CHEESY STUFFED JALAPENO PEPPERS

Baked stuffed jalapeno peppers with melted cheese sitting on a white plate
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
Servings: 4
INGREDIENTS
  • 10 jalapenos (You will want to select the largest chiles that you can find.)
  • 8 oz . lean ground sirloin (I selected a lean sirloin here, but you could easily substitute chicken, turkey or even tofu or a meat substitute if you prefer.)
  • ¼ c . yellow onion , finely diced
  • 1 tbsp . lime juice
  • ½ tsp . cumin , ground
  • ½ tsp . salt
  • ½ tsp . white pepper , ground
  • ½ tsp . garlic powder
  • ½ tsp . dried cayenne chile , ground (As I mentioned, A. likes to keep things spicy, which is why I added this dried, ground chile. You can simply choose to omit the cayenne.)
  • 1 c . cheese (I opted for a simple blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses here – you can use any creamy melting cheese of your choice.)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 450˚.
  2. Carefully carve a rectangle into the top of each chile pepper, remov
  3. e the panel of skin and scoop out the inside of each chile. Before you begin carving, I recommend that you rest the chile on its side to see how the fruit naturally falls – this will insure that your chiles ‘stand up’ on your baking sheet and aren’t falling over and spilling out their filling as they bake.
  4. Place your carved chiles on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set aside.
  5. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, place your ground meat, lime juice, diced onion and seasoning. Use clean hands to combine the ingredients, taking care not to over-work the meat so that it doesn’t become tough. Spoon the filling into the chiles, pressing into place so that each chile is liberally stuffed. Sprinkle the cheese over the tops of the chiles (you may need to press it into place on top of the meat, just to make sure that it stays in place).
  6. Bake your stuffed chiles for 12-15 minutes. Baking times will vary depending on how large your chiles are and how well you have stuffed them – you are just trying to make sure that the meat is cooked through and your cheese is melted.
  7. Remove baked chiles and serve immediately