It’s the end of gardening season and I was left with dozens of jalapeño peppers in my garden. I grew a whopper variety that is just perfect for jalapeño poppers. So, I had to get to work and put together one of my favorite recipes.
These jalapeño poppers are an amazing little treat that combines cream cheese, bacon, cheddar cheese, and peppers. You really can’t beat the flavor! I love to serve this recipe as a side to Mexican dishes like tacos and fajitas or as an appetizer for parties.
These poppers can easily be made in the oven or air fryer. So, you can make them anywhere, anytime!
While these poppers do take a bit of work to prep and put together, I promise they are worth it. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need and how to make this amazing jalapeño dish.
Ingredients for Bacon and Cream Cheese Jalapeño Poppers
While you can add many things to a jalapeño popper, we are going to keep this recipe simple by sticking to four main ingredients. This is my basic recipe that has turned out perfectly every single time.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 jalapeño peppers
- 5 ounces of cream cheese
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 strips of bacon
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
Multiplying the Recipe
If you are making these poppers for a crowd, you may want to double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe. Doing so is really easy!
Simply take the recipe above and multiply it by 2, 3, 4, or however much you need. I recommend calculating the amount of poppers you’ll need and adjusting the recipe from there.
How Many Jalapeño Poppers Per Person?
If you’re planning a party or gathering, I recommend making about three jalapeño poppers per person if you’re serving them as a side or appetizer. Of course, some people will eat more or less, but this is a good place to start when planning.
Each jalapeño you use in the recipe will yield two poppers. So, the serving size of one batch is twelve peppers.
One of the great things about poppers is that you can put pretty much anything in them. It’s a great way to use up leftovers or get creative with different combinations.
You can replace the cheeses with different types of cheese or omit them all together. You can also use yogurt or cottage cheese in place of the cream cheese to lighten up the calorie load of this recipe.
The bacon can be replaced with different meats like chicken, ground beef, sausage, or whatever you have on hand.
You can use different spices and sauces to change the flavor profile of these poppers to suit your taste.
How to Prepare Jalapeño Poppers with Cream Cheese and Bacon
Preparing the poppers takes a little bit of effort, but it can be done quickly and you can even do a lot of the prep ahead of time. Here is my process for making these delicious bacon and cream cheese poppers.
Prepping the Jalapeños
If the batch of jalapeños I’m working with is really spicy, I usually take the heat down a notch using one of these ways to make jalapenos less hot. My garden produced extra spicy peppers this year and I needed to reduce the heat a bit.
You can use the linked methods if you want to serve more mild peppers or you can leave the peppers as they are. The filling tends to help cut down on the spiciness quite a bit since we are using cream cheese.
We’ll start by cutting the peppers in half and removing the seeds. Slice the peppers down the middle as evenly as you can and then spoon or cut out the insides. You can also remove the glands here too which will take some of the heat away. Leave them if you want to keep some heat.
Should You Boil the Peppers?
I love to parboil my jalapeños when making poppers. It helps cut down on some of the heat and it leaves you with a soft pepper instead of a crunchy one. This step is completely optional, though.
To parboil your jalapeños, place the cut and gutted peppers into a pot of boiling water and boil for three minutes. Remove the peppers from the pot and dry any excess water before filling them.
If you want to keep your peppers hotter and with more of a crunch, skip the boiling step and move onto the filling.
Making the Popper Filling
For the filling, you’ll need to cook your bacon in a pan or in the oven. I like to bring it to a crisp for easier chopping.
You’ll either want to soften your cream cheese on the counter or in the microwave next. Then, mix it together with the bacon, shredded cheese, and garlic powder. If you’re adding anything else to your filling, you can mix it in now.
Stuff the Peppers
Spoon the filling mixture into the peppers, filling them completely. Place the filled peppers onto your pan or rack as you go.
You’ll want to make sure the peppers aren’t falling over onto their sides or the filling will spill out as you cook them. If you need to, you can support the peppers by placing them close to each other so they don’t move with cooking.
Freezing the Poppers
To freeze these, place the stuffed, uncooked poppers in the freezer on a pan, once frozen, place them in a sealed container and take them out of the freezer when you’re ready to cook them. Then, cook as directed, adding a few minutes for thawing.
Cooking the Jalapeño Poppers
You can prep the jalapeño poppers ahead of time up to this point and cook them right before you’re ready to serve them. They can also be reheated in the oven for a few minutes if needed.
Baking the Poppers
To bake the jalapeño poppers in the oven, place them on a pan in the oven at 400 degrees. You’ll leave them in for about twelve minutes or until heated through and the cheese turns golden brown on top.
You can reduce the heat and cook for a longer time to roast and soften the peppers. For example, cooking them at 350 degrees for about thirty minutes will soften the jalapeños.
Air Frying the Poppers
If you’re cooking the poppers in the air fryer, you’ll cook them at 375 degrees for eight to ten minutes. The jalapeño poppers are done when they are heated through and the cheese turns golden brown on top.
Speaking of air frying, these poppers go great with my air fryer pita pizzas!
Bacon and Cream Cheese Jalapeno Poppers
- 6 jalapeno peppers
- 6 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 6 strips bacon cooked
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Preheat the oven to 400° or the air fryer to 375°
- Cut the jalapenos in half and remove the insides*remember to protect yourself from the peppers by using gloves and being careful not to touch your face or eyes after handling
- Cook the bacon and dice
- Mix softened cream cheese, shredded cheese, bacon, and garlic powder together in a bowl
- Spoon the filling mixture into the jalapenos placing them face up in a pan as you go
- Bake the poppers for about 12 minutes or air fry them for about 8 minutes until heated through and golden brown on top