Small Batch

How to Make Cheeto-Crusted Jalapeño Poppers

By • January 28, 2014 • 20 Comments

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It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: You don't even have to know the rules of the game to enjoy the year's biggest day in football -- at least not when Molly Yeh's game-changing, Cheeto-crusted, bacon-stuffed jalapeño poppers are involved.

I don't watch football and I don't have a clue which teams are playing on Sunday, but I am smitten with the NFL for giving us all a good reason to day drink and eat fried foods.

Ask me the champions of the past 10 years and I'll have to Google it. But ask me what I ate and I'll tell you in detail. (In 2008 I ate all the pigs in blankets, in 2009 I had my first chicken wing, in 2010 I made arancini with fontina, etc, etc.) I take my game day food seriously and you should, too. It's not every day we can get away with frying all the things and washing them down with beer.

So let's go all the way. Let's put bacon in everything. Let's use Cheetos to our heart's desire. 

Go team! 

Cheeto-Crusted Jalapeño Poppers with Bacon

Makes 16

4 strips bacon, cooked and chopped
4 ounces or 1/2 cup chopped pimientos or roasted red peppers
6 ounces cream cheese
1 cup shredded smoked gouda
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 dash paprika
8 jalapeños
1/2 cup flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs
5 cups Cheetos
Oil, for frying

Make the filling by combining the bacon, chopped pimientos or roasted red peppers, cream cheese, shredded gouda and cheddar, cayenne pepper, and paprika.

Stem the jalapeños, cut them lengthwise, and remove the seeds. Then stuff each half with the filling and place on a baking sheet.

Grind the cheetos into fine crumbs in the food processor.

Then set up three bowls: In the first, mix together flour with a pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper; in the second, beat the eggs with the milk, a pinch of salt, and a few cracks of pepper; and in the third, place the cheeto crumbs.

Coat the stuffed peppers first in flour, then in the egg mixture, and lastly in the cheeto crumbs. Deep fry at 365º F for two minutes or bake at 350º F for 30 minutes.


See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Molly Yeh

Tags: how-to & DIY, small batch, super bowl, football, gameday, snacks, appetizers, jalapeno poppers jalapenos, peppers, bacon

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Comments (20)


3 months ago Shawn Kinneen

Cheetos don't stick to pepper.


3 months ago Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

I'm right there with you remembering what I ate! This looks like a flavor bomb of amazingness. Way to go again Molly!


about 1 year ago Eric Johnson

How much milk?


about 1 year ago Carlos J Laurel

For the 2 eggs, I'd guess you could get a decent mixture with about 1/4 cup. At least that's what I'd go with. You want it to be not too thick and not too thin. I can't wait to try these!


about 1 year ago Bianca4s

Food 52 editors I think you should please take down the comment by Crackle, it's really mean-spirited and unkind.


about 1 year ago dymnyno

Isn't the name Cackle?


about 1 year ago Vincenzo

Crunchy Cheetos or Cheetos Puffs to break down in the food processor?


about 1 year ago Crackle

"I don't have a clue which teams are playing on Sunday" is a pretty dumb statement to make in an article about Super Bowl food. I can understand if you don't like football. But seriously, look out your window. You can look anywhere without being bombarded by Super Bowl stuff. Every idiot show has something about it so you can figure out who is playing. If you are too numbnuts not to be able to figure it out, I don't want to eat your food.


about 1 year ago re-arranging_jars

hhhmm.... did you ever think this might be a tongue in cheek statement? take the vitriol down a notch, eh?


about 1 year ago Joyce

Could these be baked instead?


about 1 year ago darksideofthespoon

350 for 30 mins.


about 1 year ago darksideofthespoon

Dear god. Why am I on a raw, gluten, no oil, vegan diet and looking at Food52?! DAMN YOU!


about 1 year ago fyza griggs



about 1 year ago HalfPint

HalfPint is a trusted home cook.

I have a 5-gallon container of Utz's Cheese Puffs (it was a holiday impulse buy). This might put it to good use.


about 1 year ago Brette Warshaw

Want to share? :D


about 1 year ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Way better than the Broccoli with Cheetos I once made.


about 1 year ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

evil genius


about 1 year ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I completely agree!


about 1 year ago Sarah Jampel

Sarah is Food52's associate editor.

I second that.


about 1 year ago dymnyno

This is so BAD!!! :) I should share my "Working Man's Dip" with you too! (warning: contains Velveeta)