Easy smoked bacon wrapped hatch chili poppers are a fun way to enjoy hatch chili pepper season and indulge in this delicious grilled appetizer!
This recipe was sponsored by Sprouts Farmers Market. Update on 08/11/2022
Hatch chili pepper season is a special time of year. Because hatch chili peppers are only grown in a small area known as the “Hatch Valley Region” of New Mexico.
These peppers are only in season from August-September so if you love these slightly spicy and bright green peppers, make sure to mark your calendar in time so you can smoke up some delicious hatch chili poppers.
I love this recipe because it’s the perfect appetizer and is great as a game day smoker recipe or even for an end-of-summer BBQ celebration.
Poppers are fairly simple to make and require only a handle of ingredients, a small amount of preparation, and some time to get crispy smoked bacon on a perfectly gooey and cheesy stuffed pepper.
I think my favorite thing about using hatch chilies to make a popper over the standard jalapeno is that they are much larger.
Like A LOT larger. Eating half a pepper is definitely satisfying and I have no regrets enjoying a few of these when I make them.
These poppers pair perfectly with my smoked hatch chili margarita recipe too!
Grab all the tips and techniques noted below for this recipe. Let’s dive in!
- Knife & Cutting Board
- Small Spoon
- Mixing Bowl
- Cheese Grater
- Baking Sheet
- Cooling Rack
Welcome to my virtual classroom! Use the guided notes below where I often answer commonly asked questions I get from readers and cooks just like you.
This information is meant to help you have a stronger understanding of this recipe and the process so you can find success all on your own.
Ready to begin cooking? Simply jump to the recipe below and begin.
Where Can I Buy Hatch Chili Peppers
Hatch chiles are commonly found in stores like Sprouts Farmers Market from the begging of August through the end of September.
They sometimes go by the name anaheim chili pepper as well so keep an eye out when you’re at the store!
- Hatch Chili Peppers
- Cream Cheese
- Cheddar Cheese
- Pepper Jack Cheese
- Garlic Powder
- BBQ Seasoning (optional)
Assembling The Chili Poppers:
- Start the recipe by halving your peppers down the middle and scooping out the pith (the white part) and the seeds and discard.
- The filling is a pretty standard popper filling. It’s made up of softened cream cheese, grated cheddar and pepper jack cheese, onions, and some spices. Mix everything together in a bowl and set aside.
- To add a little more dimension to these poppers, I opted to add some caramelized onions to the filling. Just simply cook some sliced yellow onion on low heat with some butter until they’re a nice, rich brown color and smell fragrant. If you’re looking to keep the carbs really low on these, omit the onion.
- Stuff your peppers with a butter knife or small spoon, do not overfill them though or they will ooze out during the smoking process.
- Wrap each stuffed chili with a slice of bacon. Keep the ends of the bacon under the pepper and cover them with some BBQ dry rub if you like.
Begin by smoking the hatch chili poppers by preheating your smoker to 250 F. Place each bacon-wrapped pepper onto the grill grates. Smoke over indirect heat for about 20 minutes.
Increase the temperature to 400 F. to finish rendering the bacon, about another 15-20 minutes.
The bacon should be crispy and the cheese filling should be bubbly. The hatch chili peppers will be tender but not overcooked and mushy.
Remove from the smoker when the bacon is crisp and set them aside to cool briefly before transferring to a platter.
Serve with some BBQ Ranch dressing or sour cream and garnish with fresh chives or cilantro.
If you love this appetizer idea but don’t want to do all the work, try my smoked hatch chili cheese dip too!
Smoked Bacon Wrapped Hatch Chili Poppers
- 6 Hatch Chilies halved
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese
- 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- 1 cup Shredded Pepper Jack Cheese
- ½ cup Caramelized Onions
- 12 Pieces of Bacon
- 1 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp. Cumin
- Preheat the smoker for indirect heat to 250 F.
- Divide the hatch chilies down the middle and scoop out the seeds and discard.
- In a bowl, combine softened cream cheese, theshredded cheese, and the caramelized onion. Add in the seasonings as well.
- Stuff the pepper halves with the cream cheese mixture using a butter knife. Do not overfill.
- Next, wrap a whole slice of bacon around the pepper. Add BBQ dry rub over the top if desired.
- Place each popper bacon seam side down onto the grill grates. Smoked for 20 minutes at 250 F. then increase the heat to 400 F. to render the bacon and finish smoking an additional 15-20 minutes. This may vary slightly depending on how thick the bacon is.
- Remove the hatch chili poppers from the smoker once the bacon is crispy and the cheese is bubbly. Serve with BBQ ranch dressing or sour cream and enjoy.