One of our friends always makes jalapeño poppers whenever we get together. It’s not that they’re a showy dish — in fact, I think their simplicity is part of their addictive charm.
I admit that at first I was wondering why they were always on the table, but now I seek them out eagerly. After all, there’s a reason why they’re called poppers.
I might have to switch it up a little on the popper front, though, because these pimento cheese jalapeño poppers are basically the best way to kick off your end-of-summer party.
Why use cream cheese when you can use pimento cheese, right? (And no, my pimento cheese does not have cream cheese in it. I can’t do that to my Texan friends.)
how to make pimento cheese
I don’t believe in using cream cheese in my pimento cheese, so how do I make my pimento cheese?
Honestly, all you need are a few really good ingredients for a good pimento cheese.
Good mayonnaise, shredded cheese, grated shallot, and a pinch of cayenne make for a darn good pimento cheese spread in my opinion.
I used aged cheddar in these pimento cheese jalapeño poppers, but you can really use whichever kind of cheddar you prefer. Sharp cheddar is classic, but smoked gouda is also darn good.
To make the pimento cheese, simply stir together the ingredients and set aside. It only gets better with time, so feel free to make it ahead and let it chill in the fridge until you’re ready to use it.
The great thing is that this recipe makes far more pimento cheese than you need for the jalapeño poppers, which means you can either set the rest out with a bowl of crackers or make the best darn grilled cheese in history.
how to make pimento cheese jalapeño poppers
After you make the pimento cheese, simply slice the jalapeños in half. I like to leave the tops intact to make more of a bowl for the pimento cheese filling.
I like to scoop out the seeds to tame the spice level, but leave the seeds in for a fiery hot bite. (Make sure your guests know what they’re in for, though!)
After you fill each pepper with the pimento cheese, just wrap it up in bacon and bake them for about 20 minutes.
Honestly, for these pimento cheese jalapeño poppers, the hardest part is getting the bacon to stay wrapped around the peppers.
Or maybe waiting for the peppers to cool down enough to eat without searing the top of your mouth. Whichever.
The point is, even when making pimento cheese from scratch, the whole dish comes together quickly. You can even be a party ninja and do everything in advance, then toss ’em on the grill or in the oven when the first guests arrive.
Twenty minutes later, boom! Mouthful of happiness right there, folks.
I made these pimiento cheese jalapeño poppers as part of the August Progressive Eats! Jump below the recipe for more information on our fun monthly progressive dinners, and get the rest of this month’s recipes.
Pimento Cheese Jalapeño Poppers
- 7 to 8 ounces cheddar , or use a mix of cheeses
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 ounces diced pimientos
- 1 teaspoon grated shallot
- Pinch cayenne pepper , plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 10 jalapeños
- 8 strips bacon
- Shred cheese and set aside.
- Stir together mayonnaise, pimientos, shallot, cayenne, and salt. Fold in cheese. This can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 400°F or prep grill.
- Halve jalapeños lengthwise and remove seeds. Fill each cavity with pimiento cheese.
- Slice bacon into halves or thirds (depending on size of slices) and wrap around each jalapeño, securing with a toothpick if necessary.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or grill 10-15 minutes.
Welcome to another edition of Progressive Eats, our virtual version of a progressive dinner party. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a progressive dinner involves going from house to house, enjoying a different course at each location. With Progressive Eats, a theme is chosen each month, members share recipes suitable for a delicious meal or party, and you can hop from blog to blog to check them out.
We have a core group of 12 bloggers, but we will always need substitutes and if there is enough interest would consider additional groups. To see our upcoming themes and how you can participate, please check out the schedule at Creative Culinary or contact Barb for more information.
This month’s theme is Summer Barbecue hosted by Liz of That Skinny Chick Can Bake. You’ll love all the summertime recipes that will be perfect for your next cookout or Labor Day gathering.
- That Skinny Chick Can Bake – Whiskey Marinated Pork Tenderloin
- Sunchowder’s Emporia – Grilled Tequila Lime Shrimp Skewers
- Stetted – Pimiento Cheese Jalapeño Poppers
- Barbara Bakes – Cheesy Garlic Bread
- Healthy. Delicious.– Grilled Vegetable Panzanella
- Pastry Chef Online – Grilled Vegetable Gazpacho
- Never Enough Thyme – Curried Corn
- The Heritage Cook – Amped up BBQ Beans
- SpiceRoots – Grilled Rosemary Potatoes
- Miss in the Kitchen – Summer Fruit Spritzers