Grilled Cheddar-Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

This grilled Cheddar and jalapeño popper sandwich is stuffed with cream cheese, chile pepper, garlic, cumin, sharp Cheddar, and bacon. Just like those irresistible poppers you down with beer except in an over-the-top rich and gooey sandwich sorta way.

Two halves of grilled cheddar jalapeno popper sandwich stacked on top of each other

“Happy, happy, happy! A big fat sandwich of deliciousness.” That’s one heck of an endorsement that came from one of our recipe testers. And it pretty much captures the enthusiasm of everyone who tried this inspired grilled Cheddar and jalapeño popper sandwich. And while it takes bravado and a touch of genius to come up with the idea for this brilliant interplay of tangy cream cheese, salty bacon, and warm chile, it barely takes any effort to make it happen in your home kitchen. Melty, cheesy, and mood-lifting, indeed.–Jenny Howard

*NOTE: How To Make This Grilled Cheese Sandwich As Hot (Or Not) As You’d Like

You can easily tweak the heat in this grilled cheese sandwich to exactly suit your liking. Turbo-charge it by using 2 full jalapeños for the cream cheese mixture. You can also amp up the overall heat by using a peppered cheese or opting for a chile-flavored cream cheese. Or tame the heat by using fewer chiles and removing some or all of the seeds and membranes prior to chopping. (This is where most of the tongue-tingling fire resides.)

Grilled Cheddar-Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

  • Quick Glance
  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 30 M
  • Serves 4
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In a small bowl, stir together the cream cheese, jalapeño or green chile, cumin, garlic, and a few grinds of pepper. Taste and, if desired, add more cumin or pepper.

Place the bread on a baking sheet. Spread butter on 1 side of each slice of bread. Flip 4 slices of bread and spread each of these with an equal amount of the cream cheese mixture (about 3 tablespoons per slice). You may have a small amount of cream cheese left over. Scatter the Cheddar over the cream cheese, dividing it evenly, and, if using bacon, finish with 2 slices per sandwich. Top with the remaining 4 bread slices, placing them with the buttered sides facing out.

Place a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Fry the sandwiches, in batches if necessary, until golden brown on each side with the cheese melted through in the middle, 3 to 4 minutes per side, give or take a little given the exact heat under the skillet.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Serve the grilled cheese sandwiches immediately, sliced in half if desired.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

These grilled cheese sandwiches were an experience! We liked the tang of the cream cheese along with the salty cheddar and loved the heat of the pepper. We used 1/2 pepper per sandwich. (We tried them with and without the jalapeño seeds and said a unanimous “YES” to including the seeds!)

There was so much cheese piled high on the bread but there was little oozing, keeping the sandwiches pretty neat and tidy for the most part.

My bread was Pepperidge Farm “Farm House Hearty White” and I used sharp Cheddar. I did not use bacon. I wish the cumin had been more noticeable, though. I would even double the amount next time.

We devoured the grilled cheese with the Easy Tomato Soup (sans orzo) for a scrumptious weeknight dinner.

I never thought a sandwich for dinner would be such a hit, but it was! All the flavors complemented each other and the bacon put it over the top. This was a flavorful sandwich and filling.

I used sourdough bread and Cabot Sharp Cheddar.


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