Bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeños with a roasted garlic and chive cream cheese filling. A super easy appetizer that everyone will love!
I hear fall is here. Although in Arizona the only way we know it’s fall is from the pumpkin offerings at Trader Joe’s and Starbucks.
Oh, and football is on TV again.
Honestly, I could care less about football, but I do enjoy football food. Appetizers are where it’s at or where I am during football games anyway.
Enter bacon-wrapped jalapeños, to add to my list of 50 other healthy(ish) game day recipes.
Since I’m still dairy-free I got creative with this recipe. I used dairy-free cream cheese and to bump up the flavor I added a secret ingredient.
Roasted garlic has a deep rich flavor and creamy texture that trumps the harsh bite of raw garlic any day. It’s super easy to make, all you do is just cut off the top of the head of garlic, drizzle with oil, and wrap in a tin foil.
You can bake it in a toaster oven if you have one and want to conserve heat. Otherwise, just bake it in the oven at 400F for 45-60 minutes.
At the grocery store: You want your jalapenos to about the same size so they all bake for the same amount of time. The ones I selected were all about 3-4 inches in size.
While the garlic is roasting you can prep your jalapenos. I use gloves to prevent the juices from burning my skin. If you like them hot, leave some of the veins and seeds. To keep it milder, make sure you remove them all. I just used a small knife to prep them, but I’ve seen a lot of other bloggers suggest a melon baller as a great tool to use here.
Cream Cheese Filling
I used Kite Hill Cream Cheese to keep this recipe dairy-free, but you can use real cream cheese or your preferred alternative. Mix the cream cheese with your roasted garlic and dried chives to make the filling. I also add a tiny pinch of black pepper.
Bacon Wrap Your Jalapenos
Once they are stuffed it’s time to wrap your stuffed jalapenos with bacon! I didn’t use any kind of toothpick to hold mine together. They will expand and start to come apart in the oven, but as soon as they cool for a few minutes they will return to their original form.
Bake Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos
If you want to use toothpicks to hold them together, that’s fine too but you don’t absolutely need them! Bake them for 20-25 minutes at 400F or until they reach your desired crispy level.
I like to broil mine for a few minutes to make sure they are EXTRA crispy! I also find the use of a grill pan or raised cookie sheet unnecessary in this recipe, they come out about the same either way!
Grill Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos
To grill these bad boys, I would use a grill mat to reduce flare-ups and keep things cleaner. Grill mats help reduce clean up time as well! You’ll also need to make a slight modification. Since grilling will require you to turn them over, you’ll want to use a full piece of bacon on each jalapeno half to make sure they are fully wrapped. Reduce all the ingredients by half except for the bacon.
Make Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos Ahead
You can make this recipe up to a day ahead of time. (You can make the garlic up to 3 days ahead of time.) Watch the expiration on your cream cheese as well! You can also make these and freeze them.
To bake from frozen, the only modification you need to make is setting them on top of a rack on top of the cookie sheet (I use an oven-safe cookie cooling rack.) They take about 10-15 minutes longer to bake, but they still come out delicious!
Are jalapenos too hot? Swap some or all of the jalapenos with mini sweet peppers. This would be a great option for kids or people who don’t like spicy foods!
Vegetarian? Skip the bacon, they are still delicious!
Dairy-Free? Since I still need to be dairy-free for nursing, I used Kite Hill Almond milk cream cheese when I made these!
Hosting a party? These go fast! Make sure you double the batch!
Time crunch? Buy pre-roasted garlic cloves or use 1 tablespoon garlic powder (or to taste.)
Roasted Garlic Bacon-Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeños
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil, either is fine.
- Cut the top part off a head of garlic. Drizzle with oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes to 60 minutes. Until garlic is fork-tender.
- Cut jalapeños length-ways. Remove all the seeds and membranes (wear gloves for this process.)
- Squeeze creamy roasted garlic from the skin into a medium bowl, add in cream cheese and green onions. Mix until well combined.
- Spoon filling equally among all 20 jalapeños. Wrap each stuffed jalapeño with 1/2 slice of bacon. You can stick a toothpick through the center to ensure the bacon doesn't come off. For the most part (all but five), mine stayed on without this extra step, so it's up to you! I found that even if the bacon comes off while cooking, as it cools it will wrap around the jalapeño again no problem.
- Place wrapped and stuffed jalapeños on the baking sheet. Bake for 22-25 minutes or until they are crispy. I broiled mine for 3-5 minutes to make them EXTRA crispy.
- I used Kite Hill almond milk cream cheese to make this recipe dairy-free. Feel free to use your favorite cream cheese or cream cheese substitute.
- Don't like it spicy? You can use mini sweet peppers instead. Great for those who don't like as much heat!