Baked jalapeno poppers deliver the fun and flavor of the bar food staple in a more healthful way. (Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Baked jalapeno poppers deliver the fun and flavor of the bar food staple in a more healthful way. (Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post)

Cheesy jalapeno snacks for the Super Bowl? Touchdown!

This baked version is just as tasty as the deep-fried ones at your favorite bar.

Everything about jalapeno poppers is fun. It’s no wonder they’re a bar food staple.

They require minimal commitment — each is just a bite or two with no cutlery necessary. As the name suggests, you just pop one in your mouth and let the flavor begin. Inside their golden crisp coating there’s the thrill of the pepper and eating it is a little like accepting a playful dare, because you never know exactly how much heat it will pack. They say 1 in 10 has some kick to it. No worries though, because the center is packed with a creamy, cheesy filling to immediately quench any heat.

This recipe delivers all that enjoyment, but in a more healthful way than the typical fried version, so you feel just as good after eating them as you do while you are popping away. These are baked, so while they are amply crispy thanks to their olive oil-coated panko bread crumb crust, they are not at all greasy. Also, their creamy stuffing is less dense, taking advantage of a light blend of cheeses, ricotta and whipped cream cheese spiked with just enough shredded Monterey Jack.

You will love serving them at a game-day party not only because they are fun for your guests, but also because they can be made in advance and reheated — which means you’ll be in on the fun as well.

Baked jalapeno poppers

With a crispy baked coating and light creamy filling, this recipe delivers all the fun and flavor of the typical fried bar food staple in a more healthful way. We like clearing the jalapeno halves of ribs and seeds by scraping them out with a spoon. Poppers can be baked, cooled and refrigerated up to 2 days in advance; reheat in a 325-degree oven on a baking sheet for about 20 minutes.

2 ounces grated Monterey Jack cheese (½ cup packed)

⅓ cup whipped cream cheese

⅓ cup part-skim ricotta cheese

2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves

10 medium jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded, stems trimmed to ½-inch

3 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs

1 cup plain panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon garlic powder (granulated garlic)

1 tablespoon olive oil

Position a rack in the upper third of the oven; preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet with cooking oil spray.

Stir together the Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese, ricotta cheese and cilantro in a bowl, until well incorporated. Use about 2 teaspoons of the mixture to fill each jalapeno half.

Spread flour on a plate and season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ⅛ teaspoon of the pepper.

Beat the egg in a separate bowl. Spread the panko bread crumbs on a separate plate and season with the garlic powder and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon black pepper. Toss the seasoned bread crumbs with oil until evenly coated.

Toss each stuffed jalapeño in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess, then in the egg, and finally in the seasoned panko, shaking off the excess. Each piece should be coated all around in the mixture. Arrange the coated jalapeños, cut sides up, on the baking sheet. Roast (upper rack) for 30 to 35 minutes, until the coating is golden brown and the cheese has melted a bit.

Serve warm.

Makes 20 pieces. Nutrition per piece: 45 calories, 2 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 80 milligrams sodium, no dietary fiber, no sugar.

Talk to us

More in Life

Herr Jung leads a group through Bacharach, Germany.
Rick Steves’ Europe: Lessons from a schoolmaster on the Rhine

Herr Jung dedicated his life to sharing Germany’s hard history so others can learn from it.

Jennifer Bardsley, author of her newest book Good Catch, at her home on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021 in Edmonds, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds author transitions from young adult novels to romance

Jennifer Bardsley’s “Good Catch” is set in an Edmonds-like town. Spoiler alert: There’s a happy ending.

Caption: They might be too old for lunch box notes, but teenagers benefit from TLC too.
Fun ways to show the teens in your life that you care

The teen years can be challenging but they don’t last long. A little bit of extra attention can go a long way.

Jack Rice, left, gives his grandmother Carolyn Rice, a tutorial on her new tablet Saturday afternoon in Edmonds on November 20, 2021.  (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Need to Ring or Zoom? Edmonds teen comes to the rescue

Jack Rice, 17, started a free service to help seniors connect with tech. “He’s a hero around here.”

How to transform past shame into something positive and healthy

Tips on coping with the shame that we carry around in our hearts and on our sleeves.

Lisa Riddle jumps for joy after hitting a bullseye on her last throw on a game of axe throwing at Arrowhead Ranch on Thursday, July 15, 2021 in Camano Island, Washington.  (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Axe throwing hitting a bull’s-eye in Everett and Camano Island

“It’s not scary. It’s a fun night out and a stress reliever,” says an axe-throwing devotee.

Header, garden shovel or spade puts into soil, green meadow in the back, low angle shot
Regenerative gardening helps save the planet one garden at a time

Regenerative gardening is founded on the principle that if we take care of our soils then everything else will work out for the best.

She canceled her Iceland trip in time. Where’s her refund?

When Kim Josund cancels her trip to Iceland, she believes she’s entitled to a full refund. Why are her hotel and dive operator refusing?

GPP
Great Plant Pick: Acer tegmentosum “Joe Witt”

This Manchurian snakebark maple boasts beautiful highly striped white bark that brightens the shade garden.

Most Read