Jalapeno Bacon Poppers

Peppers 5The title says it all…with cheese, BBQ sauce and bacon you will be the hit of any party. I just recently made these for a family Christmas party, and as soon as someone heard “bacon”, they were gone. I will say the prep for these bad boys is a little tedious, however if you take the time to prep it can be easy.

My first forewarning to you is about these jalapenos. You will need to be extremely careful cutting these–the aroma alone can make you go into a coughing and sneezing fit if you’re not prepared. I’d recommend using gloves and having a window open with you’re cutting into your peppers, you’ll thank me later!

P R E P

First things first. Take your cream cheese out of the fridge. It’s so damn cold out right now that I left mine out on the counter overnight so it was nice and soft. It’s frustrating and takes forever if your cream cheese is right out of the fridge, so plan ahead of time for this.

Make sure you have plenty of counter space, and at least two cookie sheets to place the peppers on. For the party I put half the peppers in the oven and then kept the other half ready to go in the fridge so that when I ran out (which was way too fast) I was able to just pop the next batch in, no problem. It also made me look extra hostess-y having food just ready to go.

The peppers

One positive about this recipe is that you can prep these way in advance. I cut the peppers the night before to save time, you’ll just want to keep them sealed in the fridge.

Slice all your jalapenos length wise with a knife. Start with a spoon (this has proved to be the easiest for me) and scoop out everything out of the pepper halves. Place all the innards in a trash can, and make sure you rinse each pepper so it takes out any extra SPICE. Your guests will ask you “how spicy are these?” and you don’t want them to regret taking a bite–make sure those peppers are clean of any seeds and membranes. Peppers 3

Once you’re done, wash the heck out of your hands. Jalapenos have oils that can HURT, especially if you accidentally rub your eyes, so thoroughly wash your hands. Don’t let this scare you away from trying this recipe, I just want you to be prepared. The first few times I tried this recipe I wrecked my fingers but using my hands to take out the insides and the seeds and I will never, ever do that again.

The cheese and bacon

Peppers 2Like I mentioned previously, you’ll want to take the cream cheese out of the fridge so it softens up a bit. If you forget, don’t worry, just take it out as soon as you remember so it has time to soften and get to room temperature. You can mix your cheeses and spices together ahead of time and then put it in the fridge after if you’d like if you’re prepping the night before. For the bacon, I get the big ol’ fat applewood bacon and slice them into thirds. You can cut these vertically or horizontally, but bacon can stretch around the pepper however you cut it so you can switch it up if you’d prefer to cut them one way or the other. I cut up the bacon ahead of time so it was just an easy transition from cheese-filling to bacon-adding.

What you’ll need

  • 2 cookie sheets. If you only have 1 that’s fine as you’ll be cooking in batches.
  • 20 jalapenos. You can definitely cut this recipe in half or even in thirds if you don’t want to make a lot. But trust me, you’ll want to make it all! Ok and a plus about jalapenos, they’re so cheap…I spent less than $3 for all 20.
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese.
  • 16 oz cream cheese (two 8 oz packages).
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika.
  • 1 pound of bacon.
  • BBQ Sauce–just enough to drizzle on each pepper. Go after your favorite brand; I’ve used Baby Ray’s and Stubbs and Stubbs is always my favorite because it’s so low on sugar content.

Total Prep Time: 30 minutes.

Total Cook time: 25-30 minutes.

Servings: 40 peppers.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line both cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you’re rolling your eyes because you don’t have parchment paper then just do you with some aluminum foil, but parchment paper is preferred.
  • Grab a large bowl and mix all your cheeses and paprika. Sometimes when I’m feeling lazy I’ll just mix it all with my hands, especially if the cream cheese isn’t that soft. Set aside.
  • Slice each jalapeno length-wise and scoop out seeds (with a spoon!). Rinse out any extra seeds and membranes. Wash hands.
  • Lay out your sliced jalapenos and cover generously with your cheese mixture.
  • Cut bacon into thirds (either vertical or horizontal, I cut mine vertical for this particular photo-op). Wash hands.
  • Grab your BBQ sauce and you can either place just a little drizzle of BBQ sauce on your peppers straight from the BBQ sauce jar, or use a spoon and drizzle the sauce on. I used a spoon since I drowned my first pepper when I got over-excited with the sauce.
  • Wrap each jalapeno with bacon. This doesn’t have to look perfect!
  • You can either refrigerate these until they’re ready to bake, or place them into the oven.
  • Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is browning and all bubbly.
  • You can use toothpicks for these or place on a platter for your guests.

POST COOKING NOTES

After thoughts, nutritional information and how to store!

  • These are the most popular appetizers I’ve ever made to date. I know it seems like it’s a lot of prep time and the fear of jalapenos can be daunting, but it’s ALL worth it. I’ve made these for dinner parties, holiday parties, and even just a pre-dinner snack with friends. You won’t go wrong with these, and the more you make them, the more confident you’ll feel when you make them.
  • This recipe is cheese and bacon, so I’m going to hope you didn’t have high expectations for a low-calorie snack…but the good news is this is only 110 calories per pepper, so win win situation! Calories don’t count during the Holidays though, right?
  • If you’re going to store these, my recommendation would be to store them non-cooked. You’ll get a fresher outcome that way, however if you have leftovers place them in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
  • Pair this with a hearty cab so help soak up all the flavors. Yum!

If you end up making these, please feel free to tag me on Instagram or use the hashtag #basickneads!

Peppers Nutritional Info

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