Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

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Creamy white chicken chili gets a make over with spicy jalapenos, spices, cannelleni beans, cream cheese, and bacon on top for a delicious mash up of chicken chili and jalapeno poppers in one bowl!  This recipe originally published in November 2012.

A bowl of Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili topped with sour cream and jalapeno rings with a spoon in it.

This has been a crazy weather year.  In December it was warm almost the entire month.  I’m talking it was warm enough that we were wearing hoodies outside and playing for hours everyday.

Then January hit and it’s been below freezing just about every day.  We’ve also gotten snow almost every weekend.  That means I’ve been in the mood for chili. I thought about making my Chili con Tres Carne but I didn’t have all the different meats I needed.   Then I thought of my Garden Fresh Chili but didn’t have everything I needed for that either.

I started digging through my files to try and find a chili recipe that I had the ingredients for and that I was in the mood for.  I came across my recipe for Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.

A bowl of Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili topped with bacon.

I had forgotten about this recipe but it’s always been one of my favorites.  It’s like a beefed up bowl of white chicken chili.   The addition of jalapenos, cream cheese, and bacon make for an awesome bowl of Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.


  • onion
  • red bell pepper
  • jalapeno peppers
  • garlic cloves
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • chicken breasts
  • chile powder
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • tomatoes
  • chicken broth
  • cannelleni beans
  • corn
  • cream cheese
  • bacon
  • cheddar cheese

This recipe is fairly easy to make and doesn’t require a tons of hands on time.  Basically you need to saute the vegetables, cook the chicken, then combine everything else together and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.

At the very end you will stir in the cream cheese to make the soup creamy.  Finally the soup gets topped off with crispy bacon and cheddar cheese.

Do I have to use fresh jalapenos?

No you don’t.  I’ve actually used 1/4 cup of jarred jalapenos that I chop myself.   Get the tamed ones if you don’t want a ton of heat or the hot ones if you do!

How do I safely handle jalapenos?

Honestly I wear gloves because it’s hard to get all the oils off of my hands.  So put on glove, slice the jalapeno lengthwise, and scrape out all of the seeds.  Cut the top off and discard.  Chop the remaining jalapeno.  When you are finished carefully take the gloves off without touching the outside and dispose of them.  Wash your hands.

Can I use dried beans in this recipe?

Yes you can.  However, if using dried beans make sure you soak them for 5-6 hours in cool water.   Drain and then rinse them thoroughly before using in this recipe.  You can also boil a pan of water and remove from the stove.  Add the beans and cover with a lid for 1-2 hours.   Rinse and use the beans.

Can I freeze this soup?

Unfortunately since it has cream cheese in it I would avoid freezing this soup in it’s entirety.   While you are actually able to, many cream or milk based soups either separate, become grainy, or become watery after they are frozen and the texture of the broth is no longer the same.

However, if you want to make this soup ahead of time, freeze, then serve you can simply leave out the cream cheese before freezing.   Then you can heat the soup, add the cream cheese, and serve.

How do I store this soup?

You can store the leftovers in a container with a lid in the refrigerator.   After cooking pour into a container and let cool a bit before covering and transferring to the refrigerator.  Ideally you want to get it into the refrigerator within two hours of cooking the soup.

This Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili is a delicious and hearty soup.  The addition of the corn and beans really help to make this soup filling.

Pin Image: Text, a bowl of Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili topped with sour cream and jalapeno rings with a spoon in it.

When my husband heard I was making this soup again he was pretty excited as jalapeno poppers are one of his favorite.  I like that the soup is fairly light until the cream cheese is added at the end to make it creamy.  I used a light cream cheese which tasted amazing and really added a creamy texture.

This was the perfect snowy weather soup.  It was spicy, flavorful, and filling.  Paired with a loaf of fresh crusty bread this was all we needed for a complete meal.  The soup was hearty and warmed us up after a day of shoveling.

More Chicken Soup Recipes:

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A bowl of Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili topped with sour cream and jalapeno rings with a spoon in it.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Author: Hezzi-D


  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 4 jalapeno peppers diced, seeds removed
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb. chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Penzey's Arizona Dream spice or chile powder
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 ½ c. chicken broth
  • 2 c. cannellini beans
  • 2 c. corn
  • 8 oz. cream cheese I used ⅓ less fat
  • 4 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • ¼ c. sharp cheddar cheese


  • 1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium heat. 
  • 2.. Add in the onion, red pepper, jalapeno pepper, and garlic and saute for 5-7 minutes or until soft.
  • 3. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper. 
  • 4. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan and add in the chicken.  Lightly brown the chicken on all sides.
  • 5. Add in the Arizona Dream, cumin, and paprika.  Stir to combine the spices with the chicken and vegetables.
  • 6. Stir in the tomatoes, chicken broth, cannellini beans, and corn.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  • 7. Add in the cream cheese and stir until it is completely melted, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.
  • 8. Ladle the soup into a bowl and top with crumbled bacon and cheese.


A Hezzi-D Original recipe

A top view of Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili.

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  1. Well this sounds absolutely delicious and I have a chili event coming up soon. I may switch out the recipe I was going to share. Thanks Heather.

  2. I just wanted to let you know that I made this tonight and it is absolutely wonderful! This is also the recipe I have chosen to make for this week’s Sunday Supper Happy Birthday post. I hope that is okay.

    Best regards,


  3. Your snow looks beautiful – and I’m glad to hear you kept power through the week. I love how your soup looks and sounds. It’s the perfect dish for a snowy day. I’ve never put cream cheese in a soup, but it sounds just wonderful! We love spicy foods, and I’m definitely making this one when we head back up to the mountains!

  4. I saw how Western Maryland was covered in snow on TV and totally agree with the idea of this soup to warm you up 🙂 It looks and sounds fantastic!!Bookmarked 🙂

  5. I live in the eastern part of Maryland. We were pounded by wind and rain, but no real damage. Thank goodness. I heard western MD got slammed with snow. I hope you’re warm and toasty and not without electric.

    This chili looks wicked delicious. My husband is going to love it.

  6. I use Penzey’s spices too. love their products. I’m sorry you got snow but I’m gald you got a few days off. It’s a tradeoff I suppose. Your chili looks fantastic. I love the addition of cream cheese. I bet it made it extra flavourful and creamy!

  7. This looks amazing. I like that you’ve got chicken in it. Hmmm…we grow jalapenos and just gave away a bag to our neighbor yesterday. We’ll have to keep the next batch and make this!

  8. A little to spicy for my palate, but my husband would love this. Me and jalapenos just aren’t friends. 🙂 Thanks for joining us this week!

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