Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

I must be living under a rock because I just recently learned about jalapeno poppers that are wrapped in bacon instead of battered and deep-fried. Some Texan friends (of friends) brought these little treats to a New Year’s Eve party, and I had to force myself to stop eating them so there would be enough for others! Even though I don’t normally go for spicy dishes.

Apparently this appetizer is very much a “Texan thing,” and once I got home and “googled” it I realized I must be late to the party. Well I guess it’s better late than never so here’s our version of this recipe…just in time for those upcoming Superbowl parties!

Jalapeno Poppers from 100 Days of Real Food

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

Here are a few more football and/or tailgate snack ideas:

football food

Ready to go in the oven…

Jalapeno Poppers from 100 Days of Real Food

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

I must be living under a rock because I just recently learned about jalapeno poppers that are wrapped in bacon instead of battered and deep-fried.
4.9 from 10 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Print Recipe
Servings: 24 pieces

Ingredients
  

  • 12 jalapeños
  • 1 block cream cheese (low fat version not recommended. You can do homemade pimento cheese instead; see note for recipe link)
  • 8 slices bacon smoked, raw

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Slice each jalapeño down the middle and remove both the stem and the seeds. To remove the seeds you can either use a spoon or your finger. If desired, this step can be done while wearing latex gloves, but whatever you do don’t rub your eyes after handling the pepper seeds!
  • Cut the raw bacon in thirds using either a knife or culinary scissors.
  • Using a spoon, fill the jalapeño halves with cream cheese. It’s okay if it gets a little messy.
  • Wrap one small piece of bacon around each cream cheese-filled jalapeno with the bacon seam on the bottom.
  • Protect the baking sheet with a piece of foil and place a drying rack or other cooking rack on top of the foil-lined baking sheet. Place the completed jalapeños on the rack so the bacon grease can drain onto the foil.
  • Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 – 25 minutes or until the bacon looks brown and crisp.
    Serve warm and enjoy!

Notes

  • Pimento cheese recipe – Homemade Pimento Cheese
  • Special equipment needed: Drying rack or other metal grate to put on top of baking sheet and aluminum foil to protect the pan.
  • Don’t be afraid to double this recipe for an extra big crowd.
  • We recommend organic ingredients when feasible.
Nutrition Facts
Nutrition Facts
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
Amount Per Serving
Calories 31 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 49mg2%
Potassium 15mg0%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 5IU0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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82 thoughts on “Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers”

  1. 5 stars
    Drizzle each with 1/4 tsp Maple Syrup after baking – S l o w l y , so it soaks in, and not drip off…
    I also mix 1-2 cloves of minced garlic into the cream cheese & a little shredded cheddar at times

    YES on the gloves.. I knew about not rubbing your eyes… but I peeled a bunch of roasted Jalapenos one time without them.. and my hands burned for hours… not fun….

    Using a Ziplock with a corner snipped off as a pastry bag works Great.. I also use the Ziplock method for filling deviled eggs….. It’s a lot easier than cleaning up my actual pastry bag

  2. We’ve been making these for years! The easiest way to stuff the peppers is to let the cream cheese rest at room temp until really squishy. Then I mix in freshly chopped herbs, put it in a ziplock bag, cut off a small corner, and pipe it onto the jalapeños. Easy!

  3. 5 stars
    I had thought I had invented them until I realized, I too had grown up/currently lived under a rock. Nevertheless…. I love to throw them in the smoker! 250 for about 2 hours, and then finish them in the oven to get a tad crisp.

    Our grocer now sells them, so I think hey I don’t have to make them! But they are $1 a piece.

  4. RACHAEL WINELAND

    We make these with goat cheese for my daughter who is sensitive to cow dairy. I personally think it is even better than cream cheese, and so does my entire family.

  5. I make these on a regular basis and have found that using a grapefruit spoon (it has a serrated tip) to clean the peppers is a quick, easy way to get the membrane and seeds out of the peppers.

