Liven up your next party with this easy and zesty dip
That Super Bowl thingy is coming up soon. Party time! And what’s a party without dip?
This Baked Jalapeño Popper Dip would be perfect for game day. You can put it together quickly, then socialize while it bakes. Score!
Not in a Super Bowl party mood? Then just call this dinner.
Recipe: Baked Jalapeño Popper Dip
We love jalapeño poppers (whole jalapeño peppers stuffed with cheese, then dipped in breadcrumbs and deep fried). But we don’t enjoy making them – too much mess and work. So when we get the craving, we just make this terrific dip instead. All the flavor without the fuss.
This dip combines jalapeños with cheese under a topping of breadcrumbs (to mimic the breading on fried jalapeño poppers).
We strongly recommend serving this dish hot (it’s much less flavorful when cold). So prepare it right before serving. If it cools off before you’re finished, just pop it into the microwave (it reheats nicely).
Bake (and serve) this dip in an ovenproof container that holds about 2 quarts. We like to serve it in a gratin pan or skillet. But a deep dish works too.
What scooper to serve with this dip? We like tortilla chips. But you could try potato chips, crackers, even crudités. Thinly sliced bread rounds (toasted or not) or pita slices would work too.
Prep time for this dish is 20 to 30 minutes. Baking adds about 20 to 25 minutes.
Leftovers keep well for a few days if refrigerated in an airtight container. But do heat them before serving.
- 2 eight-ounce packages cream cheese
- 5 jalapeño peppers (or more to taste)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or other vegetable oil)
- 8 ounces (about 2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese (we use the already-shredded stuff)
- 1 cup sour cream
- ¼ cup butter (½ stick)
- ~1 ounce Parmesan or Romano cheese (see Notes)
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (may substitute regular breadcrumbs)
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- extra jalapeño slices for garnish (optional)
- Remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator a couple hours before you plan to make the dip (so it can warm to room temperature).
- When ready to make the dip, turn the oven on to 375 degrees F.
- Wash and dry the jalapeños, then trim off the stem ends. Slice one pepper into thin rings and set it aside. For the remaining jalapeños: Cut each pepper in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the ribs and seeds (optional, but these hold most of the heat). Chop the peppers into very fine dice. Set aside. Then wash your hands with soap and water to remove any hot jalapeño oil from your skin.
- Peel the garlic and chop it into fine dice.
- Heat a frying pan (preferably nonstick) over medium stovetop heat. When hot, add the oil. Add the diced jalapeños and sauté them for 4 minutes. Then add the garlic and sauté for another minute. Remove the pan from the heat.
- Place the cream cheese in a medium-sized bowl. Use a sturdy spoon to cream it (or just use a mixer). Add the shredded cheddar cheese and the sour cream, then mix to blend well. Add the jalapeño-and-garlic mixture, then stir well to mix all the ingredients.
- Scrape the mixture into the container you’ll use to bake the dip.
- Now make the topping: Melt the butter. Grate the Parmesan/Romano cheese. Add the breadcrumbs to a small bowl. Chop the parsley finely. Add the grated Parmesan/Romano cheese and parsley to the breadcrumbs, then mix together. Now add the melted butter and mix it in thoroughly. Using a spatula, spread the breadcrumb mixture over the surface of the dip. Then sprinkle the reserved jalapeño rings (Step 3) over the top.
- Place the container holding the dip into the oven (we use the center rack). Set a timer for 20 minutes. When the timer goes off, check the dip (if it’s not hot and bubbly, bake a few minutes longer). If the top doesn’t brown as well as you’d like, just run it under the broiler for a few minutes.
- Serve, adding some more jalapeño slices as garnish if you wish.
- Our version of this recipe calls for cooking the jalapeño and garlic before adding them to the cheese mixture. This might not be strictly necessary, but we think it makes for better flavor. You can skip this step if you wish, and just add the raw jalapeño and garlic to the cheese.
- We’ve seen recipes that use mayonnaise instead of sour cream. We haven’t tried this, but you may want to.
- Prefer a spicier dip? Add some hot sauce to the mix. Or just use more jalapeños.
- We’ve seen recipes that substitute crumbled crackers for breadcrumbs. If you go that route, crumble them finely. Triscuits or Ritz crackers would probably work well.
- Parmesan and Romano cheese both work fine in this dish (though Romano is a bit more zesty).
- We usually weigh the Parmesan/Romano cheese because volume measures vary a bit depending on how finely the cheese is grated. But exact measurements aren’t critical for this recipe.
- BTW, you could add some Parmesan or Romano to the cheddar cheese (Step 6) for extra flavor.
- Bacon is a nice addition to this dish. If you want to add it, here’s how: Fry 4 to 6 strips of bacon. When it’s just beginning to crisp, remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels. Then pour off most of the bacon grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan. Use this to sauté the jalapeños and garlic (Step 5). Chop the fried bacon and stir it into the cheese mixture in Step 6 (you may want to reserve a few bacon bits for garnish).
- Have some dip left over after the party? It makes a terrific filling for toasted cheese sandwiches.
“Yumm-acious!” said Mrs. Kitchen Riffs. “Think I’ll pop another dippy chip into my mouth.”
“Glad I dipped into the recipe file for this one,” I said.
“That particular file seems to be as stuffed as a breaded popper,” said Mrs K R.
“We love us some dips,” I said. “Can’t have too many recipes for them.”
“We’re just chip chompers,” said Mrs K R.
Or maybe dipsomaniacs?
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