Jalapeno Poppers are an easy, creamy, delicious low-carb appetizer. Spicy jalapenos are stuffed with a smoky cream cheese filling, wrapped in bacon, and grilled or baked to perfection for one spicy, creamy bite that is sure to light any appetite on fire!
Because the breading is replaced with bacon, not only does this recipe for Jalapeno Poppers have more flavor, but they are also low-carb! They can be baked for a year-round appetizer, or grilled to add smokiness to the overall flavor. Either way, they are delicious!
Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers are a low-carb version of a classic breaded, high-calorie appetizer.
And in my opinion, the best TASTING version of Jalapeno Poppers!
The thick breading is replaced with bacon that adds a salty, savory, smoky bite to the appetizer. And instead of being deep-fried, these jalapeno poppers can be grilled or baked, which cuts back significantly on the fat and calories.
This recipe only requires a handful of seasonings and takes minutes to prepare. And because these jalapeno poppers are egg-free, low-carb, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free, they make a great allergy-friendly dish to serve at a party along with Bacon Wrapped Dates and Rotel Sausage Dip.
Just be warned, you may need to make a double batch--everyone loves these Jalapeno Poppers!
- Jalapenos: You want to select relatively large jalapenos so that they are easy to stuff.
- Cream Cheese: Use low-fat or full-fat cream cheese, but do NOT use fat-free cream cheese as it may separate when cooking, plus the flavor is not as good! Also, be sure the cream cheese is at room temperature before preparing the filling for the jalapeno poppers.
- Seasonings: I love to add garlic, smoked paprika, and onion powder to the cream cheese for added flavor. The garlic and onion powder add a savoriness to the poppers and the smoked paprika adds a layer of smokey flavor. Feel free to use regular paprika if you do not have smoked paprika.
How to Make Jalapeno Poppers
Step One: Assemble Poppers
- Soak toothpicks or wooden skewers in a bowl of water for 15-30 minutes. This prevents the toothpicks from burning when baked or grilled.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the cream cheese with the dried spices.
- Slice jalapeno peppers in half lengthwise and remove seeds and ribs of jalapeno. Pro-Tip: Put plastic gloves on to protect your fingers from the heat of jalapeno peppers. If you don't have gloves, be sure to wash your hands VERY thoroughly after handling peppers.
- Scoop 1-2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture into each jalapeno half and spread to fill the cavity.
- Wrap the stuffed jalapeno tightly with a slice of bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Step Two: Cook Poppers
You can opt to grill, smoke, or bake the jalapeno poppers. I love to throw them on the grill when preparing Burgers, Honey Garlic Pork Chops, or Grilled Greek Chicken, but they are also deliciously baked.
- To grill jalapeno poppers, place prepared poppers cut side down directly onto a grill heated to medium-low heat. Grill just until bacon begins to crisp up and then flip over. Grill for an additional 15-17 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked and the jalapenos are softened.
- To smoke the poppers, place on a 200-degree smoker and smoke for 25-30 minutes until the jalapenos are soft. Turn the smoker up to 375 degrees and smoke for an additional 10 minutes, or until bacon is crispy and rendered.
- To bake, place the assembled poppers onto a broiler pan or a baking sheet lined with a metal rack. Bake at 425 degrees for 17-22 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the jalapeno poppers are just softened.
- Make-Ahead Directions: You can assemble the Jalapeno Poppers up to 3 days before cooking. Assemble as directed and cover and refrigerate for 3 days. Bake, smoke, or grill as desired.
- Leftovers: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, it is best to pop under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to warm through and re-crisp the bacon up.
- Bacon: Depending on the size of your jalapenos, you may only need half a slice of bacon per popper. You want to cover the jalapeno popper entirely with bacon, but it is best to not overlap the bacon much, as that prevents it from crisping up. For really crispy bacon, I recommend pre-cooking your bacon before assembling the jalapeno poppers by microwaving the bacon for 2 minutes on a paper-towel-lined sheet or baking in a 400-degree oven for 5 minutes.
