It’s true what they say – once you “pop,” you can’t stop. Jalapeno Popper Dip hits all the right notes – salty, smoky, creamy and spicy. Cheese, sour cream, bacon and fiery jalapenos are baked to perfection in this homage to one of our favorite appetizers. Load up on fresh cut veggies and crusty bread for some serious double-dipping.
Far be it from me to downplay a very legitimate need for mindfulness and self-care, but as long as everyone is currently making calls to “normalize” every feeling, behavior and preference under the sun, I’d like to submit for the record: Normalize just making a vat of dip and eating it whenever you feel like it, not just at social gatherings.
And I’m not saying this simply because we really aren’t having those in this year-that-shall-not-be-named; I’m saying it because we’ve arbitrarily relegated dips to party food status without really considering them as a tasty (and acceptable) meal option. Kind of like how muffins are breakfast, except they’re literally just cake.
Honestly, what’s the difference between a grilled cheese sandwich and several smaller pieces of bread smeared with cheesy dip? What’s the real difference between a burrito and scooping up seven-layer dip with several smaller tortillas? Is it the “single serving size?” Just don’t eat the whole pan in one sitting. There. Problem solved.
Instead of normalizing dip as an entree, we normalized making hummus sandwiches. And to be fair, I have no complaints about hummus sandwiches, I would just like us to acknowledge that the end result is exactly the same as me eating half a container of Sabra with some pita and veggies and calling it my entire lunch instead of some lunchy side-dish.
So, you want jalapeno poppers, and nothing but jalapeno poppers, for dinner? You could either just make an entire frozen package of them (which – let’s be real – still wouldn’t be meal-worthy)… or, you could serve up my creamy, zippy Jalapeno Popper Dip with veggies and crostini and acknowledge that it too, can achieve the same goals as dinner with the right mindset.
Or bring it to a potluck. Whatever floats your boat.
How to make jalapeno popper dip
With several ways to adjust the spice and lighten up this dip, you’re bound to find a variation that’s just right for you. Be sure to check the tips section below, and the recipe card at the bottom of the post for detailed instructions and step-by-step photos. You can also view this recipe as a story!
- Cook bacon until crisp and golden brown, then drain.
- Whip sour cream and cream cheese with a hand mixer until well combined and light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).
- Add minced jalapenos, bacon, green onions, shredded cheese, and seasonings. Fold with a spatula until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Transfer to a casserole dish and top with more cheese.
- Bake until the edges are bubbling and the cheese is melted.
- Garnish with fresh jalapenos, bacon, and green onions. Serve with crackers, bread, and/or sliced vegetables.
Tips for making this recipe perfectly
- Soften cream cheese quickly: cut into small chunks, then cover with an overturned bowl. The cream cheese should soften within 15-20 minutes depending on the temperature and humidity of your kitchen.
- Add more spice: keep the seeds or ribs (the white membranes holding the seeds)! As prepared, this dip isn’t spicy at all (and I’m pretty darn heat sensitive). The jalapenos bring flavor, but not heat. Add more heat by keeping half or more of the seeds and membranes.
- Lighten it up: half or all of the sour cream can be replaced with plain Greek yogurt. You can also reduce the cheese to just 1 cup, but I wouldn’t use any less than that.
- Swap half or all of the cheddar for pepper jack (more spice), Monterey jack, or mozzarella – almost any melty cheese will work.
- For a vegetarian version, simply omit the bacon.
Can I use canned jalapenos?
Yes. However, I find it harder to control the level of spice. If canned or pickled is your preference, though, use an equivalent amount, and drain thoroughly first.
What to serve with jalapeno popper dip
Ritz crackers are traditional for that salty, crispy combo. We like baguette slices (as-is or baked into crostini) and fresh raw vegetables.
Make it keto
This recipe is keto-friendly (albeit more “dirty keto” than “healthy keto”) as written! Simply serve with low carb raw vegetables for dippers, like celery, cucumber slices, and mini bell peppers.
Make it ahead of time
Prepare the dip as directed, transfer to the casserole dish, cover with aluminum foil, and place in the fridge for up to 24 hours. When you’re ready to bake, remove the foil and bake as directed. You may need to add 5-10 minutes to the bake time.
Dips for days
- Maryland Hot Crab Dip
- Green Goddess White Bean Dip
- Healthy Spinach Dip
- Cannoli Dip
- Muhammara Party Dip Cups
Did you make this jalapeno popper dip? I’d love to know how it turned out! Leave a comment and a rating below!
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- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 16 oz sour cream
- 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ c minced jalapenos, from 4-6 peppers
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 1.5 c shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- Sliced baguette, for serving
- Sliced raw vegetables, for serving
- Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly mist a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Line a plate with paper towels.
- Place bacon in a skillet and cook over medium heat until the fat renders and the bacon is crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain.
- Combine sour cream and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended and fluffy, 1-2 minutes.
- Reserve 1 tbsp jalapenos, 1 tbsp bacon, and 1 tbsp green onions for garnish.
- Add the remaining jalapenos, bacon, and green onions to the sour cream mixture, along with the lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and 1 cup shredded cheese. Fold using a rubber spatula until well combined.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until the edges are bubbling. Switch the oven to the broiler setting and broil 2 minutes, or until the top is golden. Garnish with the reserved jalapenos, bacon, and scallions and serve with bread and sliced vegetables.
- Replace half or all of the sour cream with plain Greek yogurt.
- Swap half or all of the cheddar for pepper jack, Monterey jack, mozzarella, or any cheese that melts easily.
- Replace fresh jalapenos with 4 oz. canned or pickled.