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Jalapeño Poppers

Prep time 30 mins
Cook time 15 mins
Yield 24 servings
Our sports-bar-worthy appetizer looks complicated, but trust us: These are as easy to make as they are to pop in your mouth. You'll love this spicy, crispy starter.

Ingredients

  • 24 fresh jalapeño peppers (about 2 lb.)
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 8 slices cooked OSCAR MAYER Bacon, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 40 RITZ Crackers, finely crushed (about 1-2/3 cups)
  • 2 cups oil

How to Make It

  1. CUT lengthwise slit in top of each pepper; scrape out seeds and veins. Combine next 3 ingredients; spoon into peppers.

  2. ROLL peppers in flour; dip in eggs, then roll in cracker crumbs to evenly coat. Place in single layer in shallow pan. Refrigerate 15 min.

  3. HEAT oil in medium saucepan to 375ºF. Add peppers, in batches; cook 3 min. or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Serve warm.

  4. Variation
    To serve as stuffed jalapeno halves instead of the stuffed whole peppers, cut peppers lengthwise in half; scrape out seeds and veins. Fill peppers with cheese mixture, then coat and refrigerate as directed. Cook, in batches, in hot oil as directed, reducing the cook time to 1 to 2 min. or until golden brown.

  5. Substitute
    Prepare using PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese.