Baked Double Cheese Stuffed Jalapeño Pepper Poppers

dsc_95291I have made many variations of this recipe, including filling the entire pepper and deep-frying after dipping in egg white and rolling in flour and crumbs.  That version always ends up messy and way too much work. And of course, the risk of working with hot oil.   You’ll be treated like a kitchen rock star if you are asked to bring an appetizer to a cocktail party… Been there… Just saying 😉

These cheese stuffed peppers are easy to prep, fewer calories (baked vs deep-fried) and the full flavour of the pepper and cheese pops in your mouth.

Double Cheese Jalapeno Pepper Poppers

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Time: 45 mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

The #1 item you need is rubber or latex gloves for handling the peppers.. I kid you not… Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  The capsaicin oil found in the white skin (placenta) that the seeds are attached to can burn your skin, eyes, etc for HOURS once contact.

  • 15 Jalapeño peppers (sliced in half lengthwise)
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choosing)
  • 1-1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp of each salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (Italian style), gluten-free crumbs, or panko
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • dash of salt and pepper

This recipe with its basic ingredients taste amazing, but don’t be afraid to mix this recipe up. Add 1 cup of precooked ground beef, crumbled sausage or bacon to the mix.  Wrap with bacon, prosciutto or pancetta once the pepper are stuffed and dipped into the crumbs.  Add and variation of your favourite herbs and spices to the mix.  Try adding roasted garlic, fennel, blackened red pepper pieces, and crumbled sausage.   They were delicious. Use your imagination and your pantry.

DSC_9508In a medium-sized bowl whip the cream cheese until smooth.   Add the chili powder, salt and pepper, and shredded cheddar cheese and gently mix in until incorporated.  DSC_9505Wash the peppers and slice in half lengthwiseIMG_5354Use a paring knife or a melon baller (I find it’s easier to use) to aid in removing the seeds and white membrane.  Try to keep the stem attached to the pepper, for no reason other than it looks awesome for presentation.DSC_9509Use a paper towel to wipe out moisture and remove any excess seeds that remainDSC_9507Using a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop or a spoon add a tablespoon or more of the cream cheese mix into the pepper pressing in until slightly rounded.IMG_0060 Press the cheese into the pepper with the back of your spoonIMG_0063Don’t worry about being perfect
IMG_0065 Add the breadcrumbs to a small bowl and add the chili spice, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine.  Keeping the stem attached helps with filling and coating the cheese in the bread crumbsIMG_0067Press the pepper (cheese side down) into the bowl of breadcrumbs until all the cheese is coated.
IMG_0069Gently shake off any excess crumbs.
IMG_0071All set to place the peppers cheese side up on a baking sheet and place in preheated 350° oven for 22-25 minutes and bake until golden.  Keep an eye on them in the last 5 minutes as you don’t want all the cheese to bubble out of the pepper.  If this is happening the peppers are finished.DSC_9529I like to serve baked stuffed peppers with salsa and sour cream placed in small ramekins on a platter.DSC_9535 When serving on individually, place 1-4 peppers per plate and add a small amount (2-3tsp) of salsa and sour cream neatly to the side or in a small dip/sauce cup.

TIP:

These peppers are freezable, the peppers will be as tasty and delicious but the pepper won’t be as crisp as if they would have been if baked fresh.

To freeze,  place the prepared peppers on a baking sheet.  Place in the freezer for one-two hours, remove and place neatly into a ziplock container.  Remove excess air, and label the bag.  Don’t forget to add the date, the oven temperature and baking time.

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