The Cozy Cook

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Jalapeño Poppers

These classic Jalapeño Poppers are oven baked with a crunchy panko topping. The warm cream cheese filling has savory bites of bacon along with cheddar, chives, sour cream, and my own little secret ingredient!

Be sure to try my Popcorn Chicken recipe next!

A plate of Jalapeno Poppers with chives and bacon on top.

Jalapeño Poppers

I could live on these Jalapeño Poppers. The classic cream cheese filling has savory bites of bacon combined with cheddar, chives, a dab of sour cream, along with my secret ingredient, and a crunchy panko topping. (The panko topping is absolutely incredible.)

What is this secret ingredient, you ask? A touch of ranch seasoning. (See tools section below for the kind that I use.) This ingredient is optional, but showstopping.

These are an easy make-ahead appetizer for game day or last minute entertaining. Just be warned- they go quickly. My husband and I could devour an entire batch ourselves, I’m sure of it. 

How to Make It

See recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.

Combine the softened cream cheese, cheddar, sour cream, chives, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, and diced bacon.

A bowl of jalapeno popper cream cheese filling before and after being mixed.

Cut each jalapeño in half and scoop out the membrane and seeds. Fill each with the prepared filling.

Jalapeno peppers cut in half before and after being filled with cream cheese filling.

Combine panko breadcrumbs, melted butter, and garlic powder. Dip each pepper, filling-side-down, into the breadcrumb mixture for even coating. Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes. Broil at 400° for 1 minute if desired. Let cool slightly prior to serving.

Jalapeno Poppers on a baking sheet before and after being baked.

Make Ahead Method

  • Refrigerate: Assemble 1-2 days ahead of time, but leave out the panko topping until just before baking. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Add the topping, and bake as outlined.
  • Freeze: Assemble 1-2 months ahead of time, and leave out the panko topping. Cover and freeze. Thaw overnight, add the panko topping, and bake as outlined.

Pro Tips

  • Make sure you wear gloves for this. I’ve even worn (clean) thin winter gloves when I’ve run out of cooking gloves. 😂 (Wash them after.)
  • I use Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Yellow for this, but sometimes I like to also incorporate some white cheddar and/or Monterey Jack.
  • This recipe uses 12 jalapeños and makes 24 poppers. (They go quicker than you think and leftovers can be frozen.)
  • To adjust the number of servings: Hover over the number of servings at the top of the recipe card in the middle and adjust the slider left or right. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
  • Keto: Pork Rinds can be used instead of Panko if needed.

Storage

  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • These reheat well in a preheated 350° oven for 10 minutes.

A plate of Jalapeno Poppers with panko breading on top and a cream cheese filling.

Tools For This Recipe

(Amazon affiliate links)- Check out all of my kitchen essentials here.

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Jalapeno Poppers on a white plate topped with crispy panko breadcrumbs and bacon.

Jalapeño Poppers

5 from 6 ratings
These classic Jalapeño Poppers are oven baked with a crunchy panko topping. The warm cream cheese filling has savory bites of bacon along with cheddar, chives, sour cream, and ranch seasoning!

Ingredients

  • 12 jalapeños, about 4 inches long
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream, can sub mayo
  • 2 tablespoons chives, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning, optional but delicious
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 strips bacon, cooked and finely diced

Topping

  • 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

Prep Work

  • Set the cream cheese aside to allow it to come down to room temperature. Fry the bacon over low heat until crispy on each side. Set it aside on a paper towel lined plate and dice finely once cooled.

Cut the Jalapeños

  • Important: Put gloves on while you prepare the jalapeños and avoid touching your face. The “capsaicin”, (chemical around the seeds and the ribs), is what gives them heat and this can definitely burn your hands/skin during preparation as they require extensive handling. Gloves make it a snap.
  • Carefully slice each jalapeño down the middle lengthwise. Try to slice the stem in half as well and keep it intact for that classic jalapeno shape.
  • Use a paring knife or a small spoon to carefully remove the membrane and the seeds and discard them. The more that’s left behind the more heat these will have. I remove them almost completely so that the inside is hollow. (See process shots in blog post above.)

