Do you have a go to party snack? These Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers are my latest one. I discovered them this past summer when my garden was over run with jalapeno peppers and I was looking for recipes that would use mass quantities of them at once. Hubby and I fell in love with them instantly, and I have made them several times since.
These spicy morsels of cheesy goodness take only 4 ingredients to make, and unlike jalapeno poppers you would find in most restaurants, they are baked – no frying involved. However, they’re a little tedious and time consuming to make. After cutting and removing ribs and seeds of the jalapenos, spooning the cheese mixture into each jalapeno halve and wrapping each one with bacon, quite a lot of time will have passed. The good news is that they’re totally worth it (I would NOT have gone through all this work so many times if they weren’t)!
The other good news is that you can totally make these ahead of time. They can be assembled and refrigerated or frozen until you’re ready to use them. In fact, I have 4 freezer bags full of them in my freezer right now, awaiting my son’s first birthday party (!) on the weekend. You just pop them right into the oven from frozen and they’re ready in a few minutes.
One note about the process of making these to make sure they turn out the best possible: make sure you don’t skip pre-cooking the bacon. You might think it will save a few minutes, but don’t! Just like with great Bacon Wrapped Scallops, it takes the bacon just a few extra minutes to cook than the rest of the ingredients. So if you start with raw bacon, you end up with mushy, overcooked jalapenos. Trust me, I tried it (I too, will try anything to save a few minutes). Besides, you will need the oven preheated anyway, and you can reuse the baking sheet and wire rack when you cook your poppers.
One question I get when I make my jalapeno poppers: “are they spicy?” Sorry, can’t really answer that for you.
Funny story: the first time I made these (with my garden jalapenos), my 3 year old asked me if she could have one. After trying one for myself, and finding that particular pepper barely hotter than a bell pepper, I gave her one. Little did I know that half of the peppers were not hot at all (the first one I tried), but the other half would practically melt your face off (the one I gave her). Needless to say, she has never agreed to try another. The same thing has happened to me with grocery store peppers. Sometimes barely any heat, sometimes pleasantly so, sometimes very hot. And as far as I can tell, there’s no way to tell how hot they are going to be until you bite into one. Happy guessing!
- 10 slices of bacon I use low sodium
- 10 medium-large jalapeno peppers
- 4 ounces smoked cheddar cheese grated
- ounce One package Neufchatel or light cream cheese 8
Heat oven to 400°F. Lay bacon in a single layer on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Cook in oven until bacon is just beginning to shrink but still very pliable, about 5 minutes. Cool on wire rack and cut in half lengthwise (so that each slice gives you two long, narrow strips of bacon). Set aside.
Wearing latex or nitrile gloves, cut jalapenos in halve lengthwise without removing stem (try to cut the stem in halve so that each piece has a bit of stem attached). Scrape seeds and ribs out of each half with a spoon.
In a small bowl, mix together cheddar and Neufchatel or light cream cheese. Set aside.
Using a small spoon, fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture. You will use anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon of cheese for each half depending on how large your peppers are. Wrap each stuffed jalapeno pepper half with a half strip of bacon, tucking the ends under so they don't unravel (or use a toothpick to hold bacon in place).
Set the stuffed, wrapped jalapenos on a wire rack placed inside a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until bacon is fully cooked and cheese is melted and beginning to brown, 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers Nutrition Notes:
The above nutrition information is for 2 halves of bacon wrapped stuffed jalapeno poppers that are on the large side. The nutrition info is using regular bacon, though I use low sodium bacon when I make mine and they still taste great. If you choose to use regular cream cheese, the calories, fat and saturated fat of your jalapeno poppers will be higher.