Game Day Jalapeño Popper Bombers
A variation of just regular jalapeño poppers is my Game Day Jalapeño Popper Bombers with Smokies. I attended a football party one year where they combined sausage into the mixture and it was so good. It just sent it over the top with the creaminess of the cheese, then the heat from the pepper, the savoriness of the lil smoky, then you got the crunch of the bacon in the end. Serve these jalapeño poppers, or my Game Day Buffalo Wings or Game Day Spinach and Artichoke Dip. Serve all 3 and you’re guaranteed to please any game day crowd. They are always a hit and they are always gone within the first hour.
I know a common complaint I see is the bacon doesn’t get cooked all the way when the jalapeño poppers are cooked in the oven. One way to help this is to pre-bake or pre-cook your bacon just for a few minutes. If you slap them in the microwave for about 1 min 20 seconds, it helps them with the cooking process later in the oven. Don’t cook them though. If you cook them too much, you won’t be able to maneuver them around the poppers.
To remove the Pods of Hell or not to
Another thing (and this is a huge, executive decision that can be life saving) is how hot you want your jalapeños poppers to end up. Being from Southwest Louisiana, I do like my food a bit on the spicy side. If you prefer not to use 10 tissues to wipe your nose and sweat from your brow, you can opt to remove the seeds completely from the jalapeño….but even then sometimes the pepper will be hot. Just depends on the peppers you find. I would also advise wearing gloves through the whole removing of the pods of hell (seeds) from the jalapeños process. Trust me. Tried telling our youngest son who is 14 this. Yep. He learned the hard way. He later was seen with an ice pack on his lips. Tried to tell ya, son. Tried to tell ya.
Game Day Jalapeño Popper Bombers
Takes: 45 Minutes to an Hour
Serves: 8-10 People
- 4-6 Jalapeños
- 12 oz cream cheese
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup finely diced onion
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 8-12 slices of bacon (depending on how much bacon you like)
- 6-12 lil smokies (I cut them in half length wise and if a jalapeño is really long, I use two)
- 1/4 tsp chipotle seasoning or 1/4 chili powder and 1/4 paprika
- 2 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
Place oven to 375.
Slice all jalapeños in half length wise. Be careful to not touch seeds too much, or wear gloves. Remove as many seeds as the heat you wish to achieve. (the less = more heat) Place them on a sprayed sheet pan, or lined with parchment paper.
Sauté diced onion and garlic in a medium high heat pan for 5-7 minutes. Set aside and let cool for 10 mins.
Mix your cream cheese, cheddar cheese and seasoning in a bowl. Fold in your onion and garlic.
Cook bacon in the microwave for 1 min, 20 seconds. The idea is to pre-bake them a little where they cook thoroughly while in the oven on the poppers. It is easier if you use them almost right away rather than when they have time to stiffen up.
Take each pepper and put about a tsp to 2 tsp of cheese mixture. Sprinkle a little of the panko bread crumbs on top. Take a smoky sausage half and place in the middle of the cheese. Take bacon and wrap the jalapeño, securing the lil smoky. You can use toothpicks if need be. You can always remove them later.
Place in oven for 20 minutes or until done. Can also be served with a pepper jelly dipping sauce, or you could try putting a dab of the pepper jelly in the jalapeño pepper before you put your cream cheese mixture!