Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers!

I took advantage of the unseasonably warm temps yesterday & decided to educate myself on something new.

…I learned to use our grill.

Perhaps it’s sad to be a 31-year old woman standing on her deck, having her husband show her how the grill works (and we have a super-easy button-start gas grill, which makes it all the more lame), but when I was growing up, my dad was the grill master.  Whether we were at home with the big propane grill or camping with the little flying saucer grill (what my husband refers to as a “Ball-B-Que”:



…It was my dad holding the lighter fluid & tongs.  But I decided it was high time to break the gender stereotype I’d built in my head, so there I was, on my porch, with my husband saying, “Okay…turn the propane tank on…now turn that dial…and push the button.”  And our grill came alive, and I felt somehow empowered.



Now, if you happen to NOT be somewhere where it’s convenient to use a grill in January, or if you don’t have a grill, you can ABSOLUTELY make these in the oven and they will still be delicious.  But I happen to love the charred, smoky flavor that comes from grilled foods (mmmm…free radicals), so that’s what I did.


8 fresh jalapenos

4 slices of lean or low-sodium bacon (you can try it with turkey bacon; I haven’t, so I can’t offer an opinion on that method)


Here’s where it gets fun.  I made mine two different ways.  You can choose one or the other, or do half & half.  This list assumes you’re doing one or the other:


4 oz fat free cream cheese or Neufchatel

2 tbsp cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 tbsp cajun seasoning

(mix all these items together & stir until well combined)


4 oz garlic & basil goat cheese

(this is obviously the less labor-intensive one, since it’s already mixed.  Both are delicious.)



Slice the top off the jalapenos (save the tops) & use a small paring knife and/or corer to get the pith & seeds out of the jalapenos:



Then, place your filling of choice into a ziploc bag & cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners.



Squeeze the ziploc like a piping bag to fill the jalapenos.  A smaller hole will allow you to better control the filling.  Make sure you get it all the way to the bottom.



Next: cut your bacon slices in half; you’ll need one half-slice per jalapeno.  Wrap the bacon in a spiral around the jalapeno & fasten with a toothpick. Put the jalapeno top back onto the popper—wedge it into the top if you can to help it stay on while in the grill:



Once your grill is hot (medium-high heat), place the poppers directly on the grill (top rack) & close up shop.  Let cook for about 5 minutes, then flip, and grill for another 5 minutes.  Once the bacon looks nice & crispy, you’re done.


(NOTE: if you don’t have a grill, cook these on an aluminum covered cookie sheet in the oven on 400F for the same amount of time, remembering to flip once halfway through.)


Fend off hungry stares from your dog, who is just as addicted to the smell of the grill as you are:


(“Mom?  Please? Please? Furreals, just one bite?”)


Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving.  Then devour.


(Remember to remove toothpick BEFORE you nom.)

Makes 8 poppers (2 poppers in a serving).

Nutrifacts (Cliffnotes version, since I’m feeling lazy):

If you use goat cheese, there’s about 100 calories in each popper; if you use the fat free cream cheese, it’s 51 calories per popper.


These are super simple & great for a party.  They’re not terribly spicy since the seeds have been removed & the cream cheese neutralizes the capcasin in the pepper, but you still get that nice jalapeno flavor, plus bacon and the cheese…YUM.


  1. I am definitely going to make these this week! I need to dust the rust off my grill. HA! I really need to get a new grill and buy a cover for it as well since it stays outside year round. They look delicious!

  2. I'm surprised you haven't been grilling! You always used to have the grill blasting and the Yuengling flowing. :D

    One of the guys at the Laffy office taught me to make these... and until I got married, I didn't have a grill, so I'd just make them in the oven.

    PS--I need your french onion soup recipe. :)

  3. Those look FREAKING incredible. Do want. Also, I'm so proud of you for learning how to grill. While I consider myself an excellent cook :) , the barbecue still terrifies me and I leave it up to the husband. :)

  4. Jo: Being as accident prone as I am, the idea of cooking with fire & compressed gas cylinders is mildly terrifying. I half expected an explosion when I pushed the scary red START button...but alas, I survived to tell the tale. :D