Baked Jalapeno Poppers Recipe (with Crumbled Bacon)

Baked jalapeno poppers are stuffed with cheddar, cream cheese, and crumbled bacon bits, then dipped in bread crumbs for a crunchy coating. This recipe is easy because there’s no bacon wrapping involved, and you can prep them ahead and cook them in the oven when you’re ready to party.

baked jalapeno poppers on gray platter surrounded by dip bowl and beer bottles.

Are you looking for the best finger food appetizers for game day parties, super bowl parties, or casual get-togethers? These stuffed jalapenos are just the thing!

Why you’ll love the recipe

They’re easy to make with two kinds of cheese, bacon, pantry seasonings and fresh jalapeno peppers.

You cook them in the oven and serve them at room temperature so the recipe is perfect for parties and gatherings.

You don’t have to bother wrapping the raw bacon around them and securing with toothpicks. The crumbled bacon bits are in the filling!

You can make them ahead and then bake when ready.

This is a finger food that men love so it’s a great recipe for casual game parties, poker night or guys night in.

stuffed jalapeno poppers on small plate with white dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce

You can garnish the poppers with cilantro, sliced green onion or chives, and add one or more of these dipping sauces alongside.

  • Ranch dressing
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • BBQ sauce
  • Sour cream
  • French onion dip
  • Make this creamy poblano sauce that tastes amazing!

How to make them

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These are the easy steps for making jalapeno poppers. The most time consuming part is cleaning out each of the pepper halves. Using a melon baller tool makes it easier.

You may want to wear rubber gloves when cleaning out the jalapenos as the oils can get on your hands and burn you if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.

You could also just wash your hands well using dish soap to cut through the oil, and make sure you don’t touch your face while working.

Simple Ingredient Notes

Jalapeno Peppers. Use fresh peppers that are medium to large, and uniform in size so they cook evenly. When the peppers cook you want them soften while still maintaining some firmness. That way they have a good bite and hold up as a finger food.

Cream Cheese. You can use full fat or light cream cheese for this. The regular full fat variety will be a bit more creamy. I like to use the 8-ounce tub because it seems to soften quicker and is easier to work with. You will need it to be at room temperature so it mixes well. Let it sit out for an hour or two to soften.

Cheddar Cheese. Use sharp cheddar for the most robust flavor. You can shred your own or use the fancy shreds. I’ve use a combination of cheddar and Monterey Jack which gives a more mild taste.

Bacon. Use your favorite kind of bacon and cook it ahead so it’s ready to crumble and use. For easy prep you can oven-fry it at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes or until crisp. Make sure to line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and lay a baking rack on top so the rendered fat can drop through.

Pantry Staples. You’ll need seasonings including salt, chili powder, and garlic powder for the filling. You’ll also use bread crumbs for the light coating on top.

cut fresh jalapenos with seeds and membrane scraped out.
Cut peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and white membranes.
cheese, cream cheese and bacon in white bowl.
Combine cheeses, bacon, and seasonings.

Prep the peppers and mix the filling ingredients together.

PRO TIP: Use a melon baller to remove the seeds and white membrane from the jalapeno. The tool cuts through the layers far better than a spoon or knife.

filling mixture being added into jalapeno halves.
Spoon mixture into jalapeno halves.
jalapenos with filling being dipped in bread crumbs.
Roll them in bread crumbs, place on a baking sheet, and bake in the oven.

Fill jalapeno halves with cheese mixture and dip them in bread crumbs. Place them on a baking sheet, and cook in the oven.

jalapeno popper appetizers on gray plate, overhead closeup.

Storage & leftovers

Store any leftovers in an air tight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. Reheat in the oven until heated through, or microwave for about 15-20 seconds. The jalapeno will continue to soften when reheated.

Best tips

Choose large well-shaped jalapenos that are roughly the same size so they cook evenly.

You can use pre-shredded cheddar cheese in this recipe, and the finely shredded is best because it will melt better. If you shred your own you can use the larger shreds and it will melt nicely.

You can also cook them in the air fryer or on the grill if you like.

Wear rubber gloves while working with jalapenos and avoid touching the face.

Cook them in the air fryer

You can also cook these in the air fryer at 375 degrees for about 7 minutes. And you can reheat them in the air fryer if they’ve already been oven baked.

Make ahead recipe

There are a couple of ways you can prepare these ahead. You can cut and clean the jalapenos and refrigerate them until ready to stuff. This saves time since it’s the most laborious part.

You can prepare the filling and refrigerate until ready to use.

You can completely assemble the poppers and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Substitutions & variations

  • Use cooked crumbled sausage instead of bacon.
  • Use store-bought real bacon bits to save time cooking bacon.
  • Omit the bacon if you want vegetarian poppers.
  • You can omit the bread crumb topping to make it more keto friendly.
  • Use panko instead of bread crumbs for a super crunchy popper.
  • Use cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack, or pepper jack cheese for a spicy kick.
platter filled with baked jalapeno peppers.

What to eat with jalapeno poppers

These are awesome for an appetizers party, a Mexican fiesta happy hour, or Mexican theme dinner party, or Cinco de Mayo party.

What do you thing about this baked jalapeno popper recipe? I hope you’ll try it for your next appetizer party or gathering.

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easy recipe for baked jalapeno poppers with crumbled bacon bits.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Yield: 32 poppers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Easy recipe for baked jalapeno poppers with cream cheese, cheddar and crumbled bacon bits. Perfect finger food appetizer for parties and game day gatherings.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound fresh jalapenos, about 16 whole peppers
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, or half cheddar & half Monterey Jack
  • 6 strips of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cut each pepper in half lengthwise and remove seeds and white membrane.
  3. In a mixing bowl combine cheeses, bacon bits, salt, chili, and garlic powders. Mix well.
  4. Divide the cheese mixture evenly among the pepper halves.
  5. Pour bread crumbs onto a small plate. Turn stuffed peppers over and roll cheese side in bread crumbs to lightly coat. Place peppers on baking sheet.
  6. Bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes or until pepper is softened but still a bit firm.

Notes

When cutting and seeding jalapenos, use plastic gloves to protect hands; Or make sure to wash them very well with dish soap and avoid touching your eyes or face.

Serve jalapeno poppers with a dipping sauce like ranch, blue cheese, sour cream, onion dip, or bbq sauce.

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2 Comments

  1. This is my go-to recipe whenever we are in then mood for jalapeño poppers! I always forget chili powder but hey still taste great. I will have to try it with chili powder sometime 🙂

  2. Wow these look delicious…i love cheese and bacon add a fiery bite and I am in heaven!