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While we are still a month away from #DDGrillWeek2024, I am so excited to kick off grilling season with this Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken recipe! It is spicy, sweet, smoky, and creamy — what more could you ask for?

Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken stacked on top of one another.

Y’all know I love some spice so when thinking about a new grilling recipe, I knew I wanted to incorporate jalapeños which, of course, lead me to jalapeño poppers. From there, I thought, “Why not stuff it into a chicken breast?” And y’all, this turned out better than I could have imagined.

Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken on parchment paper.

In this recipe, a chicken breast is butterflied then stuffed with a whole jalapeño that is filled with a cream cheese mixture. Wrap this in bacon then pop it on the grill! At the very end, baste the chicken with some BBQ sauce to add a subtle touch of smokiness and sweetness to the chicken. The final result is something you are going to crave all grilling season long!

Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken Ingredients:

  • Coconut Sugar 
  • Garlic Powder 
  • Onion Powder 
  • Dried Oregano  
  • Chili Powder 
  • Kosher Salt  
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper  
  • Softened Cream Cheese  
  • Shredded Medium Cheddar Cheese: I like Tillamook brand
  • Jalapeños 
  • Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts 
  • Bacon  
  • BBQ Sauce  
Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken ingredients on countertop.

Step-By-Step: Traditional Grill Method

Step one: make the rub:

In a small bowl, combine all of the rub ingredients. Set aside.

Seasoning rub for Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken in a small wooden bowl.

Step Two: make the cream cheese filling:

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of the rub, and the shredded cheddar. Mix until well combined.

Cream cheese filling in small wooden bowl.

Step Three: prep the jalapeños

Cut the tops off of the jalapeños and slice in in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and set aside.

Sliced jalepenos on cutting board.

Step Four: Prep the Chicken

On a large cutting board, slice the chicken breasts open lenght-wise, without slicing all of the way through the breasts, like a book. Cover with saran wrap and using a meat mallet, pound the chicken so that it is an even ¼-inch thickness.

Step Five: Assemble the Chicken

Place a half of a jalapeños slice on top of one half of the open chicken breast. Top it with ¼ of the cream cheese mixture, top it with the other half of the jalapeños, then close it like a book. Season both sides evenly with ¼ of the rub. Wrap the chicken breast with 2 slices of bacon, securing the ends with toothpicks. Repeat until all chicken breasts are assembled.

Chicken breast on cutting board stuffed with jalepeno and cream cheese filling.

Step Six: Preheat the Grill

Heat the grill to medium heat, between 350℉ and 375℉.

Step Seven: Grill the Chicken

Place the chicken on grill, cover and cook until the bacon fat has rendered and the chicken has cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. If the bacon begins to flame up, reduce the heat to medium-low and bring the chicken up to the front of the grill where there is less flame. Cover and continue to cook, checking every 2 to 3 minutes, turning until the chicken is cooked through and the bacon is done.

Step Eight: Baste the Chicken

Reduce the heat to low. Using a grill-safe brush, baste the chicken with the BBQ sauce on both sides and continue to cook on low so that the sauce coats the chicken nicely, another 3 to 4 minutes.

Bacon-wrapped chicken basted with BBQ sauce.

Step Nine: Rest then Enjoy!

Remove from the heat and let rest for about 4 minutes. Remove the toothpicks from the chicken and enjoy!

Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken stacked on top of one another.

For the Weber Searwood XL 600 Wood Pellet Grill Method, see below!

Recipe FAQ:

i AM WORRIED ABOUT THE SPICE LEVEL, WHAT SHOULD i DO?

If you have a sensitive palate or are serving those who do, you could definitely omit the jalapeños and just fill with the cream cheese filling! I do this for my kiddos and they LOVE it.

The chicken breasts look very thick, are you sure they will be cooked through?

Once assembled, these definitely look pretty big! But because you are pounding the chicken breasts and cutting in half, each side is much thinner than it looks. If you are concerned about whether or not they are cooked, you can always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature for it to be at least 165℉.

I promise y’all this recipe is worth the assembly! The chicken is so flavorful and is sure to be a hit. Comment below once you try this once!