  6. Ah! Love poppers! My New Mexico nativeness must protest that this is really a NM thing that the Texans adopted. I guess I’m half/half since I live on the border. My trick to getting the bacon to cook thoroughly is to broil not bake. If you wrap the bacon around really well you can even flip for just a few minutes. The absolute BEST flavor comes from grilling but be ready for a grease fire! I melted a humming bird feeder this way.
    We have a tasty version here too with shrimp, jalepeno flavored cream cheese, and bacon wrap, then grill or just deep fry for a bit. Mmmm! NM at it’s best!

  7. I have made these the last few years BC my jalapeño plants were so prolific that I had tons left after salsa, chili, tacos, etc. They are insanely delicious. You can do easily make them on a pizza stone and save the clean up of a baking sheet. That is how I make mine.

  8. 5 stars
    I pat a good bit of brown sugar on top of each one. It really sets the stage for sweet and spicy! I always cook on a rack…but the bacon seems to never crisp on the bottom. Not sure what I am doing wrong…

  9. 5 stars
    Re: Freezing
    I mix my cream cheese with shredded sharp cheddar prior to filling the jalapeno halves. You can wrap them with bacon and freeze in a single layer OR you can fill the pepper and freeze without the bacon. I had to do this once when my bacon and cream cheese didn’t even out. I’d recommend using parchment paper when freezing so they don’t stick to the pan. Also, you definitely need to bake these on a raised rack, so both sides get crispy!! These are a FAVORITE and whenever I take them anywhere, I NEVER have any to bring any home!!

  10. 5 stars
    Made these, with the pimento cheese recipe, yesterday for my brother in law’s birthday and they were a HUGE hit with both kids and adults. Even my 2 year old gobbled one down. I did have to broil mine on low for a few minutes at the end to get the bacon crispy. Another incredible recipe from 100 Days of Real Food!!!

  11. Can I freeze theese after they have been cooked? I also make mine with shrimp, crab, finely diced shallots or green onions, and cream cheese. They are delicious!!!

    1. Assistant to 100 Days (Amy)

      Hi Kelly. We’ve not tried freezing this dish. Cream cheese typically doesn’t freeze all that well. Let us know if you try it and how it works out. ~Amy

  12. 5 stars
    Yes, these are indeed a Texas staple. I made some last weekend for July 4th. My mom had actually never had them and she normally doesn’t like jalepenos, but she loved these. I had not thought to put them on a rack though. I’ll have to try that next time.

  13. 5 stars
    Hi just a note to the alterations I have made with the recipe. After I cut and clean out the seeds I soak mine in a bowl of salt water for 20 to 30 mintues . This cuts the hot for us wimps. I use pecan flavored cream cheese and maple bacon. It gives them a sweet nutty and maple taste that is to die for. It is very easy to make your own pecan flavored cream cheese I just add minced up pecans and raw sugar to taste and blend to mix well. Either way our family loves them …but my way they disappear so quick I have to set mine aside or I don’t get a bite.

  14. I pre-cooked the bacon on a paper towel before hand and drained all the bacon fat. Then put them in the oven they were delicious and crispy!

  15. I love these! We put a slice of grilled chicken and pepper jack cheese in ours though and wrap half slice bacon around. Grill it too. I will have to try it with the cream cheese!

  16. 5 stars
    These are AMAZING grilled, but we highly recommend using something to catch the grease from the bacon and cheese, like foil or a grilling pan if you have one. But when you grill them, the outside of the pepper gets charred a teeny bit, and it’s delicious!
    Thank you for sharing all your recipes! :) And lunch-packing tips, because us moms need all the help we can get!!

  17. Add a little crushed pineapple to cream cheese for a sweet and savory flavor. Where do you get organic cream cheese? And what is guar gum that I keep seeing in cream cheese?

  18. I have made something like these… mine too took awhile before the bacon got crisp. My question is; do you think if I made these ahead of time, froze them, then took them camping… would they cook up on a camp fire? I’m gonna try it :)

  19. Question about the rack you cook them on – is this a special oven proof rack or can you use a non-stick cooling rack (all metal)?

    1. So I didn’t end up using a rack and it still worked fine. The bacon wasn’t very fatty and I had to cook mine about 10 minutes longer before the bacon crisped (maybe b/c I didn’t use a rack??? I don’t know). I think the extra cooking time made the peppers flatten out/collapse but they still tasted awesome!

