Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos
These Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos are wildly delicious, and are the perfect easy appetizer for parties, football watching, and sports gatherings. Jalapeños are stuffed with cream cheese and Mexican blend cheeses, then wrapped in bacon for a simple but tasty party snack.
Some of the best things in life are the simplest, and this recipe is proof of that.
There are many different ways you can make these Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers, including the grill, the smoker, and even the air fryer, but my favorite method is to simply roast them in a hot oven.
Throwing them on a smoker like the Traeger does give extra smoky flavor, but it takes much longer. A charcoal or gas grill is also nice, but you may be limited by the weather, depending on time of year. And the air fryer is too small to accommodate making any reasonable number of these bacon-wrapped jalapenos.
So truly, the oven is the overall winner here, as it can accommodate multiple trays at once if you’re making these for a party, and it isn’t contingent on any weather conditions.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Crazy delicious – Each bite is smoky, spicy, creamy, cheesy, meaty, and flavorful. I seriously love these, and they are very much a crowdpleaser that disappears off the tray very quickly.
Simple – Minimal ingredients are needed to make these, but they’re still full of flavor and texture.
Make-ahead friendly – You can prep all of the bacon wrapped jalapeños a day or two before, then simply pop the stuffed jalapeños in the oven right before you’d like to serve them.
This recipe is one of my favorite football season snacks, and they’re reminiscent of a jalapeno popper, but without being deep fried or breaded. Their savory flavor is so satisfying, and always a huge hit with guests.
Tips for the Best Results
Buy larger jalapeños – If you can, try to purchase larger jalapeno peppers that are 3 to 4 inches in length. Sometimes this isn’t always possible, but larger peppers are easier to work with and can hold more filling.
Don’t overstuff – It’s one of my pet peeves when things are understuffed, and you definitely don’t want to do that here. But also be careful not to overstuff them, as any extra filling will simply overflow and burn on the tray.
Avoid thick cut bacon – This is an instance where thinner bacon is better, because it wraps more easily, cooks faster, and will give you a better ratio in not overpowering the balance of ingredients in each bite. You won’t get crispy bacon with the thick stuff.
A Note on the Heat/Spice Level
Removing the seeds and ribs (the white membrane inside) from the jalapeño peppers drastically reduces the heat and spicy factor, but you should know that fresh jalapenos are always somewhat spicy. In my experience, it’s always somewhat luck of the draw, where sometimes you happen upon a particularly spicy pepper, and there’s no way to tell in advance.
If you want something less spicy, I recommend using sweet mini peppers as I do in this Stuffed Mini Peppers recipe. They are SO delicious and a colorful appetizer that everyone always enjoys. Often times for parties, I will make both.
Step by Step Overview:
Start by prepping the jalapeños.
Cut each pepper in half, then use a melon baller to scoop out the ribs and seeds. If you have gloves, I recommend using them while you’re handling the hot peppers.
I have this double-sided melon baller that has a smaller scoop on one side, perfect for fitting in the jalapeños.
Removing the seeds and ribs will cut down considerably on the spiciness!
Consider Leaving the Stems On
You may cut off the stems if you wish, if you want each piece to be completely edible. However, I like to leave them on so there’s a “handle” of sorts, and because I also like the look they give. But it’s up to you, and makes no difference in cook time.
Place the prepped jalapeños in a bowl and toss with oil, sea salt, and black pepper:
In a small bowl, combine softened cream cheese, shredded mexican blend cheese, and pressed garlic cloves:
What other cheeses can you use?
I like buying the pre-shredded Mexican Blend because I only have to buy one thing, and it gives me a well rounded mix with multiple cheeses. However, you could also use quality cheddar cheese, a spicy pepper jack cheese, or colby jack instead.
Mix that together, then use a spoon to stuff each jalapeno half with the cream cheese mixture, placing them on a baking sheet in a single layer as you fill each one:
About a tablespoon of cream cheese filling per pepper half should be about right, but it ultimately depends on size. Take care not to over or underfill them.
Wrap each jalapeño half with a strip of bacon, placing the bacon seams underneath the jalapeño on the baking tray:
I find that using toothpicks is unnecessary so long as you make a point to put the ends of each slice of bacon underneath each pepper, so the weight of the pepper itself holds the seams down.
Make ahead Instructions
If you want to make these ahead of time, this is the point where you could stash the cookie sheet away in the fridge for the next day. Cover well with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out, or use a tray with a lid.
Then just bake them when you want to serve. They will taste just as good as freshly made, so this is a really great make-ahead option and perfect party appetizer.
Roast the bacon wrapped jalapeños at 350 degrees F for a total cooking time of about 25-30 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and the cheese is golden on top:
Now you’re ready to eat! This is one of my favorite appetizers for game day, and the bonus is that it’s fairly low carb. Enjoy!
What to Serve with this Recipe
These Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños are plenty good enough to enjoy on their own, but it can be fun to serve them with Blue Cheese Dip and the usual accompaniments of Baked Chicken Wings and a classic Buffalo Chicken Dip.
I also like to make a batch of Stuffed Mini Peppers to accommodate those who may be sensitive to spicy foods, and other stuffed appetizers like Stuffed Mushroom Caps, Crab Stuffed Avocado, or Stuffed Hot Cherry Pepper Poppers. Pairing with other finger food is always a good choice.
Variations to Try
I find the simplicity of these bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers to be perfect, but if you want to play with adding other flavors in the future, feel free. Try adding sliced green onions, garlic powder, or onion powder to the cream cheese filling.
Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Yes, you can either freeze them cooked or uncooked, though I recommend freezing them uncooked for better texture. Assemble them completely, then store in the freezer for up to 2 months. When ready to bake, add an extra 5 to 10 minutes to the cook time, baking them straight from the freezer.
Yes, assemble completely and store in the fridge a day before you plan to make them. Or you can freeze them per the instructions above.
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Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños
- 1/2 lb jalapeños
- 1 tbsp neutral oil like olive oil, ghee, etc.
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup shredded mexican blend cheese
- 2 large garlic cloves pressed
- 12 ounces bacon
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Remove the stems from the jalapeños if desired, then cut the jalapeños in half.
- Use a melon baller to remove the seeds and ribs. This will cut down on the spiciness.
- Place the prepped jalapeños in a bowl with the oil, salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
- Mix together the cream cheese, shredded cheese, and garlic, then use a spoon to spread it into each jalapeño.
- Wrap each jalapeño with a piece of bacon*, with the seams underneath the pepper and the cheese filling side up.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes**, until the bacon is cooked through and the cheese is golden on top. Enjoy!
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated September 2018 with new photos, writing, and recipe. Originally published March 2012. This post contains an affiliate link.