For more grilled chicken recipes:

Tex-Mex Grilled Chicken

Giardiniera Chicken Melts

Grilled Chili Chicken Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa

Gochujang Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken stacked on top of one another.
5 from 6 votes

Grilled Jalapeño Popper Chicken

Gluten-Free 
Total: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

For the Rub:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 4 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons rub mixture
  • 1 cup shredded medium cheddar cheese I like Tillamook brand

For the Chicken:

  • 4 medium sized jalapeños
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 slices bacon
  • ½ cup BBQ Sauce

Instructions 

Make the Rub:

  • In a small bowl, combine all of the rub ingredients. Set aside.

Make the Cream Cheese Filling:

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, 2 tablespoons of the rub, and the shredded cheddar. Mix until well combined.

Assemble the Chicken:

  • Cut the tops off of the jalapeño and slice in in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and set aside.
  • On a large cutting board, slice the chicken breasts open lenghtwise, without slicing all of the way through the breasts, like a book. Cover with saran wrap and using a meat mallet, pound the chicken so that it is an even ¼-inch thickness.
  • Place a half of a jalapeños slice on top of one half of the open chicken breast. Top it with ¼ of the cream cheese mixture, top it with the other half of the jalapeños, then close it like a book. Season both sides evenly with ¼ of the rub. Wrap the chicken breast with 2 slices of bacon, securing the ends with toothpicks. Repeat until all chicken breasts are assembled.

Grill the Chicken (Regular Grill Method):

  • Heat the grill to medium heat, between 350℉ and 375℉.
  • Place the chicken on grill, cover and cook until the bacon fat has rendered and the chicken has cooked through, about 6 minutes per side. If the bacon begins to flame up, reduce the heat to medium-low and bring the chicken up to the front of the grill where there is less flame. Cover and continue to cook, checking every 2 to 3 minutes, turning until the chicken is cooked through and the bacon is done.
  • Reduce the heat to low. Using a grill-safe brush, baste the chicken with the BBQ sauce on both sides and continue to cook on low so that the sauce coats the chicken nicely, another 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and let rest for about 4 minutes. Remove the toothpicks from the chicken and enjoy!

Grill the Chicken (Weber Searwood XL 600 Wood Pellet Grill Method):

  • When ready to grill, set the Searwood XL Weber Grill to 375℉ and preheat with the lid closed.
  • Place the chicken directly on the grill grates and close the lid, cook, flipping once or twice, until the bacon is crisp and golden and the chicken is cooked through, 8 to 10 Minutes.
  • Using a grill-safe brush, baste the chicken with the BBQ sauce on both sides and continue to cook, with the lid open, so that the sauce coats the chicken nicely, another 3 to 4 minutes, flipping once.
  • Remove from the heat and let rest for about 4 minutes. Remove the toothpicks from the chicken and enjoy!

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Servings: 4


Welcome! I’m Alex.

I’m a food lover sharing healthy, simple, delicious, recipes from my kitchen to yours. Here you’ll find lots of Whole30, lots of healthy, and a little indulgence here and there because…it’s all about balance y’all!


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Recipe Rating




14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was so good! My husband said he will crave this chicken. Perfect for summer. I did roast the jalapeño first after reading the comments and it was very tasty!

  2. 5 stars
    These were so fun! We all loved them and the only thing I should’ve done differently is not pushing the toothpicks in very far… once the ends were charred, they were hard to find! 🙂 Next time I may try roasting the peppers ahead of time but the recipe was fabulous as-is. We served it with baked beans and coleslaw and it made for a perfect meal.

  3. This recipe looks wonderful the only thing I might change to it is instead of cheddar cheese I would use blue cheese and I would base the chicken breast with wing sauce. Making it a Buffalo chicken jalapeno popper.

  4. 5 stars
    This was great! We used grill mats for the grill for easier clean up and to keep juice from falling through the grates. We did need to increase the temp of the grill to 400.

  5. 5 stars
    This was AMAZING. I love that this required such little prep & while I used our wood pellet grill, this would be great on gas with a smokier BBQ sauce if you still wanted that flavor. My husband didn’t want the jalapeño so I just stuffed his with the cheese mixture only and it was fab so don’t be scared of the jalapeño if that’s not your jam. This will definitely be on repeat all Summer long at our house!