These Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers are something special. These are crispy, bite-sized snacks that smell amazing, plus baked in the oven. Every bite provides a satisfying crunch with a spicy kick and a creamy cheddar filling.
They're perfect as a snack, or you can share them at game day or a party. These poppers can be a hit with just about everyone!
This jalapeno cheddar poppers recipe is simple, easy to make, and incredibly delicious. Start with slicing open the jalapeño peppers and fill with creamy cheddar cheese mixture. Finally, bake it!! That's it!! Delicious appetizer ready effortlessly.
Why We All Love This Recipe?
Spicy and Creamy Combo: These Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers are fantastic appetizers with the perfect balance of pepper and addictive cheese flavors.
Customizable Heat: You can adjust the level of spiciness to your preference. Make it hot or with mild heat but with the same robust flavors.
Baking Method: Baking instead of frying makes the cooking process effortless with the crispy texture - we all love.
Perfect for Party: Whether it's a game night, a family gathering, or just a snack for yourself, these poppers are versatile for any occasion.
Ingredients for the Jalapeno cheddar poppers
Jalapeno Peppers: These little greens bring the heat! Choose ones that are firm and free of blemishes. If you prefer spice, mini bell peppers are a great alternative.
Cream Cheese: This adds a creaminess that balances the heat. Ensure it is softened before combining; that makes it easy to mix with the filling. Are you searching for a substitute? Ricotta cheese is the closest option.
Cheddar Cheese: Melts beautifully, adds a tangy twist, and complements the jalapeño flavors. Replace with mozzarella cheese if you prefer a milder flavor.
Garlic Powder: Half a teaspoon brings a depth of flavor.
Onion Powder: Elevates the popper's filling mixture and provides a mild sweetness(that works well in the jalapeno cheddar poppers).
Breadcrumbs: For that irresistible crunch.
All-purpose Flour: Works as a binding agent to help the egg and breadcrumbs adhere to the pepper.
Eggs: Gives a body to the filling and brings all the ingredients together.
Cooking Spray: For that extra crispiness.
How to make Jalapeño cheddar poppers?
Preheat the Oven: Start by preheating the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or give it a quick grease.
Prep Those Jalapeños: Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and membranes with a small spoon or a melon core. Reserve these and add them later to the mixture, according to your heat tolerance.
Whip Up the Filling: Combine softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir until it turns into a smooth mixture.
Taste and add the reserved jalapeno seeds to increase the heat.
Start Filling: Carefully spoon the cheese mixture into the jalapeño halves.
Time to Bake: Lightly spray the coated jalapeños with cooking spray for that golden touch. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until they're tender and golden.
The Finishing Touch: Sprinkle chopped chives or cilantro. Serve with a dipping sauce (a cool ranch or tangy barbecue sauce works excellent).
Best to serve with
Grilled / BBQ meat: Grilled chicken or BBQ ribs complement the cheesy crunch of jalapeno cheddar poppers with a rich texture.
Salad: Cool corn or cucumber salad balances out the spiciness. Plus, it's so easy to make.
Coleslaw: The tanginess and crunch of coleslaw create a well-rounded bite when eaten with poppers.
Drinks: Okay, not a dish, but this classic drink cuts through the richness of the cheese and cools the palate.
Pico de Gallo: A fresh, zesty salsa can brighten up the whole experience and add another layer of flavor.
Fries: The natural sweetness of sweet potatoes is an excellent counterbalance to the heat in your poppers.
Mac and Cheese: Planning for a cheese-themed food? Serve with a subtle flavored or with bold flavors (like these).
How to store? A quick guide:
Did you make too many Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers or have some leftovers? No worries.
Preparing for Storage: First, let the poppers cool to room temperature.
In the Refrigerator: Place the poppers in an airtight container, separating layers with parchment paper. They'll stay good for up to 3-4 days. Perfect for those midnight snack attacks!
Freezer-Friendly: For a longer-term solution, place them in the freezer to consume within three months. For best results, use an airtight container or zip-lock bags (permanently mark the container with the dates).
