Jalapeno Poppers have to be one of my favorite snacks. I certainly don’t care how these lovely nuggets of heat come, I think they are fantastic. You can stuff them with cheese, bacon, shrimp, or just about anything else and they are going to disappear. I think the first time I tried one of these was when I was working in a restaurant, or you might just call it a place that served food. I thought these hot poppers were the best thing we had on the menu.
Crispy, creamy, and just a bit spicy, Jalapeno Poppers are a hard-to-beat party snack or tailgate food everyone will love. The next time you get a craving for these classic restaurant apps, forget about going out. You can make the best poppers at home!
What’s a Jalapeno Popper?
Anyone who hasn’t tried a Jalapeno Poppers is in for a real treat with this recipe. It all starts with stuffing a hollowed-out jalapeno pepper full of your choice of cheese and other ingredients. The stuffed peppers are then breaded and fried until golden brown. What is not to love about that? Serve up these beauties with a pineapple curry or a honey Sriracha sauce for an added kick or mellow out the heat with a dairy-based sauce such as sour cream or a blue cheese dip. Whatever way you like to eat your stuffed jalapeno peppers, after you realize how easy they are to make at home, this recipe will become your go-to crowd-pleaser.
Before You Begin
Making Jalapeno Poppers isn’t tricky, but there are a few basics safety tips anyone who does often cook with jalapeno peppers needs to know. Jalapenos peppers are not exceeding hot, but they can pack quite a wallop with a Scoville rating of between 2,500 and 8000. Before preparing the recipe, remember to:
- Wear gloves when working with jalapenos. The peppers can cause slight skin irritation for people who are highly susceptible to capsaicin oil, but the real risk is forgetting you handled peppers and then touching your eyes, nose or other sensitive areas of your body. That is sure to give you a rather nasty surprise. Remember to always wash your hands with soap immediately after preparing the peppers.
- Test your peppers before stuffing them. Some jalapenos are mild, and some are wild. Do yourself a favor and find out which type you have before starting. The tip of the pepper is the mildest part of the pepper and up by the stem is where the heat-level tops out. Slice off the a tiny bit of the tip of the pepper, taste the pepper, and this should give you an idea of how hot they are.
- Reduce the heat by cleaning out the pepper thoroughly. The pepper’s seeds and the very top layer of flesh on the inside of the pepper called the pith contain the most capsaicin oil. Use a small spoon to scrape out the seeds and remove the pith. You can rinse out the peppers to get rid of even more heat. Make sure the peppers are bone dry before starting to stuff.
Make More Than You Need
The recipe below makes 30 poppers, but you can easily make two or three times that amount at one time. Cook them as directed below, let cool, and then freeze solid spread out on a baking sheet. When frozen, place in freezer bags. Reheat in a 350-degree oven until hot, around 20 minutes.
- 30 jalapeno peppers
- 16 ounces cream cheese softened
- 12 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 1 quart of oil for frying
- It is highly recommended you wear gloves when cutting the jalapenos. The oils in the peppers can burn your skin. Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scrape out the pith and the seeds inside of the peppers. The seeds and the pith are where the intense heat is, so you want to remove the heat. In a bowl combine cream cheese and cheddar cheese, stir until well blended. Use a spoon to fill each pepper half with the cream cheese blend.
- Prepare seasoned flour by placing the flour into a small shallow bowl. Add salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder to the flour. Blend spices into flour until it has a uniform appearance. Place milk into a separate shallow bowl. Dip stuffed jalapeno into the seasoned flour, the milk, and then back into the seasoned flour. Place floured pepper on a baking sheet with a rack. Let the peppers "dry" for about 10 minutes. This step is crucial for the peppers. The flour layer will help the stuffing remain inside the pepper, and give the breadcrumbs something to hold onto.
- Pour bread crumbs into a separate bowl. Dip floured jalapeno pepper into the milk and then into the bread crumbs. Place pepper back on the rack. Preheat oil to 350 degrees. Dip pepper into the milk and the bread crumbs for the second time. Go head and dip all, this should be enough drying time for the coating. The bread crumb coating needs about five minutes for its drying time. Fry peppers one or two at a time until golden brown. This will only take a minute or two. Remove from oil and drain on a baking rack. How to cook them from a frozen state: Heat oil to 350 degrees and cook until golden brown.