- 12 fresh jalapeño peppers
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese*
- 1 clove garlic, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 12 slices bacon, cut in half
- 24 toothpicks
- Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (best for clean-up) or a silicone baking mat. Place a baking rack on top of the baking sheet. Set aside.
- Cut the jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and center membrane. Set aside.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, and paprika together until combined. You could also do this by hand using a rubber spatula. Salt to taste – I add just a pinch. Spoon filling equally among all 24 jalapeño halves.
- Wrap each stuffed jalapeño with a half slice of bacon and stick a toothpick through the center to assure the bacon stays in place. Place each on the baking rack and bake for 25-28 minutes or until the bacon is crisp to your liking. I like to turn the oven to broil for the last minute or two to get things extra crispy. Serve immediately. Cover leftovers and keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
MAKE AHEAD/FREEZE: jalapeño peppers may be stuffed and wrapped 1 day in advance. Refrigerate until ready to bake. You may also assemble and freeze up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed.