Jalapeño poppers offer an explosion of flavor with gooey cheese, crispy breadcrumbs, spicy jalapeños, and fragrant garlic and onion. These beauties have it all! Jalapeño poppers make the perfect snack for cookouts, game days, or simply an evening around the pool.
There’s something about hot peppers that I find so exciting. You all know I’m a fan of super spicy food, and jalapeños are right on that list. Stuffed jalapeño poppers are more than just spicy heat; they’re creamy and inviting. And they’re called poppers because all you have to do is pop them in your mouth. So here’s my recipe for jalapeño poppers. I’m sure you’ll make these often. Oh yeah!
The Reason for Homemade Jalapeno Poppers
Let me know if this sounds familiar. You’re going to have friends over, but you’re tired of offering them chips from a bag and heating premade frozen snacks. What you need are a few recipes for homemade but super easy snacks, and there’s nothing more exciting than jalapeño poppers. My guests can never get enough when I serve these deliciously spicy snacks.
- Bacon – Bacon bits give a flavor punch and crunchiness to these jalapeño poppers filling.
- Garlic and Onions – A little goes a long way and adds flavorful and complex flavor combinations. And it’s super easy to mince garlic, and the onions offer natural sweetness to balance the popper filling’s flavor.
- Jalapeños – The perfect package for an extraordinary one-biter. Make sure your fresh, green jalapeños are nice and firm.
- Cheese – These popper filling ingredients, cream cheese and cheddar cheese, combine with the crispy breadcrumbs and flavorful garlic and onion. Plus, it’s a great creamy, gooey comfort food.
- Panko Breadcrumbs – The delicate crunch this type of breadcrumb gives your jalapeño poppers is so mouthwatering.
- Butter – Sauté your garlic and breadcrumbs in butter gives your filling a crumbly, crunchy texture.
How to Make Jalapeño Poppers
Prep the Ingredients
- Cook the Bacon – Heat a frying pan over medium, and add bacon. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the bacon is browned and crispy. Drain the grease, leaving just a tablespoon. (Photo 1-3)
- Sauté Onion and Garlic – Add the garlic, green onion, and onion, and stir for about a minute. Don’t let it burn. Remove the veggies from the pan into a large mixing bowl and let them cool. (Photo 4)
- Preheat the Oven to 375℉/190℃. Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil, then spray with cooking oil.
- Clean the Peppers – Wearing gloves😉, cut jalapenos in half lengthwise, then scoop out the seeds and ribs with a spoon to create a vessel. Set aside while you prepare the filling. (Photos 5-6)
Jalapeno Popper Assembly
- Prepare the Filling – Add cream cheese and cheddar to the bowl with the garlic and onion mixture and mix until thoroughly combined. Crumble the bacon slices into bits and stir them into the mix. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Photos 7-8)
- Fill the Jalapeños – Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese and bacon mixture. (See instructions below if topping with breadcrumbs.) (Photo 9)
- Bake – Arrange the poppers on the baking sheet about one inch apart and bake for 20-25 minutes until tender and the tops brown to a beautiful golden. Let them cool 10-15 minutes before serving. (Photo 10)
- Optional Topping – Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add the breadcrumbs and garlic, then stir until lightly toasted. Add parsley, if desired. Top the filled jalapeno poppers with the flavored breadcrumbs before baking.
- Cheese Swap – Gouda cheese, Manchego, and other semi-hard cheeses are perfect popper fillers. Use what you have in hand.
- Jalapeno Swap – Bite-sized serrano peppers are the perfect substitute for jalapeños. And they’re so similar that your guests may not even notice you pulled a switch. Or if you want a Chili Relleno, go for poblanos.
- Meat Swap – You can substitute prosciutto or dry-cured meat for a more Mediterranean feel. I’ve even used pepperoni in a pinch, and it came out great.
- Bacon-Wrapped – What could be better than bacon bits in your jalapeno poppers? Wrap them up nice and neat with strips of bacon. Oh, yeah!!! (Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers)
Tips and Tricks
- Wear gloves because the jalapeños’ capsaicin can irritate your skin. If you forget, as I sometimes do, vinegar helps. And whatever you do, don’t rub your eyes!
- If you get capsaicin in your eyes, blink fast to get the tears going. Then use saline solution to wash your eyes. (Sorry guys, but contact lenses should go in the trash after removing them from your eyes with clean hands.)
- Leave some of the jalapeno’s veins and seeds if you want hotter snacks. Some people enjoy their jalapeno poppers flame-throwing hot!
Serving and Storage Instructions
Serve jalapeño poppers still warm on a platter, so the cheese is still gooey.
Store jalapeño poppers in an airtight BPA-free plastic container with a lid in the fridge for up to three days.
Reheat jalapeño poppers under the broiler or in the microwave. You can also add a bit more butter to bring them back to life.
Yes, they are! So if you’re looking to ramp up the Scoville scale in your poppers, definitely use the red ones. But if you’re more interested in flavor, the green ones are better.
The sky’s the limit. Aside from these incredible poppers, you can slice them into a bowl of chili, top your nachos, throw them on a homemade pizza, or spice up an ordinary salad. You can eat jalapeños raw or cooked.
Jalapeños lose some heat when cooked, but when you eat them hot (temperature hot, that is), they might feel spicier than they really are. It’s the same effect as eating them with a cup of hot coffee. Ouch!
What Goes With Jalapeno Poppers
This fun little snack is great on its own, but you might want to serve it with non-spicy snacks since not everyone can take the heat. Chicken wings, pigs in a blanket, and your favorite snacks go great with these fantastic bites of spice.
More Spicy Jalapeno Recipes to Try
- Jalapeños Corn Casserole
- Pineapple Jalapeños Corn Muffin
- Deviled Eggs with Bacon and Jalapeños
- Pineapple Cucumber Salad
- Jiffy Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
Now that you have the perfect recipe to spice up your life, what do you plan on doing with it? Will it be a tailgate party, New Year’s bash, or something else? Let me know in the comments below! ❤️
- Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add bacon. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until the bacon is brown and crisp. Drain oil and leave a tablespoon in the pan.
- Add onions, garlic, and green onions, and stir for about a minute. Don't let it burn. Remove from the pan and place in a large mixing bowl to cool.
- Preheat the oven to 375℉/190℃. Line a sheet pan with parchment or foil paper, then grease with a cooking spray.
- Wear gloves and cut jalapenos in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and ribs to create a vessel. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
- Add cream cheese and cheddar cheese to the onion mixture. Mix until thoroughly combined. Then stir in the bacon. Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture.
- Arrange the poppers on the baking sheet about 1 inch apart and bake for 20-25 minutes until tender and top browns.
- Let them cool 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the breadcrumbs and garlic and stir until slightly browned. Add parsley if desired. Top the poppers with the breadcrumbs before baking.
Tips & Notes:
- Try to use gloves (latex or 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.
- If you cook for people who cannot tolerate spice, you can also make these using baby bell peppers.
- Some people test jalapenos for heat before buying; some are extremely hot, while others have little heat. Physical heat, such as baking or frying, kills some peppers’ spiciness.
- Please remember that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used.