Jalapeno Poppers with Cheddar Cheese Recipe is a quick and easy appetizer perfect for hosting any crowd. They’re an irresistible balance of creamy, cheesy, salty, and smoky in every bite. Good luck stopping at just one!
Cheddar jalapeno poppers are made with a combination of the best things we love in a good appetizer. Cheese, bacon, and…well, cheese and bacon! These portable appetizers are made with fresh jalapenos, 2 kinds of cheese, and crispy bacon. It then gets baked until the outside of the popper has a slight smoky char and the filling is all gooey, melty, and bubbly. They’re sprinkled with a few crushed chips on top, which really takes it up a notch!
I love anything stuffed with cheese! Cheese stuffed potato balls and cheese stuffed pizza rolls are two other household favorites for sure. This baked jalapeño poppers recipe easily joins the ranks of go-to appetizers when I have a hungry crowd to serve. They’re so simple to make with just a few ingredients and they’re budget-friendly, which means I can serve a lot of people for cheap! They’re always the first to go, I mean who doesn’t love cheesy, bacon-y, slightly salty finger foods?
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The seeds are removed before filling them, so they’re not as spicy as they are flavorful. Kids love them, and who could blame them. The creamy, salty, tender-crisp mouthful in every bite is the stuff dreams are made of. They’re a delicious crowd-pleaser for game day gatherings, BBQs, potlucks, birthday parties, or no reason at all!
This is total restaurant-quality pub fare made in the comforts of your own home. At a fraction of the cost you’ll have the best jalapeno poppers you’ll have ever tasted!
Need more inspiration for appetizers? Look no further, I have something for everyone!
Ingredients Needed for Jalapeno Poppers with Cheddar Cheese Recipe
There are just 5 ingredients in these baked poppers, plus a few delicious optional garnishes to really finish them off nicely.
- Jalapeno peppers – You’ll need about 10 for this recipe. Cut them in half and remove the seeds, not only to make room for filling but to reduce the heat.
- Grated sharp cheddar – Freshly shredded from a block. It tastes better and melts better than prepackaged shredded cheese.
- Cream cheese – Bring to room temperature about 30 minutes prior. It makes it much easier to spread.
- Bacon – Regular sliced bacon works well with this recipe.
- Crushed chips – Whatever your favorites are. Plain, BBQ, Doritos, you name it. Crush them using a food processor or place them in a Ziploc and go over them with a rolling pin.
- Optional garnishes – Cilantro, chives, or parsley.
How to Cut a Jalapeno
If you’ve never had the misfortune of accidentally touching your eye after cutting into a hot pepper, be very thankful because it’s awful! This is why I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you wear gloves when cutting your jalapenos. If you can’t find gloves, use two Ziploc bags, which aren’t the most comfortable but it does the job!
You want to use a sharp paring knife and carefully slice through it length-wise. You should have 20 individual halves. The seeds are what carry the heat, so you want to get rid of them. Scoop them out using a spoon and discard them. There will be a little residual heat but nothing you can’t handle. It’s more flavorful than anything. Your hollowed-out jalapeno halves are ready to be loaded up with all the good stuff.
How to Make Jalapeno Poppers with Bacon
These scrumptious appetizers come together in less than 30 minutes. Prepare them ahead of time for added convenience!
Step 1: Add bacon to a skillet and cook on medium/high heat until crispy. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. This will soak up any excess grease that would make the filling too runny.
Step 2: Combine cheddar cheese, cream cheese, and bacon bits in a bowl and mix to combine, making sure it’s all incorporated.
Step 3: Fill each individual jalapeno half by loading it with the cheese mixture, but don’t overload it. Place them on a baking sheet and bake until the cheese melts and the tops are golden brown about 10-12 minutes. Keep an eye on them, if they bake for too long or the cheese is too full, you may notice it flips the peppers on its side and the cheese may fall out. If this happens, just scoop it back in.
Step 4: Finish it off with a sprinkling of crushed chips and any optional herbs you desire before serving.
Enjoy on its own or with a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
Are Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers Gluten-Free?
The base ingredients of the peppers, cheese, and plain bacon are gluten-free but to make sure the recipe remains gluten-free, just make sure to check the ingredients on the chips. Sometimes gluten is hidden in places you’d never expect, so for added insurance, having a certified gluten-free label is beneficial.
Can I Make These Ahead of Time?
Yes! These are a great make-ahead appetizer. It’s just a matter of preparing the peppers and the cheese mixture. You can either keep them separate in airtight containers in the fridge and fill just before baking, or take it one step further and assemble them completely. Once they are filled, just cover them in plastic wrap and keep them in the fridge until bake time.
- For a twist, cut the bacon strips in half and wrap them around the poppers for a bacon-wrapped popper instead. Bake time will be about 10 minutes longer, but there’s no precooking the bacon.
- For a vegetarian appetizer, completely omit the bacon. It does provide a bit of salt as well as a texture so you may want to think about adding a bit more seasoning to your cheese mixture. Perhaps a dash of onion and/or garlic powder. Easily swap the filling for this Buffalo chicken dip recipe. You could have a few of each kind and serve a variety of poppers.
- Swap the chips for Panko bread crumbs instead.
Ways to Serve Them
- Serve on a platter with a stack of napkins and toothpicks and have everyone serve themselves. It’s great for grabbing and mingling.
- You could opt for serving individual plates with a few poppers on each and a choice of dipping sauce.
- For game days or ladies’ night, it’s all about the appetizers! To complete your appetizer menu, think about adding my spinach and artichoke dip, hatch chili cheese dip, oven baked wings, and these air fryer bang bang crispy chicken nuggets.
A Must Try Holiday Recipes:
Bacon Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers Recipe
- Preheat the oven to 425F. Using a skillet, add bacon and cook on medium/high heat until crispy brown color, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel or napkin.
- In a mixing bowl combine 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cream cheese and bacon pieces. Mix until everything is combined.
- Stuff jalapeno peppers with the cheese mixture, place on a baking sheet and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cheese melts and top turns pretty golden color. Garnish with crushed chips and finely chopped parsley. Serve right of way with ranch or on its own. Enjoy!
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Storing & Reheating leftovers
Once they are completely cooled, store the bacon jalapeno poppers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. To reheat just pop them back in the oven or toaster oven to heat through. You can also use the microwave if you’re just reheating a couple at a time.
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