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5 Ways to Put a Spin on Jalapeno Poppers and More Sides

Spicing up Superbowl Snacks

By Cathryn DennisonPublished 3 years ago 4 min read
5 Ways to Put a Spin on Jalapeno Poppers and More Sides
Photo by Tim Toomey on Unsplash

If you are like me and you like a snack with a bit of a kick for when the kickoff happens, then you will probably already have some jalapeno poppers, or the ingredients for fresh ones, on your shopping list already. However, if this is a usual game day treat for you, and you’ve gotten used to the crispy crunchies, then you might be looking for a new way to spice them up even more; flavor-wise. Here are five ways that you can upgrade not just jalapeno poppers but any sides that you want to munch on this Sunday.

1. Meet the Meat

If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, you can always add a bit of protein and flavor to your poppers or sides with some meat. One of the most popular things to use is bacon or bacon bits, but there are a couple of alternatives if you’re not a fan of pork.

If you’re looking for something easy, you can always fill your poppers will some freshly pan-fried ground beef before topping them off with cheese and baking them in the oven, and you can also do the same for french fries, too.

Although, if you’re trying to start losing that winter weight or be more health-conscious, you can always use ground chicken or cut up some chicken breasts in small, bite-sized pieces before pan-frying them; don’t forget to season and/or marinate if you’re using breasts to give your poppers/sides some extra flavor.

By Markus Spiske on Unsplash

2. Cheese Chaser

If you ask most people, cheese is basically a necessity with most sides and munchies, not just jalapeno poppers. The most popular way for freshly made poppers is to top them with shredded cheese before putting them in the oven and/or filling them with cream cheese first.

My partner thought I was a little crazy for dunking the bottom of my popper (horizontally) in a bowl of liquid nacho cheese before eating it, but when he tried it, his eyes grew bigger than a football. As a teen who hated spicy foods, I HAD to do this to mellow out the spiciness of the jalapenos. Of course, you can always top the poppers off with it.

Besides cream and nacho cheese, some other cheeses I’ve seen my friends top the poppers with are jalapeno jack, cheddar, and provolone (with rolled up roast beef in the center, and it was one of my favorites).

By Waldemar Brandt on Unsplash

3. Veg it Up

Of course, if you’re watching your calories, you can always go for a more health-conscious filling choice that are vegetarian-friendly. One year, a friend of mine topped some of their poppers with caramelized onions and others with fresh slices of tomato. Make sure you go for a veggie that isn’t too strong-tasting to combat the spiciness of the jalapeno, especially if you or your family/friends can’t handle overly-spicey or strong flavors.

Although, my absolute favorite was when a relative stuffed their poppers with veggie pasta mac and cheese with the smallest amount of cream cheese mixed in. True, it wasn’t much healthier, but it was a nice change and they were gone in minutes.

By Randy Fath on Unsplash

4. Dip it or Dunk it or Drizzle it

If it isn’t you, then you can bet there will be one person who always demands the key ingredient: sauce. My partner is that someone, and he can’t eat anything without some kind of sauce; usually sriracha or sweet chili sauce.

Go big or go home when it comes to which sauces to get. If you’re a spice nut, be like my partner and try some of the spicer sauces or just straight-up hot sauce. If you have a mild mouth, maybe try something more cooling like ketchup, ranch, or mustard.

Hey, I don’t judge who likes what sauces (my best friend and my partner eat mac and cheese with ketchup), although some people, one of my gamer friends, for example, believes that if you do this, your credit score should instantly be lowered; I cried from laughter when I heard this.

By Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

5. Make it a Dish

My crazy partner loves turning things into casseroles or baked dishes in some way, shape, or form, and this year, he’s going to try it with jalapeno poppers.

His plan: make the poppers (filled with cream cheese and topped with shredded beyond meat; he loves the stuff) before baking them like normal, putting them in a dish, covering them with garden mac and cheese (mac and cheese with small, fried tomatoes and onions, herbs, and a small amount of tomato sauce), top it with more cheese, and bake it until the cheese has melted.

It is his first attempt at making it, and I may give a small update on how it turned out with some pictures, but the tip doesn’t end there. You can always look up alternative ‘casseroles’ or some youtube videos if you’re looking to create more than just finger food that can give a nice bolt of energy before, during, and after the game.

By sheri silver on Unsplash

What tips did you find most useful? What will you be munching on this Sunday? Leave a comment on my Twitter post about this article or even send a picture. I love to learn new recipes to keep game days interesting. Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed it, please give this a like and share it as it helps me grow and continue to write. Stay tuned for more by following me on Twitter, too.

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    Cathryn DennisonWritten by Cathryn Dennison

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