No one really does appetizers for dinners at home. So sad! But these baked manchego jalapeño poppers are too tasty to only break out at major events. I say, “Treat yo self!”
They are a bit healthier than the traditional version but it’s not because I never eat fried foods. I just can’t stand how soggy fried foods get after five minutes.
Jalapeño poppers are no exception, within minutes they wilt and feel greasy. No thanks.
I used leftover brown rice and hooked that up with wine, mushrooms, butter, and herbs — a godly mix which honestly almost didn’t make it into the jalapeños.
These poppers are super easy; the only annoying part is prepping the jalapeños. That took a little too long for my patience level, but you can certainly prep the peppers a day in advance to simplify your assembly line.
Jalapeño poppers are normally filled with a mixture of cream cheese and shredded cheese, a combo that leaves me feeling like a lump of queso on the couch.
I basically made them into stuffed mini peppers, albeit a heartier and more flavorful version. One family taste-tester found them to be a little on the dry side, so we paired them with a spicy tomato sauce and it was perfect.
You may think, wait, jalapeños AND spicy tomato sauce? Way too hot! In my book, that’s called “well-rounded warmth.” But if you need to take it a notch down, add a regular tomato sauce.
Naked or covered in sauce, these were a winner. Plus, the leftovers were amazing on top of a salad for a light dinner.
- • 12 jalapeños, halved lengthwise and deseeded*
- • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- • 1½ cups mushrooms, diced (I used cremini)
- • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped
- • ¼ cup white wine or chicken broth
- • 1½ cup cooled brown rice (I used sprouted brown rice)
- • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used half Manchego & half extra sharp white cheddar)
- • Salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
- Over medium-high heat, melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms until golden brown.
- Add the spinach, brown rice, wine, salt, pepper, and cook until the wine evaporates, about 2-3 minutes.
- Pour the filling into the hollowed jalapeños and pack on the shredded cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway.
- Serve warm.