Hi! I wasn’t sure if I was going to get these bright little poppers out to you before Easter, but I’m really glad I did. I think they would make for the perfect appetizer for your Easter gathering, as they’re bright and colorful, and you can “pop” them into your mouth. Plus, how fun is it to say “pepper popper”??
I first had a bacon-wrapped cream cheese-stuffed jalapeno when we were staying at my sister-in-law’s place a couple of years ago, and I was hooked. SO good!
That particular weekend was full of bacon. I think we had it at every meal, and it has since been a running joke. After a day full of bacon imbedded meals, Etienne and I decided to buy breakfast for the next morning, and as we walked in the door with fresh cinnamon buns (I know, store-bought…who am I!?) his sister exclaims “but I was going to make bacon”!! So, we had cinnamon buns. And bacon.
For this recipe you will need those tiny little bell peppers you often see in the produce section at the supermarket, and think “how cute are these”!? They’re split open, stuffed with a cream cheese mixture and wrapped in – you got it – bacon. They come together so easily, and you can even make them the night (or two) before, keeping them assembled in the fridge until you’re ready to pop the poppers into the oven prior to serving.
These pepper poppers are based off the ever-popular jalapeno popper recipes out there, but without as much of a kick, making them a little more kid-friendly. I personally like a little spice, so I used jalapeno Monterey jack cheese in the stuffing. You could also include a 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper for extra kick. If you’re serving these to kids, you might want to swap the jack cheese for a strong cheddar cheese.
Start by cutting the peppers in half lengthwise, and removing all of the seeds and membranes. Combine the softened cream cheese, shredded cheese, and roasted garlic. Using a spoon, fill the open peppers just to the brim; do not overfill! It will all just ooze out in the oven.
Wrap up those itty bitty little peppers in bacon, stab ’em with a toothpick and place them on a baking tray. These poppers take about 25-27 minutes in the oven, or until the bacon is nice and crispy. Serve immediately!
PS – they don’t have to be an appetizer. We ate these as dinner the other night with a salad on the side.
Peter piper picked a peck of pepper poppers……
Yield 24 poppers
Peter Piper would definitely pick a peck of these pepper poppers! Wrapped in bacon and stuffed in cheese, they're the perfect appetizer or snack.
- 12 mini bell peppers, assorted sizes is fine
- 6 oz brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup shredded cheese*
- 2 cloves roasted garlic*, minced
- 12 slices of bacon, cut in half
- Optional: 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a large baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone bake mat.
- Cut the peppers open lengthwise and remove and discard the seeds and membranes.
- Using a handheld mixer or stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese together with the shredded cheese and roasted garlic. If you're using cayenne for some heat, add it to the mixture. Stuff the cream cheese mixture into each pepper half, using a teaspoon to make your life easier. Wrap a half-slice of bacon around each pepper half, securing with a toothpick, and place onto the baking sheet.
- Bake the poppers until the bacon is crispy, about 25 minutes. Serve immediately.
Any leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheated either in the microwave or in the oven at 300 F for about 10 minutes.
Plan ahead: Prepare the peppers through step 3 and keep covered in the fridge a day or two before cooking. Let the peppers warm up a bit before placing in the oven, about 10 minutes.
- I used jalapeno Monterey jack cheese, but sharp cheddar cheese might be better for kids.
- Roasted garlic is not necessary, but I think it adds so much to the flavor it's worth the extra step.