Pimento Cheese Poppers. Yep, you read right.
When I was asked by Cracker Barrel to share a recipe using Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese, I knew immediately what I wanted to share. You see, I use Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese is so many dishes, it is my go-to cheddar cheese after all. But, when you make pimento cheese, you better use the best of the best! And in these pimento cheese poppers, the rich, creamy cheese flavors shine.
You see, pimento cheese is one of those iconic foods in the south.
Rightfully so, in my opinion.
When pimento cheese is made well, it is one of the most satisfying dishes you can make!
For the pimento cheese I used in this recipe, I used two types of Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese. I used Cracker Barrel Sharp cheddar cheese and Aged Reserve. I chose these two cheese because they are easily two of my favorites, but for another specific reason. You see, the Sharp cheddar cheese has a buttery, nutty flavor that works perfectly with the sharp contrast of the Peach BBQ Sauce that I used to top the bacon on the poppers. The Aged Reserve works in complete harmony with the pimentos used in the pimento cheese and make it come alive.
I can get a little bit too deep in my thoughts on why certain foods work and why others don’t.
To keep it short and simple though, it’s good! Promise.
As I was pulling my Pimento Cheese Poppers out of the oven, the smell of them filled my house. The smell of spicy jalapeno, comforting pimento cheese, smokey bacon, and sweet peach bbq sauce all had my guests ready to dig in!
They weren’t great about even waiting for them to cool before wanting to pop them in their mouths.
I can’t blame them either. They are fabulous!
Thankfully, they are a great make ahead appetizer. Just assemble the poppers and store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two days before you need them. Then, about 30 minutes before you plan to serve them, pop them into a preheated oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Then, allow them to stand for about 5 minutes to cool down a bit, plate them and serve!
But believe me, you always want to have a spare tray of these hanging out in the refrigerator when you do serve them. They get gone quickly!
Here’s my Pimento Cheese Poppers recipe. They are perfect for every occasion!
- For the Pimento Cheese
- 1 (8-ounce) package sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 (8-ounce) package Age Reserved cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- ¼ cup diced pimentos
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2-3 tablespoons mayonnaise (optional)
- For the Poppers
- 20 fresh jalapenos
- 20 slices of bacon, cut into halves
- peach bbq sauce
- Preheat oven to 300º F.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the pimento cheese. Set aside.
- Cut all jalapenos in half lengthwise. Using a knife or a small spoon, remove the seeds and the white membrane from the insides of the jalapenos.
- Fill the inside of each jalapeno half with pimento cheese. Wrap each pimento cheese stuffed jalapeno with a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick, if needed.
- Brush bacon with peach bbq sauce and then bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the bacon is cooked.
- Remove from the oven and allow to stand at least five minutes to cool.
And, don’t forget to check out Cracker Barrel on BlogHer.