Spicy Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe with Real Cheese

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Two of my favorite appetizers are jalapeno poppers and cheese dip. There’s just something about that spicy mixed with creamy that I love. I don’t always love the process of making jalapeno poppers, so I decided to combine the flavors of cheese dip and poppers. Guess what? This spicy jalapeno popper dip recipe was a huge hit – and it’s made with real cheese! It’s the perfect appetizer for all your football parties, movie nights, and family get togethers.

tortilla chips in blue platter with jalapeno popper dip recipe in central bowl

One of the most popular recipes on my blog is for a queso dip made with real cheese. It’s an awesome dip and I love that it’s Velveeta free, easy, and delicious! That recipe calls for a can of evaporated milk and I’ve been thinking for a while that I should find an alternative. Well guess, what? Regular ole half and half is amazing and works just as well and I’m happy to share this new recipe today with you!

Jalapeno Cheese Dip with Real Cheese

Make this dip ahead of time so you can thoroughly enjoy game day. It’s a simple process.

saute onions and jalapenos in bacon grease in a silver skillet with bowl of cooked bacon to the side

Ingredients for Jalapeno Cheese Dip (and Substitutions)

  • Cooked bacon – Bake this in your oven for a quick cooking session.
  • Yellow onion – For a slightly stronger flavor, substitute with red onions. Green onions can be used as a garnish before eating.
  • Garlic cloves – 1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder equals one fresh clove. I prefer using fresh garlic, but use powder if that’s all you have.
  • Jalapeno peppers – remove seeds from the jalapenos to maintain a mild flavor
  • Half & half
  • Arrowroot powder – you can also use cornstarch
  • Cream cheese
  • Sharp cheddar cheese – Substitute with Colby cheese or even mozzarella
  • Pepper jack cheese – Substitute with Monterey jack if you don’t want the added flavor from pepper jack

Steps to Make Jalapeno Popper Dip

Fry up a few slices of bacon (or bake them in the oven) and set aside. Dice up a few fresh jalapenos (two will make a mild dip so add more if you desire spicy), half a yellow onion, and a couple cloves of garlic. Saute the onions, garlic, and peppers over medium heat in some of the reserved bacon grease right in the same pan.

woman whisking together half and half with onions, jalapenos, and cream cheese in sauce pan on stove

Add the half and half and arrowroot powder to the pan. Whisk until it begins to thicken. I use arrowroot powder as a healthier alternative to cornstarch, but you can use cornstarch if you want.

Woman's hand holding a whisk in a saucepan to make jalapeno dip with real cheddar cheese

Turn the heat down to low and whisk in the cream cheese. Slowly add the shredded cheeses and continue stirring until melted. Add mustard and more half and half if you’d like a thinner dip. It does tend to get pretty thick. I added an additional 1/4 cup of half and half to reach a consistency that made me happy.

Add the jalapeno cream cheese dip to a serving dish. Top with green onions and diced jalapenos for garnish. Serve with tortilla chips or crackers.

Easy Game Day Recipes

I love getting together with family and friends to watch big games whether it’s tailgating or from my living room. Easy appetizers just add to the festive spirit. Here are a few of my favorite game day recipes.

tortilla chips in blue platter with jalapeno popper dip in the central well. jalapenos and a kitchen towel lay on the table beside the platter

Tips for the Best Jalapeno Popper Dip

I hate heating up my house in the summer when it’s already hot. This jalapeno dip recipe is made on the stove, so no baking required! It’s fast and simple to make – even if you don’t think of yourself as a good cook. Here are some more tips for how to make the most delicious jalapeno popper dip recipe.

Can I Make Jalapeno Dip Spicier?

Adjust the spice level by adding more peppers. Experiment with adding a few crushed red pepper flakes for a slightly different flavor of spice. To make the dip milder, use bell peppers instead of jalapenos or just add fewer jalapenos.

How to Make Dip Ahead of Time

As a busy mom, I love making recipes ahead of time. You never know what’s going to happen in a day, so having something that’s easy to pull out of the fridge can be a supper-saver!

To make jalapeno dip ahead of time, just make the recipe as directed. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat it in the microwave and enjoy.

What Else Goes with Cheesy Jalapeno Dip?

Dips and chips are great side dishes or appetizers for game days and tailgating parties. Serve it alongside tacos, mac and cheese, or kabobs. Alternatively, add sour cream, guacamole and salsa to the table to beef up the jalapeno and bacon dip. Add shredded chicken or cooked ground beef to the dip for a heartier meal.

    This stovetop jalapeño popper dip recipe makes a classic appetizer into a family favorite. Using real cheese, every dipped chip gets the right amount of heat. It’s an ideal choice for family gatherings and game days. Whether you’re entertaining friends or simply craving a yummy snack, this jalapeno dip will keep you coming back for more.

    Yield: 3 cups

    Spicy Jalapeno Popper Cheese Dip with Real Cheese


    A quick and delicious appetizer perfect for football parties or any other occasion, featuring real ingredients!

    Prep Time 10 minutes
    Cook Time 10 minutes
    Total Time 20 minutes


    • 6 pieces cooked bacon, crumbled
    • 1/2 small yellow onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 2-3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
    • 1 1/2 cups half & half
    • 1 TBS arrowroot powder or cornstarch
    • 4 ounces cream cheese
    • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
    • 4 ounces pepper jack cheese, shredded


    1. Cook bacon, reserving about a tablespoon of bacon grease. Set bacon aside and crumble when cool.
    2. Over medium high heat, saute onions, garlic, and jalapeno peppers in the bacon grease.
    3. Add half and half and arrowroot powder and whisk until the mixture starts to thicken.
    4. Reduce heat to low and add the cream cheese, whisking to incorporate. Slowly add in the cheese, whisking until it melts. Add mustard and another 1/4 cup of half and half if the dip is too thick.
    5. Top with crumbled bacon and enjoy!


    This recipe as written is actually on the mild side. If you'd like to make it spicier, consider adding 1-2 additional jalapeno peppers. You can also add a few seeds to notch up the spice. One final change you can make to bump up the spice is to use 8 ounces of the pepper jack cheese and 4 ounces of sharp cheddar.

    Nutrition Information:



    Serving Size:

    1/4 cup

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 324mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 10g

    Nutritional data is not always accurate.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram tagging @simplifylivelove! I love to see your photos!

    Japlapeno Popper cheese dip! Delicious appetizer, quick to make, and it even uses real ingredients!

    About Michelle Marine

    Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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