Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese | The Recipe Critic

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Add some kick to a classic comfort meal with this insanely good jalapeno popper grilled cheese! It’s filled with melty colby jack, bacon, spicy jalapeños, and cream cheese to balance the heat and add creaminess. You’re going to love it!

Looking for more fun twists on a classic grilled cheese? Try this pizza grilled cheese or sloppy joe grilled cheese next!

3 slices of jalapeno popper grilled cheeses stacked on top of each other.

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Recipe

Everybody loves a good jalapeno popper, so why not take those flavors and add them to another classic comfort food? I LOVE grilled cheeses, and didn’t really think they could get any better. But adding spicy jalapenos, cool cream cheese, and bacon does just that! It’s the grilled cheese upgrade you never knew you needed.

You can make your grilled cheese on a skillet as per usual, or make it in the air fryer for easy prep. (Personally, this is my favorite way to make it! It turns out so crispy and divine!) Either way, you’re going to love this cheesy, spicy, bacon-filled goodness.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Like any homemade sandwich, feel free to swap out the bread, cheese, or toppings to make it just the way you like it! The exact measurements I used to make my jalapeno popper grilled cheese are in the recipe card below.

  • Jalapeños: These spicy peppers provide a kick of heat and flavor, giving the grilled cheese a signature jalapeño popper taste. Yum!
  • Olive Oil: The olive oil helps sauté the jalapeños, enhancing their flavor and making them tender.
  • Cream Cheese: Cream cheese adds a creamy and tangy element to the filling, reminiscent of traditional jalapeño poppers.
  • Green Onions: Diced to add some mild onion flavor.
  • Garlic Powder: For a little extra savory goodness. You can also use roasted garlic!
  • Colby-Jack Cheese: The shredded Colby-Jack cheese brings gooeyness and a rich blend of flavors.
  • Bacon: Crispy bacon adds a smoky and salty element to the jalapeno popper grilled cheese. Use precooked bacon for easy prep!
  • Bread: I usually go for French bread or sourdough, but you can use any kind you want.
  • Butter: Softened butter is spread on the bread to achieve a golden and crispy exterior during grilling.
  • Garlic Salt (Optional): If used, garlic salt can add an extra layer of garlic flavor and seasoning to the sandwich.
  • Italian Seasoning (Optional): My favorite blend of herbs! They give the jalapeno popper grilled cheese extra flavor and make it smell amazing.

How to Make a Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

It’s just as easy as making a classic grilled cheese. The only extra step is to roast your jalapenos to really bring out their delicious flavor!

  1. Roast Your Jalapenos: Preheat the oven to broil. Place the whole jalapenos on a baking sheet then drizzle with olive oil. Broil for 5-6 minutes turning halfway through. Watch the jalapenos closely, they may broil quicker depending on your oven.
  2. Allow Jalapenos to Sweat: Place the roasted jalapenos in a ziplock bag to “sweat” for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove Skin and Seeds: Remove the skin and cut each jalapeno in half lengthwise. Then discard the seeds.
  4. Cream Cheese Mixture: In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, green onion, and garlic powder. 
  5. Add Spread: Spread the cream cheese mixture on one side of all 4 slices of bread.
  6. Layer With Toppings: Top two of the slices with shredded cheese, and the other two slices with bacon and roasted jalapenos.
  7. Butter: Carefully close the sandwich and butter the top slice of bread. Then add a sprinkle of garlic salt and Italian seasoning if you desire. 
  8. Heat Skillet: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Then place the buttered side down on the skillet and quickly butter and season the topside. 
  9. Cook: Cook for about 4 minutes per side or until golden brown. Turn the heat down if the outside starts to brown too quickly. Low and slow is the key to melting the cheese and not getting the outside too dark.
4-photo collage of the jalapenos being roasted and the sandwich assembled.

Tips and Variations

Here are a few tips, tricks, and variations so that your jalapeno popper grilled cheese turns out as tasty as possible! Trust me, once you have a grilled cheese like this you won’t want it any other way.

  • Wash Your Hands: Wash your hands thoroughly after working with jalapeno peppers. Especially after removing the seeds because they can irritate the skin. Remove fewer seeds if you like it really spicy!
  • Roasting Jalapenos: Watch the jalapenos closely as they broil. They can get dark pretty fast!
  • Switch Up the Cheese: I LOVE Colby-Jack cheese in this sandwich but feel free to use any kind of cheese. Cheddar, Monterey Jack, American, and provolone are all great options.
  • Use Any Bread: Sourdough bread is my favorite, but you can use white or wheat bread as well. Bakery-style bread would also be delicious such as Italian bread or artisan bread.
  • Bacon: Use pre-cooked bacon because you can make the sandwich quicker!
  • Low and Slow: Lower heat is the trick to a good grilled cheese. It slowly melts the cheese, but doesn’t burn the bread too fast.

Two halves of a jalapeno grilled cheese being pulled apart.

How Long Will My Grilled Cheese Last?

This is one of those dishes that is best enjoyed immediately. What makes a jalapeno popper grilled cheese so good is the warm, crispy bread and melty goodness on the inside!

If you need to, you can store your sandwich in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Reheat on the stove to get it tasting warm and crispy again! Keep in mind that the longer your grilled cheese sits, the more soggy the bread will become as the cream cheese mixture seeps into it.

Closeup of jalapeno popper grilled cheese sandwiches.

Need More Jalapeno Popper Recipes in Your Life? Try These!

Jalapeno Popper Dip

prep 10 minutes cook 20 minutes total 30 minutes

Jalapeño Popper Chicken

prep 15 minutes cook 45 minutes total 1 hour

Creamy Jalapeño Dip

prep 5 minutes total 5 minutes

Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon

prep 10 minutes cook 20 minutes total 30 minutes


  • Preheat the oven to broil. Place the whole jalapenos on a baking sheet then drizzle with olive oil. Broil for 5-6 minutes turning halfway through. Watch the jalapenos closely, they may broil quicker depending on your oven.

  • Place the roasted jalapenos in a ziplock bag to “sweat” for 5 minutes.

  • Remove the skin and cut each jalapeno in half lengthwise. Discard the seeds.

  • In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, green onion, and garlic powder.

  • Spread the cream cheese mixture on one side of all 4 slices of bread.

  • Top two of the slices with shredded cheese, and the other two slices with bacon and roasted jalapenos.

  • Carefully close the sandwich and butter the top slice of bread. Add a sprinkle of garlic salt and Italian seasoning if you desire.

  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the buttered side down on the skillet and quickly butter and season the topside.

  • Cook for about 4 minutes per side. Turn the heat down if the outside starts to brown too quickly. Low and slow is the key to melted the cheese and not getting the outside too dark.



Serves: 2

Serving1sandwichCalories1201kcal (60%)Carbohydrates35g (12%)Protein39g (78%)Fat101g (155%)Saturated Fat53g (265%)Polyunsaturated Fat7gMonounsaturated Fat33gTrans Fat1gCholesterol241mg (80%)Sodium1517mg (63%)Potassium451mg (13%)Fiber3g (12%)Sugar7g (8%)Vitamin A2758IU (55%)Vitamin C26mg (32%)Calcium820mg (82%)Iron3mg (17%)

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.

Course Dinner, lunch

Cuisine American

Keyword jalapeno popper grilled cheese, jalapeno popper grilled cheese recipe



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