The kitchen is my playground and I love creating new recipes!  One of my most popular creations is my “Smokey” Jalapeno Poppers.  They are so good that I never can seem to make enough of them.  Last week, at our “Baby Q” we had for my future granddaughter, Hadley Grace Pitt, I made 260 of them and they were gone in 30 minutes!  The problem is that I get so tired of making them so I needed to come up with a recipe for this football season that my fellow tailgaters will still love and I think I did it!

I tried several different versions on my husband before I got the perfect combination but we knew immediately this was going to be a winner!  Introducing my newest creation:

Cheesy Jalapeno Stuffed Shrimp Poppers with Red Pepper Jelly Sauce




For the Shrimp Poppers

  • 1 lb. large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and butterflied (21-25 pieces per pound)
  • 2 Tbsp of Cajun Seasoning (I prefer Old Bay’s)
  • 1 cup of Cream Cheese (I use the one with green onions and chives)
  • 2-3 jalepenos, seeded and cut into thin strips
  • 8 slices of bacon (cut into thirds)
  • 1/8 cup of brown sugar
  • 21-25 toothpicks
  • Cooking Spray

For the Hot Pepper Jelly Sauce

  • 10 oz. jar of Hot Pepper Jelly
  • 2-3 Tbsp of Spicy Mustard
  • 2 Tbsp of Champagne Vinegar (you can also substitute Apple Cider Vinegar)
  • 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp of Onion Powder
  • 2 Tbsp of Chives, finely chopped


Shrimp Poppers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, season shrimp evenly with the Cajun Seasoning.  (I lean towards “more is better” so feel free to use as much as you like.)


Spread approximately one teaspoon of cream cheese onto the inside of the butterflied shrimp.


Place a jalapeno strip on top of the cream cheese and press down.


Take a piece of the bacon and wrap around the shrimp. Secure with a toothpick.  (Hint:  You only want the bacon to overlap enough to secure it with toothpick, otherwise the bacon won’t cook through).


Place poppers on a baking sheet.  For easy clean up, line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. (I prefer to put a rack on my baking sheet to allow the grease to slip through to the bottom for crispier bacon, but this is completely optional.)


Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over shrimp poppers.  DON’T skip this step…it creates the perfect crispiness to your bacon!


Place the shrimp in the preheated oven bake for approximately 20 minutes or until bacon is crispy and shrimp is cooked through.


Hot Pepper Jelly Sauce

While your Shrimp Poppers are baking, make your sauce.  (The sauce can be made a couple of days ahead and reheated if necessary).

In a small sauce pan, whisk together the jelly, mustard, vinegar, onion powder, and olive oil. Heat slowly on low.


Add in Chives and remove from heat.


Transfer heated sauce to a serving bowl.


To serve, place your poppers on a platter alongside the hot sauce.  Use the toothpick to dip your popper and ENJOY!


Bottom Line:  Although the true results won’t be known until Thursday night at the University of Tennessee’s vs Appalachian State tailgate, I think I have a hit on my hands.  Based on the reactions from the Anchors at Mornings with Fox43, Abby Ham and Brandon Bates, I think they will agree!  Try them in your kitchen and let me know what you think!  I am Chef Frankie, Always in the Kitchen, Having Fun, and Cooking with Wild Abandonment!



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