All the spicy and cheesy deliciousness of a classic jalapeno popper stuffed inside a juicy chicken breast hasselback style. It’s truly the perfect easy weeknight dinner idea the entire family will fall in love with!
This recipe is a fun one and when I say everyone is down for this meal, I mean everyone!
It’s definitely a great way to banish your boring chicken dinners and enjoy the crave-worthy flavor of jalapeno poppers wrapped up into one healthy recipe.
While I find that this Tex-mex cuisine inspired recipe feels very indulgent, I love this it’s naturally a low carb and keto friendly dish.
Whether you follow that type of diet or meal plan really doesn’t change how impossibly good this jalapeño popper hasselback chicken really is.
If you’ve never made this style of chicken, fear not. I will give you all the best culinary tips, techniques and more to make this absolutely show-stopping chicken dish with ease.
Read through the article below as needed and lets get cooking!
- Knife and Cutting Board
- Medium Bowl
- Sheet Pan or Baking Dish
- Butter Knife
- Gloves (for the jalapenos)
- Meat Thermometer
Use my guided culinary notes below to help answer commonly asked questions, get ingredient substitution ideas, and learn the best methods for serving, storing, and more.
Ready to cook? Jump to the recipe card below!
What is hasselback chicken?
Hasselback chicken is modeled after a popular Swedish recipe called hasselback potatoes. This recipe first hit the seen in Stockholm back in the 1940’s and has been an enjoyable way to eat potatoes ever since!
While the hasselback method started with potatoes, It works really well with chicken. The method includes slicing parallel slices into the skinless chicken breasts so you can stuff them.
This works best with a larger, thicker chicken breast. Your goal is to make slices into the chicken to create a pocket for the filling without cutting all the way through.
You can be creative and fill them with a variety of cheeses or veggies. For this recipe I’ve modeled it after my bacon wrapped hatch chili poppers by stuffing the chicken with sharp cheddar cheese mixture, slices of jalapeno peppers, and crispy slices of bacon.
Pro Tip – Because this really works best with thicker cuts of chicken breast, avoid using other cuts like chicken thighs for the best outcome.
Jalapeno Popper Filling Ingredients:
- Shredded Cheese: You can use any shredded cheese you prefer. Cheddar cheese or a Mexican blend works best.
- Cream Cheese: Use any standard cream cheese or sub for light cream cheese. Sour cream doesn’t hold up well as a substitute for this filling and becomes too runny in the oven.
- Green Onions: Slice the onions thin and add them to your mixture for some flavor.
- Fresh Garlic: I love the enhance the flavor of the filling with some fresh minced garlic. You can also sub with some garlic powder as well.
In a large bowl mix the cream cheese, the shredded cheese, green onion, and garlic and stir until combined. I like to cook the chicken with slices of jalapeño peppers, but if you prefer to dice them up (and remove the seeds for less heat) then you should add those in as well.
How to make hasselback jalapeno popper chicken:
- Start by preheating your oven to 375 F. Spray a baking sheet or baking dish (I used a baking dish for this). with non-stick spray.
- Pat your chicken breasts dry with a paper towel. Cut 5-6 slices about an inch apart into each chicken breast without cutting full through the meat. You should create long slices the length of each chicken breast.
- Coat the side of each chicken breast in olive oil and season the chicken pieces all over. I love to use my homemade Tajin seasoning for some spice or a good smoky BBQ rub works well too. Be sure to also get into the crevices you cut into the chicken to impart more flavor.
- Take dollops of the cheesy popper mixture and place it into each sliced pocket of your chicken breast.
- Use gloves to cut small pieces of raw jalapeno. I like the seeds included for some heat, but you can chop and mix this into the cheese mixture
- Add a slice of bacon and a few slices of jalapenos to each pocket as well. I find that cutting a piece of bacon in half works best and depending on how thick the chicken breast is, slicing it again vertically to fit the space works well here.
- Place your stuffed chicken breast pieces into your greased casserole dish.
- Bake until the internal temperature of the chicken hits 165 degrees F. Total cook time may vary depending on the size and thickness of the chicken, plan 30-40 minutes.
Can I air fry the hasselback chicken breast?
Yes, but note that the temperature and cooking time it takes may differ.
I would suggest keeping the heat of an air fryer to around 350 degrees F. and to start checking for the correct temperature after about 15 minutes or so.
Place your prepped hasselback chicken breasts in the air fryer basket and cook until it hits 165 degrees F. internally.
Can I cook hasselback chicken in a slow cooker?
I prefer to air fry, bake, or even smoke on the grill. That being said, you could also use your slow cooker if you prefer. Cook your chicken on low heat for 3-4 hours or until it hits 165 F.
Tips for serving and storing:
- If you find the chicken begins to brown too much before it’s finished cooking, you can tent it lightly with foil.
- The chicken will also bake faster on a foil lined baking sheet or if they are spread out more in the casserole dish.
- If you prefer to use slices of cheese instead of shredded with the cream cheese mixture, simply stuff and alternate slices of cheese into the pockets along with the bacon and jalapenos as well.
- Serve the chicken with your favorite sides. I love to pair it with these spicy cumin roasted sweet potatoes and this loaded cheesy Mexican cauliflower rice.
Want to be a better expert at cooking chicken? Check out my 7 tips for making the best chicken for more recipe ideas.
Jalapeno Popper Hasselback Chicken Recipe
- 4 Chicken Breasts skinless
- 1-2 Jalapenos sliced thin in rounds
- 6 slices Cooked bacon
- 3 tbsp. Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Tajin Spice Rub sub with a BBQ dry rub
Cream Cheese Filling
- 3 oz. Cream Cheese softened
- 4 oz. Shredded Cheese
- 2 Green Onions diced small
- 1 tsp Tajin Spice Rub
- 3 cloves Fresh Garlic minced
- Preheat your oven to 375 F. and grease a baking sheet or casserole dish.
- Start by combining all the cream cheese mixture ingredients together in a bowl (cream cheese, shredded cheese, green onion, Tajin, and fresh garlic). Stir until fully combined.
- Prep and cook your bacon and slice your jalapenos into thin rounds. Remove the seeds if you want them to be less spicy. Set it aside.
- Pat your chicken dry with a paper towel. Cut parallel slices crosswise into your chicken breast with a sharp knife without fully cutting through the chicken. Do this every 1-1.5 inches or so. This works best with a thicker chicken breast and you should get about 5-6 slices into each piece.
- Coat al your chicken breast pieces with olive oil and then in the Tajin spice rub (or use a smoky BBQ rub). Be sure to season between the cuts as well.
- Take a dollop of the cream cheese mixture and spread it in between each slice (about 1-2 tsp.). Then add in a slice of cooked bacon the same width as the chicken and a few slices of jalapeno. Repeat this into each slice on every chicken breast.
- Place the hasselback chicken breats into a baking dish and bake until the internal temperature of each piece is 165 F. This can take between 35-40 min or so depending on how thick each one is. Place foil over the top if you feel like it is browning too much before it's fully cooked.
- Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with your favorie sides and enjoy!