Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili has the flavors of white chicken chili and the creaminess of jalapeno popper dip for a fun take on a common fall and winter weather recipe.
- About Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili
- How to Make Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili
- Recipe Tips
- Frequently Asked Questions
About Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili
I love jalapeño popper dip and love chili, so what better way to combine the two than to make a soup? So when I found this recipe for Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili from Prevention RD I knew I needed to make it.
It's warming, creamy, and delicious in every bite thanks to the jalapeno, spices, and cream cheese combo. While I've never been a huge fan of chicken chili, this recipe changes my mind.
Oil: I use olive oil or avocado oil, but canola oil, peanut oil, or even coconut oil would be fine as well.
Onions: Yellow, red, white, or sweet onions all work. If you aren't a huge fan of onions, use one small onion and add one extra bell pepper.
Red Bell pepper: I like that the red bell pepper gives this chili an extra dash of color compared to the green jalapenos, but yellow, orange, or green bell peppers are all fine.
Jalapeños: The ribs and seeds of the jalapeno are the spiciest part, so remove those if you want a more mild chili. Or keep some in to add a little extra kick to this jalapeno popper chili recipe.
Garlic: Fresh garlic is best, but garlic powder would work in a pinch.
Chicken breast: Any kind of chicken will work, but I like chicken breast to keep it from being too rich. Simply cut up any kind of chicken breast or tenderloin.
Seasonings: Cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and salt are the seasonings in this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili. If you want this to be spicier, leave in the seeds or ribs of the jalapenos, or add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes.
Diced tomatoes: It's best to get the no-salt-added canned tomatoes to keep the sodium from the chili from being super high (in case that is something that you are conscious of).
Broth: Chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water all work well. Because the chili has spices and veggies, you get enough flavor so it's not super important to use broth to add extra depth to the recipe.
Corn: Corn is optional, but I like the sweetness it gives to this spicier chili (though the spiciness depends on how spicy your jalapenos are).
Cream cheese: Block cream cheese is preferred, and I recommend regular or reduced-fat. Do not use fat-free cream cheese. It's easier for the cream cheese to melt into the soup when it's cut into pieces, but it'll be fine if you simply add the whole block.
Cheese: Sharp or mild cheddar are the cheeses I use, but mozzarella is another good option. I think that shredding cheese from a block of cheese is significantly better, but pre-shredded cheese could be used in a pinch.
Cost of Recipe
- olive oil 1 tablespoon: $0.24
- onions 1 large: $0.68
- red bell pepper 1 medium: $1.50
- jalapeños 4 small: $0.80
- garlic 4 cloves: $0.24
- chicken breast 1 pound: $4.59
- cumin 1 tablespoon: $0.39
- chili powder 2 teaspoons: $0.16
- paprika 1 teaspoon: $0.15
- oregano ½ teaspoon: $0.04
- salt ½ teaspoon: $0.01
- diced tomatoes 15 ounces: $0.99
- broth 2 cups: $1.14
- canned corn 15 ounces: $0.78
- cream cheese 8-ounce block: $1.69
- cheddar cheese ½ cup: $1
TOTAL COST: $14.40 (Based on San Diego Sprouts 2020) or $2.40/serving
How to Make Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili
Time needed: 1 hour.
Here are the easy steps for how to make this creamy Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili:
- Sauté the veggies.
Start with the onions and bell peppers. Then add the jalapenos and garlic.
- Add the chicken and spices.
Push the veggies to the edges, and add the chicken. Cover in the spices, and cook.
- Pour in the broth and tomatoes.
Stir in the broth and the tomatoes with their juices. Simmer.
- Stir in corn.
Add in the corn and simmer.
- Add in cream cheese.
Stir in the cream cheese until it melts into the chili. Simmer.
- Stir in cheese, and enjoy!
Add in cheddar cheese and stir until combined. Top with favorite toppings.
