Cheeseburger Jalapeño Poppers are one of the most satisfying appetizers on the planet!
I have a new favorite appetizer — it’s all juicy cheeseburger meets zesty jalapeno, in a poppable form.
They are unbelievably delicious, and I think this meaty recipe lends a little gravitas to an otherwise frivolous game night popper. I’m talking about the baked kind, not those heavy fried things. And if you don’t love hot and spicy foods, remember that once you remove the inner workings of a jalapeno pepper, the vast majority of the heat goes away. The part that’s left has great flavor, with just a touch of lingering heat. In fact they can be so mild that I reserved the seeds and added them back into the meat mixture to put the kick back in. But that part’s up to you.
Since the filling is cooked beforehand, these poppers only require a few minutes in the oven to heat through and melt the cheese. The slight crunch of the ‘al dente’ pepper was wonderful. I did give each half a quick stint on a very hot griddle, which charred it a bit on the underside. This is optional, I just love those char marks, and I do think they add a little smokey flavor. You could also just hold your pepper (with tongs) over the gas flame on your stove to get the same effect.
You can top them with grated cheese, but I found a simple slab resulted in a better, i.e. cheesier, popper.
After they come out of the oven, all hot and bubbling, add a little garnish and they’re ready to pop. We didn’t find they needed a dip, but you could use anything from ketchup to a chipotle mayo for dipping. Ice cold beer is the only accessory these guys really need..
Look for fairly large, uniformly shaped jalapenos for these poppers, it will easier to stuff them.
If you can find really big fat jalapenos like 4 inches or so, grab them and make a main course out of them…served up with fresh corn and a salad…it makes a fantastic dinner.
- about 8 medium jalapeno peppers
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1/2 lb ground beef, (80/20)
- 4 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tsp onion salt
- fresh cracked pepper
- 6 oz of your favorite cheese, I used Monterrey Jack
- several small scallions, very thinly sliced
- chives, snipped into very small pieces
- Set oven to 375F
- Rinse the jalapenos and then, using a small serrated knife slice them in half, lengthwise. Carefully scoop out the inner ribs and seeds. Set some of the seeds aside.
- Melt the butter in a skillet and brown the ground beef, breaking it up as you cook it. You want the meat to be finely crumbled.
- Drain any excess fat, if necessary, and add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, onion salt and pepper. Add some of the reserved jalapeno seeds into the pan, if you like the heat. Taste the mixture and adjust the flavor and heat to your liking.
- This next step is optional, but I like to give each pepper half a quick roasting on a hot griddle. Get the pan really hot and set the peppers on the pan for s couple of minutes until they char at bit. This gives them extra flavor.
- Now set the peppers on a baking sheet and fill each one with the meat. Pack it down and then mound a little more on top so you get a good amount without toppling the pepper.
- Place a slice of cheese on top of each pepper and bake for about 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and they are hot through.
- Garnish with the scallions and chives and serve piping hot.
- If you love spicy jalapenos as much as I do, check out my 4 Alarm Mac & Cheese, or my Super Easy Hot Pepper Jelly.
Promise me you’ll make these!