This Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese sandwich is loaded with cream cheese, cheddar cheese, jalapeños, bacon, and shredded chicken. Whip this up when you’re craving a flavorful sandwich, and use the leftover mixture to make pinwheel appetizers!
One of our family’s favorite things to cook on the grill is jalapeno poppers. We skip the deep fried breaded version of the popular game day snack, and we wrap ours in bacon and cook them on the grill instead. And to add even more flavor to our jalapeno poppers and help keep the cheese from oozing out on the grill, we also add in some shredded chicken.
So when we were brainstorming grilled cheese sandwich recipes to make on the griddle recently, I knew that we had to make our favorite smoked jalapeno poppers in sandwich form. And this smoked jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich was born!
Our grilled cheese sandwich started with a smoked whole chicken and smoked jalapeños, but you can skip a few steps and use pulled rotisserie chicken and jarred jalapeños instead. Here’s how to make this flavorful sandwich on the griddle:
Here are the ingredients that we used for our jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches:
You can’t make a jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwich without jalapenos, and you have a few different options for what type to use. To keep this recipe easy and save some time, you can add diced or sliced pickled jalapenos to the sandwich. Or if you have more time and you’ve got your smoker or charcoal grill going, you can smoke some whole fresh jalapenos like we did.
You could even add fresh slices of jalapeno to the top of the cream cheese chicken mixture or cut your jalapeños into flat slices and sauté them on the griddle until they’re tender… There really are a ton of different ways to make a jalapeno popper grilled cheese, so feel free to experiment!
We used a mixture of freshly shredded sharp cheddar and cream cheese for our sandwich. I find that shredded cheeses tend to melt better when I shred them myself, but you can also use store-bought bagged shredded cheese to make this recipe easier. And feel free to try different cheese options as well – a good pepper jack would be a nice addition to this sandwich, especially if you like some extra spice!
I smoked a whole chicken for this recipe, but you can also use leftover chicken breasts or store-bought rotisserie chicken. Just shred the chicken to mix in with the cheeses and jalapeños. We used one whole chicken breast in our mixture to make about four grilled cheese sandwiches.
Since we wrap our grilled poppers in bacon, I decided to cook up a few slices to add to this grilled cheese sandwich also.
I found an awesome Jalapeno Cheddar loaf at my local grocery store to use for this recipe, and it was perfect! If you can’t find anything similar, you can use any type of sliced bread that you have on hand.
How to Make a Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
Our jalapeno popper sandwiches are super easy to make after you’ve got your chicken pulled… Then you basically just mix up all of the ingredients and spread them on some bread to toast.
I’m not going to go over how to smoked your chicken in this post, but I’ve got a super detailed tutorial for how to smoke a whole chicken on a charcoal grill here… This is basically the exact same method that I used, except I switched up the seasonings.
And remember, if you don’t want to smoke your chicken, you can just use rotisserie chicken or even substitute some pulled pork or sliced ham.
Why add chicken to the sandwich? Our family sometimes adds shredded chicken to our grilled jalapeno poppers… Since we wrap them in bacon and cook them low and slow on the grill, the cream cheese is more likely to ooze out of the pepper because there’s no egg wash and breading mixture to hold everything together like you would have for fried poppers. So I thought, why not try adding some shredded chicken to this sandwich also?!
Step 1: Make the filling for your jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches.
Yes, these sandwiches have more of a “filling” instead of just layered ingredients like sliced cheese that you would get on a normal grilled cheese sandwich.
Just add the shredded chicken, chopped cooked bacon, chopped jalapeños, cream cheese, and shredded cheddar cheese to a large mixing bowl like this:
If you want more spice, I would suggest adding more chopped jalapeños, but since I was making these sandwiches for me and my wife, I just stuck with about one smoked jalapeno (with the seeds removed) per grilled cheese sandwich.
Then, just mix all of the ingredients together and then you’re ready to build your grilled cheese sandwiches… And if you have some leftovers, try this:
Two Recipes in One!
This cream cheese chicken mixture is also perfect for griddle pinwheel appetizers! Just spread the mixture on a large flour tortilla, roll it up, and slice into pinwheels. Toast on both sides on the griddle like I did for these awesome buffalo chicken pinwheels on YouTube!