Thawing Methods: Place them in the refrigerator overnight. Place them on the kitchen counter for a quicker option for no more than 1 hour.
Reheating to Perfection: Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Spread the thawed poppers on a baking sheet and heat for about 10 minutes or until the topping turns crispy. I would not recommend using a microwave for reheating as it may make the topping soggy.
Make-Ahead Options for Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers:
Stuff Ahead: Prepare the cheese filling a day ahead and store it in the fridge. When you're ready, stuff the peppers and bake them!
Freeze the Raw Poppers: After stuffing, place the poppers on a baking sheet in the freezer until solid, then transfer to a zip-lock bag. Bake them straight from the freezer as frozen, but add a few extra minutes for the perfect crispy topping.
Partial Bake: Bake them until they're done but still need to be browned. Then, freeze them following the ways mentioned earlier. When you're ready to serve, bake them for 10 minutes for crispy Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers.
Cooking Tips and Secrets
Wear Gloves: Always protect your hands when handling spicy peppers. Refer to this guide if you have sensitive skin.
Chill Before Baking: Chill the prepped Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers for 15 minutes to keep the cheese from melting too quickly in the oven.
Fork Test: Use a fork to test jalapeño tenderness.
Spray After Half-Time: Instead of spraying before baking, try spraying the cooking spray halfway through for a crispier texture.
Bacon-Wrapped: After stuffing, wrap each jalapeño pepper in a slice of bacon. The smoky, salty crunch adds an irresistible layer to your Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers!
Buffalo Chicken: Mix some shredded cooked chicken and a dash of buffalo sauce to your cheese filling. This gives a hearty, zesty twist to the classic.
Pizza Poppers(No cream cheese): Add a teaspoon of marinara sauce to your cheese mixture, and mozzarella cheese(substitute cream cheese with). It's like a mini pizza party in a pepper!
Sweet & Spicy: Drizzle a touch of honey over the stuffed jalapeños before you coat them in breadcrumbs. The honey adds a subtle sweetness that pairs beautifully with the heat!
Tools recommended for making this recipe
Mixing Bowls: A good set of mixing bowls is essential for combining your filling in this Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers recipe. These are deep, sturdy ones that you can get hands-on with.
Paring Knife: These are great for halving the jalapeños and scooping out seeds. Sharp, precise, and super handy!
Tongs: Gives you that perfect grip, ensures easy handling, and avoids spillage.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do you keep the cheese from melting in Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers? Do not overstuff the filling. Chill it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes before baking, set the right temperature, and cook for the right time. Leaving them longer in the oven makes the cheese melt out of the poppers.
2. What is the best sauce for Jalapeño Poppers? Ranch dressing, aioli sauce, sour cream, and blue cheese dip are popular pairing dishes.
3. How Spicy Are These Poppers? It depends on the jalapeños and how you prepare them. Generally, if you are making the jalapeno along with its seeds and ribs, the poppers turn out moderately hot. If you are making them without them, the poppers have mild heat. Generally, the heat of the pepper is toned down by the cheese.
4. Is the Cooking Spray Necessary? It helps achieve a golden brown color and added crispiness, but you can use melted butter as a substitute.
5. Can I Air Fry Them? Absolutely! Set the air fryer to 370°F and cook Jalapeño Cheddar Poppers for about 8 minutes until golden and crispy.
- 12 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (optional)
- One egg, beaten
- Cooking spray
Preparing the Jalapeños:
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
Making the Cheese Filling:
- In a bowl, mix the softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and black pepper until well combined.
Preparing the Breadcrumbs:
- In a separate bowl, mix panko breadcrumbs with smoked paprika, if using.
- Stuff each jalapeño half with the cheese mixture.
- Dip the cheese side of each jalapeño half into the beaten egg, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Place the jalapeño halves, cheese side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Spray a light coating of cooking spray over the stuffed jalapeños.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and the peppers are tender.
- Allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. These are best enjoyed warm!
Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients or spices to make it your own. Enjoy your cooking!