Baked jalapeno poppers stuffed with cream cheese and cheddar cheese are the ultimate party appetizer or snack! Learn how to make them with this easy recipe.
It’s easy to make your own restaurant-style jalapeno poppers. You will bake them, so no deep frying is necessary. Jalapenos are easy to find in the grocery store, but you can use the filling in any kind of pepper you prefer.
They are easy to transport to a game day party or potluck, and incredibly simple to make with basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
How hot are jalapenos?
Hot peppers are measured on the Scoville Scale. This measures the amount of capsaicin, the chemical compound that gives peppers their heat, each pepper variety has. It is measured in Scoville Heat Units or SHUs.
For reference, a bell pepper has zero SHUs. A ghost pepper is at approximately a million SHUs. A jalapeño is labeled as a medium-hot pepper, ranging from 2500-8000 SHU.
We will be roasting the peppers in the oven, which actually decreases their heat. You will end up with baked jalapeño poppers that have hints of sweetness with a smoky-spicy flavor.
Selecting peppers for baked jalapeno poppers
When selecting chiles, there are keys to identifying milder and spicier peppers.
- Thin brown scars on the pepper indicate that it will be hotter.
- The larger the pepper, the milder the flavor. This is because the capsaicin is distributed over more space.
- Jalapenos become spicier as they ripen. During the ripening process, jalapeños, like other chilies, turn red. As the peppers ripen their heat increases, making red jalapeños generally hotter than green jalapeños.
For a milder flavor, you could use green jalapenos, poblano, or Anaheim chilis instead. If you want to really amp up the flavor, you could use Serrano peppers, which are spicier.
Video: How to make jalapeno poppers
These amazing, spicy snacks are quick and easy to make. To watch the process from start to finish, watch the video located in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Slice the chilis in half from top to bottom. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and veins.
PRO TIP: You may want to wear gloves when handling any chili peppers, as the oils and capsaicin can burn sensitive skin, especially mucus membranes and eyes.
- Make the filling.
The filling ingredients are cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Worcestershire and garlic. If at all possible, shred your own cheese. Pre-shredded cheeses is covered in potato starch that tends to prevent it from completely melting.
- Make the breadcrumb topping. Then, in a separate bowl, combine the panko crumbs with butter and paprika.
- Scoop and shape the filling. Use your hands to form the mixture into log shapes, then place one inside each jalapeño.
- Sprinkle panko crumbs on top.
- Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.
What to serve with baked poppers
Other spicy snacks and appetizers
If you enjoy spicy game day snacks like baked jalapeno poppers, I think you’ll also love my recipe for authentic Mexican molletes. Or, if you want to make another jalapeno recipe, serve this Jalapeño Mac and Cheese Bake.
This recipe post, first published on Kevin Is Cooking Jan 24, 2020, has been updated with new content and a recipe video.
Baked Jalapeno Poppers + Video
- 12 jalapeno peppers (4-5 inch long peppers)
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 4 oz sharp cheddar cheese shredded (See Note 1)
- 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Wearing gloves (optional), slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise being sure to keep stem on if possible. Using a small spoon, scoop out the veins and seeds, discard. Place on lined baking sheet cut side up.
- In a bowl mix together the softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, Worcestershire sauce and garlic powder.
- In a small bowl, combine Panko crumbs, paprika and melted butter. Set aside.
- Carefully fill each jalapeño with the cheese mixture. I take a small scoop and mold it in my hands into a small cigar shape and press it into each jalapeño shell. Divide and sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top of each popper.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown on top. Allow to cool 5 minutes before serving. I like to also serve with Ranch dressing, but that’s optional.
- Consider shredding your own cheddar cheese! Most pre-shredded cheeses are coated with potato starch which makes the melted cheese a little clumpy. You could also use pepper jack cheese, or a combo of each.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.