Ummm… I think it’s football day?? Sundays + fall = football… right? I don’t really know these things because I don’t really watch football. Ever. Even the Superbowl. (gasp!) I don’t really care who’s playing, who wins, where they are from, or the color of their jerseys. I have no interest in standing outside in the freezing wind for hours, trying to cook something edible out of the back end of my vehicle. I would much rather read a cozy good book than spend 4 hours of my Sunday afternoon watching men smash into each other. In fact, my life is completely devoid of football, which honestly, is fine by me. Now, please humor me a little; I am about to contradict myself. While I care exactly zilch about football in general, the players, the teams, etc. etc., I do profess to be a ‘mini-fan’ of my hometown college team, the NDSU Bison (aka the Thundering Herd, which is about the coolest nickname ever, if I do say so myself). I call myself a ‘mini-fan’ because I still don’t watch the games, wear the colors on game day (or even know what the game days are!), read about it in the papers the next day, or honestly even know what kind of season they are having until I read about it on Facebook. I don’t know the name of the coach, the players, or the line-up of opponents for the season.
That being said, I ♥ the BISON! And I will never waver in my loyalty… ever. It’s because I grew up just a few blocks from campus, went to games occasionally through the years, and had multiple family members that worked at or attended NDSU. And so, through the years NDSU became like home, and the Bison have become woven into the fabric of my life in a way that no other team will. It is simply a part of who I am, and I will root for the Bison, quietly and in my heart, forever. So, why all the talk about football? Well, I have the perfect football party food to share with you… if you do that sort of thing! This Jalapeno Popper Dip is warm, cheesy, and little bit spicy. The male half of your football party-goers will seriously love this stuff. The girls will like it too, but the guys – they will loooove it. I promise.
I decided to make this for two reasons. My husband loves jalapeno poppers (but to be clear, with cheddar cheese filling, not cream cheese filling!), and we have an abundance of fresh jalapenos (from our own garden!) to use up.
Our jalapeno plant was the crowning glory of our garden this year, basically meaning that it was the only plant in our garden that didn’t grow weirdly stunted produce. Yep, everything else sort of, um… failed. Sigh. But, our little jalapeno plant was a trooper; it stayed healthy all summer, growing all kinds of little peppers with glossy, deep green skin. And, unlike tomato plants, which are unruly, wild-looking things, and sprawling zucchini plants, which just about take over everything, our pretty little jalapeno plant, surprisingly, became my favorite plant of the summer.
Oh! And did you know that jalapenos turn bright red when you dry them? I didn’t. But, those red peppers in the pictures are dried jalapenos from our garden. Huh. You learn new things every day!
- 1 4-oz can diced jalapenos, drained or 6-8 fresh jalapeno peppers, roasted and diced (see notes)
- 1 4-oz can diced green chilis, drained
- 1 8 oz package light cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup light sour cream
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
- ⅓ cup panko crumbs
- ⅓ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8 x 8 inch pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sour cream until combined and smooth.
- Add the jalapeno peppers, green chilis, cheddar cheese and ¾ cup parmesan cheese. Stir well. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
- Mix the panko, bread crumbs, and remaining ¼ cup parmesan cheese in a medium bowl. Add the butter and parsley. Stir until evenly incorporated. Sprinkle crumb topping over the cream cheese mixture.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, or until topping is golden.
- Serve with crackers or chips for dipping.
This dip can easily be made ahead of time. Simply prepare as directed, but place covered in the refrigerator instead of baking. Then, just heat the dip in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes when you are ready to serve.
Recipe adapted slightly from Spend with Pennies Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe.