Baked Jalapeno Poppers

I admit it: One of my sins is ordering jalapeno poppers at Arby's on the rare occasion that I stop in for a bite of lunch. I'll also order them just about everywhere else that carries them and every so often, I pick up a box of them at the store. They're not very good for me though.

Lately, my husband and I have been mulling over snacks. It can be incredibly difficult to make lots of small meals, but having healthy snacks around is a fiendishly difficult proposition for us. When cucumbers are on sale, those are snacks. We often grab an apple or half a handful of homemade granola. (The granola bars I attempted crumbled into their component pieces, so now we have a snackbox of granola in the fridge.)

Jalapeno poppers are snacks, in my head, but as I mentioned: their deep-fried fatty goodness isn't the best thing.

So, I puttered around and researched here and there until I came up with this baked popper recipe. Thankfully jalapenos are super-cheap and a little goes a long way. We like to have these with a smoothie and a movie for a late-evening snack.

It's not quite the same as the restaurants' version. It doesn't quite scratch that itch for me. But my husband loves them and I think they're pretty good. Good enough to share with you and add to my personal cookbook, in any case.

We're still looking for more snacks to make. Have a suggestion for a low-cal / low-fat snack? I'd love to hear about it.

Baked Jalapeno Poppers [printable recipe]

Makes enough for 2

  • 5 large jalapenos
  • 2.5 oz neufchatel cheese or cream cheese (about 1/3 of a package)
  • 2 oz sour cream
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 oz shredded cheese - any kind
  • 1/2 tsp each cumin, oregano
  • 1/8 tsp hot paprika (optional)
  • buttermilk or milk
  • bread crumbs
  • non-stick spray

Preheat oven to 400F. Slice the jalapenos in half, seed and remove the membranes. Beat together remaining ingredients with a spatula, except for the buttermilk, in a small bowl. Add enough buttermilk to thin it out to the consistency of a dip.

Fill each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture and lay on a foil-covered baking sheet. Sprinkle over with bread crumbs or press into bread crumbs in a small dish. Spritz each with non-stick spray.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the crumbs turn golden brown. (Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate the pan for even cooking.)