With football season approaching, these lightened-up, baked Jalapeno Poppers will make the perfect party appetizer or snack. Spicy and delicious!
This easy Jalapeno Popper recipe was a request to make healthy from one of my wonderful readers years ago. I was excited to tackle the challenge since I love jalapeno poppers so much. The jalapenos are stuffed with a cream cheese, scallion and cheese filling, breaded in panko and baked in the oven until they are hot and cheesy. The flavor is spicy, savory, cheese and delicious! I even created these Buffalo Chicken Jalapeño Poppers, this Stuffed Jalapeño Popper Chicken, and Jalapeño Popper “Nachos.”
Jalapeno Poppers Ingredients
- Jalapenos: Slice 12 jalapeños in half lengthwise.
- Cheese: You’ll need light cream cheese and low-fat shredded sharp cheddar.
- Scallions or green onions: Slice the green parts – save the white parts for another use.
- Eggs: Egg beaters or beaten egg whites help the breadcrumbs stick to the peppers.
- Panko: I used a half cup of panko to have extra to help them stick to the peppers. You won’t use it all, so just toss the leftovers.
- Spices: Paprika, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, black pepper
How to Make Jalapeno Poppers
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F, and spray a baking sheet with oil or line it with parchment for easier cleanup.
- Cut the Jalapenos: Wear disposable gloves to slice the peppers in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
- Cheese Mixture: Combine cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and scallions in a bowl.
- Seasoned Panko: Combine the panko and sprinkle in the spices in a bowl.
- Stuff the Jalapenos with the cheese filling with a small spoon or spatula.
- Bread the Jalapenos: Dip the peppers in egg beaters and then in the panko. Use a spoon to scoop the panko onto the peppers to ensure all the seasoning doesn’t fall to the bottom of the bowl. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and spray the tops with a little oil.
How Long to Bake Jalapeno Poppers in the Oven
Bake the peppers for 20 to 25 minutes until golden, and the cheese oozes out. Remove them from the oven and serve immediately. For easy clean up, you can line the baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- Breadcrumbs: Panko will give you the crispiest poppers, but you can use regular breadcrumbs if you prefer.
- Low-Carb Jalapeño Poppers: Omit the panko and wrap them in bacon.
- Gluten-Free Jalapeño Poppers: Use gluten-free panko.
- If you want a dipping sauce, serve them with ranch dressing.
How to Store Jalapeño Poppers
Jalapeño poppers are best eaten hot right out of the oven. Leftovers will last up to 4 days in an airtight container in the fridge and can be reheated in the air fryer, microwave, or oven until warm.
Jalapeño poppers can be unhealthy, but my lighter version uses reduced-fat cheddar and cream cheese to decrease the calorie count. Two stuffed poppers have only 111 calories and are low in carbs and high in protein.
Yes, you should definitely wear gloves while handling jalapenos. Nothing is worse than touching your eyes or lips with jalapeño fingers – trust me, I’ve done it! Also, if you have little kids, be careful to discard all the seeds if any fall on the floor. My daughters had a gift for finding every speck on the floor and putting it in their mouths when they were toddlers.
The egg whites help the panko mixture stick to the jalapenos. Also, you can use a fork to press the crumbs onto the peppers gently.
If you’re serving these easy baked jalapeno poppers at a party, you can slice the peppers, make the cheese and panko mixtures, and stuff the jalapenos with cheese the day before. Before your party, dip them in the egg and panko and bake them before people arrive. Since the poppers have cheese, they can only sit out at room temperature for up to two hours.
More Appetizer Recipes You’ll Love
- Mini Bell Pepper Loaded Turkey “Nachos”
- Artichoke Dip
- Spinach-Dip Stuffed Mushrooms
- Everything Bagel Pigs in a Blanket
- Pastrami Reuben Egg Rolls
Jalapeno Popper Recipe
- 12 jalapeno peppers, sliced in half lengthwise
- 4.5 oz light cream cheese
- 5 medium scallions, green part only, sliced
- 2 oz shredded low fat sharp cheddar, I used Cabot 50%
- 1/2 cup egg beaters or egg whites, beaten
- 1/2 cup panko crumbs*
- 1/8 tsp paprika
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- 1/8 tsp chili powder
- salt and fresh pepper
- spray oil
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Wearing rubber gloves, cut peppers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membrane.
- Combine cream cheese, cheddar and scallions in a medium bowl.
- Combine panko, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper in another bowl.
- Fill peppers with cheese filling with a small spoon or spatula.
- Dip peppers in egg beaters.
- Place pepper in panko mixture, using a spoon to make sure all the seasoning doesn’t fall to the bottom of the bowl.
- Spray a baking pan with oil spray. (I lined my pan with parchment for easier cleanup)
- Lightly spray the peppers with a little more oil spray.
- Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, until golden and cheese oozes out. Remove from oven and serve immediately. Serve hot.
- *I used 1/4 cup more panko to make it easier to coat, then I was left with 1/4 cup which was tossed and not calculated in the nutritional info.