Tender chicken breast cubes are sautéed with garlic, onion, and tomatoes. Thinly sliced jalapeños add a spicy kick that mellows when cooked.
Summer is ending and school is beginning; autumn is right around the corner. And with the return of that autumn chill, there’s nothing like a nice, spicy recipe to warm you up. This chicken sauté, with delicious caramelized onions and a kick from the jalapeño, is sure to do just that.
- Chicken Breast: Chicken is one of the most versatile proteins, and healthier for your heart and body than red meats.
- Jalapeño: The most commonly found chili pepper in American cuisine, it adds a great kick to any meal, but mellows out really nicely when cooked.
- Garlic: One of my favorite ingredients to cook with, garlic somehow maintains a strong aroma and taste of its own, while helping to bring out the strong flavors of the ingredients it is cooked with.
- Onion: I used a white onion in this recipe, as it is the mildest and you don't need too much extra kick when cooking with jalapeños.
- Tomato: Cooking with a freshly diced tomato brightens the dish while adding much needed moisture, creating a saucy feel.
- Cilantro: The perfect topper to any spicy dish, the fresh green adds color and flavor to the dish, although it can be substituted with other fresh herbs.
How to make Spicy Chicken Sauté with Jalapeño
The first thing you’ll want to do for your Spicy Chicken Sauté with Jalapeño is cut your chicken into cubes. Cutting your chicken before sautéing not only reduces cooking time, it also helps your chicken cook more evenly.
Slowly add it to your pan and after cooking for 7-8 minutes, it’ll be all browned up.
Once the chicken is done cooking, remove it and set aside. Don't worry about keeping your chicken warm, we'll be adding it back to the pan later.
When adding ingredients in quick succession, I like to prepare them all before cooking. For this spicy sauté, that includes thinly slicing an onion and jalapeño, mincing your garlic, and dicing a tomato. Whenever onion is involved, I cut it last so that I can get it into the pan cooking as quickly as possible. This helps prevent stinging eyes and crying.
People all react differently to the capsaicin oil in jalapeños, but it has the potential to leave a lingering burning sensation on your skin. I like to be safe rather than sorry, so I keep single use plastic gloves on hand specifically for when I cook with jalapeños.
Add the onion, jalapeño, and garlic to your still hot pan and sauté for about 5 minutes . I love how sautéing really brings out the flavors and blends everything together, and cooking the jalapeño helps mellow out the kick. If you’re still concerned about the level of spice-- whether for you or some little ones-- be sure to remove all of the seeds and the pith (the lighter, middle section) from your jalapeños before adding them to the pan.
Next you'll add your diced tomato, seasoning with some salt and pepper, and let it cook for a couple more minutes.
Stir the chicken back in and let it warm up. With that, you’re basically done! If you’re a fan of cilantro, sprinkle some on top once you’ve served your dish.
Frequently Asked Questions:
I don’t like cilantro, what else can I use?
If you don’t like the taste of cilantro, Italian parsley is a great substitute in any recipe.
How do I store my leftovers?
Kept in an airtight container, your spicy chicken sauté will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge.
My family isn't a huge fan of spicy food, can I still make this?
Of course! Jalapeño is one of the most commonly used peppers, and is still found in lots of mild dishes. Like I mentioned above, make sure you fully remove the seeds and pith to keep the spice mild.
Complimentary Side Dishes
- Black Bean Avocado Salsa
- Mexican Salsa Verde (Green Salsa)
- Cuban Black Beans and Rice
- Spicy Grapefruit Paloma
- Easy Guacamole
More Spicy Dishes to Try
Can't get enough of the heat? I have plenty of spicy recipes for you to try, but to get you started, here are some of my favorites:
- Spicy Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Linguine
- Jamaican Curry Chicken
- Spicy Lebanese Potatoes
- Spicy Chicken Ramen
Whether you love the spicy kick of a jalapeño, or are a bit intimidated by it, this recipe can be a hit. My friend--who typically doesn't like spicy food--cleared his plate easily. While he still felt the heat, it wasn't overpowering to his palate. Give it a try yourself!
Your fork is waiting!
Spicy Chicken Sauté with Jalapeño
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 20 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts (cubed)
- salt and pepper (to taste)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 medium onion (thinly sliced )
- 1 jalapeño (thinly sliced )
- 1 large tomato (diced)
- ¼ cup cilantro (minced (or fresh herb of choice))
- Sprinkle chicken cubes with salt and pepper evenly on both sides; set aside.
- Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and drizzle with olive oil. Add the seasoned chicken to the pan and sauté until browned, about 7-8 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from pan; set aside.
- To the hot pan, add the onion slices, jalapeño and garlic. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and sauté until tender and slightly caramelized, about 5-6 minutes stirring frequently. Add tomatoes to the pan and season with another pinch of salt and pepper. Continue sautéing until tomatoes are softened, about 3-4 additional minutes.
- Return chicken and any residual juices to the pan and stir well. Heat until chicken is warmed through, about 3-4 minutes. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Garnish with fresh herbs before serving.