Finger Food/ Quesadilla side dishes/ Spice/ Tex Mex

Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers

January 15, 2018 (Last Updated: January 12, 2020) by Chris Collins

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. Plus, they’re PERFECT for game day!

closeup shot of jalapeño popper fresh out the oven on baking tray

Baked Jalapeño Poppers

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 essentially jalapeño ‘boats’ which are loaded with a cream cheese filling and baked with a crispy top. Here’s what you’ll need for the cream cheese filling:

Jalapeño Popper Filling

  • Cream Cheese
  • Cheddar Cheese
  • Green/Spring Onion
  • Bacon

overhead shot of jalapeño poppers in basket with sour cream next to them

PreparingJalapeño Poppers

First thing you want to do is grab yourself some nice juicy fresh jalapeños. Those chillies lurking about in the back of your fridge are no good, they simply won’t hold up in the oven. And nobody likes it when jalapeños spill out in the oven 😩 From there all you’ll need is a chopping board, a sharp knife and some gloves if you fancy. Using disposable gloves are always a good idea if you’re concerned about spreading spice.

How to stuff Jalapeños (quick summary)

  1. Admire them – Grab yourself the biggest and freshest jalapeños you can find and spread them on a chopping board.
  2. Cut them – Evenly slice them vertically down the centre.
  3. Gut them – Scrape out every last seed you can find, easiest done with a tsp. Be careful not scrape too vigorously, else one of those seeds is gonna pop into your eye! (trust me, been there).
  4. 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.
Top Tip – Try and get your jalapeños as uniform in size as possible. Whilst there is some discrepancy here, it’s not so much that’ll cook at uneven rates. 

How to bake jalapeño poppers - 4 step by step photos

CRISPY Baked Jalapeño Poppers

Now comes the fun part that takes these baked jalapeño poppers through the roof. We’ve got the ‘boats’ filled, now time to add the crispy, crunchiness that everybody loves. Here’s what you’ll need:

Baked Jalapeño Crispy Layer

  • Breadcrumbs
  • Parmesan
  • 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.

How to Bake Jalapeño Poppers (quick summary)

  1. In a bowl, add smoked paprika, breadcrumbs and parmesan.
  2. Combine with a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Place your jalapeños cheese side down onto the mixture and press down so it picks up as much as possible.
  4. Bake in the oven until they just begin to bubble, then switch on the grill and broil until crispy.

How to make crispy baked jalapeños poppers - 4 step by step photos

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.

2.Uniformed Size

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. However these go amazingly too:

Dips for Jalapeño Poppers

How spicy are these Jalapeño Poppers?

In general, contrary to popular belief jalapeño poppers aren’t that spicy. On the Scoville scale, the jalapeño is merely mild to moderate. Having said that, some are spicier than others. If you’re at all concerned about them being too spicy, I recommend soaking the jalapeño boats in cold water. This will take away some of the kick. Just thoroughly dry with paper towels before stuffing.

side on view of Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers in basket

And there we have it! My jalapeño popper brain has officially leaked, and the info is yours for the taking 🤣 If you’re looking for game day finger foods then definitely check out my other recipes:

Baked Finger Food

Fried Finger Food

Alrighty, let’s tuck into these baked jalapeño poppers shall we?!

dipping jalapeño popper into pot of sour cream with basket blurred in background

How to make Baked Jalapeño Poppers (Full Recipe & Video)

Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers Fresh Out The Oven

Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers

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!
4.8 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Appetizer / Finger Food
Cuisine: American / Mexican / Tex Mex
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings (click & slide): 20 Jalapeño Poppers
Calories: 112kcal
Cost per serving: £2 / $2.50

Equipment:

  • Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
  • Gloves (optional - for slicing jalapeños)
  • Baking Tray
  • Medium Bowl (for cream cheese mix)
  • Medium Bowl (for breadcrumbs mix)

Ingredients (check list):

  • 10 Jalapeños
  • 9oz / 250g Cream Cheese
  • 5oz / 150g Streaky Bacon, finely diced (or bacon of choice)
  • 1 cup / 100g Cheddar Cheese, finely grated
  • 1 Green/Spring Onion, finely diced
  • 4 tbsp Dry Breadcrumbs (can use Panko!)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Salt & Black Pepper, to taste
  • Olive Oil, as needed
  • Sour Cream, to serve

Instructions:

  • In a medium sized bowl, combine 4 tbsp breadcrumbs, 2 tbsp parmesan, 1 tsp smoked paprika and a pinch of salt & pepper (to taste). Place to one side.
  • Next, fry 5oz/150g diced bacon in a pan over medium heat (use oil as needed) until nice and crispy. When cool enough to handle, combine in a separate bowl with 9oz/250g cream cheese, diced green/spring onion and 1cup/100g grated cheddar cheese. Place to one side.
  • Grab your jalapeños and slice them vertically, 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. Use gloves if concerned about spreading spice.
  • Flip each boat upside down in to your breadcrumb mixture and gently press so the crumbs attach, forming the crispy layer.
  • Evenly space out on a baking tray and bake for around 8-10 mins at 200C/390F just to heat through the centre, just until they start to bubble. Then switch to the grill and broil for around 5 mins or until golden and crispy on top (see notes). Allow to cool for a few minutes and tuck in!

