Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese
This Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese is rich, creamy, crunchy, and loaded with spicy flavor. It’s everything you love about the classic appetizer in grilled cheese form.
Calling all cheese-lovers, this fun Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese Recipe is for you! It’s basically your second favorite cheesy appetizer (come on, nachos has to be #1) turned into a super satisfying toaster oven grilled cheese.
Yeah, it’s a tiny bit over the top and not something I’d indulge in every day. But sometimes you just NEED a little straight-up comfort food.
Here’s a quick preview of the splurge-worthy ingredients:
- Broiled Jalapeño slices
- Tangy cream cheese
- Crisp green onion
- 2 types of shredded cheese
- A drizzle of sweet honey
- Crunchy cornflakes
The honey may sound a little unconventional but trust me, it balances out the heat of the jalapeño perfectly.
Sandwiched between the gooey slices the crisp cornflakes make each bite taste amazing. If you’re out of corn flakes, try substituting crushed potato chips. (FYI: Our cornflakes were crispy but some have reported theirs ended up soggy).
This gourmet sandwich is more work than our easy Baked Grilled Cheese, Toasted Caprese Sandwich or this popular Grilled Cheese with Apple and Havarti, but it’s totally worth the extra effort.
~ Keep scrolling for step by step photos & tips after the recipe ~
Jalapeño Popper Grilled Cheese
The flavors of your favorite appetizer in an indulgent grilled cheese sandwich you can make in your toaster oven.
- 1 medium Jalapeño
- 2 slices Whole Grain Bread
- 2 teaspoons Mayonnaise
- 1-ounce Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon Sliced Green Onions
- dash of Garlic Powder
- 1-ounce Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese, (about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 ounce Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese, (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 teaspoons Honey
- 1/4 cup Corn Flakes Cereal (optional)
Broil the Jalapeño:
- Cut jalapeño into 1/4-inch slices. If you want your sandwich less spicy, use a paring knife to remove the seeds and veins.
- Place jalapeño slices on a baking sheet, and BROIL until they have softened and are just starting to brown about 2 to 4 minutes. Remove pan and set aside.
Make the Sandwich:
- Adjust the cooking rack to the bottom position. Place an empty sheet pan inside of the toaster oven, and preheat to 400°F on the BAKE setting.
- Spread one side of each slice of bread with mayonnaise. Place the bread mayo-side-down on a cutting board.
- In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, green onion, and garlic powder. Spread each slice of bread with the mixture. Arrange jalapeño slices in an even layer on one slice and distribute the cheese evenly over both pieces of bread.
- Carefully remove the pan and add the bread, mayo-side-down, to the pan.
- Return to the oven and bake until the bread is toasted and the cheese is melted and bubbly about 6 to 7 minutes.
- Drizzle the honey over the jalapeño and sprinkle with corn flakes (if using). Top with the remaining cheesy bread slice and dig in!
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 Sandwich
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 545Total Fat: 29.2gSaturated Fat: 15.6gCholesterol: 74mgSodium: 733mgCarbohydrates: 50.5gFiber: 5.6gSugar: 17.6gProtein: 22.1g
3 Quick Tips
Tip #1 – Glove Up
If you’ve got a pair of plastic or latex gloves handy slip them on before you start prepping the pepper.
What if you don’t have gloves? Make sure not to touch your eyes or face while handling the jalapeño and wash your hands well afterward.
Tip #2 – Adjust the Heat
Jalapeños range from mild to super spicy, take a small bite of your raw jalapeño to see how spicy it is.
Want less heat in your sandwich? Use a knife to slice away the membrane and seeds before broiling (that’s where most of the pepper’s heat comes from).
Tip #3 – Make a Faux-Griddle
Pop an empty sheet pan inside your toaster oven while it preheats.
When you add your bread to the preheated pan it will act as a griddle and immediately begin cooking the sandwich, giving it that gorgeous golden toasted color and irresistible crispy ‘grilled’ texture.
Looking for more vegetarian sandwich recipes?
Here are a few of my favorites:
I did not follow the recipe exactly because I didn’t have all ingredients. However, I baked it in the toaster oven per the recipe.
I spread mayo on the bread. Which I have never done before, but will be doing on grilled cheese from now on!
I had pepper jack cheese, topped with some sliced jalapenos I had already sauteed in butter. I also added mini pepperonis. It was fantastic! If you haven’t sauteed jalapenos in butter before, I highly recommend it! Got that from one of Pioneer Woman’s quesadilla recipes.
My version was very delicious! If I had all the ingredients, I would have cooked it per your recipe. Thank you for the inspiration!
Butter-sauteed jalapenos!!!! I can just imagine how delicious those are on their own, that’s definitely happening at our house this weekend 🙂
Your version sounds so yummy, Blair. Like a spicy pizza grilled cheese! Thanks for sharing the tips I’m sure lots of readers are going to appreciate them.
wonderful idea for a jazzed up grilled cheese!!
Thanks, Grace! I want to try making one with some of your quick pickled jalapenos 🙂
I was so excited to try this sandwich! I mean, the ingredients sound great, and the pictures — oh, the pictures! But the reality was just kinda “ehh”. Not bad, but not worth the effort involved. I definitely liked the jalapeno and the cream cheese, but the cornflakes went soft immediately (no crunch, even though we ate the sandwiches immediately after cooking).
Thoughts on making it again: I’d rather broil the jalapenos and stir them into the cream cheese, making a jalapeno spread — seems like less effort than laying them out. Alternately, rather than going to trouble with the jalapeno, perhaps Pepper Jack cheese — of course, I happen to adore Pepper Jack cheese. Perhaps a bit of chia or hemp seed (mid-sandwich) for crunch instead of the ill-fated cornflakes.
My two favorite grilled cheeses remain: 1) Grilled pimento cheese & sliced tomato and 2) Grilled cheddar with bacon jam.
Thanks for the feedback, sorry to hear this one wasn’t for you.
We tested the jalapeño a bunch of ways and while more work, laying the slices out added the most flavor to each bite. Stirring the jalapeño into the cream cheese was convenient but the jalapeño flavor disappeared in all the cheese. Since everyone’s palate is different, you may like it more that way than we did.
The cornflakes might be a brand issue? We used ones from Trader Joe’s and they stayed plenty crispy. Thanks for leaving your ideas for alternatives.
Sorry our method wasn’t for you but it sounds like you’ve got good ideas about what you’d like best in your next sandwich.