Jalapeno Poppers – fresh and plump jalapenos sliced in half and filled with a a rich, creamy and cheesy filling. These Jalapeno Poppers are BAKED and can be wrapped around with bacon or topped with crispy Panko breadcrumbs. A fantastic party appetizer or game day food!
Who could resist a platter of crispy, spicy and creamy Jalapeno Poppers? I bet no one could. These Jalapeno poppers are a favorite in almost all parties I’ve been in to. They can be served with or without the bacon wrap and still get the same love from your guests. Since Cinco de Mayo is this coming weekend, it would be the best time to serve this spicy cheesy treat. And you’ll be glad you did!
How Hot is a Jalapeno?
To complete your Cinco de Mayo celebration, these Jalapeno Poppers are the perfect addition to your menu. What is a Jalapeño anyway? Jalapeño is a Spanish word from “Xalapa” or also spelled Jalapa, the capital city of Veracruz, Mexico where it is traditionally cultivated.
It is a medium-sized chili pepper which has a round, firm, smooth flesh and commonly picked and consumed while still green. Then it turns red, orange or yellow when fully ripe.
Now how hot is a jalapeno? Compared to other chillies, jalapenos’ heat level range can be mild to hot depending on cultivation and preparation. According to the Scoville scale (a measurement of the pungency of chili peppers and other spicy food), Jalapenos have a scale between 3,500 – 8,000 SHU which places them on the lower rank of medium-hot pepper range. But as it ripens, their pungency also increases, making red jalapenos to be generally hotter than the green ones.
To picture it out, the hottest habanero (one of fave pepper) would be 140 times hotter than the mildest jalapeno. So just relax, they aren’t THAT hot as you think they may be.
Are Jalapenos Good For You?
You’ll be surprised to know that jalapenos have more in store for you. It contains a plant compound which they call “capsaicin” that is identified as a possible natural treatment for cancer as it stops the growth of tumors. Moreover, it also aids in losing weight (Yaay!) which helps boost metabolism by raising the body temperature and decreases the appetite. Aside from that, Jalapenos also contains more vitamin C than an orange (this one is shocking to me). One serving of jalapenos could already give you 66% of the daily recommended vitamin C which helps boost your immune system.
So the next time you want a quick and healthy party food, look no further and make anything jalapenos. 😉
How to Cut A Jalapeno?
By all means, NEVER EVER cut jalapenos, or any spicy food, without wearing gloves. And don’t you ever think of rubbing your eyes or touching your face while working on it. The spiciness in a jalapeno is all in the seeds and inner membranes so that’s why we have to clean it out. But if you prefer some heat in it, leave a little bit of the membrane.
Here’s how I cut the jalapenos in making these poppers:
- Put on your gloves! Don’t forget this part.
- Wash the jalapenos with water. Pat them dry. Then grab a knife and slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise.
- Scoop out the seeds and ribs/membranes using a small spoon.
- Discard the seeds and membranes.
You can now stuff these hollow jalapenos with your favorite stuffing.
What Goes In Jalapeno Poppers?
Jalapenos. We use fresh jalapenos to make these excellent party appetizer Jalapeno Poppers. If some of your family member can’t tolerate heat that much, you may replace it with baby bell peppers.
Cheesy Creamy Filling. I use equal parts of cream cheese and Gouda cheese for the filling. I use Philadelphia cream cheese with its pleasant tanginess and mild sweetness that complements well with Gouda’s nutty, buttery and caramelly flavor. Plus it melts easily and beautifully. If it’s not available in your area, you may replace it with Monterey Jack, mild Cheddar or Gruyere.
Bacon. Avoid using thick cut bacon for this recipe because they will take a lot longer to crisp up in the oven. If your bacon is very thin, you can use 1 strip of bacon , instead of ½ a slice as the recipe suggests. Bacon-wrapped Jalapeno Poppers make a great keto-friendly low-carb dish.
Panko Breadcrumbs. Unlike regular breadcrumbs, this Japanese-style Panko breadcrumbs bakes up crispier. I had mine toasted a bit with butter and then added with parsley before adding it on top of the Jalapeno Poppers. This makes a great alternative to the bacon wrapping.
How Long To Bake Jalapeno Poppers?
Align these Jalapeno Poppers here in a baking sheet 1-inch apart and bake them in a preheated 400F oven for about 20-25 minutes, then broil them for another 2-3 minutes for that lovely bacon crisp. If not using any bacon, 20 minutes would be good; just enough to soften the peppers and allow the cheese to melt. We don’t want them too soft.
More Party Appetizers For You To Try
Enjoy and Happy Cinco de Mayo, if you celebrate it!
- 6 plump jalapeno peppers
- 6 ounce (180 g) cream cheese
- 6 ounce (168 g) gouda cheese
- 1 teaspoon (5 g) minced garlic
- 1 green onion , finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 6 strips regular bacon (see notes 3)
- ½ tablespoon (7 g) unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (12.5 g) Panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon (0.13 g) dried parsley (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet pan with foil and coat it with cooking spray.
- Cut the jalapenos in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribs.
- In a medium bowl combine: cheeses, garlic, green onions, salt and pepper. Mix together until evenly blended.
- Fill each jalapeno half with about 1 - 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture.
- Cut the bacon in half crosswise and wrap each stuffed pepper half with a slice of bacon. Tuck the ends of the bacon under or use a toothpick to secure them so they don't fall apart while baking.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add in the breadcrumbs and parsley and toss together until slightly brown. Use the breadcrumbs to top some of the peppers in place of bacon.
- Arrange the poppers on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once the poppers are cooked through and most of the fat is out from the bacon, grill (broil) for 2-3 minutes to crisp the bacon to your liking, if needed.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
Tips & Notes:
- Try to use gloves (latex or any type of protective gloves) when cutting and gutting the peppers. very spicy peppers can cause your fingers to burn, it won’t be horrible but a bit uncomfortable.
- Poppers topped with breadcrumbs will take about 5 minutes less cooking time in the oven.
- Avoid using thick cut bacon for this recipe because they will take a lot longer to crisp up in the oven. If your bacon is very thin, you can use 1 strip of bacon , instead of ½ a slice as the recipe suggests.
- If you are cooking for people who cannot tolerate any spice you can also make these using baby bell peppers.
- Some people test jalapenos for heat for heat before buying , some are extremely hot while others have so little heat. If there is little or no heat, they will not be hot because physical heat such as baking or frying kills most of the peppers’ spiciness.
How To Make Jalapeno Poppers
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet pan with foil and coat it with cooking spray. Cut the jalapenos in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribs.In a medium bowl combine: cheeses, garlic, green onions, salt and pepper. Mix together until evenly blended. Fill each jalapeno half with about 1 – 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture. Cut the bacon in half crosswise and wrap each stuffed pepper half with a slice of bacon. Tuck the ends of the bacon under or use a toothpick to secure them so they don’t fall apart while baking.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add in the breadcrumbs and parsley and toss together until slightly brown. Use the breadcrumbs to top some of the peppers in place of bacon. Arrange the poppers on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 20-25 minutes. Once the poppers are cooked through and most of the fat is out from the bacon, grill (broil) for 2-3 minutes to crisp the bacon to your liking, if needed. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.