If you're craving your favorite restaurant jalapeno poppers, make them at home! Decide if you want to fill jalapenos with cream cheese and roll them in breadcrumbs before deep frying them. If you don't want to deep-fry the poppers, cut the peppers in half before filling them. Bake the poppers until they're crispy and browned. For coating-free poppers, fill jalapeno halves with a bit of cheddar cheese and wrap a slice of bacon around them. Roast the simple poppers until the bacon browns and the peppers soften.
Classic Deep-Fried Jalapeno Poppers
1 cup (113 g) coarsely grated cheddar cheese
1 cup (113 g) coarsely grated monterey cheese
1/2 teaspoon (1 g) ground pepper, divided
1 teaspoon (5.5 g) salt, divided
1 teaspoon (5 ml) hot sauce
3 large eggs
1 cup (125 g) plain dry bread crumbs
2 teaspoons (4 g) dried oregano
4 cups (950 ml) vegetable oil for frying
Makes 12 poppers
Baked Crispy Jalapeno Poppers
8 ounces (225 g) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons (7.5 g) chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon (2.5 g) salt
¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon (1.5 g) garlic powder
¼ teaspoon (0.75 g) onion powder
Pinch of smoked paprika, optional
1 cup (113 g) finely grated pepper jack cheese
3 tablespoons (42 g) butter
1 teaspoon (3 g) garlic, finely minced
½ cup (25 g) panko breadcrumbs
Makes 12 poppers
Simple Roasted Jalapeno Poppers
6 ounce (180 g) block of sharp cheddar cheese
8 strips of bacon
Makes 16 poppers
Method 1 of 3:Making Classic Deep-Fried Jalapeno PoppersDownload Article
1Slice 12 jalapenos lengthwise and near the stem end. Rinse the jalapenos and dry them with a towel. Use a small paring knife to cut a long slit from the stem to the end of each pepper. Cut the slit deep enough to slice through to the seeds in the center of the pepper. Use the paring knife to cut a small horizontal slit near the stem.
The long slit and small slit near the top should make a T.
Ensure that you're only cutting through 1 side of the jalapenos or you'll end up with halved peppers.
2Remove the seeds from the center of the jalapenos. Peel back the sides of the slit so you can scoop out the seeds with a spoon or paring knife. You can also use kitchen shears to snip off the seed pack near the stem.
If you have sensitive skin, consider wearing gloves when you're handling the cut peppers. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling them too.
3Mix together the cheese, hot sauce, and seasonings. Get out a small bowl and stir together 1 cup (113 g) of coarsely grated cheddar cheese, 1 cup (113 g) of coarsely grated monterey cheese, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of hot sauce, 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) of ground pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon (3.8 g) of salt until they're combined.
4Fill the jalapenos and press them shut. Divide the seasoned cheese filling among the 12 jalapenos. Peel open the slits in the pepper and spread the cheese filling throughout the pepper's cavity. Then press the slit shut so the cheese is enclosed. Fill all of the peppers. Set the stuffed jalapenos aside.
The cheese filling will help the jalapenos keep their shape.
5Whisk the eggs in a shallow bowl. Crack 3 large eggs into a shallow bowl and use a whisk or a fork to beat them. Set the bowl of eggs aside while you set up a dredging station.
6Combine the breadcrumbs with seasonings. Get out another shallow bowl and measure 1 cup (125 g) of plain dry bread crumbs into it. Stir in 2 teaspoons (4 g) of dried oregano, 1/4 teaspoon (0.5 g) of the ground pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon (1.5 g) of salt. Set the bowl next to the bowl with the beaten eggs.
7Dip the stuffed jalapenos in the beaten eggs and breadcrumbs. Lower a stuffed jalapeno into the beaten eggs and lift it up so the excess egg drips back into the bowl. Put the pepper into the seasoned breadcrumbs and roll it so it's completely coated. Repeat this for each jalapeno.
8Coat the jalapenos in another layer of egg and breadcrumbs. Lower the coated jalapenos back into the beaten eggs and lift them up so the excess egg drips back down. Roll the jalapenos in the breadcrumbs again so there's another coating of seasoning. Set the prepared poppers on a baking sheet or work surface while you heat the oil.
9Heat the vegetable oil to 325 °F (163 °C). Pour 4 cups (950 ml) of vegetable oil into a medium saucepan with high sides. Turn on a burner to medium-high heat and attach a deep-fat thermometer to the side of the pan. Heat the oil until the temperature reaches 325 °F (163 °C).
10Fry 4 of the poppers for 5 to 6 minutes. Once the oil is hot, lower 4 of the jalapeno poppers into the oil and fry them until they're browned and crispy. Use a slotted spoon or skimmer to remove the fried poppers from the oil and transfer them to a paper-towel lined plate.
