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Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos

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I was in the right place at the right time—again. Just in time to catch a conversation that Scottsdale residents Robert and Weng Birdsall were having with a chef at a cooking event. Just in time to rescue a recipe for one of the tastiest hors d'oeuvres that has ever come out of my oven. The Birdsall’s were describing their favorite go-to Southwestern appetizer, Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos. The description of them made my mouth water and the simplicity of the recipe made me head right to the store to seek out the plumpest jalapenos available. Good thing they are always in abundance. So is cream cheese, bacon and pepper jack, which is about all you need for this flavorful popper. One more ingredient really sends it over the top. Three drops of liquid smoke (hickory or mesquite) incorporated in the cream cheese and bacon bits and your Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos taste like they’ve been slow-cooking over a mesquite fire. It’s a tiny amount of smoke, but don’t leave it out. Those three drops makes all the difference. Yep, being in the right place at the right time can be downright delicious and just in time for your Labor Day or football season opener party. Here’s the deal, though. If you and I get invited to the same potluck, I get dibs on bringing the Birdsall’s Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos!

Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapenos


  • 10-15 medium large jalapeno peppers
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 drops liquid smoke, hickory or mesquite
  • ½ cup crisp bacon chopped into bits
  • 1 pound bacon uncooked, or 1 slice per jalapeno
  • 8 oz sliced pepper jack cheese
  • Jalapeno jelly, optional


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a pot with boiling water, cook Jalapeno’s (blanch) for about 3-4 minutes.
  3. When done, immediately drop the jalapenos into a bowl of ice water to shock, or stop the cooking process.
  4. When cool, slice jalapenos lengthwise from stem to tip, leaving the stem intact.
  5. Using a small spoon, scrape the seeds and veins from inside of jalapenos.
  6. Set aside.
  7. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, liquid smoke and chopped bacon bits, mixing well.
  8. Fill each half of jalapeno with cream cheese mixture to just under the rim.
  9. Lay a piece of pepper jack cheese over the jalapeno, just to cover the cream cheese mixture.
  10. Wrap each jalapeno with a slice of bacon using a toothpick if necessary to secure the bacon.
  11. Place stuffed jalapenos on a baking sheet. (You can also use a flat rack placed inside a baking sheet to cut down on bacon grease.)
  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until bacon is thoroughly cooked.
  13. Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Jalapeno’s can be made ahead. When ready to serve, heat them up on a grill or in the oven and serve warm.
  14. Serve with jalapeno jelly.

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