Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese | The Recipe Critic


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Add some kick to a classic comfort meal with this insanely good jalapeno popper grilled cheese! It’s filled with melty colby jack, bacon, spicy jalapeños, and cream cheese to balance the heat and add creaminess. You’re going to love it!

Looking for more fun twists on a classic grilled cheese? Try this pizza grilled cheese or sloppy joe grilled cheese next!

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Recipe

Everybody loves a good jalapeno popper, so why not take those flavors and add them to another classic comfort food? I LOVE grilled cheeses, and didn’t really think they could get any better. But adding spicy jalapenos, cool cream cheese, and bacon does just that! It’s the grilled cheese upgrade you never knew you needed.

You can make your grilled cheese on a skillet as per usual, or make it in the air fryer for easy prep. (Personally, this is my favorite way to make it! It turns out so crispy and divine!) Either way, you’re going to love this cheesy, spicy, bacon-filled goodness.

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Jalapeños: These spicy peppers provide a kick of heat and flavor, giving the grilled cheese a signature jalapeño popper taste.
  • Olive Oil: The olive oil helps sauté the jalapeños, enhancing their flavor and making them tender.
  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese adds a creamy and tangy element to the filling, reminiscent of traditional jalapeño poppers.
  • Green Onions: Diced green onions offer a fresh and mild onion flavor, complementing the spiciness of the jalapeños.
  • Garlic Powder: Adding a hint of garlic powder enhances the overall savory profile of the grilled cheese.
  • Colby-Jack Cheese: The shredded Colby-Jack cheese brings gooeyness and a rich blend of flavors, while also helping bind the filling.
  • Bacon: Crispy bacon adds a smoky and salty dimension to the grilled cheese, elevating its taste and texture.
  • Bread: Slices of bread create the base for the sandwich, providing a comforting and familiar foundation.
  • Butter: Softened butter is spread on the bread to achieve a golden and crispy exterior during grilling.
  • Garlic Salt (optional): If used, garlic salt can add an extra layer of garlic flavor and seasoning to the sandwich.
  • Italian Seasoning (optional): The Italian seasoning, if added, contributes a blend of herbs that enhances the overall taste profile with a touch of Italian flair.

Tips and Variations

  • Wash Your Hands: Wash your hands thoroughly after working with jalapeno peppers. Especially after removing the seeds because they can irritate the skin. Remove fewer seeds if you like it really spicy!
  • Roasting Jalapenos: Watch the jalapenos closely as they broil. They can get dark pretty fast!
  • Switch Up the Cheese: I LOVE Colby-Jack cheese in this sandwich but feel free to use any kind of cheese.
  • Use Any Bread: Sourdough bread is my favorite, but you can use white or wheat bread as well. Bakery-style bread would also be delicious such as Italian bread or artisan bread.
  • Bacon: Use pre-cooked bacon because you can make the sandwich quicker!
  • Low and Slow: Lower heat is the trick to a good grilled cheese. It slowly melts the cheese, but doesn’t burn the bread too fast.


  • Preheat the oven to broil. Place the whole jalapenos on a baking sheet then drizzle with olive oil. Broil for 5-6 minutes turning halfway through. Watch the jalapenos closely, they may broil quicker depending on your oven.

  • Place the roasted jalapenos in a ziplock bag to “sweat” for 5 minutes.

  • Remove the skin and cut each jalapeno in half lengthwise. Discard the seeds.

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, green onion, and garlic powder.

  • Spread the cream cheese mixture on one side of all 4 slices of bread.

  • Top two of the slices with shredded cheese, and the other two slices with bacon and roasted jalapenos.

  • Carefully close the sandwich and butter the top slice of bread. Add a sprinkle of garlic salt and Italian seasoning if you desire.

  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the buttered side down on the skillet and quickly butter and season the topside.

  • Cook for about 4 minutes per side. Turn the heat down if the outside starts to brown too quickly. Low and slow is the key to melted the cheese and not getting the outside too dark.



Serves: 2

Serving1sandwichCalories1201kcal (60%)Carbohydrates35g (12%)Protein39g (78%)Fat101g (155%)Saturated Fat53g (265%)Polyunsaturated Fat7gMonounsaturated Fat33gTrans Fat1gCholesterol241mg (80%)Sodium1517mg (63%)Potassium451mg (13%)Fiber3g (12%)Sugar7g (8%)Vitamin A2758IU (55%)Vitamin C26mg (32%)Calcium820mg (82%)Iron3mg (17%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.





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