Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili

I’ve had this Jalapeño Popper Chicken Chili on my list to make for several weeks now, just waiting for the perfect opportunity to try it.  I saw it over at Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and new I needed to try it…mostly for my husband’s sake.  I just adapted it every so slightly, according to what I had on hand.  I’m not crazy about jalapeno poppers and I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy things, but I knew Brett would love it.  My in-laws were in town over the weekend so I decided it would be the perfect meal to make for them, because my father-in-law loves spicy foods just as much as Brett does.
Brett almost always sends me a text at the end of the day asking what’s for dinner.  He might have squealed a little when I text the words Jalapeño.Popper.Chicken.Chili.   His response was something like “holy crap are you kidding me?” Which was I’m sure accompanied by a squeal (while sitting at his desk at work).  I just know it.  He loves spicy, jalapeno anything about as much as I love chocolate, peanut butter anything.  Definitely squeal-worthy. 
I kept some of the jalapeño seeds and added a pinch of crushed red pepper to the chili, just for the men.  I was worried it would make it too spicy for Brett’s mom and I and we’d have to suffer through it or bail and go grab a sandwich.  It  definitely had some heat, but surprisingly, we both wanted more.  And we were all a little sad to see the bottom of the soup pot get scooped clean.  
It has the kind of heat and good, rich flavor that keeps you coming back for more, even when your mouth is slightly on fire.  I even saw a tear coming from my father-in-law eyes. Ahem, excuse me, he called it “a little bit of awesome,” not a tear.   I think that means it was pretty darn good in his book.  
Might I mention this chili has an entire brick of cream cheese in it? It does! And it makes it so creamy and delicious.  But consider yourselves warned ladies.  It is not kind on the thighs.  But an occasional meal with an entire brick of cream cheese in it is totally okay, right?  (Please tell me I’m right–I had two bowls!)
If you’re looking for an awesome chili that will literally warm you up on a cold, winter night.  This. is. it!
Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili
  1. 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, diced
  3. 5 jalapeno peppers diced, seeds removed (leave some seeds for extra heat)
  4. 3 cloves garlic, minced
  5. salt and fresh ground black pepper
  6. 1 + 1/4 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
  7. 2 teaspoons chile powder
  8. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 teaspoon oregano
  10. pinch of crushed red pepper
  11. 1 (10 oz) can dice tomatoes with green chiles
  12. 1 + 1/2 cups chicken broth
  13. 1 (14 oz) can cannelloni or navy beans, drained
  14. 1 (14 oz) can corn, drained
  15. 8 ounces cream cheese
  16. 1 pound bacon, cooked crispy and crumbled, divided
  1. In a large saucepan (deep enough for soup) heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat and sauté onion, jalepeno, and garlic until tender.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper, then add to the saucepan adding another tablespoon of olive oil as well. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Toss chicken and seasonings together and lightly brown chicken on all sides.
  3. Stir in can of diced tomatoes, chicken broth, corn, and cannelloni beans and increase heat to bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 30 minutes.
  4. Stir in cream cheese and stir until completely melted. Stir in 1/2 of the crumbled bacon. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper as needed. **Add more chicken broth if too thick.
  5. Serve and garnish with cheddar cheese and the rest of the crumbled bacon.
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice (just ever so slightly)
Sweet Treats & More http://sweettreatsmore.com/


    • Casey says

      We loved it! My husband doesn’t like chili/soup but he went back for seconds and that’s a big deal:) I left out the bacon because I’m on weight watchers and I wanted it to be less points, but the flavor was still so great!

  1. Anonymous says

    Made this (for a second time:), but this time I made it in my crockpot. I think I prefer to just do it in on the stove because it wasn’t as thick in the crockpot (but it still tastes wonderful!). I know that is a personal preference but I just thought I would share! Also, I was making it for our Sunday school class, and after the first batch I was worried I wouldn’t have enough, so I bought stuff to make a second batch. I ended up buying two 10oz cans of chicken, drained it, and used that instead of fresh and it turned out really well! (I was feeling lazy)


    • says

      Great idea! I’ll have to use canned chicken when I’m in a time crunch! And I wondered how the crock pot would turn out, glad to know I should just stick to the stove top!

  2. Emily says

    This was very yummy! I loved it :) I made it even spicier. I added diced tomatoes with habeneros, and it was delish.

  3. Avett Green says

    This looks good. For me, I will leave out the bacon (doesn’t sound right with “chili”) and I will use either pinto or black beans instead of cannelloni beans.

