Jalapeno Poppers are the ultimate appetizer. Whether they are for a party buffet or game time snacks, you will love these jalapenos, sliced in half and stuffed with a rich mixture of cream cheese and crispy bacon and baked to cheesy golden brown perfection.

Jalapeno poppers on a platter with ranch dipping sauce in a ramekin.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Just like our Guacamole and Spinach Artichoke Dip, these bacon-stuffed jalapeno poppers are such a hit at parties and they always disappear fast. They are a great alternative to potato skins, so much creamier and still topped with crispy bacon, chives, and cheese.

Enjoy them on their own, or make a homemade dipping sauce for even more flavor (you’ll find some great options below).

Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

These are great at any time of the year, but between the holiday parties and sports parties coming up this season, we know that you will be looking for appetizer recipes and party snacks to share.

Why You’ll Love this Appetizer

  • Simple to make – no fancy ingredients or tools required. If you have a knife, fork, spoon, and a baking sheet, you can make these.
  • Make-ahead and freezer-friendly – can easily be transported to a party
  • Finger food – no utensils or cutting required for serving
  • Delicious warm or at room temperature – perfect for a party menu
  • Customizable – See our variations below or try your own substitutions

Ingredients for Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeño Poppers use simple ingredients and are so EASY to make. The filling is similar to the filling used in our Cheeseball recipe and Stuffed Mushrooms but stuffed into jalapeño peppers instead.

  • Jalapeños – Twelve, fresh and halved with the seeds and membrane removed
  • Bacon – 6 ounces equals about 6 strips of bacon
  • Cream Cheese – The base for the filling. Room temperature is best, making it easier to spread in the jalapeno halves
  • Mild Cheddar Cheese – One cup, shredded
  • Garlic – One clove, minced or grated
  • Green Onion – Chopped white and green parts
  • Salt and Pepper – add these to taste
  • Parmesan Cheese – To sprinkle on top after cooking (optional)
Halved jalapenos on a platter with cream cheese and bacon filling in a bowl.

Substitutions

These cream cheese-stuffed jalapenos are very easy to customize to your preferences.

  • Cheese – You can use sharp cheddar cheese instead of mild for more of a zing, pepper jack cheese for a kick
  • Bacon – You can make keto-friendly bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers by wrapping the peppers and securing them with a toothpick before baking, giving you a crispy bacon crunch in every bite. Or, simply omit the bacon to make them vegetarian.
  • Adjust the heat – If you like them spicy, leave some of the membrane or seeds inside. (See our tips below for choosing a spicy jalapeno)
  • Mini Bell Pepper – If you or someone you’re cooking for can’t handle the heat, swap the jalapenos for baby bell peppers.
  • Add a Crunchy Topping – One of my favorite ways to elevate these jalapeno poppers and make them extra crispy is by using Panko Bread Crumbs on top. This suggestion is from my cookbook, Natasha’s Kitchen. Combine 1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs with 2 tsp melted butter and sprinkle over the stuffed jalapenos. These will crisp up fabulously in the oven, you will love it!

How to Cut Jalapenos

First, grab a pair of kitchen gloves. Gloves are your friend with this recipe! Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise, from stem to tip. I prefer to leave the stems on since they serve as little handles but you can cut them off. Use a spoon to scrape the inside of the jalapeno halves. Remove and discard the seeds and membranes.

How to Make Jalapeno Poppers

  • Prepare – Preheat your oven to 400°F and cook the bacon in a large skillet for about 3 minutes per side, until crisp and browned (you can also make Air Fryer Bacon). Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Once cooled, chop the bacon into small bits.
  • Mix – In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, green onion, shredded cheese, and bacon for the filling. Mash together with a fork until well combined.
  • Slice – Put on your kitchen gloves. Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, scrape the inside of the jalapeño halves to remove and discard the seeds and membranes.
  • Stuff – Stuff each jalapeño half with enough cream cheese mixture to sit level with the sides. Don’t be tempted to overstuff them. Arrange the stuffed peppers in a single layer on a foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  • Bake – Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the peppers are tender and the cheesy topping is golden brown in spots. Let the poppers cool for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with green onion if desired and serve warm or at room temperature.
Ingredients for the jalapeno popper filling, cream cheese, mild cheddar cheese, green onion, chopped crispy bacon

Pro Tip:

Wear kitchen gloves when working with raw jalapeno peppers and avoid touching your face or eyes, you will thank me for this. Jalapenos are spicy so protect your skin from being burned while preparing this recipe.

Jalapeno halves stuffed with cream cheese filling, ready to be baked

How to Buy Jalapenos

If you want spicy Jalapeno Poppers, look for a pepper with white striations on the outside skin. These imperfections can be a sign of stress during growth, potentially leading to a spicier pepper. As jalapenos age on the plant, more white lines appear, and eventually, the pepper turns red (even after picking). Some find that fully ripened red jalapenos might be slightly hotter than green ones. Choose jalapenos with vibrant colors, whether green or red, and shiny skin as this can indicate freshness and potential heat.

