- 6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 1/3 cup Panko breadcrumbs
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 10 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise and cored
- Prep the oven and baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray or line with parchment.
- Cook the bacon and breadcrumbs. Fry the bacon in a large sauté pan over medium heat until crispy. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and set aside. Leave about 1 tablespoon of bacon grease in the sauté pan, and drain off any excess. Add the Panko breadcrumbs to the pan and sauté in the bacon grease for about 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly golden. Remove from heat and transfer the breadcrumbs to a separate bowl until ready to use. Finely chop the crispy bacon.
- Mix the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cilantro, chives, smoked paprika, garlic powder, salt and most of the chopped bacon (you want to reserve about 2 tablespoons) until evenly combined. Transfer the filling mixture to a zip-top bag, seal, then use scissors to snip off a corner to make for easy piping.
- Fill the jalapeños. Spread the jalapeño halves out in an even layer on the baking sheet. Pipe the mixture into the jalapeños until they are all evenly filled, then top each with a sprinkle of Panko.
- Bake. Bake until the filling is melty and the jalapeños have slightly softened, about 15-20 minutes.
- Serve. Transfer the pan to a wire cooling rack. Top the jalapeños with a pinch of the reserved bacon bits plus some extra chives, if you’d like. Serve warm and enjoy!