Chicken Stuffed Jalapenos

Chicken stuffed jalapeños are a delicious and spicy appetizer perfect for parties or as a snack. They’re essentially jalapeño peppers that have been hollowed out and stuffed with a flavorful mixture of chicken, cheese, and various spices, then baked or grilled until the peppers are tender and the filling is bubbly. Here’s a simple recipe you can follow:

Ingredients:

  • 10 fresh jalapeño peppers
  • 1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (optional, for smokiness)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup green onions or cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
  • 1/2 cup crispy bacon bits (optional)
  • 1 beaten egg and bread crumbs for coating (optional, for a crispy outside)
  • Cooking spray or oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil for easy cleanup.
  2. Prepare the Jalapeños: Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and the ribs inside with a spoon or a knife, which will help reduce the heat. If you have sensitive skin or are particularly susceptible to capsaicin, consider wearing gloves while handling the jalapeños.
  3. Mix the Filling: In a bowl, combine the shredded chicken, cream cheese, half of the shredded cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, paprika (if using), salt, and pepper. If you’re using bacon bits, mix those in as well.
  4. Stuff the Jalapeños: Fill each jalapeño half with the chicken and cheese mixture. Make sure it’s packed in nicely but not overflowing too much.
  5. Add Toppings: If you like, you can sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top of the stuffed jalapeños. Alternatively, for a crispy crust, dip the stuffed side of the jalapeños in beaten egg and then into bread crumbs.
  6. Bake the Jalapeños: Place the stuffed jalapeños on the prepared baking sheet. Spray lightly with cooking spray or brush with oil if you’re not using a breadcrumb coating. This will help them to become slightly crispy on the outside.
  7. Bake the Stuffed Jalapeños: Bake in the preheated oven for about 18-20 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  8. Garnish and Serve: Once baked, remove the jalapeños from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes. Garnish with chopped green onions or cilantro before serving.

Optional Variations:

  • Wrapped in Bacon: Before baking, wrap each stuffed jalapeño with half a slice of bacon and secure it with a toothpick.
  • Grilled Stuffed Jalapeños: Instead of baking, you can grill the jalapeños over medium heat until the bacon is crispy and the peppers are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  • Different Meats: You can also use different types of cooked meats such as ground beef, sausage, or even small shrimp.
  • Vegetarian Option: Skip the chicken and bacon, and add black beans or corn to the cheese mixture for a vegetarian version.

Remember to adjust the seasoning according to your taste and the level of heat you prefer. Enjoy your chicken stuffed jalapeños!

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