Healthy Roasted Garlic and Bacon Jalapeño Poppers

Healthy Roasted Garlic and Bacon Jalapeño Poppers in the cast iron skillet with ranch dressing

These Healthy Roasted Garlic and Bacon Jalapeño poppers are packed with flavor, subtle heat and creamy cheese. Perfect finger foods for a party!

Appetizers are the most fun food ever. It’s food…leading up to more food. Could it get any better? I’ve always loved filling up a tiny plate with loads of chips, dips, raw veggies and finger foods right before the entree. Food just makes my heart happy, okay?

Healthy Roasted Garlic and Bacon Jalapeño Poppers side shot

These cute little poppers are very reminiscent of my childhood – with one difference, they’re WAAAAY healthier. I remember when I was young, we would have a “frozen food night” and load up 2 different baking sheets with frozen brown things such as: mozzarella cheese sticks, jalapeño poppers, french fries and pizza rolls. My poor single dad – not knowing how to cook. Anyway, of course as a kid, that night RULED. But looking back on it now, my body is screaming for nutrition! Haha.

This recipe is a lightened up version of that classic appetizer you love. Pair them with a creamy ranch dipping sauce, a glass of red wine and you’re full until the main course.

First, you gotta roast the garlic. If you’ve never had roasted garlic before, you must walk to your oven NOW and do it. It’s such a game changer and it’s the easiest thing to make in the world. (Seriously, even easier than boxed mac and cheese).

All you do is cut the top portion of the garlic off to expose the cloves. Next, you put it on foil, add a dash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Wrap it up in the foil. Put it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes. When it’s done, not only does your house smell like a dream – you get this extremely soft, flavorful, edible straight from the clove itself, roasted garlic. It’s smooth, creamy, and delightful. Look at the caramelization on it! So beautiful.

roasted garlic shot

This recipe is FOOL-PROOF. So easy! Let me give you a quick run down. First things first, you take some fresh jalapeños and then you put on gloves because anytime a hot pepper touches your skin it literally burns and then you forget to wash your hands and then you take out your contacts and it feels like your eyeballs are on fire…oh wait, is that just me? Okay, you can put on gloves if you want to! Next, cut each jalapeño in half. Remove the seeds. Take a moment to look at how beautiful they are.

fresh jalapenos seeded shot

Okay, moment over.

Add the softened cream cheese to a bowl along with the roasted garlic, bacon, salt, and pepper to taste. Mix well. Add a generous portion to each jalapeño as you stuff it. Place alumnium foil and the poppers on a baking sheet (hello easy clean up!) and then bake for 20 minutes. Broil for 1-2 minutes after baking for extra golden-ness on top. Make sure to keep an eye on them though! Broiling is a dangerous game.

After that, they’re ready to be devoured! Serve them hot and with a dipping sauce of your choice! I used homemade ranch and it HIT THE SPOT. I’m sure store bought ranch would work well too.

Healthy Roasted Garlic and Bacon Jalapeño Poppers dipping in ranch

Enjoy this recipe pals, and keep making appetizers happen.

Healthy Roasted Garlic and Bacon Jalapeño Poppers

A lightened up take on a classic appetizer, filled with creamy cheese, crunchy bacon and roasted garlic. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 10


  • 10 medium jalapeños
  • 6 oz softened cream cheese
  • 5 slices bacon
  • 1 whole bulb roasted garlic
  • 3 tbsp panko breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel the excess skin of the garlic off as much as possible before cutting it to expose the cloves. Place on small sheet on tin foil and add a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in oven for 45 minutes. When finished, unwrap from foil and let it cool. 

  2. Next, cut 5 medium sized jalapeños in half. Remove the seeds. Set aside. 

  3. Cut up 5 slices of bacon into small pieces and fry in the pan for 3-4 minutes or until done. 

  4. Place 6 oz of softened cream cheese in a bowl. If not softened, place in microwave for 15 seconds. 

  5. Remove the cloves of roasted garlic from the bulb and transfer to the cream cheese and mash it in with a fork until the garlic becomes like a paste. 

  6. Add crumbled bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well. 

  7. Stuff peppers generously with mixture. 

  8. Place on foiled baking sheet. 

  9. Mix 3 tbsps of panko breadcrumbs, 1/4 tsp of salt and a some freshly ground black pepper in a bowl. Sprinkle on top of the peppers.

  10. Place in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. If you want the tops to be extra golden brown, broil for 1-2 minutes watching them carefully. 

  11. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy! 


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