Quick 1 min demo!

Notes:

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 too much heat! Just make sure you pat them thoroughly dry with paper towels before stuffing.
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 Cheese Mix -  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 jalapeño craving.
e) Freezing Leftover Jalapeño Poppers - If you have any leftover whole jalapeño poppers, you can freeze them. Just reheat them in the oven for a few minutes more than the recipe states.
f) Make Ahead Jalapeño Poppers - If you want to make ahead then I recommend making up until the coating of the breadcrumbs. Reason being is the breadcrumbs tend to soften if they're sat on top of the cheese for a long period of time before baking. That, or you could completely cook, then cover and store in the fridge. Bake at the same temp until just heated through. They won't be quite as crispy as if you made them fresh, but still delicious!
g) Calories - per jalapeño with no dip.

Nutrition:

Nutrition Facts
Crispy Baked Jalapeño Poppers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 112 Calories from Fat 80
% Daily Value*
Fat 8.88g14%
Saturated Fat 4.358g22%
Trans Fat 0.059g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.641g
Monounsaturated Fat 3.047g
Cholesterol 24mg8%
Sodium 265mg11%
Potassium 110mg3%
Carbohydrates 2.79g1%
Fiber 0.5g2%
Sugar 1.26g1%
Protein 5.3g11%
Vitamin A 900IU18%
Vitamin C 24.8mg30%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition is based on the absence of salt unless stated as a measurement in the ingredients. Cost is worked out based on ingredients bought from UK supermarkets, then divided by the number of servings. In both instances these values are just for guidance. Please check out my FAQ Page for more info.
Tried this recipe?Show me how you got on by tagging @dontgobaconmyheart_ on IG and #dontgobaconmyheart!

Crispy Baked Jalapeno Poppers

If you loved these Baked Jalapeño Poppers be sure to pin the recipe for later! Already made them or have a question? Give me a shout in the comments and pick up your free ecookbook on the way!

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42 Comments

  • Reply
    Paula J. Ramsey
    November 2, 2019 at 10:52 am

    4 stars
    Just made this for the first time for the family. It was so good and fresh. Everyone in the family loved it which isn’t always the case with a family of 5. Pretty easy to make . Will definitely keep this dish on the permanent weekly menu.

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      November 2, 2019 at 4:50 pm

      So glad to hear they went down well, Paula! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lisa Sharpe
    October 18, 2019 at 11:18 pm

    Can these be frozen?

    • Reply
      Chris Collins
      October 19, 2019 at 6:48 pm

      Yep! Just adjust the cooking time accordingly if you’re freezing before cooking. If you’re freezing after baking just pop them back in the oven until bubbling through the centre.

  • Reply
    Barbara
    February 11, 2019 at 12:11 am

    Olive oil is listed in the ingredients, but I don’t see where it was used.

    • Reply
      Chris
      February 11, 2019 at 10:24 am

      Hi Barbara! It’s just to fry the bacon 🙂

  • Reply
    Ariella Hylas
    February 4, 2019 at 1:11 am

    5 stars
    This recipe is so versatile. I’ve tried it as written and it’s awesome! So now, I have the confidence to experiment a bit. I definitely wanna repeat this with some french’s fried onions mixed into my topping. Also, the gloves were definitely a hot tip, lol. I’ve cut and gutted jalapenos by hand before w/o gloves and maaaaan does that capsaicin burn ><

    • Reply
      Chris
      February 4, 2019 at 9:57 am

      That’s awesome to hear, Ariella! Fried onions on top sounds truly delicious, you’ll have to let me know how you get on 🙂

  • Reply
    Carol Thornefin
    February 3, 2019 at 7:07 pm

    I’ve searched everywhere and I can’t seem to find what temp. I’m to cook these at. I’m trying 425. I hope that’s not too hot.

    • Reply
      Chris
      February 3, 2019 at 8:28 pm

      Hi Carol! Apologies, not sure why that wasn’t showing up in the recipe card, but it’s 200c/390f. You’ll struggle to burn them at 425f though as they’re not in the oven long, so don’t worry. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Brittany
    October 7, 2018 at 3:40 pm

    4 stars
    Made them last night for a party, they were a big hit! I regret not wearing gloves during prep though, the spice made my hands burn for a couple hours!

    • Reply
      Chris
      October 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm

      Oh no, poor hands! They’re firey buggers aren’t they!? Glad they were enjoyed though 🙂

  • Reply
    Renee
    September 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    5 stars
    Just made these for an after school snack for my teenage girls and for my 80 year old dad; they were fabulous! The only thing is the peppers were still a little crunchy, but maybe because they were prepared and then refrigerated? I may just blanch them prior and see if that helps.

