Eating a whole pepper? We promise, you can handle it. Even thought they’re made from whole peppers, jalapeño poppers are only mildly spicy. The tame spice level is thanks, in part, to cheese. Creamy ingredients are a delicious way to tone down the heat in jalapeño poppers.
Here, we use a filling of cream cheese and cheddar to create an at-home version of a a classic finger food. For even more cool factor, pair your poppers with a savory ranch dressing.
This recipe turns down the heat even more by removing the seeds and ribs from the jalapeños before cooking. Cut your peppers in half lengthwise, keeping the stem attached, and use a knife to cut away the ribs and scrape out the seeds. After you add the filling, you’ll be able to stick the peppers back together.
Jalapeño poppers recipe
Makes: 12 poppers
Cook Time: 25-35 minutes
- 6 oz cream cheese, softened
- 2 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- ¼ tsp onion powder
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp smoked paprika
- Your favorite hot sauce
- 6 three-inch-long jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed
- ½ cup tempura batter
- ½ cup club soda
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup plain breadcrumbs
- 1 quart canola or vegetable oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly cracked black pepper
Make the filling. In a medium bowl, thoroughly combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika. Stir in the hot sauce to taste. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff the peppers. Season the cavity of each halved pepper with salt and pepper. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling into each seasoned cavity (it should fill the cavity and create a small, rounded mound).
Bread the peppers. In a bowl, combine the tempura batter and club soda; whisk until smooth. Place the flour and breadcrumbs on 2 separate plates. Working 1 piece at a time, thoroughly coat the stuffed peppers in the flour, then in the tempura batter mixture, then in the breadcrumbs (pressing to adhere). Transfer to a plate. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes to set.
Fry the peppers. In a large, high-sided pan (or cast-iron skillet), heat ½ inch of the oil on medium-high until hot. Once hot enough that a pinch of flour sizzles immediately when added to the pan, working in batches, add the breaded peppers. Cook 45 seconds to 1 minute per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and immediately season with salt. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
Jalapeño Popper Ranch Dipping Sauce
Makes: ½ cup dressing
- ¼ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon dried chives
- ¼ teaspoon dried parsley flakes
- ¼ teaspoon celery seeds
Make the sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Try these out next time you’re hosting. These satisfying bites are would be a happy hour or a game day gathering.