2Tablespoonsgreen onionschopped (plus more for garnish)
salt and pepperto taste
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
Slice each jalapeño down the middle and remove the seeds and membranes. I like to wear disposable kitchen gloves for this step, but it's not mandatory. Just be sure not to touch your eyes or face during this step and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, bacon, cheddar cheese, ¼ cup panko, 1 tablespoon melted butter, sliced green onions, minced garlic, salt, and pepper and mix until well incorporated.
Stuff each jalapeño with the cheese mixture and set them on the prepared baking sheet.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons panko and 1 tablespoon melted butter and mix well. Top each jalapeño with the buttered panko.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops of the jalapeños are golden. Serve warm with your choice of dip or dressing. Ranch is our favorite!
Use gloves: I like to use disposable gloves when working with a lot of jalapeños or other peppers that have some heat. If you don't have gloves, just be sure not to touch your face or eyes when slicing the peppers or removing the seeds and membranes. The oils from the peppers can burn, and it will hurt!
Using different peppers: mini sweet peppers are a great substitution for jalapeño peppers in this recipe, especially if you need a milder option.
Making ahead: you can definitely make these cream cheese stuffed peppers in advance. Just prepare as directed through step 4 and store in the fridge for up to 2 days. When you're ready to bake, remove from the fridge and continue with step 5.
Freezing:Freeze the prepared jalapeños in a single layer on a cookie sheet until fully frozen and hard. After that point you can put them in a freezer ziplock bag all together since they won't stick. When you're ready to bake the cream cheese stuffed peppers, preheat the oven to 450 and bake the frozen peppers for 20-25 minutes.