It’s taken me thirty-ahem-something years to try a jalapeno popper for the very first time. Poppers have always been one of those things that just didn’t seem so appealing – I blame it on bad crab rangoon, which has certain similarities to the popper. Sure, both have qualities that I whole-heartedly embrace in other foods — they’re deep fried (hello potato chips!) and made with cream cheese (hello cheesecake!)
But the bad crab rangoon incident that happened waaaay back when we used to live in Nebraska, I was probably 6 years old, will haunt me forever. Let’s just call it food trauma. So therefore, I just lumped jalapeno poppers in the same food trauma category.
Just a few months ago, when Elise, Ree and I hosted a little shindig at BlogHer Food at Le Cordon Bleu, the vast buffet included jalapeno poppers, except that I was so preoccupied with hosting duties that I didn’t realize what it was when I plopped it on my plate.
Ohhhh… holy hot pepper poppers! Loved it.
So perhaps I need to revisit the list of foods in the “trauma” category, including those damn crab rangoons, because I can’t believe that I’ve been missing out all these years.
My version of poppers are a little different — okay A LOT different. Instead of using jalapenos, I picked up a peck of pickled peppers bag of sweet mini peppers, so that my kids could eat them too. Plus, it was on sale. $2.79 for that entire bag. So sweet, just like red bell peppers.
I added bacon to the cream cheese and cheddar cheese mix….
Instead of breading them in bread crumbs, I used Kellogg’s Corn Flake Crumbs.
Lastly, I baked them instead of deep frying. Just a note – the decision to bake rather than fry has nothing to do with less calories — it’s stuffed with cream cheese and cheddar cheese for goodness sakes! It was easier for me to pop them in the oven instead of heating up a vat of oil.
Baked Jalapeno Bacon Poppers
- 10 mini sweet peppers or jalapeno peppers
- 3 strips bacon
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning (or your seasoning blend of choice)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs or corn flake crumbs
- Preheat oven to 375F. Slice each sweet pepper in half lengthwise. Use your spoon to scoop out any seeds and some of the rib to make a nice, clean boat.
- Cook bacon to crisp (you can use a microwave - place bacon between paper towels, microwave 3-4 minutes or until crisp). Mince cooked bacon. In a bowl, mix together the bacon, cream cheese, cheddar cheese and Cajun seasoning. Spoon cheese mixture into each sweet pepper.
- Melt butter in microwave, stir in the bread crumbs. Hold each popper and dip cheese side down into bread crumbs. Bake 375F for 20 minutes or until cheese melty and bread crumbs crusty.
Can I make poppers after the jalapenos have turned red? Or are they too old?
Red peppers are perfect to use!
Going to make these with the peppers from our garden and modify them gluten free using Ian’s Gluten Free Panko. And everything is great with bacon! Good stuff! Bet they go quick!
i am going to try this real soon but i think i will crush some poek rinds so i can keep them low carb and still have the crush
Also! Baked poppers are way WAY better than fried. I never realized how much of the awesome jalapeno-cheese flavor gets lost when it’s coated in thick goo and deep fried!
I made these for a Scentsy party and they were a HUGE success! Doubled the recipe, and was left with three at the end of the night. Kind of bittersweet, because, though I was happy that my guests LOVED them, I would’ve been totally happy stashing more than 3 in the fridge for my husband & I as a left over snack (yes, they are still super tasty re-heated)!
I did two rows of poppers with bacon, and the middle row sans for my vegetarians pals and they were so thankful that I thought to stuff some of the jalapenos (didn’t do sweet peppers) with non-bacon mix.
Also, the corn flakes were noticeably different and got comments, as well. I can’t wait to make these again!!
These look great! Gotta try these! (IF I can find the peppers. The only sweet peppers we have here in this little town are bell peppers. Gotta love little towns. Blah!) Anyway, these remind me of the poppers we eat here in Texas. Have you tried the jalapeno ones with JUST cream cheese & wrapped in bacon??? They usually grill them at BBQs here. Wait a minute….I bet THIS recipe would be GREAT wrapped in bacon too. lol Okay….gotta try both ways! 😀 THanks for the recipe!
Hi steamy!! These totally turned me onto jale poppers… I despised them before. I’ll be making them again, per request lol, for a bday party. Can I make the mixture the day before to save a bit of time? If so, how long do you think it would take out of the fridge to soften again? … or does it even firm up?
I’ve made these the day before (without the bread crumbs), refrigerated and when ready to bake, the bread crumbs go on.
No need to soften after taking it from fridge, just add a minute to cooking time.
I saw this recipe at work today and had to stop at the grocery store on the way home! They were fantastic! The cream cheese stuffing is the same recipe I use in stuffed mushroom, they are also delicious. Thanks for posting, can’t wait to share with friends!
Your recipe was posted.
The longer you bake Jalapenos the milder they get – I use this guideline for baking – 325° for 15 minutes for spicy flavor, 25 minutes for medium and 35 minutes for mild.
Oooh these look absolutely delish – I love the idea of having a crunchy top!
I made an alternative version of stuffed hot chilli peppers
( http://hungerandsauce.blogspot.com/2010/08/ricotta-and-lemon-stuffed-chillies.html ) a few months ago for a dinner party. A few people were a bit cautious about trying them but they all disappeared quickly after they’d had a taste!
I love your site, thanks for the inspiration!
Gorgeous photos, Jaden. I can’t believe it has taken this long for you to try them. I like my with a little bbq rub mixed into the cheese, wrapped in bacon and then smoked for about 90 minutes.
This is one of my favorite appetizers.
I love those sweet little peppers. I stuff them with chorizo and manchego cheese and throw them on the grill. Yum!
Can’t wait to try your recipe. I love poppers. I might use the minis and add chopped jalapenos to the cream cheese mixture.
One of my weaknesses in life are jalapeno poppers! I haven’t had it with bacon though…but I now will!
Nice Jaden! I love jalapeno poppers! They are new to me as well, I made a batch mixing in some salsa with the cream cheese. I like your idea of adding in the bacon to the mixture instead of wrapping it around the pepper.
These look amazing! I can’t wait to try them out when I have to entertain.
Will have to try these for my friends who can’t eat hot items.
This looks great! Going to try using smoked salmon or herb and garlic philly for some of them to play around with the flavours. Thanks for the share!
Aren’t they great? Love the idea of using cornflakes too!
What a coincidence! I purchased the same bag of peppers! I need to give this recipe a try now 🙂 perfect timing!
I can’t believe how inexpensive they were!
What a fab recipe!!! I think these will be making an appearance at my Hanukkah party this weekend! Thanks so much!!
This looks FABULOUS! And using the right corn flakes, could be Gluten Free too! Now I’m hungry, and have to go to yoga. Darn. After – I think there’ll be a stop at the grocery store!
4 words: wrap them in bacon.
colorful! love this idea!
Jaden, you know the way to my heart!
What a great idea to make these kid friendly! Green ones are for Mama and Papa, yellow and red for the rest of ya. Love it! I wonder if you could freeze them before baking to have a “make ahead” kind of app. Ya think?
Oh great idea – Yes, you can freeze them and then throw them in the oven (still frozen) and add a few more minutes to baking time.