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Jalapeño Popper Casserole

Jalapeño Popper Casserole

Jalapeño Popper Casserole is a delightful twist on the classic appetizer, combining the spicy kick of jalapeño peppers with creamy cheese and savory chicken. This hearty casserole is perfect for gatherings, potlucks, or weeknight dinners when you’re craving something comforting with a hint of heat.

Why Make Jalapeño Popper Casserole

Jalapeño Popper Casserole offers all the flavors of the popular appetizer in a convenient and satisfying dish. It’s a crowd-pleaser that can be easily customized to suit your taste preferences. With its creamy texture, crunchy breadcrumb topping, and spicy jalapeño flavor, this casserole is sure to become a favorite in your recipe rotation.

How to Make Jalapeño Popper Casserole

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cook the chopped bacon in a large, deep skillet over medium heat until crispy, stirring often, about 7 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon to a paper-towel-lined plate, leaving the drippings in the pan.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the drippings in the pan and cook over medium-high heat until melted, about 30 seconds. Season half of the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon of pepper and cook, stirring often, until lightly browned and cooked through, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat the process with the remaining chicken and pepper.
  3. Without wiping the pan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion, white and light green parts of scallions, and chopped jalapeños. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 6 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables, stirring to coat, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth and milk, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Add the cream cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until melted, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the cooked chicken, shredded mozzarella cheese, and salt.
  6. Spoon the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and cover with foil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake, uncovered, until the topping is golden brown and the mixture is bubbling throughout, about 15 minutes more.

Serving Suggestions

Jalapeño Popper Casserole is best served hot and fresh from the oven. Garnish with the reserved bacon, dark green parts of scallions, and jalapeño slices for added flavor and visual appeal. Serve as a main dish with a side salad or steamed vegetables, or enjoy it as an appetizer with crispy tortilla chips or crusty bread.

Storage Info

Any leftover Jalapeño Popper Casserole can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat individual servings in the microwave or oven until warmed through. Note that the breadcrumb topping may lose some of its crispiness upon reheating.

Some Techniques or Tips

  • To save time, you can use precooked bacon or bacon bits instead of cooking bacon from scratch.
  • Adjust the amount of jalapeños according to your preferred level of spiciness. For a milder casserole, remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeños before chopping.
  • For extra flavor, consider adding a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese or a dollop of sour cream on top of the casserole before serving.

FAQs about Jalapeño Popper Casserole

1. Can I use pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken instead of cooking chicken from scratch? Yes, you can substitute pre-cooked or rotisserie chicken for the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Simply shred the cooked chicken and add it to the casserole mixture in step 5.

2. Can I make this casserole ahead of time and bake it later? Yes, you can assemble the casserole up to the point of baking, cover it tightly with foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for up to 24 hours before baking. Allow the casserole to come to room temperature before baking as directed in the recipe.

3. Can I freeze Jalapeño Popper Casserole? While it is possible to freeze this casserole, the texture of the cream cheese mixture may change slightly upon thawing and reheating. If freezing, omit the breadcrumb topping and wrap the unbaked casserole tightly with foil or plastic wrap before freezing. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking as directed, adding the breadcrumb topping just before baking.

For ingredients and comprehensive cooking instructions, please proceed to the next page or click the open button (>)—and be sure to share with your Facebook friends!

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Written by Belkys mieles

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