Serves 8 to 10 (makes 24 jalapeño halves) | Active Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (½ cup)
2 ounces deli ham, minced
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon table salt
12 jalapeño chiles, halved and seeded
Head Start
Cover and refrigerate filled, unbaked jalapeños for up to 1 day before baking.
Perfect Pair
Serve with Esquites or Naan with Fig Jam, Blue Cheese, and Prosciutto .
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS We streamline this popular bar snack by not coating the jalapeños and baking instead of deep frying them. Cream cheese is the base for our filling, with a hefty dose of shredded cheddar for substance and flavor and minced deli ham for meaty depth. Instead of breading and frying these stuffed chiles, we find that just 20 minutes in the oven softens them and ensures the filling is heated through. To soften cream cheese quickly, microwave it for 20 to 30 seconds. You can use red and green jalapeños interchangeably because chile heat is not determined by color.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine cream cheese, cheddar, ham, scallions, lime juice, chili powder, and salt in bowl. Spoon cream cheese mixture into jalapeño halves and arrange on prepared baking sheet. Bake until cheese is hot, about 20 minutes. Serve warm.