Smoked jalapeño popper chicken might just become a new weekend staple in your household! Cheesy jalapeño poppers are stuffed inside of a chicken breast along with sliced ham and provolone cheese. As if that wasn’t already delicious enough, the chicken breast is wrapped in bacon and smoked to perfection.
The bacon gets nice and crispy. The cheese in the jalapeño popper oozes out like lava when you cut into it. The chicken is tender, juicy, and bursting with flavor. This will be your new favorite chicken recipe!
Why you will love this bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken
Any recipe that combines tender chicken, crispy bacon, spice, smoke, and gooey cheese is a winner in my book. If you have invested in a smoker, you’re probably looking for all kinds of fun, interesting, and delicious recipes to try. This one delivers on all fronts. Here’s why you’ll love this dish.
- You get to use your smoker to prepare a delicious dish
- It’s packed with flavor, from the spices of the jalapeño peppers and Cajun seasoning mix to the smoke
- You need less than 10 ingredients to make it
- It’s easy to make
- Preparation time is only 10 minutes, then you set it and forget it
- The textures are perfection – crispy bacon, tender chicken, crunchy pepper, and melty cheese
Here’s all you need to put this dish together:
- Chicken breasts
- Jalapeño peppers
- Ham or prosciutto
- Provolone cheese
- Cream cheese
- Cheddar cheese
- Cajun seasoning mix
How to make smoked jalapeño popper chicken
Step 1: Preheat your smoker.
Preheat your smoker to 250°F using your favorite wood or pellets. I use the Pit Boss competition pellets.
Step 2: Prepare your chicken.
Slice your chicken breasts halfway. Fold them open like a book and lay them flat. Cover with plastic wrap and tenderize the chicken breasts until flat and evenly thick throughout. You are looking for 1/4″ thickness.
Step 3: Make your jalapeño poppers.
Mix your cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and some Cajun seasoning well. Stuff de-stemmed and de-seeded jalapeño peppers with the cheese mixture.
Step 4: Assemble your chicken.
Season your chicken breast with Cajun seasoning. Lay two slices of provolone cheese and two slices of ham on each chicken breast. Place your jalapeño popper on top. Roll the chicken around the stuffed pepper. Season the outside of the chicken with Cajun seasoning. Wrap the chicken breast with three pieces of bacon.
Step 5: Smoke the chicken.
Place your rolled chicken into your smoker for 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F. Let the chicken rest for 10 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Then, enjoy!
Pound your chicken breasts to an even thickness
For beautifully shaped rolls and even cooking, pound your chicken out to an even thickness of 1/2”. Be careful with how much you pound the chicken. Do not overdo it or else your chicken may break apart, tear, or shred.
Manage jalapeño spice levels by de-seeding
To deseed your jalapeños, you will want to use a spoon or fork to remove the white ribs and the seeds. Shake out all the seeds. This is where the majority of the spice is in the jalapeño pepper. If you want to limit your spice level, remove the seeds. If you like a lot of spice, you may want to leave some of them in for that extra kick.
For tender chicken, pull the rolls out of the smoker at 155°F
When you take the jalapeño popper chicken breasts out of the smoker at 155°F and let them rest for 10 minutes, they will come to temperature as a result of the residual heat. They are safe to enjoy at 165°F per the FDA guidelines.
Frequently asked questions
How do you cut and stuff chicken breast?
The best way to cut a chicken breast to be stuffed and rolled is to start by making a slit almost all the way through the chicken. Gently press the chicken breast down with your hand. Carefully slice the breast lengthwise. Stop an inch before the edge. Then, open up your chicken like a book and lay it down flat. Cover with plastic wrap and pound it with a meat mallet. Watch closely when pounding to avoid tearing or shredding. Aim for an even thickness. You’ll get a nicer shape, and the chicken will cook more evenly.
How do I tenderize meat without a meat mallet?
Alternatives to a meat mallet are a clean, empty wine bottle, a rolling pin, or a long glass jar. Cover them with plastic wrap to prevent contamination.
How do you stuff chicken without toothpicks?
This particular recipe for bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken does not require toothpicks! The bacon helps keep the rolls of stuffed chicken together. If you find that you need toothpicks to keep the chicken and stuffing in place, you may use them. If you do not have toothpicks handy, you can use pieces of dry spaghetti. Just break off any excess spaghetti to avoid burning.