Fill and Bake

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • Combine the softened cream cheese, cheddar, sour cream, chives, ranch seasoning, garlic powder, and diced bacon.
  • Use a small spoon or butter spreader to fill each jalapeño and smooth it out at the top.
  • Combine the panko, melted butter, and garlic powder in a medium bowl. Dip the jalapenos into the breadcrumbs, filling-side-down, for a nice even coating on the top. Transfer to a light colored 11 x 16-inch baking sheet. (Dark baking sheets attract more heat and can cause them to cook too quickly.)
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, until golden on the top. If desired, broil at 400 for 1 minute to brown the tops just a little more. (Watch them closely during this time and ensure the stems don’t get too black.)
  • Remove and let cool slightly prior to serving.

Notes

Pro Tips
  • Make sure you wear gloves for this. I've even worn (clean) thin winter gloves when I've run out of cooking gloves. 😂 (Wash them after.)
  • I use Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Yellow for this, but sometimes I like to also incorporate some white cheddar and/or Monterey Jack.
  • Keto: Pork Rinds can be used instead of Panko if needed.

Make Ahead Method
  • Refrigerate: Assemble 1-2 days ahead of time, but leave out the panko topping until just before baking. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. Add the topping, and bake as outlined.
  • Freeze: Assemble 1-2 months ahead of time, and leave out the panko topping. Cover and freeze. Thaw overnight, add the panko topping, and bake as outlined.

Storage
  • Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
  • These reheat well in a preheated 350° oven for 10 minutes.

The nutritional information provided is an estimate and is per popper. There are 24 jalapeño poppers in this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 82kcal, Carbohydrates: 2g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.02g, Cholesterol: 19mg, Sodium: 142mg, Potassium: 47mg, Fiber: 0.3g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 286IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 0.1mg
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14 comments on “Jalapeño Poppers”

  1. I don’t normally leave reviews for recipes unless they are exceptional. This one is exceptional. I followed the recipe exactly, and these are the best poppers I have ever made. I’ve made them before and followed other recipes and they were good, but not great. If you have any doubts, just give this one a try and they will all be eased and you will have friends and family saying how good these are.

    • That makes me so happy to hear Jennifer! This is one of my go to party snacks. I make them for my husband and his friends when they are watching sports too. They always get the best comments. Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a review!😃

  2. I have made these before and they are fantastic! I’m making them again as a Father’s Day app per request 😊 My boys are jalapeño lovers and so I was wondering if you would suggest adding additional chopped jalapeños and/or red pepper flakes to the filling to turn up the heat? Thanks!

    • Hi Sara! I’m so happy that you love this recipe, I love it SOOO much too! I think it’s great that your boys can handle the heat! I would probably add a little bit of red pepper flakes, a little cayenne, and maybe 1-2 teaspoons of hot sauce! Diced jalapeno is also an option as you mentioned, although the previously mentioned ingredients might do the trick! 🙂 Enjoy!!

  3. These were a big hit at my last gathering! I love that you can freeze them and bake them when you’re ready to serve. They are amazing and I think they are the best tasting poppers.

  4. This recipe was so simple and easy to follow. I froze them for a future event. They were a big hit and so delicious.

    • I’m so happy they were such a hit Rosie! I made so many of these this past football season for my husband and his friends. Thanks so much for the great comments and review!😃

  5. I made these for my husbands family last night for the super bowl and oh my goodness, they were INCREDIBLE! No changes or substitutions  – definitely make as is! The bacon and ranch flavors were the star of the show. 

    While running around cooking, I forgot for a moment they were under the broiler and they broiled for an extra 2 minutes but still came out nice and crispy – not burnt. 

    Everything we make of yours is amazing. Thank you so much for these recipes!

    • Hi Noelle! I am sooo happy that you loved these, I am infatuated with them, (lol). Thank goodness they were okay when left under the broiler for those extra 2 minutes (time flies when food is under the broiler, I have come to learn this, lol.) Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

  6. If you freeze them do the jalapeños get soggy when you thaw them?
    Thanks! 

  7. I made these Jalapeno Poppers for a get-together tomorrow but I couldn’t help but eat a few because they looked so good. They are incredible. I literally could have eaten the whole pan. Every single ingredient complemented each other and I couldn’t get enough. I wanted to do a review tomorrow after everyone else had tried them but I am not sure they will make it to the meeting!!! Wait till my husband comes home and smells them!! Outstanding flavor. Love the ranch flavor and I have a feeling I will be asked to make these at every future function I go to!

    • Hi Sandra!!! I am so happy that these were such a hit! I can’t believe how quickly they always go when I serve them to guests or at parties, it sounds like things are going the same for you! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review, I really appreciate it! -Stephanie

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