I have to admit that while I love a hearty warm meal complete with proteins and sides, sometimes I like an evening of casual snacking while watching some games or hunkering down for movie night. These baked jalapeno poppers are one of my go-to recipes on those nights.
These spicy snacks have a delicious crunch on the outside and a heavenly cheesy chicken filling on the inside. Since they’re jalapenos, they’re not too spicy though, and you can control the heat of the filling by adjusting the hot sauce.
I also love making these for parties whether it’s for the holidays, the big game, or a birthday. Nearly everyone loves them and they’re actually fairly healthy as party snacks go.
If you’re looking for a quick and easy recipe to whip up for guests, or just for family movie night on Friday, this could become your new favorite.
Common Questions about Baked Jalapeno Poppers
Aren’t jalapeno poppers usually fried?
Many recipes do call for breading and frying but this baked recipe is faster and healthier. Unless your guests have allergies, most of them will be able to consume this dish no matter what diet they are following.
Do the jalapenos need to be boiled before baking?
This recipe does not call for that because I prefer a crunchier texture to my jalapenos (though they do soften somewhat during baking).
If you like a super soft pepper you may want to parboil them — or you can use any fresh peppers that you may have frozen and then thawed since the defrosting process naturally softens them.
Do I need to remove all of the seeds from the jalapenos?
It’s probably ideal to remove all of the seeds. While you can let some remain if you want some added heat, when you’re cooking for a crowd it’s a good idea to remove them all and serve hot sauce on the side for those who want to increase the spice factor.
Making Baked Jalapeno Poppers Ahead of Time
You can easily assemble these snacks ahead of time and store them in the fridge until you are ready to bake them.
These poppers are best served straight out of the oven but in the unlikely event that you have leftovers you can store them before reheating in the oven the next day.
Refrigerator: Keep leftover jalapeno poppers in the fridge for up to two days in an airtight container or ziploc bag.
Freezing: Freeze these poppers in a freezer bag or a freezer-safe container.
Tips For The Best Baked Jalapeno Poppers
This is a fairly straightforward and simple recipe, but there are some simple things you can do to make them the best.
- Using rotisserie chicken (or leftovers) will help reduce the time that it takes to make these and also ensure you have plenty of juicy chicken for the recipe.
- Soften the cream cheese. Make sure to bring it to room temperature so that you can easily and quickly mix up the filling.
- Use gloves when handling the jalapenos. When halving and deseeding the jalapenos, be sure to wear gloves to protect your hands and avoid touching your face.
For such a flavorful snack, this dish requires relatively few simple ingredients.
Buffalo Chicken Mixture
- Shredded chicken
- Cream cheese (softened)
- Shredded cheese
- Green onion (sliced)
- Hot sauce
- Ranch or blue cheese dressing
- Garlic powder
- Large fresh jalapeno peppers (halved and seeds removed)
Kitchen Supplies You’ll Need
Standard supplies are all that’s necessary to whip up these spicy snacks.
How to Make Baked Jalapeno Poppers
These jalapenos filled with buffalo chicken are so tasty — no one will know it only took a few minutes to make them.
- Add all of the ingredients for the filling to a large bowl.
- Using a rubber spatula or large spoon, stir the ingredients to thoroughly combine, ensuring that everything is evenly dispersed.
- Using two spoons, fill each jalapeno half entirely with the cream cheese mixture before placing it on the prepared baking sheet with cooking spray, olive oil, melted butter, or parchment paper.
- If desired, sprinkle more cheese on top of the jalapeno halves.
- Bake the jalapenos until warm and bubbly — if you added cheese to the top it should be golden brown when they’re ready. The peppers should also be slightly soft, though they will have some crunch to them.
- Allow the jalapenos to briefly cool on the cookie sheet before serving (while still warm) alongside the ranch or bleu cheese dressing.
What to Serve With Baked Jalapeno Poppers
I love to serve these alongside other appetizers but you can make them a side dish or serve with dipping sauces, too.
- Hot sauce – Choose your favorite hot sauce to serve with the poppers for dipping.
- Soup – Add these as a side to a chicken tortilla or vegetable soup.
- Salad – Dress up a salad by serving these on the side.
- Rice – Serve these over seasoned rice or alongside a spicy rice dish mixed with veggies.
- Queso – Everyone loves a cheese dipping sauce! Offer a mild or spicy version on the side.
- Chips – Be sure to have some Homemade Tortilla Chips for those that want that added crunch.
Why You Should Make Baked Jalapeno Poppers
These are delicious appetizers (or sides) that are packed full of protein and flavor.
- Easy – This couldn’t be an easier dish to pop in the oven before guests come over.
- Affordable – With few ingredients, you won’t spend a lot to make this quick dish.
- Versatile – They’re great for an appetizer but you can make a meal of them, too.
Variations and Add-ins
These are pretty amazing just as they are but there are a few ways to kick them up a notch, too.
- Flavored cream cheese – Try using cream cheese already infused with other flavors like chive or garden vegetable for the cream cheese filling.
- Cheese – Switch up the type of cheese you use or make a mixture. Monterey jack cheese, pepper jack cheese, and sharp cheddar cheese are good choices.
- Crispy topping – Used bread crumbs, crispy panko crumbs, crushed tortilla chips or pork rinds and sprinkle over top before baking for a crunchy a finish (bonus points if you lightly saute the chip or pork rind crumbs in butter first).
- Tomatoes – Drain a can of petite diced tomatoes and add to the filling for some added color and bright flavor.
- Chiles – Spice it up by adding finely diced chiles to the filling.
- Alternative cooking methods – You can also make these in an air fryer or toaster oven.
- Heat – Add extra spiciness with crushed red pepper flakes, cayenne, black pepper, or any other spices that you like.
- Sour cream – For a little tang and extra creaminess, combine cream cheese with a bit of sour cream before adding to the rest of the filling ingredients.
- Onion powder – If you want to add another layer of flavor, try shaking in a few dahes of onion powder.
- Bacon – Who can argue with adding bacon to anything? Sprinkle bacon crumbles on top or add them to the filling when mixing.
If you love this easy Baked Jalapeno Poppers recipe, you’re going to love these other buffalo-flavored snacks too. Please click each link below to find the easy, printable recipe!
Other Spicy Dishes
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Baked Jalapeno Poppers
Buffalo Chicken Mixture
- 2 cups shredded chicken
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 ½ cups shredded cheese see notes
- 1 green onion sliced
- ½ cup hot sauce
- ¼ cup ranch or blue cheese dressing
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 15 large jalapenos halved and seeds removed
- Preheat the oven to 375F.
- In a large bowl, combine the shredded chicken, cream cheese, shredded cheese, green onion, hot sauce, dressing, and garlic powder. Stir well to combine.
- Divide the mixture evenly between the jalapeno halves, making sure to fill each one completely full.
- (Optional) If you like a thick cheese crust, sprinkle an additional ¼ cup of shredded cheese on top.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until the filling has started to bubble and the jalapenos have softened.
- Serve warm.
- Store any leftover poppers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
- This would be a great way to use up leftover rotisserie chicken!
- I like to use a mix of cheddar and parmesan or mozzarella in this recipe– but use whatever you have on hand!
- Franks Red Hot is my preferred hot sauce, but you can use any brand you like. You can also add the hot sauce to taste if you’d like a milder/spicier popper.
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate. Please double-check with your own dietary calculator for the best accuracy. We at Taste of the Frontier cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs are not included in carb counts as it has been shown not to impact blood sugar. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.