Common Questions

Are Jalapeno Poppers gluten-free?

This recipe is gluten-free and keto-friendly (Skip the optional panko bread crumbs or use gluten-free breadcrumbs).

Are Jalapeno Poppers spicy?

The heat in a jalapeno comes from a compound called capsaicin which is in the membrane of the jalapeno, which we remove in this recipe. So after you prepare your stuffed poppers, you’ve removed most of the heat. Combined with the smooth cream cheese, most of the heat is reduced, leaving you with a creamy, cheesy, delicious, and not-too-spicy snack. If you like spice, see the note above on buying jalapenos.

Can I double the recipe?

Absolutely. These go quickly, so make sure you have plenty! And they freeze great, so make a bunch now and store some in the freezer for later.

Can I make Jalapeno Poppers in the air fryer?

You sure can. Jalapeno Poppers taste great when baked in the air fryer, and you can also reheat them in the air fryer as well. See the instructions below.

Jalapeno poppers arranged on tray with ranch

How to Make Jalapeno Poppers in an Air Fryer

We love the air fryer for making quick and easy appetizers like our popular Air Fried Chicken Wings. You can make these Jalapeno Poppers in the Air Fryer just as easily. Arrange the stuffed jalapenos in a single layer and cook at 325°F for 10-12 minutes.

What to serve with Stuffed Jalapenos

Jalapeno Poppers are delicious and creamy on their own, but if you want to serve them with a dipping sauce, try:

Make-Ahead

Jalapeno Poppers are a great make-ahead appetizer. You can assemble the jalapeno poppers up to 3 days in advance and keep them refrigerated in an airtight container. Bake or air fry per the instructions before serving.

  • To Refrigerate: To store leftover, cooled Jalapeno Poppers, place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days.
  • Freezing: You can freeze previously cooked or uncooked Jalapeno Poppers. Just allow them to cool to room temperature and place them on a parchment paper-lined pan. Freeze until they are solid and then transfer them to a Ziploc freezer bag or an airtight container.
  • To Reheat: Reheat in the oven or air fryer at 350°F. In the oven, they should take 10-15 minutes, in the air fryer, estimate about 8-10 minutes. You can microwave them as well, but microwaved poppers will not be as crispy.
Jalapeno halves stuffed with bacon, cream cheese, and chives, baked until golden brown

Jalapeno Poppers with Bacon are not overly spicy and make a great appetizer or side dish for potlucks and parties.

More Appetizer Recipes

If you love these bacon-stuffed jalapeno poppers, then you won’t want to miss these other easy-to-make appetizer recipes. They are great served at home or can be packed up to bring to a party.

Jalapeno Poppers

4.99 from 193 votes
Author: Valentina Ablaev
Jalapeno poppers arranged on tray with ranch
The BEST Jalapeno Poppers – sliced jalapeños loaded with cream cheese and crispy bacon and cheese mixture, oven-baked or cooked in an air fryer.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients 

Servings: 12 servings (makes 24 poppers)
  • 12 jalapenos
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 Tbsp green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 6 oz bacon, cooked and chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Halve the jalapenos lengthwise*. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and membranes from the jalapenos. Discard.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, green onion, shredded cheese, and cooked bacon for the filling. Use a fork to mash the mixture until everything is well incorporated.
  • Fill the jalapeno halves with the mixture to sit level with the sides. Don't be tempted to overstuff them. Place the stuffed jalapenos on a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 18-20 minutes, or until the cheese melts golden in color. Serve warm or cooled to room temperature.

Notes

*To protect your hands, I recommend wearing gloves when handling spicy peppers. 

Nutrition Per Serving

143kcal Calories3g Carbs6g Protein12g Fat6g Saturated Fat1g Polyunsaturated Fat3g Monounsaturated Fat0.01g Trans Fat36mg Cholesterol289mg Sodium108mg Potassium0.4g Fiber1g Sugar517IU Vitamin A17mg Vitamin C89mg Calcium0.2mg Iron
Nutrition Facts
Jalapeno Poppers
Amount per Serving
Calories
143
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
12
g
18
%
Saturated Fat
 
6
g
38
%
Trans Fat
 
0.01
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
3
g
Cholesterol
 
36
mg
12
%
Sodium
 
289
mg
13
%
Potassium
 
108
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
3
g
1
%
Fiber
 
0.4
g
2
%
Sugar
 
1
g
1
%
Protein
 
6
g
12
%
Vitamin A
 
517
IU
10
%
Vitamin C
 
17
mg
21
%
Calcium
 
89
mg
9
%
Iron
 
0.2
mg
1
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jalapeno poppers
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $$
Calories: 143
Natasha's Kitchen Cookbook

Valentina Ablaev

I am Valentina, the creator behind the food blog Valentina’s Corner where I share our family’s favorite recipes. When I am not in the kitchen, I enjoy spending quality time with my husband and 5 children. We invite you to join us on our blogging journey!

