Remember when I confessed how much I love onion rings? Well there’s one appetizer that I’m even less likely to turn down if I see it on a menu – Jalapeño Poppers. Just like the rings, I wanted to make a version at home that was a little healthier and wasn’t deep-fried. I’d been eyeing a Jalapeño Popper recipe in The Sriracha Cookbook that uses a mixture of cream cheese, Sriracha (naturally), grated Monterey Jack cheese, and cumin for the filling. It sounded so much more exciting than the usual cream cheese, so we decided to use the kicked-up filling, but throw them on the grill instead of breading and frying.
After a couple minutes over direct heat, and a few minutes more on indirect heat, the jalapeños were perfectly charred on the bottoms and the zesty, cheesy filling was happily bubbling. We loved them and didn’t even miss the fried coating. Even Levi ate these poppers voraciously! Apparently at almost 16 months, his heat tolerance level is getting higher. Good boy! If you have leftover filling, it’s awesome on a toasted bagel for breakfast.
Grilled Sriracha “Poppers”
(Adapted from The Sriracha Cookbook; Serves 4-6 as an appetizer/snack)
12 medium to large-sized jalapeños
7 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 TBS. Sriracha
1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 tsp. cumin
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
Olive oil for the grill
- Prepare a charcoal grill.
- Wash the jalapeños and pat dry. Cut off the stems and cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to gently scrape out the seeds and membranes. Arrange jalapeño halves on a large platter.
- In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, Sriracha, Monterey jack cheese, and cumin and mix well. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
- Fill each jalapeño half with the cream cheese filling.
- When the coals are ready, oil the grill grates. Using tongs, carefully place the Jalapeño Poppers in the center of the grill. Cook for a few minutes, or until the bottoms of the jalapeños just begin to char. Move the poppers to the edge of the grill so that they can continue to cook over more indirect heat for about 5 minutes more. When the jalapeños are soft, the cream cheese filling is bubbling, and the tops are turning golden, they are ready!
- Transfer to a serving platter. Try not to burn your mouth because they’ll look so good, you’ll want to pop one in your mouth right away.
More Poppers, Please!