Veggies: Substitute the onions for bell peppers and vice versa. Or add diced carrots or celery for extra veggies. Garlic powder can be used as a substitute for fresh garlic (use 1 teaspoon garlic powder).
Diced tomatoes: In a pinch, diced tomatoes and green chilis would work, but be sure to use the mild version to keep your chili from being too spicy. You might also need to add another ½ cup water or broth to thin out the chili a little bit.
Corn: You can omit or use black beans or kidney beans in place of the corn.
How to Make Allergy Friendly
This is already gluten-free, egg-free, and soy-free. To make dairy-free, use dairy-free cream cheese and cheddar cheese.
How to Fix a Mistake
Too thin: Simmer for a little longer or add another ¼ cup shredded cheese. Another option is to add a can of beans or corn.
Too thick: Add an extra ½ cup water or broth, and stir. Add in ½ cup increments until it reaches your desired consistency.
Not spicy enough: Add ¼ teaspoon of red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes and add more as needed in ¼ teaspoon increments.
Too spicy: Add a can of beans (like black or kidney beans), a chopped potato, or another can of corn. Add an extra ½ cup water or broth and simmer for about 15-30 minutes. Note that if you add a potato (which I think is the most effective option for decreasing spiciness), it'll take a little longer to get the potato to cook.
Make Ahead Ideas
Like most soups and chilis, the longer this Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili cooks, the better. I like to wait to add the cream cheese and cheddar until about 30 minutes before serving. However, if you are making this in advance, simply prepare as directed and reheat as suggested below.
Store in a glass or plastic airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
To reheat from the fridge: Heat in a saucepan over medium-low, stirring every few minutes until warmed through. Or reheat in the microwave on 70% power in 45-second intervals and stirring between.
To reheat from the freezer: Preferably, thaw in the fridge overnight. Or defrost in the microwave on 20% power in 2-minute intervals. You might need to add a little water to help it stir together (but only use about 1 or 2 tablespoons). Once it has defrosted, heat at 70% power in 45-second intervals and stirring between.
Frequently Asked Questions
This Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili has a nice balance of the protein, carbohydrates, and fat your body needs. One serving provides a quarter of the amount of recommended calcium for the day, and it's also an excellent source of Vitamin A & C. Plus, it is a good source of iron.
Because this is low in calories, I suggest adding some extra toppings or sides (see below) to boost it's staying power to keep you full and satisfied for longer.
What to Serve with Jalapeno Popper Chili
This is a complete meal on its own, but cornbread is always a good idea in my opinion. For toppings, I like adding extra shredded cheese, cilantro, green onion, avocado, and/or lime juice. Many recipes I've seen for Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili have bacon as a topping, so feel free to add that.
A good bowl of chili is hard to beat, especially when it's cold outside. I love how this Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili is creamy without being too overly rich. Plus, you can adjust the spicy level depending on how spicy you like your chili to be.
MORE CHILI RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- Pumpkin Chili
- White Bean and Turkey Chili
- Lentil Chili
- Butternut Squash Chili
- Three Bean and Quinoa Chili
- Sweet Potato Chili
Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 medium red bell pepper diced
- 4 small jalapeños seeded & minced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound chicken breast cut into pieces
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 15 ounce no salt added diced tomatoes undrained
- 2 cups chicken broth or vegetable broth
- 15 ounce can no salt added canned corn well-drained
- 8 ounce block cream cheese cut into pieces
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese plus more for garnish
- Heat oil over medium-high in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add onions and bell peppers; sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in jalapeños and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
- Push the veggies to the sides and add chicken in a single layer. Sprinkle with cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano, and salt. Cook for about 5 minutes until browned.
- Stir in tomatoes, juice from tomatoes, and broth. Scrape any cooked bits from the bottom and stir everything together well.
- Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add in corn, and cook another 15 minutes.
- When ready to enjoy, stir in cream cheese and cheddar cheese, and stir well until completely melted. Serve with extra cheddar cheese on top if desired.
What to Use in This Recipe
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This post was originally published on November 19, 2013. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
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