    2. Sorry for the delay in my response…I just used a cooling rack (pictured). I think it does help with a better outcome. Glad they still tasted good!

  20. These freeze great! I make a bunch up ahead of time and freeze them on a sheet tray. When frozen I throw them in a zip lock bag. Then I can just cook what I need. No need to defrost.

  21. We fix these all of the time during the summer on the grill! I like to add granulated garlic and worcestershire sauce to the cream cheese. They are to die for! Also, if you don’t like them spicy, making sure to scrape the inside of them really well with a spoon and rinsing them with water helps.

  22. We make these on the grill in the summer. And I’ve also made jalapeno popper sandwiches that were soooo good! I chopped up some jalapenos and sauteed them, then mixed with softened cream cheese and bacon pieces. Then I spread it on bread and buttered the outside and grilled like you would a grilled cheese sandwich. Yummy!

  23. The meat market in our area calls them Cowboy Candy. They are wrapped with natural bacon. Can’t get enough of them!!!! (I think you could stuff a shoe with cream cheese, wrap it in bacon and I’d eat it) ha

  24. They actually have a name! They are called “ARMADILLO EGGS”. I also was shared this recipe from a Texan, and she informed me that is what they’re called. We leave the stems on to make them look like tails, lol. That is what she said to do. If you scoop ALL the ribs and seeds, it is kid friendly. You can use just mini sweet peppers for your kids if you’re too scared. :)

    1. I’m from Texas and that’s exactly what we call them! We do tend to leave the stem on, and we usually grill them, but I like to cut the very top end with the stem off, and eat them in two bites, starting with the stem end. The reason for this is because the stem end is hotter, and I like to end my bite with the less-hot end. ;)

  25. Hi Lisa! I have been following your site for some time now! My husband and daughters are doing it too, and we all just love your recipes! I have a question though, where do you get your bacon? I just told my husband last week that we could no longer eat bacon because all of the ones I could find (I shop in Whole Foods) have been cured with sugar, either brown or raw. We were going to cure our own with honey… but before I go all the way there I would love to know where you got yours! Thanks!

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      We buy uncured bacon at either our Farmers’ Market or EarthFare (Applegate Organic Brand)…good luck!

  26. I made these last night & they were yummy. I have to make an appetizer tomorrow night & used all my jalepenos by I have 3 bell peppers (green, red and yellow) do u honk I could use then to make this?

  27. :) I never knew the rest of the country didn’t know about these things. Y’all have been missing out! I guess this is just one of the perks for being a Texas girl. We make ours pretty much the same except we leave the peppers whole and cook them on the grill. We have a homemade rack to stick the peppers in, so the filling doesn’t run out. You can find the racks in stores down here, or you can get one online. You should look up a recipe for Texas Caviar. It requires some minor adjustments with the dressing(it typically calls for zesty italian, but its easy enough to make), but it is amazing!!

  28. Next Up: Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich!

    P.S. You could also sub that cornstarch with the whole ground cornMEAL for the breading stage in version 2. I make a breading for my fried green tomatoes that is equal parts buttermilk, cornmeal, and flour and it sticks very well and works out just fine. I think the slight hint of corn flavor with the jalepenos would complement wonderfully.

  29. Here are two links for dairy-free vegan versions of the poppers. They are both breaded rather than wrapped in bacon, but they are baked/broiled rather than fried.

    The first: http://kblog.lunchboxbunch.com/2011/02/vegan-jalapeno-poppers.html uses a soy cream cheese product, I think there is one made by Tofutti, and vegan “cheese”.

    The second: http://cadryskitchen.com/2011/11/13/cashew-cheese-stuffed-jalapeno-poppers/ seems a bit more labor-intensive on an already labor-intensive dish, but uses no soy. It makes something called “cashew cheese” to stuff the peppers. It calls for cornstarch, but it is only for the dredging step and I don’t see why that it couldn’t be left out entirely or replaced with WW flour.

    These recipes reminded me that I also enjoy the chedder cheese stuffed version that is breaded. I think they could be baked just as well.

    Ahhhhh. Poppers and Super Bowl Sunday!

