Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Baked Jalapeno Poppers are a healthier version of the decadent fried appetizer ~ these little guys are just as addictive as the originals, without all the guilt!

This is a more elegant form of the familiar bar snack. I’ve replaced boring cream cheese and Monterey Jack with two kinds of Spanish cheeses, fluffy goat cheese, and manzanilla olives. I just mound it into the jalapeno pepper halves and bake them until all browned and bubbling. No frying, no heavy breaded coating, no watered down drinks, sticky floors, lame bands…

Taking the seeds and veins out of a hot pepper really neutralizes a lot of its heat, so this is a snack that most people can handle. If you’re a real hot pepper lover you could mix some of the seeds back into the cheese filling.

I used a sharp paring knife and a small spoon to scoop out the insides of the peppers. Be sure to wash your hands well after doing this, and whatever you do, don’t touch your eyes. And if you have a dog like mine who eats first and asks questions later, don’t drop any of the lethally hot innards either!

You’ll be left with perfect little jalapeno boats just waiting to be filled with cheesy goodness.

Fill them full, but not too full, or your little boats will capsize in the oven as the hot cheese dip bubbles and expands.

Finish with a few minutes under the broiler to just singe the top of the cheese.

That makes them irresistible.

I served these with Crema Mexicana, leftover from the Beef Brisket Tacos. It’s cool and creamy and the perfect thing to neutralize the heat of the peppers. I worried that my mouth would be on fire after my first bite, but that didn’t happen at all. My peppers were pretty tame. That’s the fun thing about hot peppers, they’re unpredictable. There’s no telling exactly how hot they’ll be till you get ’em in your mouth. Best be prepared with some soothing dipping sauce.

I used a combination of Manchego and Iberico cheeses, both from Spain. I rounded it out and made the filling creamier with goat cheese. I threw in some stuffed green olives for a little saltiness and texture. But just about any cheese imaginable would be great in these, so grate up what you have and try it out. It helps to use some kind of cream cheese or goat cheese to bind it all together. If you’d like to make these lower in calories, use low fat cheeses.

3.58 from 7 votes

It’s 5 O’Clock Somewhere Friday: Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Baked Jalapeno Poppers are a healthier version of the decadent fried appetizer ~ these little guys are just as addictive as the originals, without all the guilt!
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Yield 16 servings
Author Sue Moran


  • 8 large jalapeno peppers
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Manchego cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Iberico cheese
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese
  • handful of stuffed green olives chopped
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Set oven to 350F
  • Halve your peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes. Set on a baking sheet.
  • Mix the cheeses, olives, lemon juice and zest in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture.
  • Bake for about 15 minutes, and finish under the broiler to get a nice brown color.
  • Serve hot with Crema Mexicana and lime wedges on the side.
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

Don’t forget to pin these Baked Jalapeño Poppers!

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    July 25, 2020 at 10:31 am

    5 stars
    I cheated and these were still the best jalapeño poppers hands down. I prepped peppers as recipe says. I sliced long thin squares (about pencil thick) of manchego and laid in jalapeño half. Then scooped a little honey goat cheese to top off pepper half. Then drizzled a little lemon juice on top of stuffed jalapeño half (cheese side up of course). Microwaved for 2 -3 minutes, then put peppers on foil and moved foil to grill (was grilling steaks at the time and wanted the grill flavor) for 5 min, then transferred to broiler for 3 minutes to finish off. Sounds like a lot but it was very easy since we were grilling already. Will follow recipe next time when I plan better.

  • Reply
    January 17, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Could they be made ahead and frozen?

    • Reply
      January 17, 2016 at 9:42 am

      I don’t see why not Rose.

  • Reply
    Kris Mulkey
    December 9, 2012 at 4:53 pm

    I can’t wait to make these for my husband. So glad I found the image on Pinterest!!

    • Reply
      August 4, 2013 at 5:06 pm

      Hope he likes them, Kris, I think they taste so much better than the heavy fried kind.

  • Reply
    December 8, 2012 at 4:38 am

    The best poppers I ever had were stuffed with a whole shrimp; can’t find a recipe & the person who makes them won’t share their secret. Does anyone know?

    • Reply
      August 4, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      omg that sounds good!

  • Reply
    October 3, 2012 at 12:55 am

    Your choice of Iberico cheese was a nice touch. Another Spanish cheese that would work nicely with this recipe is Idiazabal.It is a smoked sheep milk cheese with a wonderful buttery, nutty flavor.

    • Reply
      August 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

      I’m going to look that one up, it sounds amazing.

  • Reply
    belleau kitchen
    September 28, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    anyone who dedicates anything to cocktail hour is my hero… very nice work my dear… I love the way these look like little green mice chasing each other around the pan… and although that doesn’t sound particularly apertising I think they look and sound incredible!

  • Reply
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch)
    September 28, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I’m loving your cocktail hour feature. Great photos. Pinned. These sound delicious.

  • Reply
    September 28, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    beautiful presentation pic of Cheers- nice enough for a magazine

  • Reply
    September 28, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    I love this idea!!! I am a huge sucker for jalapeno poppers anyway, but somehow I think your baked version justifies eating them in an abundance 😀

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      September 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm

      You know what? I don’t think Ive ever had a regular popper, they just don’t appeal to me. These were really good, though, and I like the fact that you can probably use any little bits of cheese you have around.

  • Reply
    Averie @ Averie Cooks
    September 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I LOVE your photography in this post, Sue! Especially the 1st pic and the 3rd one. And love the recipe and that you’re doing cocktail hour Fridays. Love this series!

  • Reply
    Cathy at Wives with Knives
    September 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    I know they would be too hot for me but they sure look good.

    • Reply
      Sue/the view from great island
      September 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm

      You know they weren’t very hot at all. We were surprised, they just had a hint of hot, which made them perfect.

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