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Jalapeño poppers are the perfect appetizer — spicy, crispy, cheesy, and creamy, toasted to golden brown perfection. Plus easy to make ahead and freeze well. |

Jalapeño Poppers

  • Author: Sam Hu | Ahead of Thyme
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 servings
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Jalapeño poppers are the perfect appetizer — spicy, crispy, cheesy, and creamy, toasted to golden brown perfection. Plus easy to make ahead and freeze well. 


  • 8 jalapeño peppers (about 3-4 inches long)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (1 block), softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons chives or green onions, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Prepare the jalapeños by slicing them in half lengthwise and remove all the seeds and membranes. Make sure to wear gloves during the preparation and do not touch your eyes or nose while cutting the jalapeño peppers.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, garlic powder, paprika, cheddar cheese, and chives. Mix well until smooth and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and oil until well mixed. Set aside.
  5. Fill each halved jalapeño evenly with 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture and spread with 1 tablespoon of the crumb mixture on top.
  6. Place the jalapeño poppers evenly on a large half sheet baking pan and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Optionally, you can broil for another 3-5 minutes to make the crumb toppings more crispy and golden (but keep a close eye on them to make sure they don't burn).
  7. Let cool for 5-10 minutes and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.


Don’t overfill the jalapenos: The cream cheese mixture will settle as it heats up in the oven. So, to avoid a cheesy mess, be sure not to overfill your peppers.

Make ahead instructions: You can prep these poppers up to one day ahead of time, store covered in the refrigerator, and bake them when it’s time to serve them fresh at your party or dinner.

How to store: Store leftover jalapeno poppers in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Reheat them in a preheated 400F oven for about 15 minutes until warmed through. You can also reheat them in the air fryer for 5-10 minutes until warm and crispy.

How to freeze: Jalapeño poppers freeze well both before and after baking. You can freeze them overnight on a baking tray making sure that they are not touching. Then, transfer them to a freezer bag or airtight container for freezer storage. You can thaw them in the fridge or bake/reheat them from frozen (add a few extra minutes to the cooking time).

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

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