When I first started making these stuffed jalapenos, I had a recipe from somewhere online called Jalapenos Sliders. Well, when I said I was bringing sliders to Thanksgiving, the girls thought I was bringing some kind of hamburger with jalapenos. They were pleasantly surprised when I showed up with these! Now, I make them every year, although the recipe has changed. I had to tweak it to match our tastes. You can tweak it to match yours. It’s okay. The original recipe included a lot more steps and ingredients. I shaved them down to make them Easy-Breezy. Instead of chopping green onions and stirring them into Original, I use the Philadelphia Cream Cheese – Chive & Onion. Also, I like to use bacon with no-sugar-added, so I usually fry up my own, instead of using bacon bits as the original recipe called for. Use what you like.
Goat cheese is so yummy, I just had to use it once I discovered the taste.
I know everyone is not going to jump at the chance to taste goat cheese. If you don’t try it, you will be missing out on one of the smoothest and most delicious cheeses you’ll ever taste. It is not always easy to find, though. Publix carries a good tasting one and is what I used in the recipe here, but Wal-Mart carries goat cheese in some markets too. I bought some at Winn-Dixie and it was not fit to eat! Just saying, don’t waste your money on it. Whichever brand you get, make sure it is plain. Be careful to watch for honey and fruit added. They won’t taste good on the peppers, I don’t think. If you can’t find or don’t think you can eat goat cheese, use two packages of the Chive & Onion cream cheese. I’ve been using Sargentos Off the Block lately because it seems to be creamier than some of the other shredded brands. However, when I have more gumption, I grate my own from a block. We like sharp cheddar. As far as the smoky spices, I’ve been using McCormick Grill Mates Chipotle & Roasted Garlic for a while now. Also, McCormick Mesquite is nice. Choose whichever you have on hand. I like to sprinkle with Smoked Paprika too if I have it. We love it so I try to keep it on hand.
Stock-up On Gloves
Above all else, wear gloves. I have forgotten to do this and paid a hefty price for it. My hands burned for hours and even into the next day. You may even want to wear eye protection. I wear eyeglasses to see, so I’m already covered on that! 🙂 Plus, it seems that every time my hands are covered in pepper juice, my nose or eyes start itching. It’s easy to remove the gloves or even wash them in soapy water to prevent a burning sensation.
- cutting board
- 1 set Gloves Do Not Attempt to Make This Recipe Without Gloves
- 4 or 5 slices bacon Hickory Smoked - Crispy and Crumbled
- 7.5 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese Chive & Onion (2 7.5 oz pks if you don't use Goat Cheese)
- 4 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese Original
- 4 oz Goat Cheese Plain (If you leave out, double Chive & Onion)
- 2 cups Sargento Shredded Cheddar Off the Block - Sharp - 8 oz bag
- 1 tsp McCormick Grill Mates Chipotle & Roasted Garlic
- 20 large Jalapenos Sliced lengthwise seeds removed
- 1 sprinkle Smoked Paprika or Chipotle & Roasted Garlic
- Fry up your bacon crispy for easy crumbling. If you don't have bacon, you can substitute bacon bits. About a handful will do.
- Gather your ingredients. Place all cheese items in a bowl to soften and toss in the Chipotle. Go ahead and crumble your bacon over the top of the cheese and set aside. Notice in this picture I am using half of the Goat Cheese and half of the Original Cream Cheese. These are 8 oz packages.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet or shallow pan with aluminum foil. This will help with cleanup later. The cheese can get messy! Alternately, you can use disposable aluminum pans. Spray pan with non-stick spray or coat with oil or butter. Anything to help grease the pan and keep the peppers from sticking. On this batch, I used bacon drippings and a brush to coat the foil. Worked wonderfully.
- Put on your gloves! 🙂 Trust me on this: Wear the gloves. I've forgotten to put them on in the past and my hands burned for hours. Don't chance it.
- Wash, slice and seed the peppers. This takes the most time. Once all are sliced, if you want a less hot pepper experience, you can rinse the peppers under running water in a colander. Shake to dry.
- Now let's get down to business. Stir up the cheese and bacon that has been sitting aside. It should be easier to mix than when it was fresh out of the refrigerator. - (You are basically making a cheese ball. So, remember this recipe if you need an appetizer and don't have time for the whole pepper recipe. Yummy on a cracker. Make it fancy by rolling the ball in chopped pecans.) - Back to our recipe!
- With a small spoon, scoop cheese mixture and fill peppers, placing them on the pan as you fill. Start by filling them to the top without over filling to make sure you have enough mixture for all the peppers. The size of peppers vary. I choose the largest ones I can find. I like the big ones because they are easy to clean and fill. Once all the peppers are filled, go back and over fill any you wish. Sprinkle with Paprika or additional Chipotle. I like them to be smoky. If you like more smoky flavor, try putting them on the grill, instead of in the oven, especially if you are grilling anyway. (Pictured is one of two pans this recipe yields)
- Once all are ready for the oven or the grill, pop them in and let them cook about 45 minutes. You'll want to start checking them about 30 minutes in. The smell is incredible! The cheese needs to melt, but more importantly, the peppers need to roast. Notice the bright green of the fresh pepper. We want the cooked pepper to lose all the crunch and the flesh to be more of an olive color and kind of wrinkly. Don't rush the cooking time. I know the smell is killing you! The filling should be a little golden red. Trust me, it's worth the wait to roast these just right.
- At home, during football games, we just eat out of the pan. When we take them to a family gathering, I like to display them a little nicer. Find a cute platter or plate and arrange them neatly. They won't last long so go ahead and take a picture! Enjoy.