Oven baked and absolutely delicious! Fresh spicy jalapeno peppers are stuffed with a rich cheese filling and finished with crispy seasoned panko and flavorful bacon. After one taste I think you'll agree that this is the best way to make them!
Wearing food grade gloves remove seeds and ribs from jalapeños. You can do this by hand (fastest method) - just using your thumb to scrape it out. Or you can do this with a pairing knife (just be careful not to cut through peppers bottom side).
Transfer peppers cut side up to an 18 by 13-inch baking sheet.
In a medium mixing bowl add cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, 2/3 of the bacon (4 slices), 2 1/2 Tbsp green onions, cilantro, garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir with a spoon until well combined.
Spoon and spread mixture into each jalapeno halve, it should be just slightly heaping.
In a small mixing bowl using a fork stir together panko, chili powder, salt to taste and olive oil until mixture is evenly coated.
Sprinkle panko evenly over each pepper.
Bake in preheated oven until peppers are tender and cheese is melted, about 14 - 18 minutes.
Garnish with remaining 2 slices of finely chopped bacon, and 1 Tbsp green onions. Serve warm.
*Cream cheese can be softened in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl, about 10 - 15 seconds per each side.
**I use the small/thin green onions in the bunch for garnish. They aren't chives just green onions.
These can be prepared a day in advance. Just store in fridge, keep panko topping separate and add when ready to bake. Increase bake time by about 3 - 5 minutes.