Juicy jalapeño on bottom, with a loaded centre and a parmesan crunch on top, once you try this way of baking jalapeño poppers you’ll never look back. These Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers are an absolute must!
Hey folks! Today I pose the question – is it acceptable to eat jalapeño poppers at breakfast, lunch and dinner for the foreseeable future? Now before we discuss, I’d just like to share with you the evidence for such argument and why realistically I’ve already decided to act upon the notion. Let me welcome to the stage – Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers (otherwise known as this morning’s breakfast – guilty).
Baked is better!
Sure, deep fried jalapeño poppers are tasty, but think about it. What do we love so much about them? For me, it’s because they’re crispy, yet cheesy and gooey. What if I told you that you can get those exact things but with half the hassle and probably half the calories? WITH the addition of bacon!? Follow me…
Classic Baked Jalapeño Poppers
For a long time when making jalapeño poppers I’d do the whole cream cheese stuffed jalapeños, topped with cheddar cheese then wrap with bacon. Which don’t get me wrong tastes bloomin’ divine, but recently I’ve mixed things up, which has led to one of the most incredible jalapeño popper combos I’ve ever tasted.
MY Baked Jalapeño Poppers
What I’ve come up with here is a popper loaded with a concoction of cream cheese, cheddar, green onion and bacon, topped with a crispy parmesan breadcrumb, neatly packed inside a zingy jalapeños .
I did have a nose around after I finished just to, you know, check out the competition, and most breaded jalapeño poppers I found were fully coated and/or deep fried. The reason I think these work so well is simply because the crispy layer is only on top.
Sounds great right? It gets better. They’re so freaking quick and easy to make!
How to bake Jalapeño Poppers
- Admire them – Grab yourself the biggest and freshest jalapeños you can find, and admire them because they are all uniformly sized.
- Cut them – Evenly slice them vertically down the centre. Gloves optional.
- Gut them – Scrape out every last seed you can find, easiest done with a tsp. Be careful not scrape to vigorously, else one of those seeds is gonna pop into your eye! (trust me, been there).
- Stuff them – About 1 tbsp of filling should do the trick. You want the filling to be just raised above the edges of the jalapeño.
Now comes the fun part that takes these cream cheese jalapeño poppers through the roof.
How to get crispy baked jalapeño poppers
- In a bowl, add smoked paprika, breadcrumbs and parmesan.
- Combine with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Place your jalapeños cheese side down onto the mixture and press down so it picks up as much as possible.
- Bake in the oven until they just begin to bubble, then switch on the grill and broil until crispy.
As you bite you’ve got the juicy jalapeño on bottom, with the loaded centre oozing out and that nice parmesan crumbed crunch on top.I think sometimes if you coat the entire thing the jalapeño gets a little lost. I want it to be the main event, as it should be.
Traditionally the bacon is wrapped around the jalapeño, but here it’s crumbled inside. It offers a nice little surprise when you bite in and gives you the traditional vibe of a jalapeño popper without being all up in your face.
Not that I have a problem with bacon being all up in my face but you know.
With regards to the parmesan crumb there is one crucial ingredient you can’t go without – smoked paprika.
Now, if you’ve been a reader for a while you’ve heard me harp on about smoked paprika in literally every recipe. A personal preference of mine? Maybe. But here it’s a definite must. It’s give that gorgeous smokey twang to these baked jalapeño poppers and enhances all the lively flavours they offer.
Tips for the best Baked Jalapeño Poppers
1. Don’t over bake
You want to initially bake them until they’re just cooked through, usually until they start bubbling. It’s such a sad sight to see a sloppy jalapeño popper. An ever so slightly firm jalapeño is actually a good thing as it keeps it’s shape nicely.
Try and pick similar sized jalapeños so they all cook at an even rate. With the same token, try and slice symmetrically so both sides are the same depth, just for the same reason.
3. Jalapeño Poppers Dip
These are great by themselves but even better with a dip. For me I usually go with a simple sour cream to sooth out the kick of spice.
Ugh, don’t they look scrummy 😍
Dips for Jalapeño Poppers
The last thing I want to mention (and by mention I mean argue in defence of future eating habits) is that this baked version of traditionally deep fried jalapeño poppers does offer an option for healthy jalapeño poppers.
Don’t get me wrong, if you’re cooking up some Jpoppers the healthy eating is probably already on pause, but with low-fat cream cheese, greek yoghurt to dip and no sight of a deep fat fryer, your conscience may be okay with you!
Or if you’re like me then grab that sour cream, challenge yourself to an eating contest and don’t look back.
So if I haven’t convinced you for breakfast, lunch and dinner, then these crispy baked jalapeño poppers are going to go down an absolute treat for game day, dinner parties or appetizers. So quick and easy, you’d be mad not to give these Jpoppers a go! (recipe below)
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How to make Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers (Full Recipe & Video)
Juicy jalapeño on bottom, with a loaded centre and a parmesan crunch on top, once you try this way of baking jalapeño poppers you'll never look back. These Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers are an absolute must!
- 10 Jalapeños
- 8oz / 250g Cream Cheese
- 5oz / 150g Streaky Bacon, finely diced
- 1 cup / 100g Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
- 1 Green/Spring Onion finely diced
- 4 tbsp Breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp Parmesan finely grated
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- Salt & Black Pepper to taste
- Olive Oil
- Begin by mixing your Breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Smoked Paprika and Salt & Pepper in a bowl and place to one side.
Next, fry your Bacon bits over medium/high heat in a little oil until nice and crispy. When cool enough to handle, combine in a separate bowl with your Cream Cheese, Green Onion and Cheddar Cheese.
Grab your Jalapeños and slice them horizontally, forming two boat-like shapes. Deseed with a teaspoon and begin filling with your Cream Cheese mixture. You want them filled to just above level height, around 1 tbsp per 'boat' should be fine, depending on Jalapeño size.
- Flip each boat upside down in to your breadcrumb mixture and gently press so the crumbs attach, forming the crispy layer.
Place evenly spaced on a baking tray and bake for around 8-10 mins at 200c/390f just to heat through the center, just until they start to bubble. Then switch to the grill and broil for around 5 mins or until golden and crispy on top. Allow to cool for a few minutes and tuck in!
Watch how to make it!
a) Reducing Spice - After slicing and gutting the jalapeños, soak them in a bowl of cold water. This should take away some of the spice to make them more bearable for those who don't like to much heat!
b) Gloves - It's sometimes a good idea to wear gloves whilst prepping these, just to avoid accidental contact with unwanted areas i.e eyes etc.
c) Baking Times - These guidelines are based on medium sized jalapeños, oven timings may differ so just be vigilant throughout. You want them to JUST be cooked in the first instance, any longer and they will wilt and the cheese will slide off. An ever so slightly firm jalapeño is a good thing to help keep shape. If after cooking you find them to be too firm, just pop them back in the oven at a low temp until tender enough for your liking.
d) Leftovers - You may end up with leftover cream cheese mixture, but just pop in the fridge and use as a dip with crackers or stuff in your next Jalapeno craving. You could also use it for my Mini Twice Baked Potatoes! If you have any leftover whole jalapeno poppers, you can freeze them. Just reheat them in the oven for a few minutes more than the recipes states.
Looking for more finger food? Check out my Homemade Popcorn Chicken!