How to Make Jalapeño Poppers From America’s Test Kitchen

Here it was, only Day 5 of a 14-night transatlantic crossing and already I was back at my version of Foodie Central. It’s Holland America’s onboard partnership with America’s Test Kitchen. The perfect way to pass time on a long cruise. And learn how to make jalapeño poppers! 

How to make Jalapeño Poppers like in this photo
These Jalapeño poppers from America’s Test Kitchen looked gorgeous.

How to Make Jalapeño Poppers

America’s Test Kitchen aboard Holland America ships labels their cooking demonstrations as “Courses.” It is their goal to make up feel as though we were students at their actual online cooking school. This was Course 4 in the onboard series. Under the title of Getting to Know Chiles.

If you want to snag a good ringside seat at any of these demonstrations, plan to arrive 20 minutes before showtime. I’m serious. Especially at the beginning of your cruise when everyone is excited and looking for something foodie to do. 

Longer cruises tend to attract the most attendees. We’re a captive audience with long sea days to fill.

Holland America America's Test Kitchen

America’s Test Kitchen Recipe

Jalapeño Poppers

America's Test Kitchen
Spicy, a tad greasy and easy to prepare, these jalapeño poppers are terrific at a casual indoor gathering or outdoor BBQ.  Makes 24 poppers. 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 people


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 12 jalapeño chiles halved lengthwise with stems intact, seeds and ribs removed
  • Salt
  • 4 ounces mild cheddar cheese shredded, 1 cup
  • 4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese shredded, 1 cup
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 scallions sliced thin
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, fresh minced
  • 2 tbsp panko break crumbs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp cumin


  • Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat over to 500 degrees.  Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet.  Cook bacon in 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat until crispy, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. When bacon is cool enough to handle, chop fine and set aside. 
  • Season jalapeños with salt and place cut side down on wire rack.  Bake until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Remove jalapeños from over and reduce oven temperature to 450 degrees.  When cool enough to handle, flip jalapeños to cut side up.
  • Mix cheddar, Monterey Jack, cream cheese, scallions, cilantro, panko, egg yolk, line juice, cumin and bacon together.  Divide cheese mixture among jalapeños, pressing into cavities.  Back until jalapeños are tender and filling is lightly browned, 9 to 11 minutes.  Let cool for 5 minutes.  Serve.
  • To make ahead 
    The filled and unbaked jalapeños can be covered and refrigerated for up to 1 day.  Add 3 minutes to baking time. 

That’s all there is to make colorful (and tasty!) jalapeño poppers with this easy recipe. Be sure NOT to touch your eyes when handling a jalapeño. I wear those kitchen rubber gloves like they do in restaurants, when handling chiles. Too often I’ve accidentally touched my eye and wow…the burn is horrible.

Read next:  Cruise to Cozumel for Josefina’s Kitchen Cooking Class

To compliment America’s Test Kitchen cooking demonstrations are their large colorful recipe cards. Pick up your recipe card as you enter the Test Kitchen. They go fast and there’s a limited amount per recipe. More stuff to lug home, but worth it.

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