Now that’s a mouthful. A heavenly cheese stuffed mouthful of bacon and jalapeño.
From pumpkin cheesecake to spicy stuffed jalapeños. My mind is everywhere this week. Just roll with the recipe randomness. These jalapeños you see today? They’re just another football appetizer to add to your rotation this year.
About to sit down to watch the Raven’s game two weeks ago, my husband and I stood in front of the open fridge deciding what to make. Besides butter, leftovers, eggs, condiments, more condiments, so many condiments, and beer (desperately needed to go shopping) Kevin spotted three jalapeños. I spotted cream cheese. He spotted bacon. Wham bam, three stuffed jalapeños, thank you ma’am.
Necessity hunger is the mother of invention.
Today’s recipe is an adaption of a crowd-pleasing appetizer I’ve made quite a few times before. I typically follow this Philadelphia cream cheese recipe to a T and yes, it is so good. But this time, I added shredded cheese, garlic, and flavorful smoked paprika. Lots of bold, spicy flavors here.
Since I could only make three, I went to the store the next day at 7am and bought 15 jalapeños. Went home, made these, shot these, and ate these with dinner. I was wiping tears from my eyes after eating 2 of them. They’re so good, I cried.
KIDDING. They’re real spicy. Tear-jerking heat.
These are easy, just as all football party food should be. It’s a simple mix of cream cheese, garlic, shredded cheese, and smoked paprika stuffed into sliced jalapeños. I like to remove all the seeds when I’m making stuffed jalapeños since they carry a lot of heat. Don’t fret– these are still plenty spicy without the seeds.
Do not touch your eyes during this process. Please don’t.
Wrap the stuffed jalapeños up with bacon, bake until the bacon is crisp, and serve. These jalapeños are a great make-ahead option, too. If you’re tailgating in the morning or hosting guests and don’t have time to prep that day – you can assemble the stuffed jalapeños the day before and bake right before serving. The smoked paprika gives the creamy, cheesy stuffing so much flavor. I didn’t use it the first night I made these, and we both liked the 2nd batch much better. They are AWESOME. The heat is on!
Dairy cools your tongue down after eating something spicy, so serving this cookie dough ice cream pie to guests afterward is just plain genius.
PS: If you love jalapeno– which I’m assuming you do– try my jalapeño pepper jack turkey burgers sometime. Favorite non-beef burgers!
Bacon-Wrapped Cheesy Stuffed Jalapeños
If you like spicy, you will love these! Halved jalapeños stuffed with cream cheese, shredded cheese, paprika, and garlic and wrapped up with crispy bacon. Absolutely incredible!
- 12 fresh jalapeño peppers1
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese2
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 12 slices bacon, cut in half
- 24 toothpicks
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (best for clean-up) or a silicone baking mat. Place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet. Set aside.
- Cut the jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and center membrane. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, and paprika together until combined. You could also do this by hand using a rubber spatula. Salt to taste - I add just a pinch. Spoon filling equally among all 24 jalapeño halves.
- Wrap each stuffed jalapeño with a half slice of bacon and stick a toothpick through the center to assure the bacon stays in place. Place each on the baking rack and bake for 25-28 minutes or until the bacon is crisp to your liking. I like to turn the oven to broil for the last minute or two to get things extra crispy. Serve immediately. Cover leftovers and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Make ahead tip: jalapeño peppers can be stuffed and wrapped 1 day in advance. Refrigerate until ready to bake. You can also assemble and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.
- Instead of jalapeño peppers, try using those mini sweet peppers often sold in the produce section. Those a great option if you don't like super spicy.
- Mexican style or pepper jack shredded cheese is also tasty.
Adapted from Philadelphia Cream Cheese
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Also for game day: these Loaded Sweet Potato Skins!
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