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Stuffed Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon

Shrimp jalapeño poppers stuffed with bacon are perfect for game day and summer parties! An easy appetizer recipe with baking, grilling, and air-fryer instructions included.

closeup photo of crispy jalapeño poppers

When planning a game day menu, you can’t go wrong with jalapeño poppers of all kinds. They are spicy, savory, and delicious. 

These shrimp jalapeño poppers are stuffed with cheese and bacon – no need to wrap a piece of bacon around each pepper before baking.

That’s what makes this such an easy recipe! 

I’ve made baked jalapeño poppers with chorizo before, but sometimes you need something different.

Don’t worry; there is plenty of room on your table for different kinds of poppers, so try these out – the combination of flavors is excellent!

This easy appetizer is a great way to use leftover shrimp or bacon. Plus, all of the ingredients are available at your local grocery store.

Whether you’re prepping for the super bowl, the local high school football game, or just football season in general, shrimp jalapeño poppers will be a family favorite.

jalapeno peppers, bread crumbs, chopped shrimp, chopped bacon, shredded cheese, cream cheese, and garlic in small bowls
fresh jalapeño peppers sliced in half and deseeded

Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers Ingredients

Jalapeño Peppers: Choose fresh, medium-sized jalapeños for stuffing. For a milder version, remove the seeds and membranes. Alternatively, if you prefer more heat, keep them intact.

Room Temperature Cream Cheese: Use softened cream cheese as the base for the stuffing. Feel free to choose flavored cream cheese varieties like jalapeño, garlic herb, or even bacon to add more smoke flavor. You can substitute goat cheese, but the cheese mixture will be less creamy.

Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese: Combine shredded cheddar with the cream cheese for a rich and melty cheese filling. Consider using other types like Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese or a blend of different cheeses for variation.

cream cheese and shredded cheese combined in a glass bowl

Minced Garlic: Freshly minced garlic adds aromatic depth to the stuffing. You can also experiment with roasted garlic for a milder, sweeter flavor.

Cooked and Chopped Bacon: Crispy bacon pieces infuse the stuffing with smoky goodness. Instead of wrapping a slice of bacon around each jalapeño pepper, we opt for chopped bacon to make this recipe even more effortless. For a vegetarian version, omit the bacon or use vegetarian bacon substitutes.

Cooked and Chopped Shrimp: Incorporate cooked and chopped shrimp into the filling for a delightful seafood twist. Substitute with crab meat or finely diced cooked chicken for alternative stuffing options. 

Seasoned Breadcrumbs: These add texture and help bind the stuffing together. Consider using panko breadcrumbs for extra crunch.

chopped shrimp and bacon added to cream cheese mixture in a glass bowl
shrimp stuffing in a glass bowl

Variations/Substitutions

Experiment with various herbs and spices like paprika, cayenne pepper, or dried oregano to customize the flavor profile of the filling.

For super spicy jalapeño poppers, add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes to the cream cheese mixture if you can handle it!

You can use miniature shrimp to avoid chopping large or jumbo shrimp.

Adjust the heat level by choosing milder or spicier peppers. Anaheim peppers or mini sweet peppers can be a less spicy option.

jalapeño halves stuffed with shrimp and cheese mixture
uncooked shrimp stuffed jalapeños topped with bread crumbs on a sheet pan

How to Make Shrimp Stuffed Jalapeño Poppers

Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, ensuring it covers the surface sufficiently to prevent sticking, and set it aside.

Prepare Jalapeños: Carefully cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise. To do this, use a sharp knife and cut each jalapeño from stem to tip. 

Remove the seeds and membranes with a spoon or knife. Remove all the seeds and white membranes thoroughly if you prefer a milder spice level.

cooked stuffed shrimp jalapeño poppers on a sheet pan

Prepare Cream Cheese Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy.

Add the shredded sharp cheddar cheese to the cream cheese. Mix well until the two cheeses are thoroughly combined and the mixture becomes creamy.

