Bacon Jalapeno Boats | Jalapeño Poppers | Traver Recipes

One of my favorite party appetizers! I made these four times before I got the filling ratios just right, confirmed by half a dozen taste testers. Sure to please any party! Ingredients, Nutrition Facts, and Description is below.


The idea of the Jalapeno Popper has always been a success. Jalapeños are a lot of fun to work with. They’re smaller than bell peppers which makes them great for appetizers, and they don’t really produce any water when cooked down like bell peppers do. They also pack a little heat, which is a fun profile to work with so long as the heat doesn’t get out of control. If these were Habaneros, we’d have a totally different stage and audience.

Now when it comes to making poppers there are a lot of different ways to achieve similar results. Personally I like the idea of making boats as opposed to a true popper, where the top is removed and the insides are cored then stuffed with ingredients. A lot of times they’re battered and deep fried.

I like all of those ideas, I just don’t want that much jalapeño per bit nor do I want to break out the oil to deep fry. So the idea is to make boats from half of each jalapeno. This is great because you get two appetizer pieces per jalapeno and they’re left open face in presentation. So you can see the ingredients used to fill them with. Wrapping it in a half piece of bacon is just a nice touch.

Okay so it’s that easy. The only things I would like to point out are the size of the jalapeños you pick up will determine the amount of bacon you need. Also that may change the serving size and ingredients per pieces, changing the Nutrition Facts. Here’s a quick breakdown:

I used small to medium sized jalapenos, about 3″. This makes them more bite sized and easier to wrap in bacon. It also cuts down on the amount of bacon needed, as you can use half strips of bacon to wrap each boat as opposed to a full strip of bacon.

The ratio of one 8oz. block of Cream Cheese plus 4oz. block Cheddar Cheese freshly grated (yielding 1 cup grated) will sufficiently stuff and over stuff 24 boats. In other words, 12 medium sized jalapenos.

If by chance you used large jalapenos you’ll need to up your ingredient amounts. For starters the half strips of bacon won’t be long enough to wrap around larger jalapeno boats. You’ll need full strips, which means to wrap the same amount of boats you’ll need 2 lbs. of bacon instead of 1 lbs.

I over stuff mine fairly well with the filling, so at the very least if you used large jalapenos you may not be able to achieve the same effect as your filling with stretch thin by the time you fill all your boats.

Lastly I would just simply like to comment that I used center cut bacon as opposed to thick cut bacon. This was the only time that I had true success with the amount of bacon on each boat. Every time I tried to use thick cut bacon it either didn’t wrap around the jalapeno in half strips, wasn’t enough bacon in each pack to make it happen as there are less strips in thick cut bacon backs, or they turned out chewy and tough. The center cut bacon turned out just right; a little crisp on top and the perfect amount per boat.

Okay so on to the recipe, hope you guys enjoy this one and if you have any ways that you would tweak this recipe please share it can be done in so many ways!

Ingredients:(Makes 24-28 Pieces, Serves 8-9 Guests)

  • 12-14 Small to Medium Sized Jalapeños.
  • 8 Ounce block of Philadelphia Cream Cheese.
  • 4 Ounce block of Cheddar Cheese, freshly Grated (yields 1 Cup).
  • 1 lbs. Center Cut Bacon.

Nutrition Facts:(Per Serving – 3 Pieces)

  • Calories: 300
  • Total Fat: 24g
  • – Saturated: 11g
  • – Trans: 0.1g
  • – Poly: 0.2g
  • – Mono: 1.3g
  • Cholesterol: 64mg
  • Sodium: 554mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 3.2g
  • Dietary Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Vitamin D: 0%
  • Calcium: 50%
  • Iron: 1%
  • Potassium: 100mg
  • Vitamin A: 25%
  • Vitamin C: 5%


  1. Step 1: In a large mixing bowl, add cream cheese and grated cheddar cheese and combine fully with a hand mixer.
  2. Take a 1 lbs. pack of center cut bacon and cut it right down the middle, making half strips of bacon. Line a large baking pan with foil then place half strips on pan and par bake at 350° for 10 minutes.
  3. Prepare jalapeños. Pull the stem off of each one, then cut each jalapeño in half from top to bottom, making right side and left side portions (sagittal cut). Use a spoon and remove seeds and core from each half, making boats.
  4. Fill boats with cheese filling prepped earlier. Fill just enough to the rim until all boats are filled, ensuring you had enough for all peppers. Once all boats are filled, you may not over stuff with remaining cheese filling.
  5. Wrap each boat with one half strip of par cooked bacon. Pin it with a tooth pick (which also makes them easier to serve), and place in at least a 3 quart baking dish.
  6. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes. If you prefer your bacon to be a little bit more crispy on top, broil on high for 1 minute or to your liking.

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