If you love Jalapeno Poppers then why stop there? This Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese is an ingenious way to incorporate jalapeno poppers into a classic grilled cheese sandwich, instantly turning an ordinary grilled cheese into a gourmet meal that’s ridiculously easy to make while tasting like restaurant quality!
This grilled cheese is packed with crispy bacon slices that you can cook by following my Crispy Air Fryer Bacon recipe, gooey cheese and chunks of stuffed jalapeno popper creaminess that’ll leave you wondering why you never tried this addictive combo before!
Serve your Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese hot from the skillet with extra stuffed jalapeno poppers or French Fries. Otherwise, use up any excess jalapeno poppers in other recipes like my Jalapeno Popper Chicken Casserole.
Why You’ll Love Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
- This recipe takes the classic grilled cheese sandwich and turns it into a gourmet meal with the easy addition of jalapeno poppers!
- Adapt these jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches by using different grated cheese, your favorite bread, or other sandwich ingredients when assembling the sandwiches.
- These grilled sandwiches are not spicy hot thanks to the use of fresh green peppers – great for serving to the entire family, even young kids.
What Ingredients do I Need for Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese?
- Cream Cheese – I’ve used an 8 oz. package of cream cheese. Allow the cream cheese to soften for easier mixing of the jalapeño popper cream cheese mixture.
- Pepper – I’ve used coarse black pepper but you could use ground pepper instead. For an added kick of heat, consider some cayenne pepper.
- Green onions – Only use the green parts, sliced.
- Garlic – Minced garlic or garlic paste can be used. You could also use garlic powder if you prefer.
- Cheese – Freshly grated medium cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese. Always grate the cheese yourself instead of using pre-shredded cheese for the best taste.
- Jalapeno peppers – You’ll need 10-12 medium peppers for this recipe.
- Sandwich ingredients – You’ll need 20 slices of bread to make 10 sandwiches. I’ve used cracked wheat sourdough but feel free to use your favorite bread for these grilled cheese sandwiches. Apart from the bread slices, you’ll also need softened salted butter, 20 slices of cooked bacon, and sliced cheese (medium cheddar cheese and Monterey Jack cheese or the cheese you used in the popper filling).
PRO TIP: Make sure to wear gloves when preparing your jalapenos otherwise it could irritate your skin. And whether you wear gloves or are brave enough not to, avoid touching your face or eye area at all costs!
How to Make Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
PREP: Mix the cream cheese stuffing ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Halve and deseed the jalapeno peppers, then stuff them with the cream cheese filling. Bake the stuffed jalapeno peppers for 20 minutes at 400F.
ASSEMBLE SANDWICHES: Places slices of bread on a plate or kitchen board, covered by parchment paper and butter on side of each bread slice. Turn the slices over so that the non-buttered side is facing up and add slices of Jack cheese to one sandwich slice and cheddar cheese to the other. Place 2 slices of bacon on one slice of each sandwich and 2 stuffed jalapeno popper halves on the other slice. Combine the slices together and transfer the assembled sandwiches to a hot skillet. Cook the sandwiches until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden. Flip the sandwiches so that both sides brown evenly. Serve the sandwiches hot with a side of extra stuffed jalapeno poppers.
- The Jalapeno popper filling is enough to make about 20 medium to large jalapeno poppers (which equates to about 10 sandwiches worth). You’re free to halve the filling ingredients for fewer poppers although there’s nothing quite like enjoying a few stuffed poppers while you assemble the sandwiches, in which case make sure to utilize the full quantities of ingredients listed!
- I know that some prefer to cut the jalapeno poppers into pieces but I’ve found that leaving them as prepared in the oven makes it easier to keep the sandwich intact while you cook it and eat it.
- This Jalapeno Pepper Popper Grilled Cheese is not spicy hot at all since I use fresh, green jalapenos. If you’re wanting to kick up the heat then I suggest that you use more mature jalapenos that are starting to turn red or leave in some seeds and ribbing when preparing the jalapenos.
