We don’t do too much meat in our house, maybe once a week. We mainly make vegetarian or fish. Lately, though, meat has been making a resurgence. I came across this recipe for “low carb” jalapeño chicken on Pinterest. The recipe called for Panko breadcrumbs and there was an outcry in the comments section that Panko most certainly isn’t low carb. Naturally, I was drawn to this.
First and foremost, I used the opportunity for shameless self-promotion and commented about how “I will do a recipe redo on thetoastedpinenut.com THIS WEEK to make it low carb. Stay tuned!!” Due to the advertising nature of my post, my comment was not approved. In retrospect it was actually kinda a d move, so I’m happy it wasn’t approved haha 😀
Second, I am an advocate for altering recipes to suit your individual needs. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve searched “low carb this” and have completely neglected other recipes that aren’t branded as “low carb” but can be easily altered to work for our family.
Almond meal is a great alternative to breading (I prefer it), though it’s not a blanket substitution. If breadcrumbs are used in a recipe to coat the meat or fish, almond meal totally works for a substitute. If you are using breadcrumbs as a thickening agent, almond meal isn’t your best option.
This recipe was fun for me because it was a bit out of our norm. It’s spicy, meaty, cheesy, moist, and still has that breading-like crunch. It was delish! Perhaps I’ve been out of the breading game a bit too long, but I swear at certain angles these chicken breasts can be mistaken for KFC…
So here how you make this tasty Cheesy Jalapeño Chicken with Avocado Salsa:
You can either buy almond meal, or you can make your own. I used blanched almond flour, but you can definitely pulse up some almonds in your food processor until they’re finely chopped and call it a day.
Heat your almond meal and coconut oil in a pan until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes. Make sure not to overdo it and burn your nutty meal.
You’ll need three small bowls for the rest of this recipe. In the first bowl, put your almond meal once it is finished in the pan.
Combine your taco spices. I made my own with the ingredients mentioned below, but store bought works just as well!
Add the taco spices to the almond meal and mix everything together.
In a second bowl, beat an egg.
Next, chop your jalapeño. I obsessively wash my hands at least three times after handling jalapeños because one time I was handling jalapeños, washed my hands, itched (not picked) my nose and my nostrils were ON FIRE. I had to wash the inside of my nostrils several times with dish soap to get the initial burning to go away but no matter what I did, the tingling lasted the rest of the night.
Anyway, not a scenario I care to repeat. Wash your hands multiple times and get under your fingernails!! So where was I?
In the third bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and chopped jalapeño.
Take your chicken breast and place the cream cheese mixture onto one side of the chicken.
Fold the other half of the chicken on top of the cream cheese mixture.
Dip this chicken in the egg bowl, flipping to coat both sides.
Then toss it in the almond breading bowl, making sure it is well “breaded.”
Pop them in the oven for 25-30 minutes. While they’re baking, combine the avocado, tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper in a bowl and stir to combine.
When it’s done baking, top the chicken with the avocado salsa and enjoy!Print
You guys will LOVE this easy weeknight dinner recipe! The creamy cheese is such a nice contrast to the spicy jalapeño! Low carb + gluten free breading!
- 3/4 cup blanched almond flour
- 2 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 egg, wisked
- 4 oz. cream cheese, warmed in the microwave until soft
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, chopped
- 4 thinly sliced chicken breasts
- 1 avocado, cut in chunks
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
- 1/2 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, combine the almond meal with the coconut oil.
- Cook, stirring often, until the almond meal is fragrant.
- Place the almond meal in a shallow dish and add the taco seasoning. Mix everything together.
- In second shallow bowl, lightly beat an egg.
- In third bowl, combine the warmed cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and chopped jalapeño.
- Place the cream cheese mixture on half of each chicken breast.
- Fold the chicken over so the cream cheese is in the center.
- Dip the chicken into the egg, and then coat with the almond meal. Make sure to coat the chicken completely.
- Place the chicken on a lined baking sheet and cook for about 20 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
- While the chicken is cooking, mix up the avocado, tomatoes, lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
- When the chicken is done baking, top with the avocado salsa and enjoy!
per serving: Calories 1,268; Fat 70.5g (Sat 23.5g); Protein 143.4g; Carb 11.0g (net carbs 4.7g); Fiber 6.3g; Sodium 589mg
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 544
- Sugar: 2g
- Sodium: 315mg
- Fat: 36g
- Saturated Fat: 14g
- Unsaturated Fat: 19g
- Carbohydrates: 22g
- Fiber: 5g
- Protein: 37g
- Cholesterol: 166mg
Let me know your thoughts and how you like it with the almond meal “breading”!! Enjoy! xo