Learn how to make jalapeño poppers using this simple recipe. This party and game day snack is stuffed with two different kinds of cheese and topped with buttery bread crumbs.
It’s easy to make your own spicy, smokey, restaurant-style jalapeño 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 for a potluck and incredibly easy to make with basic ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
How hot are jalapeños?
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 a jalapeño popper that has hints of sweetness with a smoky-spicy flavor.
When choosing jalapeños, there are several ways to find milder or spicier individual peppers.
- Thin brown scars on the pepper indicate that it will be hotter.
- The larger the pepper, the more mild it will be. This is because the capsaicin is distributed over more space.
- Jalapenos become spicier as they ripen.
If you want a milder flavor, you could use poblano peppers instead. If you want to really amp up the flavor, you could use Serrano peppers, which are spicier.
How to make jalapeño poppers
These amazing, spicy snacks are quick to make. Also, this is an easy recipe to double if you are expecting a big crowd.
- Cut the jalapeños. You may want to wear gloves for this. Jalapenos are pretty spicy and will sting. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and veins.
- Mix together the ingredients for the filling. I use cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Worcestershire and garlic. If at all possible, shred your own cheese. Pre shredded cheese is covered in potato starch that will prevent it from completely melting.
Then, in a separate bowl, combine the panko crumbs with butter and paprika.
- Form scoops of the cheese filling into tube shapes and place one inside each jalapeño.
- Sprinkle panko crumbs on top.
- Bake at 400°F for 20 minutes.
What do you serve with jalapeño poppers?
I prefer something mild and creamy to compliment the bite of the jalapeños. Ranch dressing is a great choice for dipping.
If you enjoy spicy game day snacks like poppers, I think you’ll also love my recipe for authentic Mexican Molletes.
Watch how to make this recipe below!
- 12 jalapeño 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.
- Please shred your own cheese! Most pre-shredded cheeses are coated with potato starch which makes the melted cheese a little clumpy. I also like to substitute pepper jack cheese or a combo of each.