How to Make the Best Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers at Home

updated Feb 26, 2020
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How to Make the Best Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

A step-by-step guide for making the best bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers.


Prep30 minutes

Cook25 minutes to 30 minutes

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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Jalapeño poppers are the ultimate game-day treat. They’re spicy, crisp, and a serious crowd-pleaser. The catch? They aren’t very practical to make at home. Restaurant-style poppers require a deep fryer, a messy breading setup, and a lot of planning to pull off. To solve this, we created a recipe that ditches the deep fryer altogether while still delivering on texture and flavor.

Unlike traditional poppers, this recipe skips the breading altogether. Instead, the poppers are wrapped in bacon and baked in the oven for a fuss-free appetizer that’s loaded with smoky bacon flavor and — dare we say — even better than the original.

These poppers come together in less than one hour from start to finish. If you’re planning to serve them at a party, you can even get a head start by assembling them the day before and stashing them in the fridge. The next day, just pop them in the oven for a quick snack that’ll please everyone.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell

Why You Need to Use Toothpicks

Most recipes for bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers instruct you to wrap the peppers in bacon and load them straight into the oven. But we found this method resulted in the bacon shrinking and unraveling from the peppers.

Our solution? Using toothpicks to secure the bacon in place as the poppers bake. As an added bonus, the toothpicks make the poppers easier to eat — you can pick them up with the toothpicks and pop them straight into your mouth. No messy fingers in sight.

5 Tips for Making the Very Best Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

To make sure your jalapeño poppers turn out perfectly, keep these tips in mind.

1. Purchase large jalapeños that are all the same size. Smaller peppers won’t hold enough filling, so search for hefty jalapeños that are slightly larger than your thumb. Pick peppers that are all roughly the same size and avoid any that are wrinkly or dull.

2. Feel free to leave some seeds in the peppers to make them spicier. This recipe instructs you to remove all of the seeds before filling them with the cheese mixture, but you can leave them in (or just remove some of them) if you want your jalapeño poppers to be a bit spicier.

3. Wear gloves when prepping the peppers to prevent burning your hands. Wearing gloves eliminates the dreaded “hot pepper hands,” but if you forget or don’t have them, we have a bunch of quick remedies.

4. Don’t use thick-cut bacon. Although delicious, thick-cut bacon isn’t the best option for these poppers — it’s too thick to wrap around the peppers and has a tendency to unravel when baking. Stick to traditional sliced, center-cut bacon (about 12 slices per pound).

5. Let the poppers cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Because the filling is made up entirely of cheese (and therefore totally melty straight from the oven), it’s important to let the poppers cool before serving them, which will set the cheese a bit.

Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Cyd McDowell
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Here is how to make the best bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers.

How to Make the Best Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers

A step-by-step guide for making the best bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers.

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 25 minutes to 30 minutes


Nutritional Info


  • 8 ounces

    full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature

  • 12

    large jalapeño peppers

  • 6 ounces

    sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)

  • 3/4 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon

    onion powder

  • 12 slices

    center-cut bacon (about 1 pound, not thick-cut)


  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Place 8 ounces cream cheese in a large bowl and let sit out at room temperature to soften while you heat the oven and prep the peppers. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. Prep the jalapeños. Halve 12 large jalapeño peppers lengthwise. If desired, scrape out the seeds and ribs with a small spoon and discard.

  3. Make the filling. Shred 6 ounces sharp yellow cheddar cheese (about 1 1/2 cups). Add the cheddar, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder to the cream cheese and mix with a rubber spatula until well combined.

  4. Stuff the jalapeños. Divide the filling between the halved jalapeños (about 1 tablespoon per half). Use a butter knife to smooth the filling so it is flush with the tops of the peppers.

  5. Wrap with bacon and secure with a toothpick. Cut 12 slices bacon in half crosswise. Wrap each jalapeño half in a piece of bacon so the ends are tucked under the pepper. Use a toothpick to secure the bacon in place by skewering it from side to side. Arrange the peppers cut-side up on the prepared baking sheet.

  6. Bake the poppers for 25 to 30 minutes. Bake until the bacon is crispy and the filling is melted and lightly browned, 25 to 30 minutes.

  7. Cool the jalapeño poppers before serving. Let the peppers cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: The peppers can be stuffed and wrapped in bacon up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated.

Storage: Refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

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Credit: Kitchn