Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells is a delicious way to turn a jalapeno popper appetizer into a meal. Jumbo shells are loaded with the kick of jalapenos, bacon, and that all-important cream cheese filling! If you love jalapenos in your recipes, try my Jalapeno Popper Dip and my popular Jalapeno Popper Pork Loin

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells in a Skillet

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells

There is a local restaurant that makes the most amazing jalapeno poppers. I order the appetizer almost every time I go there. I just wish there was enough substance there to fill me up. The Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells is my way of getting that jalapeno popper taste but in a complete and filling meal.

Overhead View of Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells in a Skillet

How to Bake Bacon

When I cook bacon, I do it in the oven. I set the temperature to 415°F and while it is preheating, I lay out the individual slices of bacon on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.  (Yes, right on the pan! No rack needed.) They are perfectly crispy in 18-20 minutes. No flipping and easy cleanup! Then, crumble the strips of bacon into little pieces. Use this trick for other recipes calling for bacon like my Bacon Corn Dip.

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells on a White Plate

How to Cut and Seed a Jalapeno Pepper

Jalapeno peppers are hot peppers, so be careful when you cut them! If you have any cuts on your hands, I would suggest wearing food-safe gloves, or be prepared to feel some pain if the oil gets in those cuts! If you don’t have gloves, just be sure to wash your hands with white vinegar and cold water when you are done with the jalapenos.

There are a couple of ways you can cut and seed a jalapeno. One way is to simply slice the jalapeno down the middle, vertically, and carefully remove the seeds with a spoon. Another way to remove the seeds is to hold the jalapeno up by the stem–you can always cut across the bottom of the pepper so it can stand a little flatter– and slice along the sides of the pepper, hopefully leaving the seeds attached to the core. Then, simply stack the pepper strips and chop them into pieces, throwing away the core and seeds, of course. Remember, the capsaicin (what makes the pepper hot) will be on your hands, so don’t touch your fingers to your mouth or eyes until you wash your hands. For this recipe, be sure to get the peppers as finely diced as you can.

Fork Picking Up Cut Into Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells

How to Know When the Jalapeno is Spicy

If you are like me and you like things a little spicy, you have been the recipient of the jalapeno that had no kick. On the flip side, you may have had the jalapeno that tasted like a ghost pepper. So, how can you tell if the jalapeno is spicy? The older the pepper the spicier it will be. Looking at a pepper, the older ones will have stress marks, like little white lines or flecks on the flesh. The younger (less spicy) peppers will have clear shiny flesh. So if you like them hot, pick the older pepper. If you like the mild, pick the younger one.

More Stuffed Shells Recipes

Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells

Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Make a popular spicy appetizer a meal with these Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Shells.

Ingredients

  • 1 box jumbo shells, cooked al dente
  • 2 large jalapeno peppers, finely diced
  • 12 strips bacon, cooked, crumbled, and divided
  • blocks (12 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (66 g) cheddar cheese, cubed
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 cup (113 g) cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon chives, diced for garnish

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • In a bowl, mix the diced jalapeno peppers, 10 pieces of the cooked and crumbled bacon, cream cheese, cubed cheddar cheese, pepper, and onion powder.
  • Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into each shell.
  • Arrange stuffed shells on a greased 9×13 pan.
  • Top with the shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes, or until bubbly.
  • Serve immediately, topping with reserved bacon and chives (optional).

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