We all lead busy and hectic lives, and that’s why I love make-ahead meals like this one.
It’s easy for me to say that you can just throw this meal together on a weeknight, no problem… I mean, I work from home and run a healthy food blog, so it’s not as difficult for me.
For other people – whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or dad, or maybe you to go to work full time – it’s great to have meals that you put together, sit down and enjoy a healthier (but delicious) meal with your family.
When you go to do your grocery shopping each week, just pick a few of your favorite meals; try not to overwhelm yourself with making new meals every night. For example, most people probably think I’m making something new and exciting every night, but that’s not the case! We have our go-to easy meal like turkey burgers and frozen sweet potato fries (Alexia brand is amazing!), and then leave a few days for creativity and new recipes from there.
You need to have some of those easy go-to meals to balance our your week so you don’t feel like you’re cooking constantly and you can spend some more time with your family.
Okay, now on to the recipe…
This jalapeño popper chicken casserole is my favorite make-ahead meal… You can tailor this recipe and instructions to what works for you. The chicken for the recipe is made in the crockpot, so I will make this the morning before, shred it six hours later and place into the casserole dish, layer on the other ingredients and pop it in the oven when I’m ready to make it.
Note: You can also simplify this with just buying pre-cooked chicken or rotisserie to cut down some of your prep time! Those little changes can make a big difference in your busy week.
I always tell people to try and not look at recipes like something that’s set in stone… If there are shortcuts that might help your prep time, use them! As long as you are using the same ingredients and such, the outcome is going to be just as good as the picture above.
This dish is just the perfect combination of the jalapeño popper taste you know and love… with lots of filling flavorful chicken with a layer of cream cheese (yes, I said cream cheese!!), little pieces of flakey biscuits and some spicy jalapeños!
Jalapeño Popper Chicken Casserole Ingredients:
- 1.5 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast
- 3/4 cup fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 packet dry ranch seasoning
- 8 oz. spicy jalapeno cream cheese (or light plain cream cheese), softened
- 4 Grand’s biscuits, cut into 8 pieces per biscuit
- 2 jalapeños, diced
- 3 tbsp. chives, chopped
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
- 2-3 tbsp. pickled jalapeños, chopped
- Spray crockpot with cooking spray. Add trimmed chicken to the crockpot, season with salt and pepper. Add diced jalapeños.
- In a measuring cup (or small bowl), measure out chicken broth and then whisk in the ranch seasoning mix. Pour broth/ranch mixture over the chicken and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours or on HIGH for 3-5 (or until chicken is fully cooked).
- Once cooked remove chicken from the crockpot and shred with a fork, then add chicken to a 13×9 baking dish, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with chives.
- At this point you could let cool and place in fridge for tomorrow if you are doing a make-ahead meal. If you’re cooking it immediately, then preheat oven to 375°.
- After you sprinkle the dish with chives, spread the softened cream cheese over that evenly.
- Take the biscuit pieces and roll them into balls. Place on-top of the cream cheese layer until you’ve used all the dough and they are evenly distributed.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheddar and pickled jalapeños.
- Place into the oven for 35-40 minutes, until golden in color.
Serving Size: 1/6 of the pan (using a 13×9 pan)
Fat: 14 g *
Carbohydrates: 17 g
Sugar: 4 g
Fiber: 0 g
Sodium: 813 mg (w/o added salt)
Protein: 33 g
* To reduce this, sub for a reduced fat cheese.