Looking for a crowd pleasing, game day appetizer? This baked jalapeño popper recipe is creamy, lightly spicy, and so delicious that they won't last long!
Why This Recipe Works
- The poppers are baked. This makes them healthier, less greasy, and quicker to prep than deep frying them.
- The spice levels are customizable. The peppers have all the spicy seeds and membranes removed, so they're mild. However, you can add as much heat as you want by adding sriracha to the filling and by serving them with sriracha mayo.
- There's lots of flavor in the filling. A mixture of cream cheese and extra sharp white cheddar add creaminess, while fresh minced garlic adds extra flavor.
Our easy baked jalapeño poppers recipe take only a few simple ingredients. Fortunately, these are found at most grocery stores. Let's talk about the ingredients!
- Jalapeño Peppers: These peppers are mild to medium in heat. Choose ones that are smooth and green without cracks or wrinkles.
- Sriracha: This is an optional ingredient that adds extra heat.
- Cream Cheese: This key ingredient makes the filling creamy and delicious, and helps cut some of the heat from the sriracha. Make sure to use full fat, brick-style cream cheese. We don't recommend substituting with dairy free or vegan cream cheese, as we haven't had good success with it.
- White Cheddar: This sharp white cheddar adds additional flavor to the filling.
See recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Meat Lovers: Try adding crumbled bacon or browned sausage to the filling. Alternatively, wrap a slice of bacon around each popper before baking.
- Extra Cheese: Sprinkle the jalapeño poppers with grated cheese before baking.
- Different Fillings: Instead of the cream cheese filling, try using spinach artichoke dip, buffalo chicken dip, or crab rangoon.
- Breading: Cut off the top ⅓ of the pepper instead of halving them and sutff the filling inside. Dip the poppers in an egg and milk mixture, then dip into crushed potato chips or panko breadcrumbs. Bake on a wire rack, air fry, or deep fry as desired.
How to Make
Gather all the ingredients for the baked jalapeño poppers.
- Rinse and halve the jalapeños, then scrape out the white membranes and seeds with a grapefruit spoon.
- Beat the cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until smooth and fluffy.
- Beat in the cheddar, garlic, and sriracha sauce until smooth.
- Spread the filling in the jalapeño peppers, making sure not to overstuff.
- Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, until the filling is lightly browned and gently bubbling.
- Serve the hot baked jalapeño poppers with sriracha mayo for a dipping sauce and enjoy.
We don't find it necessary to blanch the jalapeños before stuffing them and baking them in the oven. Some recipes suggest boiling jalapeños to remove some of their heat. Much of the heat will be removed when you scrape out the seeds and membranes.
No, we don't recommend making this swap. Serrano peppers are much hotter and they are also rather narrow, making them difficult to stuff.
The exact origins of this appetizer are unclear, but it's likely that they came from Texas. The term "jalapeño poppers" was in use as far back as 1972, so this dish has been around for a while!
Our jalapeño poppers are baked rather than fried, unlike other recipes, making them a healthier option. Also, jalapeños are full of healthy nutrients thanks to capsaicin, the compound which makes them spicy. Each jalapeño popper contains 87 calories, 8g fat, 1g carbs, and 2g protein. You can find more nutritional information in the recipe card.
Enjoy these jalapeño poppers hot and fresh from the oven. Serve with a variety of dipping sauces, such as sriracha mayo, chipotle mayo, buttermilk ranch, sour cream, salsa, or guacamole.
- Make Ahead: These baked jalapeño appetizers work great to make ahead of time. Assemble them the day before, and keep them in the fridge until you're ready to bake them.
- Freeze: If you want to freeze unbaked jalapeño poppers, here's how to do it. Flash freeze the poppers on a cookie sheet for 2-3 hours, then transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to two months.
- Reheat: Place the frozen jalapeño poppers on a foil-lined cookie sheet and bake at 400°F for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned and bubbling.
- Use smooth-skinned jalapeños. Wrinkly-skinned jalapeños will be more spicy.
- If you have sensitive skin, make sure to wear food-safe gloves when your slicing and seeding the jalapeños.
- Keep the stems on the peppers to make them easier to eat.
- Slice the jalapeños in such a way that both halves lay flat, or the filling will slide off as they bake.
- Be careful not to overfill the jalapeño poppers. The filling puffs and bubbles as it cooks, and extra filling will fall out of the popper and stick to the tray.
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Baked Jalapeño Poppers
For the Poppers
- 12 large jalapeño peppers, halved and seeded
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup extra-sharp white cheddar, grated
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
For the Sriracha Mayo Dipping Sauce
- ½ cup mayo
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a large cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
- Rinse the jalapeños and slice each one in half lengthwise without cutting off the stems. Remove the seeds and membrane from each pepper half with a grapefruit spoon.
- Place the cream cheese in a medium bowl and beat with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in the grated cheese, minced garlic, and sriracha sauce until well blended.
- Spread the filling inside each jalapeño, being careful not to overfill. Place in rows on the prepared cookie sheet. Make sure the peppers are level, or the filling will slide off as they bake.
- Bake the peppers at 400°F for 15-20 minutes, until the filling is lightly browned and gently bubbling. Let the peppers cool for 5 minutes.
- While the poppers are baking, make the sriracha mayo. Add sriracha sauce to the mayo to taste and mix until fully blended. Serve with the baked jalapeños.
- Smooth-skinned jalapeños are less spicy than wrinkly-skinned ones.
- Have sensitive skin? Wear food-safe gloves when slicing the jalapeños.
- Leave the stems on the peppers to make the baked jalapeños easier to eat.
- Try to make both halves lay flat, or the filling may slide off in the oven.
- Don't overfill the poppers. The filling puffs and bubbles as it cooks, and extra filling will fall out of the popper and stick to the tray.
Serving sizes and nutritional information are only an estimate and may vary from your results.