- Cheesy Jalapeno Poppers: Feel free to add up to ½ cup shredded cheese to cream cheese mixture for
- Safety-First: Wear disposable gloves when dealing with jalapenos or wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or mouth, as jalapenos can be very spicy and burn your eyes or mouth.
More Favorite Appetizer Recipes
If you tried these Jalapeno Poppers, I would love to know how you enjoyed them! Leave a comment below and let us know if you grilled, smoked, or baked them.
- 6-12 strips bacon
- 6 large jalapenos sliced lengthwise, seed and ribs removed
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Soak toothpicks or wooden skewers in a bowl of water for 15-30 minutes.
- Combine cream cheese with paprika, garlic, onion powder and salt.
- Fill the cavity of each jalapeno with the cream cheese mixture, and then wrap a slice of the bacon securely around the jalapeno. Secure with a toothpick.
To Bake Jalapeno Poppers
- Place the assembled poppers onto a broiler pan or a baking sheet lined with a metal rack. Bake at 425 degrees for 17-22 minutes or until bacon is crisp.
To Grill Jalapeno Poppers
- Place the prepared poppers cut side down directly onto a grill heated to medium-low heat. Grill just until bacon begins to crisp up and then flip over. Grill for an additional 15-17 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked and the jalapenos are softened.
To Smoke Jalapeno Poppers
- Place the assembled jalapeno poppers onto a smoker heated to 200 degrees, cut side up. Smoke for 25-30 minutes until the jalapenos are soft and the bacon is cooked. Turn the smoker up to 375 degrees, flip, and smoke for an additional 10 minutes, flipping once half-way through , or until bacon is crispy and rendered. Keep a close eye on the poppers as to not burn the bacon.
- Bacon: Depending on the size of your jalapenos, you may only need a half a slice of bacon per popper. You want to cover the jalapeno popper entirely with bacon, but it is best to not overlap the bacon much, as that prevents it from crisping up.
- If you would like really crispy bacon, I recommend pre-cooking your bacon before assembling the jalapeno poppers by microwaving the bacon for 2 minutes on a paper-towel-lined sheet or baking in a 400-degree oven for 5 minutes.
- Feel free to add up to ½ cup shredded cheese to cream cheese mixture for Cheesy Jalapeno Poppers.
- You can pre-make these poppers for a party up to 3 days in advance before cooking. Assemble and refrigerate for up to 3 days in advance.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. To reheat, it is best to pop under the broiler for 2-3 minutes to warm through and re-crisp the bacon up.
- Wear disposable gloves when dealing with jalapenos or wash your hands thoroughly after handling and do not touch your eyes or mouth.
This post was originally published in 2018 but was updated in 2020 with new tips and step-by-step pictures.
These are so delicious! I will make them over and over.
We eat them on repeat here as well Amanda! I love hearing you enjoy!
These jalapeno poppers were delicious!
I am so glad you enjoyed them Jennifer!
My new favorite way to cook poppers! These are so tasty!
These are SUPER easy and totally crave-worthy! Thanks for the tasty recipe!
I recently bought an air fryer oven. It’s a feature that comes on a regular oven.
Do you have any advice on using an air fry oven? I need help!
Hi Susan! I am sorry, I am not familiar with this oven at this time.
My husband will be so happy that I found your recipe. He's the jalapeno popper fan in the family. I can't wait to make these for him. Thanks for the recipe!!
You bet Renee--our family loves these as well.
OMG can I say the perfect appetizer!!
That's what we say at our house too 😉
Maaaaay be my new favrotie grill recipe. Like, ever. These look SO good, and I love the char you get from the grill! Gotta show this one to the hubby 🙂
Ah thanks so much Karly--I greatly appreciate you taking the time to stop by and tell me that. And yes--these are pretty irresistible!
Lynn @ Order in the Kitchen
I made poppers too because seriously how can you not love them!? Bacon wrapped is the only way to go! These look incredible and I love that they are lengthwise which is so much easier! 🙂 Would love 10!
Yes, you totally can not go wrong with bacon!!
allie @ Through Her Looking Glass
KRISTEN!!!! You are speaking my language girl--- Smoky paprika! Bacon. Cream cheese. GAH! Can't wait to try these!
Enjoy my dear friend!