  30. For the dairy free alternative, would silken tofu work maybe? Or possibly a little mayonaise mixed with corn or other veggies? Also, these can be made with the red serrano peppers too if you’d like to reduce the heat a little. I love these things too.

  31. I love jalapeno poppers, and when I make them, I add a 4 oz can of diced green chilies, and a small jar of pimentos, both juices and all, to the cream cheese. Then I sprinkle a little bit of chili powder on top. Everyone loves them, and always requests that I make them.

  32. I’ve never used cream cheese in mine… may have to try that! We use jack cheese and stuff the entire jalapeno with that and a medium sized shrimp, wrap it with bacon and grill it. We call it “Fire” and though it’s a labor of love to make, boy is it always a huge hit!

  33. is there a non-dairy alternative (we don’t eat dairy) for the center that is good? I have never tried a faux cream cheese. Since it is a major part of the recipe with a creamy center seems like it wouldn’t be as good without it. Any Ideas? :)

    1. 100 Days of Real Food

      Hmmm…sounds like some put another kind of meat (like sausage) in the middle. Maybe something like grits? Not sure!

  34. For another alternative, mix diced cooked bacon or chicken sausage for non-pork eaters and garlic powder into the cream cheese. Top with diced sundried tomatoes. You can also add mushrooms instead of bacon for a vegetarian version! If you want to turn up the heat, put all the seeds/insides into one bowl as you are deseeding, then dump out and use bowl (no rinsing!) to mix cream cheese. The oils from the insides stay in the bowl and really give it a kick!

  35. Lisa, aren’t these so fab?! YUM. I love them like this, I made a different version this fall. Froze enough for the holidays and still have a few lingering in my freezer. I cut jalepeno’s in half, removed seeds, mixed smoked gouda, organic cream cheese, and crumbled crisped smoked bacon, dash garlic powder. Mixed together and filled each half with this, froze them on a cookie sheet and layered them in ziplocs with saran over each layer. To eat, just thaw a bit, then bake. We found ourselves squabbling over the last ones on the plate. Literally was cutting them so each of us got a last piece. ha ha Thank you for sharing this marvelous snack!!

  36. Try adding a little of your homemade ranch dressing spice mix to the cream cheese. That’s what I do with mine, and they’re heavenly.

  37. Another yummy way is to use pineapple cream cheese. The sweetness of the pineapple works great with the spicy jelepanos!

  38. I just came across your website and am so excited to start the 10 day pledge with my family. The only question I have is that you don’t seem to use a lot of low-fat options. Why do you not recommend them in your recipes?
    Thanks!

    1. I can’t speak for Lisa, and I hope she does reply, but low-fat does not equate to “healthier”. There are many studies out there that the nutrients you consume with animal fats are extremely good for you, particularly if you have a balanced diet that includes a lot of vegetables (esp. raw). There are also studies that show you eat less when you eat “real fat” items. In addition, when talking about diary items, the processing that they do to remove the fat and keep everything homogenous is detrimental to the product and how our bodies utilize it so those products are considered highly processed. Naturally, this is not well accepted, or even well known information because we have been told for years that low-fat is the way to go. I’ve even had my mom tell me that Twizzlers are healthy snacks because , “Look at the label, they don’t have any fat!” (info taught to her via the Weight Watchers program.)

  39. These are good cooked on a smoker, which is how my uncle makes them. I may smoke then finish in the oven as sometimes the bacon doesn’t get as crispy as I would like cooked only on the smoker.

  40. For those who do not like the heat of the jalepenos, you can try the pepperoncini peppers (in the jar – just rinse) or instead of cream cheese, use a piece of chicken breast to make it more filling. Delicious!

  41. These are delicious. I usually mix in some grated cheddar cheese with the cream cheese. Even better – brush them with a little BBQ sauce (of course, this assumes you have have good “real food” BBQ sauce, which I don’t unfortunately.)

      1. Assistant to 100 Days (Jill)

        Hi Kelly. I might just substitute something else for the molasses. Otherwise looks ok. Jill

  42. I just recently had a version of these, only instead of being stuffed with cream cheese, they were stuffed with spicy Italian sausage! They were amazing!! This recipe sounds awesome too. Gluten free too! :)

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