Grilled Pepper Poppers – Time of the Tailgate

It is the Time of the Tailgate; a unique time of year where truck beds become outdoor kitchens and brotherly love flows from vehicle to vehicle, as long as their owners’ bear the same of coat of arms. This age is marked by it’s food: bold, messy, spicy, messy, flavorful, and messy. Today, we bring you Grilled Pepper Poppers – a fantastic spicy appetizer sure to ignite and awaken the team spirit of even the faintest of heart.

These Pepper Poppers pack a powerful punch of flavor and heat. As with all fresh peppers, the heat will vary according to the freshness and yield of the peppers.  The tasty filling is a combination of cream cheese, garlic powder, cumin, pepper, and bacon for a salty counterpunch. Ranch dipping sauce is included as a creamy and refreshing balance to the heat of the peppers.  This is a hearty finger food appetizer to get any game off on the right foot.  So fire up the grill, grab a refreshing drink, and get ready to burn your lips off!

Servings: 6

Grilled Pepper Poppers Ingredients

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Ranch Dip Mix
  • 16 ounces sour cream


  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 18–20 large peppers (Note: for a less spicy substitute, try 6–8 small poblano peppers instead)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 6 ounces (1½ cups) aged provolone cheese shredded
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature

Grilled Pepper Poppers Directions

  1. Mix dipping sauce ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate.
  2. Fry bacon, drain and let cool. Crumble bacon into cream cheese and add all additional ingredients. Mix together well. Place cream cheese mixture inside a quart size food storage bag. Cut off one of the corners to make a pastry bag.
  3. Cut off the top of the peppers approximately ¼ of an inch from the base of the stem and set tops aside. Stuff cream cheese mixture in top of peppers and replace caps. Wrap each pepper tightly in foil.
  4. Place wrapped peppers on the grill grate over direct heat and turn frequently for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the grill, let cool, unwrap, and serve with Ranch dipping sauce to cool down the spice from the peppers.

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