  4. Mary says

    I made this soup for dinner tonight, and I have to say it was FANTABULOUS! I absolutely loved it! Thank you so much. I also cut up sprouted corn tortillas into triangles and fried them in Coconut oil and dipped them in the soup, they were a perfect pair for this soup. They would be great crumbled up and thrown in as well. I plan to make this soup often, especially since Fall has hit us here in Ontario. Thanks again.

  5. Angie says

    Great soup—the whole family enjoyed it! I made it a tad easier and just used the breast meat from a rotisserie chicken. Oh and plan on needing more broth–I used closer to three cups. Thanks for the great recipe!

  6. says

    This looks great – pinned. I might try using fat free cream cheese – or is that just being too much of a party pooper?!?!?! Thank you for a great recipe, I can’t wait to try it. Julia (Oooh, I just thought – we are going camping over Columbus Day and it’s bound to be cold – I will make this to take with us for on cold night…)

  7. Danielle says

    I just made this for dinner and it was so delicious and so filling!! Perfect for this rainy, cold PA night! I served it with sour cream, guacamole, crushed tortilla chips, bacon and shredded cheese! The soup was so flavorful it really didn’t need anything extra, but my family loves toppings, lol. This soup is so filling and flavorful, cannot wait to make it again!!!

  8. Jennifer says

    I found this recipe on Pinterest, entered it in an annual Chilli cookoff & took 1st place. This is a stellar recipe; only change I made was cooking the bacon first & then using the bacon grease in place of the olive oil. I know, less healthy, but OH MY was it DELICIOUS!

  9. JM51 says

    I am making this ahead of time for super bowl. Should I wait until super bowl Sunday to add the cream cheese or will it make any difference. Also it is really spicy, (I added too many jalapeno’s with seeds).
    Any suggestions how to tame it down i bit? My daughter-in-law made this for us a few months ago and we absolutely loved it!!

    • Kristy says

      You should be okay adding the cream cheese now! And you could try taming it down by adding a little sugar to reduce the spiciness of the jalapeno!

  10. Wendy says

    We LOVED this – the only thing I do differently is I saute everything in a little bacon grease – and then only add a sprinkling of bacon to the top of each dish – that way the bacon stays crunchy – but the soup still has the bacon flavor. This is one of my favorites!

  11. Sarah says

    Awesome recipe! Pretty much followed it to a T and it has the perfect amount of heat. If you wanted to make a lower fat version, you could certainly skip the bacon and it would still taste great. Very easy to make as well!

  12. Debbie says

    Do you think this would be good with kidney beans or red beans? Thats what I have on hand and don’t really want to go to the store. I also have chili beans, what do you think?

  13. Michelle says

    Love this soup! I have made it so many times! But I was wondering, is this soup freezer friendly?? Was thinking of making a batch of it and freezing it for later when I don’t have much time to cook!

  14. Wendy Justiss says

    This was wonderful! I had a bunch of jalapeño I needed to use up and this did the job. I had cooked a pot of pinto beans and used those in place of the kidney. It was great. Definitely a keep at our house.

  15. Amy says

    I’ve made made this recipe at least 10 times now… we absolutely love it! I made some extra and gave it to my sister and her husband and they’ve also made it quite a few times now, also. Thanks for the great recipe!

  16. says

    This was a lot of work prepping, im glad i did it a couple hours ahead of time. This chili was well worth the work though, i loved loved loved it, so yummy. Im definitely going to be making this for future guests, thankyou!

  17. John says

    Well this has became a staple meal at my house.. at least 1-2 times a month weird thing is it never turns out the same way twice… the spiciness anyways.. I always have to make a double batch and the leftovers if there are any never stay left over for long.. love this I have started changing it up a little though every now and then like throwing some black beans in something like that..

  18. Maribeth says

    I work at a midewestern liberal arts college and we just had a campus-wide chili cookoff. I made your recipe (after finding it on pinterest) and it won first place, even edging out our College President! Everyone raved about how delicious it is – thanks for sharing!


  1. […] Today was our final CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) fresh produce pick up.  In the bag we received:  acorn squash, green peppers, jalapeno peppers, red and white onions.  I’ve never made acorn squash before, so this was a great opportunity to try a new crockpot recipe.  Making it was super easy and it tasted great.  From the produce I also made stuffed peppers , Nancy’s Pepper Poppers, and Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili. […]

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