Recipe Review

Jalapeño Popper Casserole Is the Perfect Hot Dish

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(Image credit: Spicy Southern Kitchen)

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Do you want to be the most popular person in the room? Showing up with a great big dish full of jalapeño popper chicken casserole is a good way to start. It’s like spicy macaroni and cheese, or like a plate of jalapeño poppers decided to leave the appetizer page and become an entrée. It’s spicy, creamy, and cheesy, and if you make it once, people are going to ask you to do it again and again.

The recipe starts with bacon, as so many great things do. Cook the bacon in a large nonstick pan until it’s nice and crispy, then set it aside; but whatever you do, do not throw away the bacon grease! Bacon grease is gold, and you’ll want to use it to cook your diced onions until they’re soft and bacon-flavored. Then add some garlic and brown that in the bacon grease too, then melt some butter in the pan and add flour to make a roux for the sauce.

In the same pan, add chicken broth and milk. Next add six ounces of cream cheese, because this recipe is not kidding around about being rich and creamy. Once the cream cheese has melted, take the pot off the heat and mix in shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese and stir it until it is smooth and the cheese has fully melted. (If you can make it through this stage without eating at least a spoonful, you are a stronger person than I am.)

Into that giant pot of melted cheese, add cooked penne pasta, diced jalapeño, shredded chicken meat from a rotisserie chicken, and half the bacon you made at the beginning. Mix that all together, pour it into a greased casserole dish, cover it with aluminum foil, and bake it for about 20 minutes.

Once the timer goes off, sprinkle the top of the casserole with the rest of the shredded cheese, bacon, and sliced jalapeño peppers, then bake it for another 10 minutes or until the cheese on top is melted and golden-brown. Then remove it from the oven, bask in the glory of your beautiful creation, and eat it immediately.

Get the recipe: Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole from Spicy Southern Kitchen

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

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