While the concept of combining cheese with bread was around as far back as ancient times, it’s believed that grilled cheese as we know it today first made its appearance in the United States around the 1920s.
The first grilled cheese was more aptly known as ‘melted cheese’ and ‘toasted cheese’ as it was essentially an open sandwich with grated processed cheese on top. As it grew quickly in popularity due to the inexpensive ingredients, local grocery stores started to offer the grilled cheese alongside their new stocking of Kraft Singles in 1965 and added another piece of bread, making this cheesy delight a closed sandwich!
To date, there are many variations to the original grilled cheese, including this Jalapeno Pepper Popper Grilled Cheese, and boy, am I glad for it!
- Use white, brown, or rye bread for these jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches. You can even make gluten-free grilled cheese sandwiches by using gluten-free bread. Cracked wheat sourdough is my favorite for this recipe.
- I’ve used Monterey cheese and medium cheddar cheese in the jalapeno cream cheese stuffing and when assembling the sandwiches. Go ahead and use other types of good melting cheese such as Swiss, Mozzarella, or Gruyere.
- Chopped bacon or cooked bacon bits can also be added to the cream cheese filling!
- Ordinary butter is spread on the outside of each grilled sandwich. A compound butter that contains herbs would be a delicious option!
Leftovers can be wrapped with parchment paper or plastic wrap and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat the grilled cheese sandwiches in the oven, on a heated skillet, or in an air fryer.
This grilled cheese has enough sandwich substance to make it a meal by itself but if you’d like to add some sides then consider French fries, potato wedges, a creamy coleslaw, a light green salad or serving slices of this grilled cheese alongside a delicious soup such as Chicken Tortilla Soup or Homemade Tomato Bisque Soup.
No, not at all. I’ve removed the seeds when preparing the jalapeno peppers and the rest of the grilled cheese sandwich ingredients mask any heat well. There’s a slight kick of jalapeno flavor, but not heat. If you want extra heat in your grilled sandwiches, leave the seeds in the jalapeno popper halves and mix cayenne pepper into the cream cheese filling.
Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese
Jalapeno Poppers Ingredients
- 8 oz. package cream cheese softened
- ½ teaspoon coarse black pepper
- 1-2 sliced green onions green parts (about 3 tablespoons)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic paste
- ½ cup medium cheddar cheese grated
- ½ cup monterey jack cheese grated
- 10-12 jalapeno peppers medium
- 20 slices bread we used cracked wheat sourdough
- 8-10 tablespoons salted butter softened to room temperature
- 10 oz. Monterey Jack cheese sliced
- 10 oz. Medium cheddar cheese sliced
- 20 slices cooked bacon 2 per sandwich
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Use a spatula or wooden spoon to mix together cream cheese, black pepper, sliced green onions, garlic, and grated cheese.
- Slice each jalapeno in half lengthwise and remove seeds and ribbing (if you want more heat from the poppers, leave some of the ribbing and/or seeds.)
- Place jalapenos on a baking sheet, open side up.
- Use a small spoon or a piping bag to fill each pepper half with the cheese filling mixture.
- Bake for about 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned on top.
- Meanwhile, butter one side of each slice of bread. Place face down on a plate or sheet of parchment paper.
- For each sandwich, cover one slice of bread (the non-buttered side) with jack cheese and the other slice of bread with cheddar cheese.
- Top the cheese on one slice of bread with two slices of cooked bacon and the other slice of bread with two cooked jalapeno poppers.
- Flip the two sides of the sandwich together and cook over medium heat in a skillet. Cook until the cheese is melted and the bread is golden brown and then carefully flip the sandwich over to cook the other side. Turn the heat down if you notice that the bread is browning too quickly before the cheese has a chance to melt.
- Repeat for the remaining sandwiches. Serve hot with a side of extra jalapeno poppers.