The Superbowl is fast approaching, and these Jalapeno Poppers are one of my favorite snacks to make for any occasion! Even if that occasion is just a weekend at home. The combination of meat, cheese and seasoning combined with the peppers is divine, and I usually make enough for a crowd because they re-heat surprisingly well for next-day snacks.
I see a lot of recipes that only call for a cheese blend, but we like to get in some protein around here and I love using our ground deer sausage in these. You can substitute any type of sausage as well, but if you have a hunter in the house - grab the wild game!
Before you get into this one, let me line out a few tools that you will want to have ready:
- One large cutting board
- Disposable or Rubber Gloves (trust me)
- Sharp knife
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Outdoor grill or smoker
- Grill mesh sheets
1-1.5lb Ground Sausage (Venison preferred)
7 Large Jalapeno Peppers
1 Package of Bacon (medium to thick cut)
1 Block of Cream Cheese
1.5 Cup of Shredded Cheddar
Traeger Anything Rub
Makes approximately 14 Jalapeno Poppers - I usually plan on 3-4 Poppers per adult.
Let's Get Cookin!
1) Cook ground sausage until done. Drain and let cool. *You can also prep this the night before
2) Meanwhile, prepare your jalapenos. Put on your rubber gloves to handle them. I do this so I don't end up getting the juice and seeds on my fingers, and then later in my eyes. Chop the stems off the top, and slice down the middle long-ways. Use a spoon to scrape out the inside seeds and veins. (you can leave some vein in if you prefer a spicier pepper)
4) Heat up your smoker to 225 degrees.
5) Melt the cream cheese in a large glass mixing bowl the microwave on 50% power until it is easy to stir. Next, add your sausage - I start with about 75% of the meat to gauge how thick my filling will be. Add 1 cup of shredded cheddar and a palmful (just eyeball it) of Traeger Anything Rub. Stir well until everything is combined. Add more meat or cheese to your preference and mix.
6) Working with one jalapeno at a time, use a spoon to stuff the pepper. I pack mine pretty full so the filling is coming a little over the edge. Take one piece of uncooked bacon and wrap it long-ways around the jalapeno from end to end, gently pressing it to secure. You can use toothpicks to hold it if you'd like, but I just let mine hang on. Repeat this until all of your peppers are full and wrapped. You may or may not have some extra filling depending on the size of your peppers.
7) Sprinkle some more of your Anything Seasoning all over your Poppers.
8) Place the Jalapeno Poppers on a mesh tray in your smoker. Be sure they are over the drip tray if you have one because the bacon grease will drip. Let them cook for about 1.5-2 hours.
9) Increase the temperature on your smoker to 350 degrees and let the Poppers cook for another 45-60 minutes to get the bacon crispy.
10) Remove Poppers from the smoker and let them cool. Then enjoy with friends!
Enjoy! And be sure to leave me a note if you love this recipe.