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Extra Crispy Jalapeño Poppers

Stuff these hotties with three cheeses seasoned with spicy herbs and finished with panko breadcrumbs.


  • 12 large jalapeño peppers
  • 1 brick cream cheese (8 ounces), at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons onion, grated
  • 2 large cloves garlic, grated or pasted
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 3/4 cup grated extra-sharp white cheddar cheese
  • About 3/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • About 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/3 palmful)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • About 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (a heavy handful)
  • All-natural cooking spray


Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.

Trim the top third of the jalapeños lengthwise, leaving the stems intact. Reserve the tops. Using a demitasse spoon or other small tool, scoop out the seeds and the ribs from all the peppers, making 12 “boats.” Chop all of the trimmed pepper tops and reserve.

In a mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, grated onion, garlic, salt, pepper, shredded cheeses, cilantro and cumin. Add in the finely chopped jalapeños to your taste – I usually use about half of the total amount, reserving remaining jalapeños for other recipes.

In a small dish, combine the panko with the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Fill your jalapeño boats, mounding the filling up a bit. Roll the filling in the panko.

Arrange the poppers on a baking dish, spray lightly with cooking spray and bake until the breadcrumbs are evenly brown and the filling is bubbly, about 18-20 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes and serve.

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