With summertime around the corner and grilling season upon us, I want to share this tasty Jalapeno Popper recipe with you. Not your typical smoked jalapeno popper. This popper consists of creamy, cheesy chorizo goodness! Cooked on the grill or smoked in the smoker, these jalapeno poppers are going to be a hit at your next summertime bbq.
If your anything like my family, we like things spicy and full of flavor. Spicy chorizo mixed with creamy cream cheese, wrapped in bacon, and sprinkled with seasonings. Smoked or grilled low and slow for an ooey-gooey cheesy chorizo center and a crispy bacon outer layer. My family personally enjoys them this way because we love the creaminess and the flavor the chorizo gives the poppers. Jalapeno poppers are a spicy American version of a Mexican dish known as chiles Rellenos (my dad’s favorite). There are so many options when it comes to making jalapeno poppers. From different cheeses to adding extra goodness like chorizo. Bacon or no bacon. I am sure these Smoky Jalapeno Poppers are going to be poppin at your next BBQ!
No smoker, no grill? No worries, Bake them in the oven! You can also make ahead and freeze—the perfect appetizer for an unexpected guest or to snack on when you crave something spicy.
For this recipe, I used pork chorizo and cream cheese to fill jalapeno halves, then wrapped them in bacon, sprinkled them with extra spices, and smoked them low and slow for a very flavorful spicy, smoky jalapeno popper. Fry chorizo in a skillet over medium heat until fully cooked, draining the excess fat. Add room temperature cream cheese to warm chorizo. Mix until you have a creamy filling. Fill your cleaned, seeded, deveined (optional) jalapeno halves with filling. Wrap with sliced bacon and sprinkle with seasoning of your choice. Grill, smoke, or bake poppers and serve with a dip or sauce of your choice. This yummy bite/appetizer pairs well with a nice cold beer (mouth water)!
12–15 medium-size jalapenos.
One package of bacon (standard cut).
1 lb of pork or beef chorizo (I prefer pork).
One 8 ounce block of cream cheese (room temperature).
Seasoning of your choice. Smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, pepper (optional and to your liking).
Prepare smoker or grill to 275 – 300 degrees.
In a skillet, fry chorizo on medium heat until fully cooked. Drain excess fat when done.
Add room temperature cream cheese to the chorizo immediately, as warm chorizo will help soften the cream cheese. If you like, you can add seasoning to the mixture or leave it as is. (e.g., smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper)
Prepare jalapenos. I highly recommend using gloves for this step. Oil from chile pepper can affect the skin—run jalapenos under cool water to remove any dirt/grim, pat dry. Cut jalapeno in half, remove all seeds/membranes. Leave the membranes if you want a spicier popper.
Fill your jalapeno halves with the chorizo cheese mixture.
Wrap each jalapeno with a half slice of standard cut bacon. Thick-cut bacon will not crisp up the same as a traditional cut.
Sprinkle the bacon-wrapped jalapenos with spices of your choice, or use the ones mentioned above (optional).
Place the peppers on the smoker’s grate and smoke for 60-90 minutes or until bacon looks brown and crispy.
When I grill them, I place jalapenos cut side down directly on the grill. I slightly pre-cook the bacon before wrapping it on the jalapeno. It helps reduce flare-ups and results in crispier bacon without overcooking, or you can use a grill mat. Grill 5-6 minutes or until bacon starts to crisp. Flip jalapenos over and reduce heat cook until bacon is cooked and crispy, about 10-15 minutes.
To bake, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Bake 20-25 minutes or until cheese melts and bacon is brown and crispy.
Let cool 5-10 minutes. Enjoy alone or with dip/sauce of your choice.