Everyone raves about warm jalapeño popper dip! This melty cheese dip is so good with tortilla chips, crackers, or crudités.
Why you’ll love it: With bacon, cream cheese, cheddar, and spicy bits of jalapeño peppers, you really can’t go wrong!
How long it takes: 20 minutes to prep, 20 minutes in the oven
Equipment you’ll need: skillet, baking dish
As if cheesy jalapeño poppers weren’t enough of a temptation, now we have warm jalapeño popper dip! Why do warm cheesy dips have to be so good?! This is most definitely party food. Invite a group of friends over to share this dip. It’s for your own protection.
If you love jalapeño poppers or chile rellenos, you’ll love this dip. Basically, the dip has the same ingredients but it’s deconstructed. That means you don’t have to stuff all those little pepper halves with filling, making it so easy to prep. No deep frying is necessary for this dip.
I contemplated naming this recipe “jalapeño pepper popper dip” just because it was so fun to say. Try saying it aloud a couple of times and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a real tongue twister.
This dip is good with tortilla chips, bagel chips, or crackers. You can serve it as a veggie dip too but quite honestly, it’s better with chips or crackers … and a spicy Paloma or strawberry margarita punch.
If you love poppers, be sure to try these stuffed mini sweet peppers. They’re a great appetizer, too.
About this Recipe
This cheesy dip recipe is easy to make. It has all the elements of poppers but in a dippable format. The creamy cheese filling is chock full of diced jalapeño peppers, bacon bits, and green onions. It has loads of cheddar cheese.
If you really love the crispy deep fried breading of poppers, don’t despair. This dip’s crunchy golden brown panko topping will satisfy your cravings, along with the crispy dippers.
I’ll get you started on the recipe and give you lots of helpful tips. Look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post for complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
Is The Dip Really Spicy?
Jalapeño peppers are usually pretty mild but the heat level can vary quite a bit. Try a little nibble of raw pepper to assess how spicy it is. Remove the ribs and seeds to reduce the spiciness. If you’re worried about the heat level, substitute poblano peppers or bell peppers.
What you’ll need
- Jalapeño Peppers: Buy four of these slim dark green peppers plus one or two more to garnish the dip, if you like.
- Bacon: You’ll need about 8 slices of bacon. Center cut bacon tends to be a bit more lean. Turkey bacon is fine, too (but you won’t find it in my house). You can omit it for a vegetarian version or substitute sausage.
- Cream Cheese: For this dip, full fat cream cheese is best. It’s a cheesy dip so it really doesn’t make sense to try to make it low fat. You may as well go for it. Make sure you take it out of the fridge an hour or two ahead of time so it has a chance to soften.
- Cheddar Cheese: With its sharp tangy flavor, cheddar cheese is really the best choice for this dip. If you prefer, a Mexican blend cheese is good, too. If you want to amp up the heat, try a pepper jack or a spicy cheddar.
- Green Onions: You’ll find plenty of green onions in this dip. They provide great flavor and green flecks of color.
- Mayonnaise: Yup, mayonnaise AND sour cream! This is a very creamy luscious dip. That’s why it’s so stinkin’ good! These two ingredients increase the “dippability” so that it’s not too stiff.
- Sour Cream: Full fat sour cream is best.
- Garlic: Start with two cloves. If you like a lot of garlic, add more; if you don’t care for garlic, omit it.
- Worcestershire Sauce: Just a teaspoon adds a bit of umami to the dip.
- Panko Bread Crumbs: The dip is topped with a toasty bread crumb mixture. Panko is a type of bread crumb that is large, with a loose, airy texture making it perfect for a crispy topping.
- Parmesan Cheese: Just a quarter cup of shredded or grated Parmesan is mixed with the panko.
- Butter: Melted butter helps the topping brown and gives it good flavor.
How to make This Dip
You’ll need an 8 inch baking dish or an oven safe skillet for this dip. Turn your oven on to preheat and let’s get started on the dip.
Begin by frying up the chopped up bacon in a skillet until it’s browned and crisp. Remove it from the pan and set it on paper towels to drain off some of the grease.
Pour all but one tablespoon of the bacon grease out of the pan. Turn the heat back on and add the chopped jalapeño peppers, cooking them about five minutes, just to soften them up a bit and take the spicy edge down a notch.
