6/8/2023 | By Christine Gallary

Jalapeño poppers are just one of those appetizers that’s begging to be turned into a sandwich. I mean, it already has two kinds of cheese, spicy chile heat, crispy breadcrumbs, and sometimes even bacon. Honestly, what more does a sandwich need? Slap all of these things together into a quick and easy grilled cheese and jalapeño popper bliss in sandwich form is yours to be had — it’s crunchy, cheesy, spicy, and creamy all at the same time.

The ingredients

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make the grilled cheese.

Cheese: You’ll need cream cheese, plus sharp cheddar for some tangy saltiness and cheese-pull action.

Seasonings: Just a touch of garlic powder and salt.

Jalapeño: A single diced jalapeño pepper provides enough flavor and mild heat for two grilled cheeses. I like to remove the seeds and ribs, but feel free to keep them in to bump up the heat.

Bread: I love a sliced sourdough, as it has great flavor and crisps up beautifully, but French or white sandwich bread will also work.

Mayonnaise: While you can use butter for the bread, I like mayonnaise here, as it helps the bread really crisp up and has a more neutral flavor than butter.

Bacon: A few slices of cooked bacon are welcome here, but entirely optional.

How to make Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese

You’ll start by making a spreadable filling for the grilled cheese by mashing softened cream cheese with garlic powder and salt. Stir in shredded sharp cheddar cheese and diced fresh jalapeño, then spread the filling onto bread that’s been coated on one side with mayonnaise. Top with cooked bacon slices if desired, before closing up the sandwiches.

Cook the sandwiches over medium heat until the outside is golden-brown and the inside is super gooey and melty; it’ll take three to four minutes per side. Don’t rush this part, as it takes time for the insides to properly warm up. Cut each sandwich in half into triangles or rectangles (your choice), and dig in!

Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese

Makes 2 sandwiches; serves 2

Ingredients List:

  • 2 ounces cream cheese (1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese (1 cup shredded)
  • 1 medium jalapeño pepper
  • 4 slices cooked bacon (optional)
  • 4 slices hearty white, sourdough, or French sandwich bread
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise


jalapeno popper grilled cheese stacked on top of each other. yum haha
  1. Place 2 ounces cream cheese in a medium bowl and let sit out at room temperature until softened, about 30 minutes. Alternatively, place in a medium microwave-safe bowl and microwave until soft to the touch, 10 to 15 seconds. Add 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, and smash and stir until combined.
  2. Grate 4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup). Trim, seed, and small dice 1 medium jalapeño pepper (about 1/4 cup). Add the cheddar and jalapeño to the cream cheese and stir and smash with a fork or stiff spatula until combined and a paste forms.
  3. Heat a large frying pan over medium-low heat. Meanwhile, place 4 slices of a hearty white, sourdough or French sandwich bread on a work surface. Spread 2 tablespoons mayonnaise on one side of the slices (1/2 tablespoon each). Flip 2 of the slices over; divide the cream mixture among these slices, and spread into an even layer. Place 4 slices cooked bacon on top if using, tearing them as needed to fit in a single layer. Top with the remaining 2 bread slices mayonnaise-side up to close the sandwiches.
  4. Place the sandwiches in the pan and cook until golden brown and crisp and the cheeses are melted, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and cut each sandwich in half.

Recipe notes:

The filling can be made up to two days ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before making the Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese sandwiches.

Christine Gallary is food editor-at-large for, a nationally known blog for people who love food and home cooking. Submit any comments or questions to

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Christine Gallary