Sunday, June 16, 2019

Homemade Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers - Easy Recipe!

So delicious and easy to make!

If you love the flavors of cheese, bacon, and jalapenos, then you will LOVE this recipe! Stuffed jalapeno poppers are SO easy to make and not only are they easy, but they're fast to make too, so if you have a craving for these you can whip up a batch in no time at all.

These poppers bake in the oven, so there is no mess of frying oil or anything like that. The ingredients are minimal and won't cost you a bundle, and since they are so rich and delicious, a little bit of poppers goes a long way! I have to admit though, they disappear super-fast in my home. Because I eat them all. :)

Whether eaten hot out of the oven, room temperature, or reheated the next day, these bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeno poppers are one of the best recipes on the net! You can tweak the recipe to your liking: omit the bacon if you like (or use more!), or customize the filling with your favorite spices. 

You will need:
Jalapenos: you will get two poppers for each jalapeno you use, so figure that when you are determining how many to make. 
The basic recipe is as follows:

6-8 fresh jalapeno peppers, washed (depending on size)
1 8-oz block of cream cheese, softened
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (add more if you like them more on the cheddary side, or use just one cup if you like a good balance between the cream cheese and cheddar cheeses.)

Any type of bacon slices that you like

-Wooden tooth picks
-Aluminum foil
-Broiler pan or cookie sheet with a lip
-Optional: electric mixer
-Recommended: plastic/vinyl cooking gloves to wear while cutting the jalapenos.
-Recommended: Paper towel covered platter to drain them on after removing them from oven.

Put the softened cream cheese in a bowl, or use an electric mixer to soften the cream cheese.

Use a knife to slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise. Wear gloves or put your hands in plastic baggies to avoid getting your skin burned from the seeds while you are working with the jalapenos!

Because the hot spicy heat of the jalapeno comes from the seeds, you will want to scoop out the insides. Use your judgment for how spicy you would like your poppers. If you like them mild then remove all of the seeds and ribs inside.

Use a spoon to scoop out the insides. 

I like mine spicy so I always try to leave a few seeds inside of my jalapenos!

Place your prepped peppers on a foil lined baking sheet. You can use any type of pan that has a lip on the edge. I like to use a big rectangular cookie sheet with a lip or the bottom part of my two-part broiler pan. Be sure to cover it well with foil to eliminate a messy clean up later! No need to spray with cooking spray.

Add the shredded cheddar cheese to the softened cream cheese and mix just until well blended. 

It should look like this. Now is the time add any additional herbs or spices to your filling. I sometimes add a chopped teaspoon of fresh cilantro if I have some on hand. Some folks like to add some garlic. I find that the flavors of the cheeses, peppers, and bacon are enough for me so I usually do not add any additional flavors. 
Sometimes its best to leave well enough alone! 

But...if you like them super-spicy you can also add some of the seeds that you scooped out earlier in with the filling. Just toss in a teaspoon full of the jalapeno seeds (or however many you'd like,) and mix them in with the cheeses.

Prep your bacon:
Get out your favorite bacon (thin, regular, or thick sliced all work fine) and use kitchen scissors or a knife to cut the long slices in half. We only need half a slice of bacon for each popper. If you use too much bacon it won't cook properly. I have found that half a slice is perfect! Set the cut bacon aside.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now it is time to stuff the peppers
Use a tablespoon to scoop up a spoonful of the cheese filling and press it into each pepper. Do not put too much filling in the peppers or it will run out when you bake them - do not mound it up high on top with filling. Just smooth out the top and try to make it kind of level. They'll be great, I promise! 

Wrap the poppers with bacon
Once all of your peppers are filled with the cheese filling it is now time to wrap them in bacon. (You can skip this step if you are not a bacon fan!)

Pick up one of the half-slices of bacon and starting at the top of the filling on the pepper, lay one end of the bacon on the filling and then wrap the rest of the strip of bacon gently around the bottom of the pepper, bringing up the other end of the strip of bacon to meet the first end. Kind of like putting a bacon scarf on your pepper! 

Do NOT wrap the bacon tightly around the pepper! If you do, some of your filling will come out when they bake and expand. Instead, wrap the bacon gently but securely around the pepper. Use a wooden toothpick to secure the two ends of bacon to around the pepper, but do not pierce the pepper with the toothpick. See image above for a pretty much perfectly wrapped pepper if I must say so myself!

Assemble your stuffed and wrapped poppers on your foil lined baking sheet. Bake in a 325 degree F oven and bake for approximately 40 minutes until the bacon is cooked. Keep an eye on them while they are baking. I sometimes hike the oven temperature up to 350 degrees for the last 15 minutes or so of baking. 

Note: If you bake these at too high a temperature you will cook them too fast and you will lose a lot of the filling because it will bubble right out of the peppers onto your baking sheet! It is best to cook these around 325 to 350 F max for the best finished result.

Once your poppers are nice and golden and your bacon is cooked the way you like it, use pot holders to carefully remove the tray from the oven. 

Use a spatula to carefully lift each pepper from the tray and place it on a paper-towel covered platter to help drain some of the bacon fat and oils from the poppers. Remember to remove the toothpicks before eating. Serve and enjoy! 

Refrigerate any leftovers. Reheat in oven or microwave (oven will make them crisper than the microwave will.) These poppers are PERFECT for parties and get-togethers, movie night, and you can even cook them on a grill.

Don't need them until tomorrow or even the next day? Prepare them ahead of time, and store in an airtight container in the fridge up to two days before baking them.

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If you try this recipe be sure and let me know what you think by leaving a comment below!

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Article copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2019 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author.