Eat Skinny Be Skinny: [GF] Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

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It’s officially football season, friends!!! Although I’m not a huge NFL follower, I’m a FANATIC college football fan. As a native Ohioian, I’m naturally an Ohio State fan!


I’m so excited for the first Saturday I can actually sit down to watch a game with a cold beer and some fabulous tailgating snacks. Unfortunately, a lot of the tailgating staples, like hot dogs, burgers, fries, chips and deep fried chicken wings are FULL of fat and calories. Plus, who wants to be so full & bloated you can’t actually get up from the couch to cheer (or in my case, SCREAM) at the tv? Not I. Instead of being weighed down by food, I want a snack that will WORK with me and burn calories while I sit. Yes, such a thing exists. Let me introduce you to the jalapeno.

The jalapeno (or ja-lap-ano for smart arses like me) is a serious superfood. These sassy little peps are filled with a natural chemical called capsaicin. This little chemical (which is the cause of the super high kick of spice) quickens your heart rate and speeds up your metabolism. Finally, a snack that gives back! Since I’m not Adam Richman and can’t eat jalapenos on their own, I decided to do my own spin on the jalapeno popper, sans breading, frying and massive mozzarella. Instead, I grilled these poppers and stuffed them with a mixture of goat cheese, low fat cream cheese, a dash of freshly grated parmesean, some roasted red peppers and chives.

Tada! A healthy tailgating snack that won’t weigh you down. However, um, I must warn you. These little poppers ARE FREAKIN’ HOT. Like, smoke pour out of your ears, tears swelling in your eyes, nose burning hot. I had 1/2 of one and this was what immdiately had to follow.

A yep, I am ICING MY TOUNGE/LIPS with a polar pak. They were that hott. However,  my roomate Ryan gobbled up about 6 of them without even flinching. I guess I’m a wimp. Either way, these snacks are not for the faint of heart but are a fabulous and healthier alternative to the fried popper you see in restaurants!

Recipe adapted from Food Network.

Grilled Jalapeno Poppers


Servings: 8 whole peppers, 16 halves
Prep time: About 12 minutes
Cook time: About 6-7 minutes

SITE NOTE: If jalapenos are too hot for you (I’m with you!) you can substitute with regular bell peppers or banana pepeprs!

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 jalapeno peppers, halved and seeded (remove ALL seeds!)
  • 4 ounces of fresh goat cheese
  • 3 ounces of low fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup of parmesean cheese
  • 4 fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/2 roasted red pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of sage
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking spray

How to Make Them:

  • Spray grill (or grill pan if doing this indoors) with cooking spray.
  • REMOVE all seeds from jalapenos by rinsing them off. Be sure to wear gloves when handling peppers so your hands don’t burn (which I did not). Arrange body side up (so you can fill them) on the grill pan.
  • Mix together the cheeses, sage and salt and pepper. Using a small spoon, fill each pepper with cheese. Top with roasted red pepper and chives. Add a dash more of salt and pepper.

  • Grill (or broil) for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is slightly browned and peppers are softened.
  • Eat (if you dare) and enjoy! Just make sure you have a glass of water/milk beside you!

When you get over the intial mouth burn, the flavor is actually really good. The cheeses compliment the spicyness and the roasted red pepper adds just the right amount or smokey flavor.

I wish I wasn’t such a wimp because, from what I’m told, these little things are amazing! Plus, they are gluten-free!

Nutritional information [per 2 peppers]: 86 calories, 5 grams of fat, 4 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein.

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  1. Posted by Elliot S Volkman on
    Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    I had to stick my tongue in cream cheese to make the burn subside.
  2. Posted by Steph C on
    Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    Holy moose, girl - these look fab! I LOVE jalapenos and loooove poppers.. these sounds like the perfect, healthy solution!
  3. Posted by Alicia on
    Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    Mmmm I love to make grilled poppers but I wrap mine in bacon... Don't tell anyone about my bacon obsession. The membrane of the pepper holds a lot of the spice, so it might help if you cut out as much of that as possible in addition to the seeds.
  4. Posted by Jill on
    Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    Yum! I love jalapeno poppers. These are so much better for you than the fried ones. I think they use pickled peppers in the fried ones, though - that helps cut out the heat. (not like I would ever pickle peppers but it's what I heard somewhere..) :)
  5. Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    nice idea, beautiful pictures!
  6. Posted by R van Kraayenburg on
    Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    Yum! I love jalapeño poppers. This recipe looks delicious!  I am definitely going to have to try this.
  7. Posted by Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love. on
    Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    These look so yummy! But, like you, I'm not sure I could handle the spice!! Great pictures!
  8. Posted by Liz on
    Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    Oh, these look DELISH!!! Perfect football food...I'm the spicy food lover in our hubby would be the one icing his tongue :)
  9. Posted by Lauren on
    Thursday, September 8th, 2011
    These look great!! Sorry about your tongue/lips! Those lil' guys would bee too spicy for me too!
  10. Posted by Erin on
    Friday, September 9th, 2011
    Great idea to grill them!  Perfect for tailgating or a party for the game!  Sorry about your lips.  Doesn't help with lips, but rubbing alcohol gets the heat off your hands (if you ever touch your eyes you will want this trick)
  11. Posted by Lindsey@Lindselicious on
    Friday, September 9th, 2011
    Oh no you are a buckeye!!  I am a die hard USC fan and my ex was a buckeye....  You get the picture.  These look great though!  Perfect for the tailgate. 
  12. Posted by Ann on
    Friday, September 9th, 2011
    I'm a bit of a wimp, too....but I might risk it for those!  They look amazing!
  13. Posted by RavieNomNoms on
    Friday, September 9th, 2011
    These look SO yummy!!! I love jalapenos like this
  14. Posted by Kadri on
    Friday, September 9th, 2011
    Mmm I love spicy food. Unfortunately here in Europe jalapenos are not available in most of the shops :(.
    They look so nice and colorful
    • Posted by Kadri on
      Friday, September 9th, 2011
      I am Kadri from
  15. Posted by Kira on
    Sunday, September 11th, 2011
    Hahaha I'm sorry your tongue was in pain but that picture is so funny! They might be less hot if you remove the ribs of the pepper along with the seeds. They look delicious but based on your experience, I'm scared!
  16. Posted by ThatsSoMichelle on
    Sunday, September 11th, 2011
    I bet they are SUPER hot but either way they are a work of art. GORGEOUS.
  17. Posted by ThatsSoMichelle on
    Sunday, September 11th, 2011
    I bet they are SUPER hot but either way they are a work of art. GORGEOUS.
  18. Posted by Healthyjalapeno on
    Tuesday, September 13th, 2011
    First off I am so happy it's football season!!! The chill in the air, the games on Sunday and delicious food like this. I love this simplicity of this recipe, perfect for your tastebuds and light on your waist. Love your blog too, you have some wonderful things going on here and I will just have to keep checking in ;)
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño 
  19. Posted by Anonymous on
    Thursday, September 15th, 2011
    these look amazing!!! If you wanted to make them milder, you could do them with pablanos :)
  20. Posted by grace - stripes & sequins on
    Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
    Mmmm - these look scrumptious!!!
  21. Posted by Jen on
    Friday, September 30th, 2011
    My mother-in-law would love these.  Jalapeno poppers are one of her favorites, but she often passes on them because they're fried.
  22. Posted by brian on
    Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
    use a toothpick to poke holes on the bottom side. This lets the hot juices to run out.Cook slowly for a long time till pretty wilted.Not as pretty,but delicious!
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    Wednesday, September 24th, 2014
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