This recipe makes baked Low-Carb Jalapeño Poppers stuffed with garlic and cheese goodness. The cream cheese filling is seasoned with the cilantro and garlic and pairs perfectly with the spicy jalapeño vessel. This recipe is suitable for those following a low carb, Keto, Atkins, Banting, gluten free, or vegetarian diet.
The Recipe for Stuffed Low-Carb Jalapeño Poppers
These jalapeno poppers are super easy to make and are the perfect appetizer or convenient snack to awaken your taste buds. You can even spice these up a little more by adding some bacon crumbles to the filling. Another perk of these jalapeno poppers is that they’re easy to make ahead so you can spread out the enjoyment over a few days.
Jalapeno poppers have always been my go-to appetizer at restaurants, but for a long time, I didn’t try my hand at making them on my own.
When I finally made them myself, they were much simpler to make that I expected. I also had full control over the outcome. I could to pick my own flavors, adjust the spice level, and even omit the breading to make them lower in carbs.
So, don’t be afraid to customize these jalapeno poppers to fit your preferences. More cheese? Yes please! More garlic? Go for it!
How to make jalapeños less hot
While some people love the spiciness of jalapeños, for others it can be a little too hot and overwhelming. The spice level of jalapenos also varies significantly from pepper to pepper.
So, firstly, when choosing your jalapeños, be sure to select peppers with smooth skin. Normally, white marks or bumps on the skin indicate stress in growing which can create a spicier pepper. Also choose jalapeños that are still green in color. As they mature, jalapeños turn red in color and tend to become spicier during this process.
Cooking jalapeño peppers is also a surefire way to reduce their spice level. In this recipe, I also precook the jalapeños before adding the filling. This helps balance out the spice level and also balances out the baking time as the peppers take longer to cook than the filling.
Some people also recommend boiling jalapeños to reduce the spiciness even more which can be effective, but, it can also lead to more mushiness. This is why I recommend using the pre-baking method in this recipe. For those that prefer that kick of spice, you can pre-cook the pepper for slightly less time.
Another way to make jalapeños less hot is by cutting the jalapeño correctly to ensure that the spiciest parts are removed. I will discuss in more detail down in the next section.
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How to cut a jalapeño
Cutting jalapeños is pretty simple, but certain steps are important to decrease the spiciness of the pepper and to protect your hands from the strong oils. Before cutting jalapeños, be sure to put on gloves.
For this recipe, I cut the jalapeños in half length-wise. Inside of the jalapeño, you will find a light green membrane that holds the seeds. You can then either use a small knife or spoon to scoop out all of the membrane and seeds. Then, cut away the protruding parts of the white ribs as there tends to be more capsaicin in these areas.
If you prefer more spice, you can leave the ribs as is. After cutting the peppers, I rinse all of the halves to remove any stubborn seeds that might still be lodged in the pepper.
How to get jalapeño off your hands
Jalapeños have a very strong spicy oil that contains capsaicin, which creates the spiciness of the jalapeño.
When cutting jalapeño peppers, the oils containing capsaicin are released and can cause a prolonged burning sensation if it comes in contact with your skin. So be sure to avoid touching your face, eyes, or any other areas at any time during this process.
If the oil happens to come in contact with your skin, surprisingly, soap and water is normally not very effective at removing these stubborn oils.
Most people find that using olive oil or vegetable oil to get rid of the capsaicin-dense oils works better. This is because these oils actually help dissolve capsaicin oil.
Another method is using nail polish remover or rubbing alcohol to wash away these spicy compounds.
How to make jalapeño poppers
Jalapeño poppers are actually surprisingly easy to make. In fact, this filling just requires mixing a few ingredients together in a bowl.
There are several ways to cook jalapeño poppers. They can either be baked or grilled, but I tend to bake them simply for ease and accessibility.
In restaurants, you might notice that jalapeño poppers are often breaded. To make this recipe suitable for those on either a keto, gluten free or low carb diet, I have omitted the breading in this recipe.
Can you make Low-Carb Jalapeño Poppers ahead of time?
Yes! Whenever I make these jalapeño poppers, I like making a double batch so that I snack on them over the next few days. It saves time and keeps me from going through the process of cutting jalapeños again. You’ll be surprised at how fast these disappear too!
There are two approaches to making these jalapeño poppers ahead of time. You can either prepare them completely and bake them. Then, once they are completely cool, cover them up and store them in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat when ready to eat them.
A second way to make them ahead is to complete all of the steps except for baking the stuffed peppers, then store them in the fridge for up to three days. When you’re ready to make them, simply remove them from the refrigerator and bake them.
I find that the second method does maintain a little more freshness in taste and texture, but it does take up more time later on since they have to bake rather than just quickly reheat.
Can I eat Jalapeños on Keto?
Of course! Jalapeños are generally pretty low in carbs at only 1 carb in average jalapeño pepper and 0.4g of dietary fiber. So, overall, they only have 0.6g of net carbs per pepper.
Although sometimes jalapeños are only used to add spice and flavor to a dish, their low carb content makes them perfect ingredient to include in larger quantities. So, they are the perfect vessel for the cheesy filling in a recipe like this!
Other Keto-Friendly Jalapeño recipes
Have a soft-spot for jalapeños? We do too! Here are a few other recipes from our blog and other low carb bloggers that can help satisfy those jalapeño cravings and explore so new ways to incorporate jalapeños into your meals.
If you want a deconstructed main-course version of these jalapeño poppers, be sure to try out our jalapeño popper frittata. Also be sure to make our Chicken tenders with bacon jalapeño sauce or our super easy grilled jalapeño burgers. For a flavorful low carb bread with jalapeños, check out this 4 ingredient Keto Jalapeño cheese bread recipe from Sweet C’s.
Low-Carb Jalapeño Poppers (Keto-Friendly)
- 8 fresh jalapeños (medium to large)
- 1/3 cup mexican blend cheese (shredded)
- 8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1/2 cup red onion (finely chopped)
- 1/3 cup mexican blend cheese (shredded)
- 2 Tbsp cilantro (finely chopped)
- 1 clove garlic (crushed)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using gloves, trim the stems and slice each Jalapeno in half long-ways. Next, remove all of the light green membrane and the seeds and carefully cut away any of the white ribs inside the peppers. If needed, rinse the peppers to remove any additional seeds.
Next, transfer the Jalapenos to a baking sheet and place them cut-side-up. Bake for 11 minutes then let cool until at least lukewarm before adding the filling.
In the medium bowl, stir together all of the filling ingredients until thoroughly combined.
Using a spoon or clean hands, stuff each pepper with the filling until full and then press down the filling in slightly to ensure that it stays in pepper while baking. Next, sprinkle the additional shredded cheese over each jalapeno. If desired, garnish with additional chopped cilantro.
Finally, bake the stuffed Jalapenos at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese on the top begins to brown slightly.
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