Add minced garlic to the cheese, incorporating it evenly. Adjust the amount of garlic to your taste preference.

Add Bacon and Shrimp: Fold the cooked and chopped bacon into the cheese mixture. The crispy bacon bits will add a savory smokiness to the filling.

Add the cooked and chopped shrimp to the mixture. Gently fold it, ensuring the shrimp is evenly distributed throughout the cheesy filling.

12 stuffed jalapeño poppers
crispy shrimp jalapeño poppers ready to be served

Fill Jalapeño Halves: Spoon or pipe the bacon, shrimp, and cheese mixture into each jalapeño half, filling them generously. 

Distribute the filling evenly among all the jalapeño halves, ensuring they’re nicely packed but not overflowing.

Top with Breadcrumbs and Bake: Sprinkle seasoned breadcrumbs or panko crumbs evenly over the filled jalapeño halves. This will add a crispy texture to the top.

Place the stuffed jalapeños on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 10-12 minutes or until the jalapeños are tender and the filling is bubbling and slightly golden on top.

Serve Warm with Dipping Sauce: Once baked, remove the jalapeño poppers from the oven and allow them to cool slightly.

Serve the shrimp stuffed jalapeño poppers while still warm, accompanied by your favorite dipping sauce.

Consider serving with ranch dressing, blue cheese dressing, chipotle aioli, or a cool sour cream-based dip to complement the spicy kick of the jalapeños.

stuffed shrimp jalapeño poppers on a white plate with ranch dressing
overhead plate of 12 shrimp jalapeño poppers and ranch dressing

Alternative Cooking Methods for Jalapeño Poppers

Grilling Method

Preheat your grill to medium-high heat (around 375-400°F). Ensure one side of the grill is set for direct heat and the other for indirect heat.

Place the prepared jalapeño poppers on the grill grates directly over the heat source, with the cheese-filled side facing up.

Grill for approximately 8-10 minutes with the lid closed or until the jalapeños are tender and the filling is heated through and slightly browned. Be cautious not to overcook, as they can quickly burn.

If the grill has hot spots, or if the jalapeños are getting too charred before they’re fully cooked, move them to the cooler side of the grill (indirect cooking and heat) and close the lid. This allows them to cook more gently without getting overly charred on the outside.

jalapeño poppers with a bowl of cooked shrimp in the background
two shrimp stuffed jalapeño poppers on a small white plate

Air Fryer Method

Preheat your air fryer to around 375°F for 5 minutes.

Place the stuffed jalapeño poppers in the air fryer basket in a single layer, leaving space between each popper to allow air circulation.

Cook in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding, ensuring even cooking.

Cook the jalapeño poppers in the air fryer for approximately 8-10 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through the cooking time to ensure even cooking.

Check for doneness by ensuring the jalapeños are tender and the filling is heated through and slightly golden on top. Adjust the cooking time if needed based on the air fryer’s performance.

overhead photo of shrimp jalapeño poppers on small plates, fresh jalapeños on a cutting board, and a bowl of cooked shrimp

Storing Leftover Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers

Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Reheat on a baking sheet in the oven at 400 for ten minutes. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

closeup photo of shrimp jalapeño poppers topped with breadcrumbs

Shrimp Jalapeño Poppers

Shrimp jalapeño poppers stuffed with bacon are perfect for game day and summer parties
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Appetizers
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 poppers
Calories: 174kcal

Ingredients

  • 12 jalapeño peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ cup cooked and chopped bacon
  • 1 cup cooked and chopped shrimp
  • ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Cut the jalapeños into halves and remove the seeds.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth, then add the cheddar cheese and garlic.
  • Fold in the bacon and shrimp, then fill each jalapeño pepper half with the mixture. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, then bake for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with your favorite dipping sauce.

Nutrition

Serving: 2poppers | Calories: 174kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 61mg | Sodium: 414mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g
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