handling the peppers. They are cheap and save you from a lot of discomfort

  11. Icebox never smoked anything on my bbq before. So when I’m doing the indirect heat method, do I put the wood smoke chips under the chicken? Or on the side with the flames?
    I’m worried that I’ll burn the wood chips too fast, and if I have a sheet to catch the grease, will it be in the way if the wood is under the chicken ?
    I’m sorry if this is a dumb question.

  12. Hey Grill!

    I made this yesterday for dinner on my Camp Chef pellet grill. WOW! This was fantastic! Everyone was very happy! Thank you for sharing these great recipes. This is now one of our favorites. I only changed up one thing, since we are BIG jalapeno lovers, I used jalapeno infused cream cheese mixed in with the cheddar. Oh my!

  13. We did ours a little different. Chopped up the jalapeño into the cream cheese and cheddar. Chicken was not super thick so we beat them with a hammer flat. Put a couple spoon fulls of the mix on one side of the chicken and rolled it. Put bacon around each end sealing them then wrapped the rest normal. We used turkey bacon to minimize the grease. Basted with spicy chipotle BBQ sauce and cooked in oven at 250 for 2hr. PERFECT!!!

  14. You talk about incredible, this is the only way I can describe this dinner. I put foil down in a flat tray and put the chicken wrapped with bacon on a raised grill. I made my own sweet rub with brown sugar and chili powder. I put them in the oven at 375 degrees for about an hour and 1/2. I don’t even like chicken breast but my plate was clean. Got huge love reviews from my husband and son. I did chop up 3 small potatoes and onion and sprinkled them around. This is a keeper!

  15. We use an apple corer for the jalapenos, then you don’t have to split or cut off the tops. Look forward to trying your recipes, if the birds and squirrels quit eating my jalapenos.

  16. We are lovers of all the ingredients of this recipe. Made just 2 chicken breasts to give the recipe a try. Should of made the entire recipe so we would have had leftovers. Delicious and easy to make. Will probably prepare ahead of time and make it a Sunday football watching favorite!!!

  17. Just tried this recipe tonight using a Bradley smoker. It was fabulous!! Pepper was very mild. The cheese mixture couple with the rub is a nice flavor – had extra and put it on toast. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

  18. This is in my smoker as we speak, I am looking very forward to it. I did notice a fair amount of cheese bubbling out, but I also tend to overstuff my peppers. I’ll follow up after I eat!

  19. Has anyone tried to convert to an air fryer recipe? It seems ideal for an air fryer, but I just got mine and I don’t know how to convert times and temps Any help would be appreciated ????

  20. This was amazing! I had to make this keto friendly so golden monk fruit was swapped in. I don’t have a smoker ,but it turned out great in the oven. Going to check out more of your recipes. Thanks!

  21. I made this in my oven and it turned out AMAZING. I actually set the oven to 400 for but 30 minutes, then down to 300 for the last 30 minutes. Just make sure you empty the bacon fat at some point. I did when I changed the temp.

  22. So, I just made this the other day, but with a twist. I used sous vide to cook the prepared chicken (wrapped in bacon) at 145F for 2 hours. Each chicken breast was sealed individually. This allows the bacon grease to permeate the entire piece of chicken, jalapeno, and cheese.

    Once done, I refrigerated them over night to cool off, then smoked using apple wood the next day at 250F for 2 hours. Absolutely incredible, and cooked to perfection.

  23. I made this tonight but used my own sugar free low carb bbq to make it more keto friendly. So delicious!!!! This will definitely be a regular meal for us. And so easy too! My husband just got an electric smoker recently so he was excited to use it.

  24. Did not have the bbq sauce to paint them with so Kate made some using plum/ginger jam as a base
    adding ketchup, mustard, red wine vinegar, and brown sugar…………..painted this mix on as directed and WOW. Home run

  25. Just made this tonight. Absolutely wonderful and so easy! No smoker, so used indirect in the gas grill. The only change I will make is the same one I made for my poppers…remove the stem, but do not cut the end. It forms a ‘boat’ and helps to hold the cheese in. My husband loved it, but wants me to leave the seeds in ‘his’ next time. He is somewhat of a heat freak. This will become a go to at our house!

  26. trying this for the first time but with green chili instead of jelepano ran out or cream cheese mixture so added more shredded cheese with taco season in it pounded out the chicken breasts and ran out of bacon too but made six and all got at least 3 pieces of bacon we will see what happens

  27. Made this for dinner last night, and baked in the oven, turned out perfect!! 375 for 30 min, then kicked up to 425 for 10/15 mins. Perfect!!! I also didn’t use BBQ sauce.

  28. Just made this. The jalapenos were too crunchy (raw) for me. Grill them first before stuffing them, to soften them up a bit. Other than that, it’s a keeper. The cream cheese stuffing for the peppers is perfect. Would make a good dip for raw veggies.

  29. Made these for appetizers yesterday. They were a hit with everyone. The jalapenos were not crunchy. I used oak smoked peppercorns in the rub, and liked that additional flavor. Oh, and thick sliced cherry smoked bacon for the wrap. Will definitely do these again!

  30. Made these last night for the first time, *FANTASTIC *. Took a little longer on my grill to get the bacon crisp, but my grill has seen it’s better days!!! This is definitely going in the recipe box!! My family loved it. Thanks for sharing.

    Tab L.

  31. made this last night and everyone loved it…only issue was the jalapenos were kinda on the raw side—any advice on maybe precooking them or ?? making poor mans burnt ends today

  32. Holy cow so freaking good! I cut the jalapeños in half and roasted them under the broiler to soften up a bit. Also cut the ends off and did two poppers per breast.

  33. We recently “reopened” the patio and had friends over for a cookout so it was my opportunity to give this recipe a try.. Prep takes some time but but the smoke time was just around 1.5 hours which is relatively short and can be done while entertaining and having drinks with friends.

    The recipe is fun and came out fantastic. We have friends in the restaurant industry both owners and employees and all gave rave reviews from “the chicken was the bomb” to “best chicken I haveEVER had”. The recipe can also be adjusted for those that do not eat pork by leaving the bacon off but who wants to do that? LOL. Thanks for the recipes, love your videos as well

  34. I’m not much of a meat person, so I pounded my chicken breast and then cut them in half – was able to get two servings from one chicken breast. I did roast the jalapenos for about 10 minutes before stuffing and wrapping in the chicken. Love this recipe!

  35. Hi,

    Thanks for your blog!

    This is out favorite family bbq meal now!

    As I am European and like different tastes I changed the type of cheese and mix cream cheese with blue cheese, it gives a fresh tasty interior that goes well with the Jalapeño.

    To avoid that raw jalapeño taste but maintain the crunchy part which I also love I pickle the jalapeños, I have a big jar with jalapeños with vinegar and water and take them when I need.

    For the wraping up, I extend 3 or 4 slices of bacon on the table overlaping a little bit one on top of the other and I put on top the chiken filled up and roll on top of the bacon wraping it up at thesame time, this way it’s easier to do.

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