11Fry the rest of the poppers in batches and serve them immediately. Once you've removed the fried poppers, let the oil heat back up to 325 °F (163 °C). Fry the remaining poppers in batches of 4. Serve the hot poppers with your favorite dipping sauces such as ranch, creamy cilantro dip, or sweet and spicy sauce once you've finished frying all 12.
Avoid storing the leftover poppers since the coating will become soggy.
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review
Method 2 of 3:Making Baked Crispy Jalapeno PoppersDownload Article
1Trim off the stem ends and slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise. Rinse off 6 jalapenos and use a small knife to cut off the stem ends from each pepper. Slice each pepper in half lengthwise.
2Scrape and rinse away the seeds. Use a spoon or melon baller to scrape away the seeds from each jalapeno half. Run the halves under cold water to rinse away any seeds that you couldn't scrape away. Set the halves on a towel to dry.
3Combine the cream cheese with the seasonings and shredded cheese. Set 8 ounces (225 g) of cream cheese into a medium bowl to soften. Stir in 2 tablespoons (7.5 g) of chopped fresh cilantro, ½ teaspoon (2.5 g) of salt, ¼ teaspoon (0.5 g) of freshly ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon (1.5 g) of garlic powder, ¼ teaspoon (0.75 g) of onion powder, and 1 cup (113 g) of finely grated pepper jack cheese. If you want a smokier filling, stir in an optional pinch of smoked paprika.
4Fill each jalapeno half with seasoned cheese filling. Lay all of the jalapeno halves on a baking sheet or work surface. Use a small spoon or cookie scoop to divide the cheese filling among the 12 jalapeno halves. Use the back of the spoon to spread the filling so the filling is even.
5Preheat the oven to 400 °F (204 °C) and set the filled peppers in a dish. Get out an 8 x 8-inch (20 x 20-cm) baking dish next and place each of the filled pepper halves in it so the filling faces up.
6Heat the butter and garlic for 1 minute. Place 3 tablespoons (42 g) of butter into a small skillet and turn the heat to medium. Once the butter is melted, stir in 1 teaspoon (3 g) of finely minced garlic and cook it just until it becomes fragrant.
7Stir in the panko breadcrumbs. Turn off the burner and stir in ½ cup (25 g) of panko bread crumbs until they're combined with the melted garlic butter. If you don't have panko breadcrumbs, you can use dry breadcrumbs but the poppers won't be as crispy.
8Dip the filled sides of the peppers in the panko mixture. Hold 1 filled jalapeno half by its sides and turn the filling side down into the panko mixture. The flavorful breadcrumbs will stick to the seasoned cheese filling. Set the jalapeno popper back into the baking dish so the breadcrumb side is facing up. Dip all of the jalapeno halves in the breadcrumbs and place them in the dish.
9Bake the jalapeno poppers for 20 to 25 minutes. Put the baking dish in the preheated oven and cook them until the breadcrumbs become golden and toasted. The peppers will soften a little as they cook. Remove the baking dish from the oven.
10Broil the poppers for 1 minute, if you want crispier poppers. Turn your broiler on to high and set the baking dish with the poppers about 3 inches (7.6 cm) to 4 inches (10 cm) below the heat source. Broil the peppers for 1 minute so they darken and crisp up. Turn off the oven or broiler and serve the poppers while they're hot and crunchy.
Avoid storing the leftovers because they'll become soggy as they're stored.
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review
Method 3 of 3:Making Simple Roasted Jalapeno PoppersDownload Article
1Preheat the oven to 400 °F (204 °C) and prepare a baking sheet. Lay a sheet of foil over a baking sheet and set it aside while you prepare the poppers.
2Slice the jalapenos in half and remove the seeds. Use a sharp knife to slice 8 jalapenos in half lengthwise. Leave the stems on the halves to prevent the cheese filling from leaking out as the poppers bake. Use a spoon to scrape the seeds out of the peppers.
3Cut the cheese and fill the jalapeno halves. Get out a 6-ounce (180 g) block of sharp cheddar cheese and cut it into 16 evenly sized pieces. Depending on the shape of the block, you may need to trim the pieces so they fit the jalapeno halves.
4Cut the bacon in half and wrap each pepper with a piece. Cut 8 strips of bacon in half and wrap 1 piece of bacon around each cheese-filled jalapeno half. Set the bacon-wrapped poppers on the foil-lined baking sheet.
Ensure that the ends of the bacon are tucked under the peppers so they don't unwrap as they cook.
5Roast the poppers for 20 to 25 minutes. Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook the peppers until they blister and the bacon browns. The cheese should melt once the poppers have finished baking. Remove and serve the poppers immediately.
If you're using thick-cut bacon, the poppers may need to cook an extra 5 to 10 minutes.
Store leftover poppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. Warm them up for 10 minutes in a 350 °F (177 °C) oven before you want to serve them.