Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes kick up the flavor of the already delicious Twice Baked Potato. Loaded with a spicy, cheesy filling and topped with more cheese, bacon, and jalapeno peppers, these potatoes are a great start to a meal or a meal in themselves!
Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes
I am starting to believe that twice-baked potatoes are given that title not only because you bake them two times but because they pack twice the flavor! Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes even pack more flavor than that with the cheesy filling and kick from the jalapeno peppers. I always have loved Jalapeno Poppers as an appetizer, but getting all that flavor in a loaded potato sets the bar pretty high!
Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe
This recipe starts with a perfectly cooked potato. I will give you some tips on how to bake a potato next. After all, how many times have you baked a potato and it comes out rock solid? Then, it’s about that cream cheese filling that Jalapeno Poppers are known for. You can even make your own homemade ranch seasoning to use in this recipe as well!
How to Bake a Perfectly Baked Potato
As I mentioned, it starts with the baked potato for this and all other baked potato recipes.
- First of all, choose a starchy potato like a Russet potato or Idaho potato. Clean it well to get off all the dirt.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Prick holes all around the potato (carefully), using a knife or fork. This allows the steam to escape from inside the potato. If you do not prick holes in the potato, it may actually burst inside your oven.
- Rub the potatoes with oil and season them with Kosher salt. Be generous with the salt.
- Place the potatoes on a foil-lined baking sheet and let them cook at 350°F for about an hour, or until they are fork-tender. A fork should easily pierce the baked potato when it’s done. If it is hard, bake it for a little longer. Be careful to not overbake, though! If you want to be exact, the temperature of a fully cooked potato is around 210°F.
- Remove them from the oven and let them cool before you begin to handle them.
How to Make Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes
After the potatoes have cooled down, it’s time to fill them with the cream cheese mixture that jalapeno poppers are known for! You will be using the inside of the potatoes as part of the mixture to put back into your hollowed-out potatoes. First, carefully form a ‘potato bowl’. To do this, cut off one top of each potato (horizontally speaking). Using a spoon, remove the center of the potato and place into a large mixing bowl. Be very careful not to tear the potato skin of the ‘bowl’. Lay the hollowed out potato shells on a baking sheet. (On a side note, the salted skin of the potato that you just cut off the top is a salty delight, but you won’t need those again for this recipe.)
In the large bowl, with the scooped out potatoes, add and combine the sour cream, cream cheese, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, ranch seasoning, jalapenos, bacon, green onion, salt, and pepper. Mash everything together until it is mixed well. Fill out each hollowed-out potato with the cream cheese mixture. (Please note that you will probably have some of the filling left over. These are actually really tasty mashed potatoes! Just heat them up for about 10 minutes.) Top off the stuffed potatoes with the remaining cheddar cheese and bacon. Bake them for 15-20 minutes at 350°F, or until the cheese is melted. Top it off with some extra jalapeno peppers for even more of a kick!
How to Properly Cut Jalapeno Peppers
Knowing how to seed and slice a jalapeno properly will make your life a whole lot easier. After cleaning and removing the jalapeno seeds, the rest is a short mixture of chopping and mixing. It really doesn’t take long at all! However, removing the seeds from a jalapeno is touchy business, literally speaking. Hopefully, this isn’t your first rodeo with cutting a jalapeno, but if so, take my advice from here on out.
Some people think that the seeds hold all of the heat, others think the membrane is the culprit. If you have ever cut into a jalapeno all willy-nilly you may have experienced the accidental eye or nose contact. Trust me, you do not want to experience this. To avoid this accidental tragedy I suggest wearing gloves or holding the jalapeno with a paper towel while you cut. Make a lengthwise cut, exposing the membranes that hold the seeds in place. Then take a spoon and scrape out the membrane, working from the bottom to the top of the pepper. Scoop the seed directly into the compost. Finally, WASH YOUR HANDS! Like really get in there and wash them with soap. Gloves for the win!
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 a clear shiny flesh. So if you like them hot, pick the older pepper. If you like the mild, pick the younger one.
Can You Bake Twice Baked Potatoes in the Microwave?
Not everyone has an hour or two to get dinner on the table. One solution would be to use the microwave for the initial baking of the potato. Most of the prepping of the potatoes is the same as baking them in the oven. First, scrub and wash the potatoes. Then, poke holes in the potatoes using a fork or knife. Rub the canola oil over each potato and sprinkle on the salt. Finally, wrap the potatoes in a paper towel that has been moistened with a little more canola oil. Cook two potatoes at a time in the microwave, checking if they are fork-tender after 8 minutes. If not, cook a minute more at a time until they are ready. Then, simply follow the ‘how to make jalapeno popper twice-baked potatoes’ to finish them up. I would recommend baking them in the oven the second time, which only takes 15-20 minutes.
Jalapeno Popper Twice Baked Potatoes
- 6 large potatoes, washed and pricked with holes
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 cup sour cream
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 3 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning mix, or 1 1/2 (1 ounce) packets of store-bought seasoning
- 2-4 medium jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (reserving a teaspoon for topping)
- 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (reserving 2 tablespoons for topping)
- 2 tablespoons green onion, diced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoons pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Wash the potatoes, and prick each side of the potatoes 1-2 times with a fork.
- Coat each potato with canola oil and kosher salt and place on a foil-lined cooking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Remove from oven and let potatoes rest until they are cool enough to handle.
- Using a sharp knife, slice the top (horizontally) off of each potato.
- Using a spoon, remove the center of the potato and place into a large mixing bowl. Be very careful not to tear the potato skin. Lay the hollowed-out potato shells on a baking sheet.
- To the bowl of potatoes, add sour cream, cream cheese, 1 cup of cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, ranch seasoning, jalapenos, bacon, green onion, salt, and pepper. Mash until everything is mixed together.
- Filled the hollowed-out potato skins with the filling.
- Top each potato with the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and bacon. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Top with reserved jalapenos.
Did you make this recipe?
You can tag me at @iamhomesteader.