Game Day

Cheesy Sausage-Stuffed Jalapeños

September  6, 2022
3 Ratings
Photo by Ty Mecham. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Kate Buckens.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 20 minutes
  • Serves 24 stuffed peppers
Author Notes

A smoky take on a classic game day snack, these stuffed jalapeños are inspired by jalapeño poppers and loaded with Zatarain’s Blackened Seasoned Chicken Smoked Sausage. They’re easy to make, impressive to serve, and these lil’ bites are sure to be a fan favorite. If you want to switch up the flavor profile, try swapping in Zatarain’s Smoked Andouille Sausage in place of the chicken sausage for an added kick. Double down on the smokiness by adding smoked Gouda instead of Parmesan, or sub extra-sharp cheddar for a zingy bite. For a tailgating twist, wrap 4 to 5 prepared peppers cut-side up in aluminum foil and throw them on the grill until the cheese is bubbly and the peppers are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. —Tatiana Rosana

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is shared in partnership with Zatarain’s® Smoked Sausages. To shop their smoked sausages and more, stop by Kroger, Walmart, and Food Lion locations nationwide. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 12 fresh jalapeños
  • 1 Zatarain’s Blackened Seasoned Chicken Smoked Sausage, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces Parmesan, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  1. Heat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium sauté pan, add olive oil and diced sausage. Cook over medium-high heat for 8 to 10 minutes or until sausage is golden brown and slightly crispy. Drain oil and transfer sausage to a paper towel-lined plate to cool, making sure sausage is arranged in a single layer.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, Parmesan, crispy sausage, chives, garlic, smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne—this should yield about 2 packed cups. Set aside.
  4. Using kitchen gloves to protect your hands, halve each jalapeño lengthwise. Remove seeds and membranes using a paring knife.
  5. Place the peppers cut-side up on your prepared baking sheet, then spoon about 1 tablespoon of the sausage and cheese mixture evenly into each jalapeño half.
  6. In a small saucepan, melt butter and pour over panko. Toss to combine and sprinkle about ½ tablespoon over each popper.
  7. Transfer the baking sheet to the oven, then bake until jalapeños have softened slightly and panko is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve hot.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • SewBadJuJu
  • cj
  • khouria1130
  • brushjl
Tatiana Rosana

Recipe by: Tatiana Rosana

A first-generation Cuban-American, chef Tatiana Rosana grew up in Miami in a traditional Cuban family where food always took center stage. She’s the executive chef at Para Mia and Lookout Rooftop & Bar in the Envoy Hotel, located in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood, and has competed on The Food Network’s "Beat Bobby Flay," "Chopped," and "Chopped Champions," winning twice and earning the title of two-time Chopped Champion. She recently published her first children's book, "Arlo and the Secret Ingredient." When she’s not in the kitchen, she's sharing her dishes on her Instagram and spending time with her wife and son, Arlo.

6 Reviews

SewBadJuJu September 18, 2023
Friends say these set the bar for Poppers! I grind the sausage down instead of dicing and throw these bad boys on the bbq. Amazing!
cj February 4, 2023
I can't find Zatarain's Sausage suggested.
Recipe says one Sausage.
How much does that mean in weight?
SewBadJuJu September 18, 2023
I've used a 4oz package. Verons was very good if you can find it. (Especially the green onion!)
khouria1130 February 3, 2023
Can't find this kind of chicken sausage near me in Houston, TX ... plan to try it with another type, but was hoping to try the original first.
brushjl October 6, 2022
Fantastic appetizer. Using chicken sausage really lightened it up. I used super hot peppers, so the dish kept its bite.
Kristy W. September 16, 2022
This is a perfect fall/winter appetizer. I make a version of this all the time. My changes make it a bit more southwestern: add cilantro to the cream cheese / sausage mixture, no parmesan but shredded cheddar. It's not nearly as spicy as one would think given the jalapeno caramelizes a bit.