If you’ve been to a farmers’ market recently, chances are you’ve noticed baskets overflowing with peppers of all sorts, and this is a great way to take advantage of the crop!

Let me tell you- they are scrumptious, and I’m not the only one that thinks so. A sure sign that your dish is as good as you think is when strangers at a party go out of their way to track you down and get the recipe. This weekend I took a tray of these to my friend’s birthday soiree and they were a huge hit- not one, not two, but multiple guests inquired about the ingredients.


Grilled Pepper Poppers

Yield: 16 servings (serving size: 2 peppers). Adapted from Cooking Light.


7 oz soft goat cheese (I used garlic and herb flavored)
4 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup finely chopped seeded tomato
2 Tbsp thinly sliced green onions
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage
1/2 tsp kosher salt
16 jalapeno peppers, halved lengthwise and seeded*
Cooking spray
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro


Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

Combine firsts 7 ingredients in a bowl, stirring well. Spoon cheese mixture into each pepper half. Place pepper halves, cheese side up, on grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill peppers 5 minutes or until bottoms of peppers are charred and cheese mixture is lightly browned. Carefully pick up peppers with small tongs and place on serving platter. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Keep in mind that being jalapenos, these pack a little heat, and although I think the cheese really helps temper it a bit, they may be a smidgen much for some folks. I’m happy to report that the filling works just as well in other small, sweet peppers. Last week a co-worker gave me a big bag of banana peppers, so I experimented with a few of those, and they were definitely a different flavor, but just as good. Actually so good that I ate 4 of them within 5 minutes of taking them off the grill!

*Tip: Wear latex gloves when seeding or chopping hot peppers. You don’t want the oils on your skin or in your eyes- believe me, I’ve had firsthand experience with this, and it’s not pleasant! To remove the gloves after handling, turn them inside out and dispose of them in the trash can, then wash hands thoroughly.

16 Responses to “Grilled Pepper Poppers”

  1. 1

    Erin — August 27, 2009 @ 12:37 pm

    These sound really really good! I bet The Boy would love them! Bookmarking now!

  2. 2

    Chrisi — August 29, 2009 @ 8:38 am

    YUM! We've been blessed with many jalapenos this summer, so I'm trying this one at our annual Labor Day fish fry. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 3

    Ashley — November 11, 2010 @ 11:58 am

    These sound delicious! Are there any other types of cheese that might work well? I’m not a huge fan of goat cheese, perhaps feta or a mozzarella/romano mix or something of the sort?

    Thanks! :)

    • Beth replied: — November 11th, 2010 @ 2:10 pm

      I think feta would be fantastic as a substitute!

  4. 4

    Joe — January 26, 2012 @ 10:26 am

    I just found your site. And I love it. Way to go!! I look forward to trying many of your recipes. Do you you have a low calorie section?

    • Beth replied: — January 26th, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

      Hi Joe- welcome and thanks for the kind words. Sorry that there is no category for low-cal. I don’t really count calories…just try to eat as healthy as possible most of the time!

  5. 5

    Kathleen Foster — March 13, 2015 @ 1:21 am

    Just found you Love the poppers. Do you have a mailing list I can get on?

    • Beth replied: — March 22nd, 2015 @ 2:13 am

      Hi Kathleen! Yes, you can subscribe via email using the link found above under the “stay up to date” section below my “welcome” picture. Enjoy!

  6. 6

    Kay — April 6, 2015 @ 1:59 pm

    Are these able to frozen

  7. 7

    Midge jones — June 26, 2015 @ 8:09 pm

    Can these be baked in the oven if no grill is avail?

  8. 8

    Catrina — June 27, 2015 @ 9:26 pm

    I just made these for a party and they were a huge hit! For those wondering if you can cook them in the oven, my answer is yes.

    I seared the peppers for just a few minutes in my cast iron skillet, only long enough to get that char on the top and bottom, not long enough to make them soft. I filled them with the cheese mixture and then I put them in the oven for 10 minutes at 400 to cook the cheese, and then another 5 minutes on broil to brown the top.

    • Beth replied: — June 28th, 2015 @ 7:40 am

      Thank you so much for leaving this comment and letting us all know that they can be done in the oven too! I’ve been making these for summer parties for a long time now and still love them as much today as when I first started!

  9. 9

    sylvia — November 24, 2015 @ 10:38 am

    Thanks Beth! I was looking for an appetizer recipe to take to a taco-bar-themed holiday party, and I think I found a winner with the Grilled Pepper Poppers. They look super easy to make. And, I really appreciate your care in reminding us to use latex gloves when handling the peppers!

    • Beth replied: — November 25th, 2015 @ 1:19 am

      I’ve made this recipe a few dozen times over the years and it’s always a hit! Hope you find the same. Happy holidays!

  10. 10

    Melissa — February 18, 2016 @ 4:03 pm

    Just checking that by ‘grill’ you mean BBQ? So we put the peppers directly on sprayed the BBQ? Thanks!

    • Beth replied: — February 19th, 2016 @ 7:44 am

      Hi Melissa,
      I think this is a case of differences in geographic terminology. Where I’m from in the south, BBQ is a food, and has nothing to do with grilling! ;-)

      But I think you’re referring to the apparatus, right? To be clear, like this pic:

      I spray the grill grates and put the peppers directly on the grates. Hope this makes sense!

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