It’s football season, and it’s about time for a proper jalapeño popper recipe on this food blog! These jalapeño poppers are lighter than most since they’re baked, not fried, and bacon-free (more on that in a minute).
These jalapeño poppers are stuffed with a fresh, herbed cream cheese mixture and topped with just enough cheddar cheese to turn golden. They are beyond delicious, and they’re not greasy at all. If a popper could be gourmet, this one is! I think they’re going to be your new favorite.
The inspiration for these stuffed jalapeños came from my assistant-turned-friend Megan’s birthday party for her husband. The guests all brought party snacks and a few even brought Cookie and Kate recipes, which was a fun surprise.
Someone brought jalapeño poppers wrapped in bacon, and I eyed them enviously. Being a vegetarian and a former bacon lover, I can appreciate the crisp, rich, smoky flavor that bacon must have brought to those poppers.
I came home with the mission to make bacon-free jalapeño poppers that taste just as good. Around that time, Kettle Brand reached out for a sponsorship and sent me the most amazing Organic Country Style Barbecue potato chips. I have a soft spot for potato chips and they made my jalapeño popper dreams come true!
The barbecue potato chips offer a similarly crisp, rich, smoky flavor that I can’t get enough of. Bonus? The chips are gluten free, so that means these poppers are gluten free as well. Poppers for everyone!
Jalapeño Popper Notes & Tips
How to slice your jalapeños
Most jalapeño popper recipes suggest slicing the jalapeños in half, but there is a better way! If you slice off the top one-third of the pepper lengthwise, you’ll have a stronger pepper shape to stuff. It will retain its shape better in the oven, and you can stuff a little more into each one this way.
Top with cheddar cheese
Instead of mixing cheese into the cream cheese mixture (which makes the mixture bubble up and turns the poppers to the side), I simply topped each popper with a small amount before baking. That way, you get the best of the cheese flavor (the golden part) without the trouble.
Keep an eye on them
Pull the poppers out of the oven just as the cheese is turning golden, around 11 to 12 minutes into baking. If you go much longer, the cheese might turn the poppers to the side. If that happens, though, no worries—just use a spoon to scoop it back inside. You’re going to cover them with a potato chip-and-herb mixture anyway.
How to crush your chips
To crush the chips, you can blend them in a food processor until they’re broken into fine crumbs. If you don’t have one, you can crush them with a rolling pin or smash them around in a sturdy bag!
Please let me know how these jalapeño poppers turn out for you in the comments! Your feedback is so important to me.
Baked Jalapeño Poppers
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 12 peppers 1x
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
This lightened-up baked jalapeño popper recipe will be a big hit! They’re stuffed with fresh, herbed cream cheese, and topped with a crispy and irresistible barbecue potato chip topping. Plus, they’re vegetarian and gluten free. Recipe yields 12 stuffed peppers.
- 12 large jalapeño peppers
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
- ¼ cup chopped green onion, plus 1 tablespoon for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ⅓ cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, optional
- 1 big handful Kettle Brand Country Style Barbecue potato chips
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Cut off one-third of each pepper lengthwise (see photos). Use a small spoon (a serrated grapefruit spoon works great) to scoop out the seeds and membranes from each pepper, and discard those pieces.
- In a bowl, combine the cream cheese, ¼ cup chopped cilantro and green onion, garlic powder, onion powder and salt. Stir to combine.
- Stuff the peppers with the cream cheese mixture (you might have a small amount left over). Top each of the peppers with a small mound of cheese lengthwise.
- Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and starting to turn golden.
- Meanwhile, place a big handful of chips in a food processor and process until the chips are broken into tiny pieces (or, you can crush them under a rolling pin). Stir the feta, if using, and the remaining 1 tablespoon of cilantro and green onion into the chips.
- Transfer the jalapeño poppers to a large serving dish and top each pepper with the crushed chip mixture. Serve!
Storage suggestions: If you have leftovers (which is unlikely!), they keep well in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 3 days. Gently reheat in the microwave or oven before serving.
Prepare in advance: I haven’t tried, this, but I believe you could stuff the peppers in advance and refrigerate for later. When it’s time to bake, top them with cheese and proceed as written.
▸ Nutrition Information
This post was created in partnership with Kettle Brand chips. Check out their Instagram page for more snack inspiration! Opinions are my own, always. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who support C+K.