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Bar Food Revisited - Jalapeno Popper Salad

Well the vegetable garden is winding down now. My tomatoes are unfortunately gone, but I still have my herbs and jalapenos.

But instead of doing a jalapeno popper, I did something a little healthier, but with the same flavors.

This is a nice riff on a “plain old” chicken salad, which is one of my favorites.

You can make this either with fresh peppers, or pickled jalapenos, which give the same flavor, but have much less of a “bite.”

Jalapeno Popper Salad


20 oz cooked chicken breasts, diced or shredded

8 slices turkey bacon (or regular), cooked and chopped

1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup chopped jalapenos

1 tbsp juice from jarred jalapenos, or pickle juice if you’re using fresh peppers

4 ounces or 8 tbsp light cream cheese, softened

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp light mayonnaise

1/4 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 teaspoon dried epazote* or 2 of fresh oregano

2/3 cup reduced fat sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup chopped Spanish olives

Baby spinach


*Epazote is a Mexican herb that you don’t see much around here, but you can buy it fried or its seeds from Amazon.. There’s no exact substitute for it, but I will use fresh oregano in its place if I have to.

Besides its pungent flavor, it actually reduces the gas sometimes associated with eating beans, obviously prevalent in many Mexican dishes.

Combine chicken, plain Greek yogurt, jalapenos and juice, softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic salt, epazote (or oregano) and seasoning in a large bowl. Stir until combined.

Gently stir in bacon and cheddar cheese.

Chili Vinaigrette


¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon of lime zest

4 tablespoons lime juice freshly squeezed

2 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

¾ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon honey


Mix all in a blender or shaker.

Dress as much spinach as you want in a dish and serve the chicken salad on top.

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