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 8, 2018 at 12:53 pm

      Hi Renee! So glad you enjoyed them! If you like them a little softer, just leave them in the oven a little longer before you grill them. Blanching will remove a lot of the spice 🙂

  • Reply
    Virginia Vincent
    May 28, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    5 stars
    Bacon jalapeño poppers: my son loves these, already printed the recipe. Love your site and newsletters!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 28, 2018 at 2:21 pm

      Hey Virginia! Thank you for taking the time to pop over and leave a comment! So glad you love the site & I hope you enjoy the recipe just as much as I do!! 🙂

  • Reply
    Meranda
    November 20, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    I have some left over Italian bread crumbs, would that taste good or should I just buy regular bread crumbs?

    • Reply
      Chris
      November 21, 2017 at 10:21 am

      Hey Meranda! Never tried them with Italian breadcrumbs, but can’t imagine it being a problem. My advice would be to make the filling and test with one, if if you’re a fan go ahead and make with the rest with the breadcrumbs you have, if not your filling is already and waiting for when you come back with regular breadcrumbs. Hope this helps!

  • Reply
    Cookilicious
    October 14, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Oh My! They look so yum! I can imagine munching on these as I binge on Netflix. 🙂

    • Reply
      Chris
      October 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Literally my life – Netflix and Jalapeno Poppers.

  • Reply
    Amy
    October 14, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    5 stars
    These are a favorite in my husbands family, they live in New Mexico. Your version looks a little more flavorful than theirs, I might even try making these and seeing if they like them!

    • Reply
      Chris
      October 14, 2017 at 6:06 pm

      Ohhh you’ll have to let me know how they go down!

  • Reply
    Deanna
    October 14, 2017 at 4:17 pm

    5 stars
    Oh wow, these sound and look AMAZING!!!

    • Reply
      Chris
      October 14, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Thank you for your positive vibes, Deanna! 🙂

  • Reply
    Julia
    October 14, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    5 stars
    Ooo, these look amazing! Love the topping! 🙂

    • Reply
      Chris
      October 14, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      Thanks Julia! 🙂

  • Reply
    Katie | HealthySeasonalRecipes
    October 14, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    5 stars
    Putting the crunchy topping on the top only is brilliant!

    • Reply
      Chris
      October 14, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      I’m glad you agree, Katie! 🙂

  • Reply
    Joy
    October 14, 2017 at 2:10 am

    Have you ever tried freezing these before you bake them? I have a plethora of them and can’t possibly eat them all now…well, I COULD, but the defibrillator is out for servicing, so I better not. lol

    • Reply
      Chris
      October 14, 2017 at 9:37 am

      I actually haven’t! I usually just continue eating them until I burst into flames, but freezing them sounds more sensible! Let me know you they come out, would love to know!

    • Reply
      Sherry Frigon
      December 30, 2017 at 9:59 pm

      5 stars
      I have frozen the bacon wrapped ones both before and after cooking. They came out good, just took a little longer to cook. Already cooked ones should be reheated in oven instead of microwave to retain crispiness.

      • Reply
        Chris
        December 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm

        Thanks so much for your words of wisdom, Sherry! Great to know they freeze well 🙂

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    September 28, 2017 at 8:45 am

    What is the dipping sauce with these?? Looks amazing! Making these this weekend!

    • Reply
      Chris
      September 29, 2017 at 6:04 pm

      It’s just Sour Cream! Had some knocking about in the fridge, cools down the spice nicely! Enjoy 🙂

  • Reply
    Trista
    August 6, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I added 1/2 c fresh sweet corn (just because we have some leftover) to the filling which gave it a little extra sweetness. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Reply
      Chris
      August 6, 2017 at 8:37 am

      What a great idea adding corn! Will have to give that a try next time 🙂

  • Reply
    Jeff Baer
    July 1, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I made these last year, but mine had black beans, and bacon wrapped around them. I’m definitely going to try these!!

    • Reply
      Chris
      July 1, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      Black beans and wrapped bacon sounds delish!! Awesome, enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply
    Nicole
    May 10, 2017 at 12:13 am

    My mouth started watering as soon as I saw these! YUM! I make with bacon and cream cheese. Will have to try w the crunchy crispy bread crumbs!!!!!

    • Reply
      Chris
      May 10, 2017 at 11:02 am

      Aren’t Jalapeno Poppers just the greatest!?

      • Reply
        Kathleen
        March 18, 2019 at 3:43 pm

        I have made poppers and sometimes the jalapenos are nice spicy but once in a while they have been stupid hot. Yes I remove the ribs & seeds. Any reason? Season? Way to tell? Or is there another hot pepper similar looking to the jalapeno? I want to make this but it’s a waste if my company won’t.

        • Reply
          Chris
          March 19, 2019 at 10:10 am

          Hi Kathleen! There are green chillis which look very similar to Jalapeños and are much spicier, so do make sure it’s definitely Jalapeños you’re getting. Besides that it is fairly difficult to predict the spiciness of a Jalapeño. In my experience the older the Jalapeño (older Jalapeños have white wrinkles which looks like stretch marks), the spicier it is. But this isn’t always the case.

          What I recommend doing is making the filling and topping, then cooking 1 Jalapeño popper and testing. If it’s perfect spice then go ahead and make the rest. If it’s too spicy, then soak the Jalapeños in water to reduce spice (I’ve added a section on this in the recipe notes).

          Hope this helps!

          Chris.

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