Cream Cheese. Cheddar Cheese. Jalapeños. BACON!!!! Is there any combination more delicious? (Okay, there is chocolate and peanut butter. This is still very tasty.)
These poppers won’t drive you to hallucinate and see a mystic Johnny Cash in the sky, but they will drive you insane* with their tastiness.
*Any real insanity caused by these is a pre-existing condition. They’re just delicious, not insanity causing.
If you are extra insane – and your tongue can take the heat – try it out with habanero peppers. If you have a death wish, then feel free to use ghost peppers, just be ready to say goodbye to your taste buds. On second thought, maybe don’t use ghost peppers. If the heat is too much, swap the jalapeños out for baby bell peppers.
Hungry now? Download the recipe printable!
This makes about 40 poppers, you can make the cheese and store it ahead of time for a few days and use it up as you please. You can also stuff it in celery if you have any leftover and love things that are delicious.
- 2 packages of cream cheese
- 1 ½ cups of shredded cheddar cheese
- Spice Mixture
(Alternatively, you can put your own spice mixture together, this is my favorite, and works well with this recipe)
- Zest from half a lemon
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1-2 tablespoons of paprika (based on how much you love paprika, I love it, so I always opt for more)
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- 1/8th teaspoon of cayenne (optional – only if you like yours extra spicy)
- 20 jalapeños
- 20 slices of bacon
- Non-stick spray
- Food processor (you can do this by hand, but the food processor makes short work of this project)
- Spoon or disher (we use a 1 1/2 tablespoon disher)
- Empty plate, or small pan lined with parchment paper
- Large pan lined with foil, sprayed with non-stick spray
- Disposable gloves
- Mix cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and spice mixture in a food processor. (Can be done by hand, but food processor makes it easier and creamier.)
- Spoon out 40 servings on a plate. Optionally, spoon them out on a small baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Stick your plate/pan in the freezer for 30 minutes total. At the 15 minute mark, cut in half lengthwise – they’ll fit better into the jalapeño this way.
Pre-heat your oven to 425 degree, line a large pan with foil and spray down with non-stick spray. Rinse your jalapeños before working with them.
- Cut the stem off the jalapeños in a wedge pattern (this turns the jalapeños into little boats), then cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the insides.
- Cut bacon in half widthwise. Put your half-scoops into each jalapeño, and wrap with bacon. Alternatively place the bacon on top if you’re having a hard time keeping them wrapped.
- Cook for 25 minutes. If you wrapped the bacon around, pay attention to how fast the bacon is cooking on the bottom, and get the peppers nice and soft (to your liking.) If you put the bacon on top, then just use the softness of the jalapeños as a guide to when you can move to the next step.
- Switch to the broiler to crisp up the top of the bacon. Do this for about 5 minutes, but keep an eye on it so you don’t burn your poppers. When it is crisp to your liking, pull them out of the oven and let them cool.
Step 1: Put both packages of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and your spice mixture into a food processor. Mix until delicious and creamy.
Step 2: Once your mixture is ready, use your spoon or disher to doll out 20 little domes on your plate or lined pan
Step 3: Stick this cheese mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes. This is so when they’re cooked, all the cheese doesn’t melt out and you’re left with soft jalapeños and a pan full of cheese.
At the 15 minute mark, take them out, cut them in half, and put back in (this will make stuffing your peppers much easier.)
Step 1: Set your oven to preheat at 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with foil, and spray down with cooking spray to prevent sticking. Rinse your jalapeños.
Step 2: Using a glove on the hand that you’ll be holding the jalapeños, cut your jalapeños stem off in a wedge pattern (this makes a little boat for the delicious cheese). Cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out the insides.
Step 3: Cut your bacon in half, widthwise (so you have two short thick strips, not two long thin strips.) Stick your half-domes of cheese into the empty jalapeño, and wrap with the bacon. Stick it on the pan.
If you have trouble with wrapping the bacon, alternatively you can just lay the bacon on top. The bacon on the bottom of the pan cooks faster than the top, so keep that in mind if you want to make the recipe easier on yourself.
Step 4: Once all your poppers are on the pan, stick it in the oven for 25 minutes. Keep an eye on them, most ovens have small discrepancies here and there. Once the peppers feel nice and soft and the bacon is lookin’ good on the bottom of the pepper (if you wrapped it), turn on the broiler to crisp up the top of the bacon.
Step 5: Let it set underneath the broiler for around 5 minutes. Don’t leave your oven during this period. You need to pay close attention during this step, it can turn your poppers to poopers in a flash. Once the bacon on top is crisp to your liking, take them out and let them cool.
Step 6: DEVOUR!!! Ohmnomnomnomnom.
My husband and I make this regularly and have perfected our own version. Experiment, make this recipe your own!
Try switch out different cheeses (instead of cheddar, maybe mix with swiss if that’s to your taste, or harvarti!) Change up your spice mixture (maybe you like a bit of cumin in there, maybe you’re more for a Cajun spice mixture.)
Don’t forget your printable!
I hope you enjoy these, and if you make them, please post a picture on my Facebook page. I’ll feature my favorites on a future blog post.