The best kinds of friends will show up at your doorstep with beer and dinner. They’ll bring homemade fresh pizza dough, cilantro, red onions, barbecue chicken and shredded cheese, and then proceed to amaze and delight you by cooking pizza on your grill. To tide you over while the miraculous pizza grilling is being performed, they will serve you jalapeno poppers.
I have the best kinds of friends. Not only did they come over and feed us freshly grilled BBQ chicken pizza (a post for another time—I’m still trying to master my pizza-grilling skills), but they also introduced me to the mother of all appetizers that I’ll be making from now until September.
Making your own poppers is easy. All you need is cream cheese, finely shredded jack (or motzerella, or cheddar—whatever your preference. You could even go a little crazy with blue or gorgonzola), fresh jalapenos, and regular-cut bacon (not thick-cut).
To begin, lop off the stems of those spicy peppers.
Slice lengthwise down the middle…
…and remove the seeds. I wear gloves when handling hot peppers because I’m the kind of woman who will *forget* that she just had her finger in a jalapeno and then use said finger to scratch my eye. I’m not the smartest cookie sometimes.
Mash together the cream cheese and the jack cheese.
Fill the jalapeno halves with the cream cheese mixture…
…and wrap each one with a half slice of bacon. Secure with a toothpick.
And now for the best part: fire up your grill to medium. I love these as a summer appetizer because there’s no running back and forth from the kitchen to the grill—it can all be done outside. Prep your poppers in the morning, refrigerate, and grill whenever your company shows up.
Grill for roughly 3-4 minutes per side. Don’t walk away from the grill for too long; that pesky bacon loves to spark grease fires.
Hand each guest their own little bowl of these and they will be smitten with you all evening. Or at least as long as the poppers hold out.
Cool cream cheese in a spicy jalapeno wrapped with salty, smoky bacon. Wash it down with a cold beer (or better yet, a salted margarita!) and you’ll be singing the Beach Boys all summer long.
P.S. Thanks Ric & Tennille for 1) being amazeballs and 2) for introducing us to poppers and BBQ pizza. We love you more than bacon.
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers printable poppers
Makes 20 poppers. Prep Time: 25 minutes Cook Time: 8 minutes
- 10 jalapeno peppers
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 c finely shredded jack cheese
- 10 slices bacon (regular-cut, not thick-cut), sliced in half widthwise
- 20 toothpicks
1) Rinse and dry the jalapenos. Lop off the stems, then slice each one lengthwise down the middle. Remove the seeds.
2) Mix the cream cheese and jack cheese together with a fork. Fill each jalapeno half with some of the cream cheese mixture. Wrap each pepper with a half slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
3) Preheat gas grill to medium. Grill poppers for 3-4 minutes per side, until bacon is lightly browned. Serve immediately.