Award-winning Texafied game day appetizer. Make a double batch for the win. Jalapeno Poppers, what a welcomed sight at any party. Reminds me of our Texas Guacamole recipe; where there simply isn't ever enough. Classic Texas ingredients combine into a jalapeno popper.
In Texas, where things are bigger, we wanted to go big with the flavor department. And that's what we did with this recipe, added more big flavor with a touch of freshness.
Making the best Texas jalapeno popper always begins at the grocery store. Selecting the best jalapenos for your recipe is the key.
Do you enjoy your peppers hot, or mild? Did you know there's a way to tell how hot a pepper is without even touching one? You can tell by the stems.
Yep, that's right, the stems. The more the stem curves the hotter the pepper.
1. Jalapeno Peppers: 12 to 15 Fresh Jalapeno Peppers Sliced in Half lengthwise
The spiciness of a jalapeno measures 3,500 to 8,000 on the Scoville scale. Picked and consumed while still green, as well, is occasionally allowed to fully ripen and turn red, orange, or yellow. Jalapenos are wider and generally milder than the similar Serrano pepper.
Check out this blog post to get an even more in-depth explanation of shopping for the right peppers and controlling the hotness.
2. Cream Cheese
3. Applewood Bacon
4. Garlic Powder
5. Pimento Cheese - try our "Masters" Tournament Pimento Cheese
Pimento cheese, one ingredient you're sure to find in the south. A true kitchen stable that fits in with our Texas themed Jalapeno poppers. This one ingredient alone will help make any popper's recipe the best at any party.
6. Serrano Peppers - Hotter than Jalapeno peppers by around a factor of 2x, but comes with more flavor. TIP: if you remove the stem and seeds the spice level drops back down around jalapeno.
7. Lime Juice
8. Sweet Onion
A pop of freshness with herbs will make almost any recipe better, if you choose wisely. The use of Cilantro offers the recipe a welcomed pop of freshness.
Did you know Cilantro is a plant grown from coriander seed?
10. Adobo Sauce (Optional)
The addition brings balanced spice with a flavor profile that will keep your guests wondering what you did to make your poppers so special. #texafied
Controlling the Spice
When cleaning the inside of a jalapeno pepper be sure to remove as much of the rib as possible to lower the spice level, if desired. The white part is the (rib) which is the hottest part of the pepper, not the seeds like most believe. With the seeds still being spicy.
Chop/mince one medium onion. Take your time with this step as you don't want large pieces of onion.
The key reason it gets the name, Texas Jalapeno Poppers. The addition of Serrano peppers. This pepper can be hot to most folks, yet if you shop for the ones with straight stems you're going to be ok with controlling the spice level.
Serrano's have a very fruity flavor that is quite special. If you don't like the addition of more heat, no problem, just don't add them. We still have a few more ingredients that makes these Texafied.
Can't make Texas Jalapeno Poppers without bacon.
Chef Tip: You could change out the bacon for prosciutto for a touch of elegance and fanciness.
- 8 oz Cream Cheese / 1 package
- Package of favorite Bacon / Applewood suggested
- 4 tablespoon Pimento Cheese
- Half of one medium Onion Minced
- 1 Tablespoon of Serrano Peppers / minced
- Half of a Lime (You can squeeze more after cooking for a pop of freshness.)
- 2 teaspoon of Adobo sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon Cilantro
- Salt & Pepper
Begin wrapping by the stem and try to keep the bacon flat without curling. This helps the bacon cook quicker and offers a nicer presentation along with even cooking.
Fill as full as you can. Around 1 ½ tablespoon.
Bake at 350 for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.
Cooked On Smoker
My favorite way to cook jalapeno poppers. Using an offset smoker will allow for a longer cook time. Place the poppers away from the smoker box, and let them cook away while being kissed with wonder smokiness.
Temperature: 225 degrees
Woods: Post Oak (Texas Classic), Mesquite, Hickory, Peach, or Apple.
To preserve the finished texture, you can prepare the filling, stuff the jalapenos and wrap with bacon. Just do not cook them until you're ready to serve them.
You can, yet uncooked works best. If you freeze cooked poppers the texture just isn't going to be the same. The freezer forces dehydration (loss of moisture).
- Ricotta Cheese
- Fresh Garlic
- Cheetos (lightly crush them and add into the filling mix)
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Chopped Sausage
- Shallots - minced
40 minutes on average. Done once the bacon is well cooked. The poppers will be golden brown and delicious.
Recipes To Try
- Texas Chile Con Queso
- Bacon Pepperoini Sticks w/ Homemade Ranch
- Candied Bacon Technique
- Garden Fresh Banana Pepper Salsa
- Texas Smoked Prime Rib
📖 Recipe Card
- 12 peppers Jalapenos
- 1 package Applewood Smoked Bacon
- 8 oz Cream Cheese / 1 package
- 4 Tablespoon Pimento Cheese
- 1 Tablespoon Serrano Peppers / Add more to up the spice level
- 2 teaspoons Adobo Sauce / Optional
- 2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
- ½ medium Onion Minced
- 1 juiced Lime You can squeeze more on top after cooking for a pop of freshness.
- 1 Tablespoon Cilantro
- ½ teaspoon Sea Salt
Cleaning and Preparing The Jalapenos
- Wash and dry the jalapenos
- Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise. Try to preserve the stem for presentation. Clean the inside and make sure to remove all the white parts inside. Which is called the rib. That is the super spicy part of the jalapeno.
- In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese, pimento cheese, onion, serrano, cilantro, garlic salt, lime, salt and mix well. Optional: Add adobo sauce to create a deeper flavor profile. Or make two batches of each option.
- Bacon Tip: Fold over the Bacon in half lengthwise, then cut down the middle to split the bacon in half. Splitting the Bacon helps with the cooking of the bacon. This helps render the bacon fat out quicker. Secondly gives you more strips of bacon to wrap the jalapenos Sprinkle the tops of the jalapenos with fresh cracked black pepper.
- Fill each jalapeno with around 2 tablespoons. Try to add as much as you can without overfilling.
- Use a cookie sheet with a wire rack on top. This will give you the best finished texture. The oven's heat can then get underneath the jalapeno poppers. If they are just laid out on the cookie sheet the bottoms will be moister than the rest of the popper.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the bacon is evenly cooked.
- Feeling like adding more heat/spice I suggest using some poblano and habanero.
- The poppers freeze well.
- The addition of shrimp works excellently.
- They are safe on the countertops at your party for up to 4 hours
- Add goats cheese to add a level of tang (not a Texas thing)
- Mix in chopped brisket for a real surprise your guest will freak out over.