How do I smoke this dish without a smoker?
If you do not have a smoker, you have a couple of options.
You could smoke this bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken on the barbeque. Place soaked and drained wood chips in a pocket of aluminum foil. Make a few holes in the foil to let the smoke escape. Set your grill to a low temperature. If you are using a charcoal grill, last the wood-filled foil pocket next to the charcoal. Place your chicken breasts on the grill away from direct heat and let them smoke for a couple of hours.
I really like to use a smoke tube when I am wanting to smoke meat on my charcoal kettle or gas BBQ. Fill the smoke tube up with your favorite pellets and use a propane or butane torch to ignite the pellets at one end of the tube. The pellets in the smoke tube will slowly burn over a few hours and allow you to get that great smoke flavor.
You can also smoke this dish in the oven. Place some soaked and drained wood chips on the bottom of a roasting pan. Place your roasting rack on top. Then, place your chicken breasts on top of the rack. Smoke your chicken in the oven.
How do I know if my stuffed chicken is done?
The best way to tell if your bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken is done is to use a meat thermometer. After resting, it should reach an internal temperature of 165°F. If you do not have a thermometer, then you can use visual cues. When you pierce the chicken, the juices will run clear. You can also cut into it and you’ll see that the meat is no longer pink when done.
What sides go well with smoked jalapeño popper chicken?
You can serve this bacon-wrapped stuffed chicken dish with rice, mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, potato salad, grilled corn, or pretty much any starch and veggies!
Since we are on the topic of jalapeño poppers, a perfect side dish is my smoked jalapeño popper mac and cheese. This is the best mac and cheese you will ever have! There is tons of cheese, almost three pounds, which makes it irresistibly gooey and melty.
If you have a sweet tooth then this recipe for air fryer cinnamon rolls is perfect for you! While your smoker is being used for dinner, utilize your air fryer to get dessert going. These cinnamon rolls are super easy and don’t require any yeast.
Tell me what you think!
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- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 4 large jalapeno peppers
- 12 slices of bacon
- 8 slices of ham or Proscuitto
- 8 slices of provolone cheese
- 4 oz cream cheese
- 2/3 cup cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning mix
- Preheat your smoker to 250°F. Use your favorite wood or pellets. I use the Pit Boss competition pellets.
- Prepare the chicken. Slice each chicken breast open like a book, but be careful not to cut all the way through. Fold open the chicken breasts and lay them flat on the counter. Cover them with plastic wrap and use the flat portion of a meat mallet, or the bottom of a glass, to pound each chicken breast to about 1/2" thick.
- Mix the jalapeño popper stuffing. Combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and cajun seasoning mix in a mixing bowl and mix thoroughly until it forms a consistent texture.
- Fill your jalapeño poppers. Slice the stems from the jalapeño peppers. Use the handle of a spoon or fork and insert it into the cut end of the jalapeño. Work the handle of the utensil around the perimeter of the jalapeño, being sure that you break the white ribs holding the core and seeds into the pepper. Then you can remove the core and shake the seeds out. Using a spoon, scoop up the cheese mixture and pack it into each of the jalapeños.
- Layer your chicken breast and roll it up. Season the chicken breast with the cajun seasoning mix. Lay two slices of provolone cheese and two slices of ham on each chicken breast. Then lay the jalapeño popper on top and carefully roll the chicken around the stuffed pepper.
- Wrap it all up in bacon. After rolling up the chicken breast, season the outside with some of the cajun seasoning mix. Lay three pieces of bacon over each chicken breast and tuck them around the chicken.
- Smoke the chicken. Smoke for about 2 hours at 250°F or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F (see notes). Rest the chicken for about 10 minutes after you take it off the grill.
- If you pound the chicken breasts to an even thickness, they will cook more evenly.
- FDA guidelines state that boneless chicken breast should read 165°F internal temperature when it is done. To be perfectly honest, I usually don’t cook them that much. I tend to take the chicken breasts off the grill when they reach 155°F to 160°F. By the time they finish resting for 5 to 7 minutes, they are often at 165°F or pretty close. I recommend you follow FDA guidelines.
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Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 950Total Fat 56gSaturated Fat 26gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 23gCholesterol 315mgSodium 4532mgCarbohydrates 8gFiber 1gSugar 4gProtein 102g
Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.