Updated: Sep 6
These three-ingredient jalapeno poppers are the hero of any Whole30 tailgate!
To skip to the printable recipe, click here.
Looking for a paleo-friendly crowd pleaser for your next barbecue or tailgate?
From fast food to bar food to party-friendly finger food, Jalapeno poppers make their mark on a fair share of menus. I’ve noshed on some that left much to be desired and others that were truly spectacular, but none that could boast a paleo stamp of approval--till these.
With THREE ingredients (plus salt and pepper if desired), these poppers are not only more wholesome than most, but also so much simpler. In fact, this is not even so much a recipe as it is a preparation, or inspiration!
Here's the rundown with tips for best results:
Use thin-cut bacon with no added sugar and no funky stuff. We use homemade bacon for most applications, but for these I like the thinner and stretchier Pederson's or Nature's Rancher. Cut the whole pack right down the middle. This pack has 12 slices, so it can do 24 poppers. My rack only has 20 popper spots, but extra bacon is always better than not enough!
Use 1/2 a jalapeno (stem, core and seeds removed) for each popper. Stuff with one slice of avocado, sprinkled with salt and pepper if desired, and wrap with one of your half-slices of bacon. Small-to-medium-sized jalapenos work best. Wear gloves when prepping the jalapenos to avoid skin irritation if desired.
Give each piece of bacon a little stretch before you start wrapping. Toothpicks are not necessary; just smoosh it into the avocado as you go and use the bacon's clingy fat to your advantage.
Grill till the peppers are soft and the bacon is cooked through with some crispy bits--approximately 5-10 minutes over direct heat (right over the flame), plus another 10 or so pulled over to indirect heat (not right over the flame).
I nabbed my handy jalapeno-popper grill rack from a local school fundraiser, but you could try one like this, or even roast or broil them on a metal rack set over a baking sheet in the oven till the bacon is nice and crispy. Placing a heavy-duty foil pan or large cast-iron skillet right on the grill would be an option as well, though the results would be a little greasier.
We do all our grilling on a simple, old-school Weber Grill like this one, and we LOVE it.
I highly recommend grilling with charcoal if you have the option, as this enhances the smokiness of the bacon and compliments the verdant flavor of the peppers and the creaminess of the avocado so well. But never fear--propane, the oven, or even the stove-top will yield tasty results.
And if you're wondering if you'll miss the cheese. . .just give these a try, and pretty soon you'll be saying, "Cheese who?"
Here's what you'll need:
Several medium-small fresh jalapenos
Thin-cut paleo or Whole30-friendly bacon, one strip for each jalapeno
At least 1 whole avocado for every 5 whole jalapenos
Salt and pepper, if desired
Here's what you'll do:
Prep the jalapenos: wearing gloves to avoid burning your skin if desired, halve the jalapenos and discard stems, seeds, ribs, and cores.
Cut the avocado(s) into strips, discarding skins and pits, and press one slice of avocado into the cavity of each jalapeno half. Sprinkle the avocados with salt and pepper if desired.
Wrap a half-strip of bacon around each stuffed jalapeno half, stretching the bacon gently and smooshing it into the avocado to make it stick as needed.
Grill the poppers over direct heat for about 5-10 minutes and move to indirect heat for another 10 or so.
For the printable recipe, click here.