Jalapeño Popper Pasta

Food story time:

In the relatively early days of Adam and my relationship, we ordered a lot of take out. I would cook for us occasionally, but in those days, staying up super-late eating delivery Italian food was so much better. Sometimes we’d get a pizza, and sometimes I’d order an Italian beef sandwich (with cheese, of course) and an order of jalapeño poppers.

I’d never had a jalapeño popper before accidentally getting an order of them with our delivery once. A spicy jalapeño pepper stuffed with cream cheese and cheddar cheese, then subsequently fried in with a crispy crust was pretty much my idea of a perfect food. My jalapeño popper days pretty much ended with my whole eating healthier thing… but then, I had a bite of the Pioneer Woman’s famous poppers at Christina’s house many years ago too. That recipe added bacon the delicious combination of cheeses and jalapeño.

Junk food cravings inspired this recipe, which is shockingly healthy considering the inspiration.

jalapeno popper pasta-3

I added chicken to make sure that a serving was a meal rather than a side-dish, but the chicken could easily be left out. There’s bacon too. For a vegetarian option, just use some smoked paprika for a similar smoky flavor.

Jalapeño Popper Pasta

by What’s For Dinner?

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: simmer entree pasta cheese

Ingredients (Serves 8)

  • 1 pound whole wheat pasta, cooked and kept hot
  • 3 small chicken breasts, cubed
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 5 slices center-cut bacon, chopped
  • 8 ounces canned diced green chiles
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add the bacon and cook until crispy.

Add the chicken and cook until done, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes.

Next, add the green chiles, garlic powder, and cream cheese.

Stir and simmer until cream cheese is melted.

Add the sour cream to the pasta and stir until well-coated.

Pour the chile mixture into the pasta, stir well, and serve!

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I was truly shocked as to how delicious this came out to be. I figured, worst case, it would be kinda good. When I brought some leftovers to work, one coworker said “Wow, that rings my bell!”
jalapeno popper pasta-4.jpg
I found myself wishing that it was a bit spicier, so next time I may add a fresh jalapeño to the chicken mixture before adding it to the pasta.
The best part? The junk food craving was squashed, and a healthy meal enjoyed.
xoxo
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