Add the garlic and sauté for another minute, stirring constantly, until the garlic smells really fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream, green onions, and Worcestershire sauce. Give it a good stir to blend the creamy ingredients together, fold in the cheddar cheese, then add the pepper/garlic mixture and the bacon. Stir until everything is combined.
Scrape the mixture into your baking dish, smoothing the top. Mix the Parmesan and melted butter with panko, and sprinkle that on the dip.
Bake the dip until it’s warm and the top is golden. Don’t overheat it because that may cause the cheese to separate. If you want the top to look a bit browner, broil the dip for a couple of minutes but watch it closely! It will burn quickly.
Jalapeño poppers are a popular appetizer made with halved jalapeño peppers. Each pepper half is filled with a rich cheese blend (cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and/or Monterey jack cheese) and baked until it’s warm and melty. Sometimes they have bits of bacon in the filling; sometimes they are wrapped in bacon before they are baked. Often poppers are breaded and deep fried.
Tortilla chips are very popular. Try healthier baked tortilla chips or air fryer tortilla chips. Crackers or bagel chips are good dippers. Crisp homemade crostini make excellent dippers, too. Crudités such as celery sticks, cucumber rounds, or bell pepper strips are great with this rich dip.
Make this dip! You’ll need four peppers plus additional peppers to garnish. Try jalapeño ranch dip or cheesy baked corn with bacon and jalapeño.
If you have an excess of peppers, chop them up and put them into freezer bags or containers. They can be frozen for up to a year and used for hot dishes or chili (no need to thaw them first).
Make It Your Own
- For a vegetarian dip, omit the bacon. There’s plenty of flavor in the dip and you’ll hardly miss the bacon. Use olive oil to cook the peppers and garlic. Try adding a little smoked paprika for smoky flavor.
- Make it with sausage instead of bacon. Use a 16 oz. roll of pork or turkey sausage, spicy if you like.
- For a keto-friendly, gluten-free dip, omit the bread crumb topping. Serve with celery sticks, sliced cucumber, or bell pepper strips.
- Looking for a no mayo recipe? Substitute thick Greek yogurt for the mayo or additional sour cream.
- Rather have a cold dip? While this dip is definitely best served warm, I have lots of recipes for cold dips. Try spinach dip or Mexicali dip. My seven layer dip is always a hit too. For non-creamy alternatives, try black bean corn salsa or black bean and avocado salad which is also a great dip.
Make the dip up to a day ahead, unbaked, and refrigerate it. When you’re ready to serve it, bake it as directed. It may take a couple of extra minutes to heat up since it’s chilled.
Storage & Reheating Tips
This dip is definitely best served right away. If you do happen to have some leftover, it will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days. That’s assuming it didn’t sit out for a couple of hours on the counter while everyone helped themselves. If that’s the case, I would discard any remaining dip.
To reheat, microwave the dip on 50% power until warm. You can also heat it in an oven safe container in your toaster oven.
- 8 slices bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
- 4 jalapeño peppers, diced (more for garnish if desired)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened (one block)
- ⅓ cup chopped green onions
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ cups (6 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare an 8×8 inch baking dish or medium size oven safe skillet by spraying lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crispy. Place bacon on a paper towel lined plate and remove all but 1 tablespoon of grease from skillet.
- Return pan to medium heat and add chopped jalapeños. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat.
- In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, green onion, mayonnaise, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, cheddar cheese, jalapeño and garlic mixture, and crumbled bacon. Spread in prepared dish.
- In a small bowl, melt butter. Toss bread crumbs and Parmesan with melted butter until coated.
- Sprinkle topping on cream cheese mixture. If desired, top with sliced jalapeños.
- Bake until dip is golden brown and heated through, about 20 minutes. If desired, broil for 1-2 minutes (watch closely!!) for a more golden brown top.
- Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, or veggies.
- Omit the bacon for a vegetarian dip. Use olive oil to sauté the peppers and garlic.
- Make this dip with sausage instead of bacon. Brown a 16 oz. roll of pork or turkey sausage, spicy if you like.
- For a keto friendly and gluten free dip, omit the bread crumb topping and serve with celery sticks, cucumber slices, and bell pepper strips instead of crackers.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.