These Baked Jalapeño Poppers are a baked version of a classic appetizer! Spicy jalapeño peppers are stuffed with cream cheese and cheddar, breaded in breadcrumbs and parmesan, then baked until perfectly golden.
Easy Cream Cheese Jalapeño Poppers
Once upon a time, I would drive by a Sonic every single day on my way home from work. Nothing ever really caught my eye until I noticed something called “Ched-R-Peppers," which were little deep-fried, cheese-filled jalapeños served with a side of ranch dressing.
Jalapeño poppers have been a favorite of mine ever since. So, naturally, I decided to make a homemade version!
These Baked Jalapeño Poppers are cream cheese and cheese stuffed jalapeños that are breaded and baked. They’re the perfect balance of rich and creamy with a little bit of spice and crunch.
How to Make Jalapeño Poppers
These stuffed jalapeños are so simple to make! They’re ready in a total of 45 minutes. Here’s a quick summary of the recipe. Scroll further down the page for the full recipe including ingredient amounts.
- Wash and dry the jalapeños, then cut them in half lengthwise. Remove all the seeds and membranes.
- In a bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheese, paprika, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan. In another separate bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed until frothy.
- Use a small spoon to fill the jalapeños with the cream cheese mixture, then take each one and dip into the egg white followed by the breadcrumb mixture.
- Place onto a foil-lined baking sheet with a wire rack on top.
- Bake the jalapeño poppers at 400ºF until the breadcrumb topping is golden-brown, then remove and serve.
Tips for Homemade Jalapeño Poppers
- Wear gloves! The jalapeño oils are hot and will definitely burn if you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth after slicing. The best way to prevent this is to wear gloves.
- If you don’t have gloves, you can slice the jalapeños bare-handed. But, you’ll want to wash your hands thoroughly (and a couple of times) before touching anything else.
- Remove the seeds and membranes from the peppers. These are part of what makes the peppers so darn spicy. If you like the extra spice, feel free to leave some or all.
- Line the pan with foil. This catches any breadcrumbs that fall through the wire rack and makes for an easy cleanup!
- Keep an eye on them as they bake. The poppers will likely be done in anywhere from 10-15 minutes. I recommend checking that at 10, then adding time only as needed. As soon as they start to turn golden-brown, take them out so they don’t burn.
- Serve immediately. The longer these poppers sit, the softer and soggier they will be. For the best, crispiest texture, serve them hot out of the oven (after letting them cool for 10 minutes.)
- If you want to lighten your poppers up, you can use low-fat cream cheese/cheese. I recommend the full fat versions though, especially if you plan on freezing them!
Storage and Reheating
Refrigerator: Finished homemade jalapeño poppers will last in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Reheating: To reheat leftovers, simply pop them back in the oven, toaster oven, or air fryer and warm at 350ºF until heated through.
Freezer: You can freeze cream cheese jalapeño poppers, but I recommend doing so before baking. To freeze the poppers, assemble as directed, place on a baking sheet, and flash freeze for a couple of hours or until hardened. Once they’re frozen, transfer the poppers to an airtight container or ziplock bag and freeze for up to 2 months.
Do You Have to Boil Jalapeños for Poppers?
Nope, there’s no need. The jalapeños cook perfectly in the oven. Boiling is not only unnecessary, but will likely result in mushier, over-cooked jalapeños.
How Do You Get the Batter to Stick to Jalapeño Poppers?
Since these jalapeño poppers are baked in the oven, we’re not using a wet batter at all. Instead, we’re using a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan to create that crispy coating on the top the poppers.
To help that stick, we’re coating the poppers in egg whites! A little breading may stick to the bottom of the poppers but it's mostly going to stick to the tops.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- 8 jalapeños
- 8 ounces block-style cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded off the block
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, grated off the block
- 3 egg whites
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack on top of the foil then set aside.
- Cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise and remove all the seeds and membranes.8 jalapeños
- In a medium bowl combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, paprika, and salt. Use a spoon to fill each halved jalapeño with some of the cream cheese mixture.8 ounces block-style cream cheese4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese½ teaspoon smoked paprika1 teaspoon kosher salt
- In a separate bowl, combine the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. In a third bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs whites until frothy.2 cups panko breadcrumbs½ cup parmesan cheese3 egg whites
- Take a filled jalapeño and dip it into the egg whites. Shake off any excess. Next, place it into the breadcrumb mixture and press lightly to coat. Put the assembled jalapeño popper onto the prepared baking sheet and wire rack. Repeat with the remaining jalapeños.
- Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until the breadcrumb topping is golden brown. Remove and serve immediately with your favorite ranch dressing.
- See post for tips, FAQs, and storage options.