Read more posts by Valentina

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




Comments

  • Crystal
    May 18, 2024

    Can you cook on air fryer? What temp and how long? Less mess for me.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 18, 2024

      Hi Crystal, This will work in an air fryer. Here’s what one of my readers wrote: “I make mine in my air fryer. 375 for around 8 to 10 minutes depending on how many you are making”.

      Reply

  • Don
    May 18, 2024

    For Poppers:
    1. To make slicing the peppers in half easier, snip off the dry end of the stems and your knife will glide right through them.
    2. Try using Longaniza, or spicy Mexican chorizo from a Mexican market. It has very little fat when fried up and adds an incredible flavor.
    3. I use shallots in place of garlic, and lots of it.
    Just my two cents! Enjoy!
    Don

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      May 18, 2024

      Thank you so much for sharing those tips with me, Don!

      Reply

  • tina K
    April 13, 2024

    Fail-Proof recipe! Always a hit. I didn’t have any garlic on hand, used garlic powder and they were delicious

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      April 13, 2024

      That’s so great! Thank you four sharing that with me, Tina!

      Reply

  • Jennifer
    March 14, 2024

    Can you freeze any leftover filling for another time? I made my first batch tonight and can’t wait to try them but I have leftover filling. Don’t want any to go to waste

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      March 15, 2024

      Hi Jennifer! Yes, the jalapeños poppers are freezer friendly so I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to also freeze/store any left over filling.

      Reply

  • Chrystal
    January 21, 2024

    I have gone through this repeatedly to find the amount of cream cheese and onions, repeatedly. Just to let everyone else know so you don’t have to waste the time I did,…… go to the very bottom, I know. First time ever I’ve ever seen this, very frustrating. I would just like to add this to the suggestion box. Some amounts were there and others weren’t when I go to start to make it. Love you, girlie. Thank you for all you do and all of your hard work. I’ve been following you for years. Blessings for you and yours.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      January 21, 2024

      Hi Chrystal! Thank you for the love and support over all the years. There is a “jump to recipe” at the very top of the page which is a shortcut to the recipe card. The recipe card as always been at the very bottom of the page, after the blog post. I do recommend also reading the post because I provide tips for success and answer commonly asked questions in this section.

      Reply

  • Judy
    December 30, 2023

    Thanks for the Recipe. I usually make them with shrimp instead of bacon as my husband is a sea food lover. Putting crumbs on top sounds really good, never thought of doing that.
    When seeding the peppers I use a “grapefruit spoon” which has a serrated tip which makes it really easy to remove the seeds.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 30, 2023

      Thank you for sharing, Judy! What a great idea.

      Reply

  • Lanaya
    December 26, 2023

    Hi Natasha!
    I eat halal food, so I was wondering if it’s possible for me to replace bacon with beef/turkey bacon instead?
    I’m super excited to make these for New Year’s!! Always loved every recipe of yours since it never turns out bad <3 Lots of love!!

    Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      December 26, 2023

      Hello there, I think either beef or turkey will work! We’d love to know how you liked those versions too if you try that.

      Reply

  • Melissa
    December 23, 2023

    Jalapeno Poppers just got that much better! The bacon in this really takes it to the next level.

    Reply

    • Natasha
      December 23, 2023

      Yes!! I love that little salty bite of bacon in the jalapeno poppers. This is more proof that bacon makes everything better.

      Reply

  • Sha
    December 23, 2023

    These are a crowd favorite! They are appetizing, delicious and packed with flavors. Highly recommended!

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 23, 2023

      That’s just awesome! Thank you for sharing your wonderful review, Sha!

      Reply

  • Jane R
    December 23, 2023

    These are always a crowd pleaser at all of our holidays and gatherings. I love how easy they are to make.

    Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      December 23, 2023

      They really are easier to make than they look! I’m so glad you loved this recipe, Jane!

      Reply

  • Abby
    December 22, 2023

    I could eat my weight in these! They have the best flavor and so easy to make.

    Reply

    • NatashasKitchen.com
      December 22, 2023

      Same! They are so delish!

      Reply

      • Michelle
        May 21, 2024

        I want to make these for the lake. Is it okay to make ahead of time and store in fridge until I’m ready to cook? Or would it be best to make and bake in same day

        Reply

        • Natasha's Kitchen
          May 21, 2024

          Yes you can make this recipe ahead. You can go to the Make-Ahead portion of the recipe for tips.

          Reply

As Featured On

Never Go "Hangry" Again!

Get weekly updates on new recipes, exclusive giveaways plus behind the scenes photos.