Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño Poppers

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Dry Time: 40 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 12 servings
Yield: 50 poppers
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
392 Calories
29g Fat
23g Carbs
11g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 392
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 11g 53%
Cholesterol 61mg 20%
Sodium 418mg 18%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 9%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 11g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 250mg 19%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 194mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Crispy, spicy, and cheesy jalapeño poppers are a very popular appetizer in restaurants, and our accessible recipe can bring the bite-sized treats to your table in all their glory without much trouble. It just takes some time, easy-to-find ingredients, and patience when assembling the jalapeños to make these tasty bites your new go-to appetizer when decadent and spicy food is in order.

Our recipe requires a little preparation. When working with peppers like these, we recommend you use disposable gloves and avoid touching your face, as the jalapeño juices can get into your eyes or nose and cause an uncomfortable burn.

After hollowing out the peppers comes the cheesy filling and deep-frying until a golden-brown color sets all around the jalapeños and they're ready for the serving plate. The irresistible crisp exterior is only complemented by a creamy warm inside. Beautiful on their own as an appetizer or snack, these jalapeños can double as a side dish for milder flavors like grilled chicken breast or carne asada. Alternatively, serve them with chips, salsa, and guacamole for a festive spread.

Before you start, be sure to have at hand an oil for frying that can withstand the temperature required for deep-frying. Canola, peanut, and vegetable oils are good choices. For a non-vegetarian version, add chopped bacon into the cream cheese filling for extra flavor and crunch.

1:44

Click Play to See These Spicy Jalapeño Poppers Come Together

Ingredients

  • 11 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 2 cups pepper jack cheese, shredded

  • 25 jalapeño peppers, seeded and cut in half

  • 3/4 cup milk

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs, or panko breadcrumbs

  • 3 to 4 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jalapeño poppers ingredients

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, oregano, chili powder, and pepper jack cheese. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Reserve.

     Combine the cream cheese, oregano, chili powder, and pepper jack cheese

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Lower the boil to a simmer, blanch the pepper halves for 2 minutes and then place in an ice water bath. Drain and dry thoroughly with paper towels.

    Simmer and blanch the pepper halves

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Carefully spoon the cream cheese mixture into the blanched jalapeño pepper halves. Reserve.

    Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the blanched jalapeño pepper halves

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. In a small bowl, combine the milk and egg.

    Combine the milk and egg

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour and salt. Place the breadcrumbs in another shallow bowl and set them side by side to prepare your dredging station.

    Two bowls: one with flour and salt and the other with breadcrumbs

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Dip the stuffed jalapeños into the milk, and then into the seasoned flour mixture, making sure they are thoroughly coated. Repeat the process with all halves and place the coated jalapeños on wire racks to dry for about 10 minutes.

    Dip the stuffed jalapeño into the milk and then into the seasoned flour mixture

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Dip the jalapeños in the milk mixture again and then roll them in breadcrumbs to coat. The first milk and flour coat helps the breadcrumb to stick better to the pepper. Place all jalapeños on a clean baking sheet or baking dish that can fit inside your fridge.

    Jalapeño poppers on a rack

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Allow the coated peppers to dry for 30 to 40 minutes in the fridge. Reserve all dredging station ingredients, placing the milk and egg mixture in the fridge as well. If after 40 minutes you notice any jalapeños to be in need of extra dredging, repeat the breading process—milk mixture and breadcrumbs.

    Breadcrumb covered jalapeño poppers

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Heat 2 to 3 inches of oil to 365 F in a large skillet. Deep-fry the jalapeño poppers from 2 to 4 minutes each, until golden brown and on all sides. Add more oil in between batches, as needed, and wait for it to heat up again before adding more jalapeños. Don't overcrowd the skillet.

    Jalapeño poppers frying in oil

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  11. Remove the jalapeños poppers and let them drain on paper towels before plating.

    Jalapeño poppers on paper towels

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Make-Ahead Instructions

Here are a few options for you to choose from when making these poppers ahead of time:

  • Make the jalapeño poppers and reheat them in a 350 F oven for 20 minutes when ready to serve.
  • Bypass the deep-frying stage and bake the jalapeño poppers in a greased baking sheet in a 350 F oven, covered for 10 minutes, and then uncovered for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Prep them in advance, stuff them, and freeze the jalapeños without frying. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze until hard, then package in a single layer in plastic freezer containers. Fry in oil at 365 F for 3 to 6 minutes. Alternatively, bake at 350 F for 20 to 30 minutes until hot all the way through, golden brown, and crisp.

Whole Jalapeño Poppers

To serve whole jalapeño poppers:

  • Find halves that are similar in size, stuff them with less filling so they won't ooze out when frying.
  • Sandwich the halves together.
  • Go through the milk, flour, breading, and chilling process as instructed.
  • When frying, flip the poppers halfway through to ensure even cooking.
  • Dry on top of paper towels before serving.