Who doesn’t love a good jalapeno popper? Who doesn’t love a good buffalo chicken wing?
If you said “me” to either of those questions, we can no longer be friends.
Ok, I lied, we can still be friends.
This recipe is a blend of my two favorite spicy game day food treats and thrown into the smoker.
Has anything I said yet scream “Basic Dad” yet? GOOD!
This is a spicy, savory treat that is perfect for a summer party, or just throwing on the table to treat everyone on at tailgate party. I mean, jalapeños, buffalo chicken, cheese, and bacon? who can say no.
Don’t answer that.
Ingredients Needed Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
Shredded Chicken: You can either make this from scratch (try my instant pot shredded chicken recipe), buy premade shredded chicken, or even grab a rotisserie chicken from the store and break it down your self.
Cream Cheese: This is a staple for a popper, its creamy and indulgent, and balances the spiciness of the buffalo sauce..
Frank’s Red Hot Sauce: Any buffalo sauce will do but, to get that authentic buffalo flavor that we all adore, you can’t go wrong with the tried and true franks red hot.
Salt, Pepper, and Garlic Powder: While this isn’t absolutely necessary, a little SPG will give your poppers a little oomph to take it over the top.
Chopped Green Onions: While optional, some fresh and zesty, green onions will add a burst of color and a delightful oniony essence to the mix.
Jalapenos: Do I have to really give you a reason why you need jalapenos in jalapeño poppers?
Bacon: We’ll be using half a strip per popper, and any type of bacon that you prefer will do. Except Turkey Bacon. That abomination should not exist.
Equipment You’ll need for this recipe
Cutting board and knife for prepping the ingredients: A good sharp knife is key, if you’re in need of a cutting board, I got you covered here.
Nitrile Gloves: This is something I ALWAYS forget, and immediately regret when needing to put in or take out my contacts. If you’re not a fan of getting capsaicin all over your skin and burning later in the day, prepping while wearing gloves is a must!
Spoon or small scoop for filling the jalapenos: If you’re looking for a how-to on scooping out the seeds, check out this video here
Pellet grill or smoker for the cooking process: I’m a fan of a pellet grill over a traditional smoker for this recipe. It’s hands off, less prep time to get the smoke ready and its just all around easier for a recipe that you’re just trying to get a little touch of smoke into. I love my Traeger for this type of cooking.
Toothpicks for securing the bacon on the poppers: If you’re having trouble getting your bacon to stick, this is always good to have on hand.
Preparation and Cooking Tips
Handling Jalapenos: To reduce the heat, wear disposable gloves when cutting and seeding the jalapenos. Be cautious not to touch your face or eyes during this process.
Customizing the Heat: Adjust the amount of hot sauce to control the spiciness. For milder poppers, reduce the hot sauce; for a fiery kick, increase it slightly.
Bacon Wrapping: When wrapping the bacon around the jalapenos, ensure the bacon’s end is tucked underneath to prevent unraveling during cooking. I’ve found that patting bacon dry helps to get the bacon to stick without the need for toothpick
Pellet Grill Temperature: Maintain a steady temperature of 325°F (163°C) on the pellet grill for optimal cooking.
How to make Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
Step 1: Prepare the Jalapenos
Slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and pith using a spoon or knife.
Step 2: Prepare the Filling
In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, cream cheese, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and chopped green onions. Mix until well combined.
Step 3: Fill the Jalapenos
Spoon the buffalo chicken mixture into each jalapeno half, ensuring they are evenly filled.
Step 4: Wrap with Bacon
Take a half slice of bacon and wrap it around each stuffed jalapeno, securing the bacon with a toothpick if needed.
Step 5: Preheat the Grill
Preheat your pellet grill to 325°F (163°C) and prepare it for indirect grilling.
Step 6: Grill the Poppers
Place the buffalo chicken jalapeno poppers on the grill grate and cook for about 45 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked and crispy.
Cheesy Ranch Poppers: Mix ranch seasoning with cream cheese, shredded chicken, and a touch of cheddar cheese for a delightful twist.
Vegetarian Option: Substitute shredded jackfruit or black beans for the chicken to create a scrumptious vegetarian version.
Philly Cheesesteak Poppers: Replace the buffalo sauce with Worcestershire sauce and stir in sautéed bell peppers and onions for a Philly-inspired treat.(want other Philly cheese steak recipes? SEE: Philly cheesesteak taquitos)
These Smoky Buffalo Chicken Jalapeño Poppers are a crowd-pleasing sensation that will have everyone coming back for seconds.
With their irresistible combination of spicy buffalo chicken and smoky bacon, they are perfect for game nights, gatherings, or even a delightful family dinner.
So fire up your pellet grill and get ready to indulge in these flavor-packed, mouthwatering treats. Happy cooking, and remember, nothing brings a family together like good food made with love!
Smoked Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers
- 12 jalapenos fresh
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- 1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- 12 slices bacon halved
- Prepare the jalapenos by slicing them in half lengthwise and removing the seeds and pith.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, softened cream cheese, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and chopped green onions. Mix until well combined.
- Spoon the buffalo chicken mixture into each jalapeno half, ensuring they are evenly filled.
- Wrap each stuffed jalapeno with a half slice of bacon, securing the bacon with a toothpick.
- Preheat your pellet grill to 325°F (163°C) and prepare it for indirect grilling.
- Place the bacon-wrapped jalapenos on the grill grate and cook for about 45 minutes or until the bacon is fully cooked and crispy.
- Carefully remove the toothpicks, serve your Smoky Buffalo Chicken Jalapeno Poppers alongside your chosen dips, and enjoy!