Forget The Jalapeños And Start Making Poppers With Shishito Peppers

Jalapeño poppers stuffed with a creamy cheese filling are delicious whether they're fried, roasted, or wrapped in bacon. It's a classic appetizer you've likely eaten at a casual dinner party or ordered at your favorite neighborhood watering hole. We can all probably agree on how delicious the zesty jalapeños are when you take a bite, but they're not the only pepper variety that works for this dish — because Shishito peppers taste just as delicious filled with cheese.

In fact, Shishito peppers are an ideal ingredient swap if you are sensitive to heat. Compared to jalapeños, which can have up to 8,000 units on the Scoville scale, Shishitos only have between 50 and 200 Scoville units. Be warned, you might occasionally come across a Shishito with a kick of heat, but they're going to be mild the majority of the time. If you've eaten blistered Shishitos at a restaurant, imagine how the citrusy and slightly sweet peppers will taste filled with cheese.

Try this trick with our recipe for broiled jalapeño poppers created by Tasting Table recipe developer Catherine Brookes. You can easily swap the jalapeños with Shishito peppers and use the same filling of cream cheese, cheddar cheese, bacon, chives, and spices.

Making Shishito pepper poppers

It doesn't take much effort to prep Shishito peppers to make poppers, but there are a couple of things to keep in mind. For starters, Shishito are smaller in size and have thinner walls than jalapeños so you must work carefully when cutting and deseeding the peppers. You might be used to making poppers by cutting the peppers into two pieces and filling them, but recipes for Shishito poppers recommend making a small slit and then filling them due to their size. Just don't forget to use a spoon to carefully remove the seeds through the slit.

As for the cheese filling, you can keep it simple with the ingredients in our recipe or experiment with different cheeses and spices. If you want to make up for the mild spiciness of Shishito peppers, use pepper jack cheese, crushed red pepper flakes, or a dash of hot sauce in the filling. Try other cheese like Manchego for some slightly sweet notes, crumbled feta for a bit of tanginess, or mozzarella which melts well. Garlic and onion powders, fresh chives, or scallions all work well in the creamy filling. For serving, consider pairing the poppers with ranch or chipotle sauce for dipping.