Irresistible bite-sized Bacon Wrapped Chicken Poppers are lean chicken filled with cream cheese and a slice of jalapeno pepper, wrapped in bacon and baked into a crunchy appetizer full of luscious flavors. Great for parties and football gatherings.
My kids have been on a summer swim team since they were each in first grade. It’s on the other end of town so the friends we’ve made over the years have not been from our schools or sharing any other social connection. It’s always so fun when the season starts to see the same families and watch the kids grow from year to year.
In the off season a few of the summer families take lessons from the same instructor or do small swim training groups. My very favorite one includes a few dad-friends who are into grilling and smoking (on the grill) like I am. I’ve logged hundreds of bench hours at various sports activities over the year but this one I love, getting the chance to talk grilling.
I was thrilled to get one for Christmas myself and broke it in by tea-smoking a full duck to make Duck Tacos with Plum Sauce for New Year’s Eve. As I was scrolling through my iPhone Camera Roll to show one of the dads a spatchcocked chicken I’d smoked over the summer, he whipped out a photo on his phone that should have been accompanied with the sound of angels’ singing on high.
I’m not even sure what they were, but looked like small pieces of chicken wrapped in bacon and I’m sure grilled. It was a recipe online, but something my friend was thinking of grilling. The first thing that popped to mind were bacon wrapped water chestnuts that my parents served at cocktail parties when I was a child. I loved the crunch and flavor contrast despite finding the water chestnuts to have an odd flavor.
Swimming ended, I came home and have not been able to forget those bacon chicken bites. Having only seen a photo, no recipe or recipe title, I knew I needed to make something like them or I’d go mad. With football season careening toward the Super Bowl the timing seemed perfect.
What is a Bacon Wrapped Chicken Popper?
I love jalapeno poppers, have about 6 packages of bacon in my freezer at all times and wanted to create a layered appetizer recipe to serve for football parties. Or eat an entire plate of solo for dinner (of course I did not do that; wink!). Chicken breast strips marinated in barbecue sauce, filled with cream cheese and a slice of jalapeno rolled in bacon. Sound ok to you?
Bacon Wrapped Chicken Poppers are bigger than a bite; more like two bites, and a filling appetizer size. Unlike Jalapeno Poppers, they are not blistering hot, but rather have a hint of jalapeno and crunch from them too (you could always add more piece to make these poppers spicier).
I’m sure the chicken poppers could be grilled indirectly, similarly to these Smoked Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Chile Peppers I made last summer though I have not tested that out yet. Oh darn, guess I’ll have to make another batch!
How to make Bacon Wrapped Chicken Poppers – Step by Step:
Don’t let the length of this recipe scare you. There are only five ingredient and once you’ve rolled the first popper you’ll be an old pro! Boneless chicken breasts are pounded into a 1/2-inch thickness, then marinated in barbecue sauce. After marinating they are sliced, stuffed with cream cheese, jalapeno pepper, rolled up and wrapped in bacon before cooking in the oven.
A quick broil at the end leaves a crispy coating that’s irresistible. There are step-by-step photos in the recipe instructions!
More Appetizer Recipes You’ll Love:
- Smoked Blue Cheese Stuffed Bacon-Wrapped Chile Peppers
- Devils on Horseback
- Taco Meatballs
- Bacon Wrapped Shrimp
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