Looking for that perfect party appetizer that everyone talks about for weeks afterward, because it was the best finger-licking food they’ve ever munched? Of course you are! Serve this flavor-amazing jalapeño popper dip — inspired by Spend With Pennies — and your guests will be asking you to share the recipe that made your party the most delicious stop all summer.
Featuring the tantalizing tastes and textures of traditional jalapeno poppers, this irresistible dip is made with diced peppers folded into a combination of three cheeses and sour cream, topped with a crunchy Panko breadcrumb topping and baked until the cheeses are hot and the breadcrumbs are crisp and golden.
Traditional jalapeño poppers are hot peppers stuffed with a cheese mixture, battered and deep fried. They are a quintessential bar food and restaurant appetizer that can easily be made at home… if you are into frying, and have the time to do it. However, when you’re craving the crispy, cheese-stuffed peppers but don’t want to deep fry, our streamlined dip deliciously satisfies.
To give our dip an authentic popper flavor, start by cooking diced jalapeños and garlic until tender, because raw peppers and garlic will simply not taste the same. Then beat together cream cheese, sour cream, Cheddar and Parmesan cheese. If you were making traditional poppers, you’d use this cheese mixture to stuff the peppers. Instead, spread it in a baking dish.
What about that coveted crunch that fried poppers offer? We’ve got it covered! The trick: a crispy breadcrumb topping. Whisk together panko, butter, Parmesan and parsley, then evenly scatter it over the jalapeño cheese mixture. Slide the baking dish into the oven, and 20 minutes later you’ll have a hot jalapeño popper dip ready to impress your guests.
Make-ahead tip: The cheese mixture can be made up to three days ahead and kept in the refrigerator. When you are ready to bake, let the cheese mixture come to room temperature — that will take about two hours. (If you bake it straight out of the fridge, you’ll end up burning the topping before the cheese mixture is hot.) When you’re ready to prep the dip, simply scatter it with the breadcrumb topping and bake as directed.