Low-Carb Baked Jalapeno Poppers with Bacon

Baked Jalapeno Poppers
Baked Jalapeno Poppers. Photo © Jerry Deutsch
Total Time 50 min
Prep 30 min, Cook 20 min
Yield 16 poppers (8 Servings)

 These "poppers" are baked in the oven instead of being deep-fried.  Instead of dipping them in a batter, I use pork rinds to form a sort of crisp-ish top.  You can do without the pork rinds, but just watch carefully for when the cheese begins to brown, as it will take less time.

Ingredients

  • 8 fresh jalapeno peppers
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz grated cheese, whatever type you like. I like a combination of sharp cheddar and smoked Gouda
  • 1/4 cup green onion tops - just the green part - minced
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped or crumbled
  • 1 oz pork rinds, unflavored

Preparation

Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.

1. Cut off the stem ends of the jalapeno peppers and cut then in half, end-to-end. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and that lighter part that the seeds cling to.

A note on the heat in jalapeno peppers: Jalapenos vary a lot in terms of how spicy hot they are, and you can't really tell until you taste them. The heat is almost all in the seeds and the inner membrane (like the skin of the inside of the pepper), so if you want to cut down on the amount of heat, scrape most of the inner membrane off when you are scooping out the seeds.

2. Mix all the rest of the ingredients except the pork rinds together very well. You can use a food processor (which is a lot easier than a spoon), but you may have to stop it a few times and break it up, as it may clump together before it's combined (or maybe just that's my elderly food processor).

3. Fill the peppers with the stuffing. Don't heap it up over the top, or they will just leak in the oven.

4. Crush the pork rinds, or run them through a food processor. Press each popper, cheese side down, in the pork rinds.

5. Place on baking sheet (I like to cover the sheet with foil to make cheese leaks easy to clean up) and bake for 20-25 minutes, until top is turning golden brown (which is only slightly browner than they already are).

Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Information: Each of serving of 2 poppers has 1.5 grams effective carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber (2.5 grams total carbohydrate), 8 grams protein, and 152 calories.

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