Jalapeno Popper Bites are deep fried, melted cheese balls stuffed with diced jalapeños and bacon, coated in crispy breadcrumbs.
I’m all for the traditional jalapenos poppers but when we visited a restaurant in Rochester Minnesota called Hefe Rojo and tasted their jalapenos chicken poppers we were blown away! I decided to make my own version, leaving out the chicken, and have since discovered that Texas Roadhouse serves something similar called Rattlesnake Bites.
Wearing gloves, slice three jalapenos in half lengthwise. Remove and discard the seeds and membranes. You can use a jalapeno pepper corer or a teaspoon. Then, dice the jalapenos.
Put the softened cream cheese, shredded pepper jack cheese, diced jalapenos, bacon bits, and sriracha sauce into a bowl.
Can I substitute another kind of cheese?
I used pepper jack cheese to bring added flavor and a little heat but other cheeses would work too. You can substitute an equal amount of another shredded cheese for the pepper jack cheese in this jalapeno popper bites recipe.
As far as the cream cheese goes, I used plain cream cheese but a flavored cream cheese such as garden vegetable or chive would be delicious as well!
How can I make jalapeno popper bites more or less spicy?
These jalapeno popper bites are medium hot. To make them less spicy, use a milder cheese, skip adding the sriracha sauce, and cayenne pepper.
To make spicier jalapeno popper bites, you could add some of the jalapeno seeds, add more sriracha sauce and cayenne pepper, or add red pepper flakes.
Mix the ingredients until combined.
What else could I add to these jalapeno popper bites?
Although we thoroughly enjoyed these jalapeño popper bites as the recipe it written, I look forward to making other versions by adding or subtracting ingredients! Here are a few options for additional ingredients.
- shredded chicken
- cooked chorizo pork sausage
- diced bell peppers
- sliced green onions
Scoop the cheese mixture and form it into balls.
Place the jalapeno popper bites on a parchment covered baking sheet or pan. Place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden.
While waiting, prepare the jalapeno popper bites coating. In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, plain bread crumbs, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.
Put the flour in a second wide, shallow bowl and beaten eggs in a third bowl.
Remove the jalapeño popper bites from the freezer and coat them in flour.
Then, dip them in the beaten eggs.
Next, coat them with the bread crumbs mixture.
Heat oil in a deep fryer (or large pot with a thermometer) to 375˚F.
Working in batches, fry several jalapeños popper bites at once, for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
How do you reheat jalapeno poppers bites?
Like most deep-fried food jalapeno poppers bites taste the best when they are freshly prepared but yes, they can be reheated. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or in the freezer for up to three months.
Thaw frozen bites in the fridge overnight. Reheat the jalapeno popper bites in the oven at 375˚ for 5-8 minutes or warm them in the microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
Drain on a paper towel lined plate. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley.
Can this jalapeno popper bites recipe be made ahead of time?
Yes, you can make this jalapeno popper bites recipe in advance. Prepare the jalapeno popper bites but do not fry them. Place them in an airtight container the fridge overnight and then fry when ready.
Or prepare the jalapeno popper bites without frying them and place them freezer until they have hardened. Then, transfer them to an airtight container and store in the freezer for up to three months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before frying.
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Fried Jalapeno Popper Bites
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
- 3 jalapenos seeded and diced
- ¼ cup chopped bacon
- 2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs beaten
- peanut oil or canola oil for frying
- Mix together the cream cheese, shredded pepper jack cheese, diced jalapenos, bacon bits, and sriracha sauce.
- Scoop the mixture and form into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Put the flour into one bowl and the beaten eggs in a second bowl.
- In the third bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, plain bread crumbs, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer (or use a large pot with a thermometer) to 350˚F.
- Remove cheese balls from the freezer. Dip in the flour mixture, then into the beaten eggs, and finally coat with the bread crumbs mixture.
- Fry several bites at once for 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
- Drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
- Reheat in the oven at 375˚ for 5-8 minutes or in the microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
- Prepare ahead of time without frying. Store in the refrigerator overnight and remove when ready to fry. Or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before frying.
- Nutrition facts were calculated using three tablespoons of oil since most of it wasn’t absorbed. Your results may vary depending on your oil temperature, length of cooking time, and the fryer you use.