Saturday, January 16, 2021

Gearing Up for Game Day...Featuring Maxed Out Jalapeno Popper Dip #gamedayfood #jalapenopopperdip #chipsanddip #spicy #appetizers

 January is officially time for the NFL playoff postseason...leading up to the Super Bowl Sunday on February 7th! Even though my Texans aren't in the playoffs this year, we're still watching most playoff games -- and it's much less stressful than watching your home team play! This year, playoff season means smaller at-home celebrations instead of typical larger watch parties...but one thing remains the same: game day food! At my house, we love eating appetizers when we watch sports. Today, I'm sharing my personal spin on a recent appetizer classic: jalapeno popper dip. There are tons of variations of this baked dip on the Internet, but I went there and added all sorts of fun ingredients to make my Maxed Out Jalapeno Popper Dip! The end result is smoky, cheesy...and has a mid-range amount of heat. Best of all? It takes minutes to mix up...and it can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until you're ready to heat and serve!

Maxed Out Jalapeno Popper Dip
adapted from Kraft Heinz Food and Family
Ingredients (makes 2.5 cups):

  • 7.5-ounce tub Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeno Cream Cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise [NOTE: I used Duke's mayo]
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 cup shredded Colby-Jack cheese
  • 2-3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 slices cooked bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 2 mini sweet peppers seeded and chopped [NOTE: can use 1/3 cup finely diced red or orange bell pepper instead]
For topping:
  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 2 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
Step 1: Preheat oven to 375℉. Add the jalapeno cream cheese, mayonnaise, green onions, cilantro, sweet peppers, garlic salt, and onion powder to a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. Then add the cheese and bacon to the bowl and stir until evenly incorporated.
Step 2: Spray a 9" pie plate with non-stick spray. Evenly spread the dip mixture in the pie pan. Make the topping by adding the panko, garlic salt, onion powder, and chili powder to the melted butter. Stir until the panko is evenly coated with the butter and seasonings. Spoon the seasoned panko evenly on top of the dip.
Step 3: Bake the dip for 20-25 minutes, until the panko is golden brown and the dip is bubbly around the edges. If you have additional mini sweet peppers, cut a couple in half and garnish the dip before serving -- it definitely provides a nice pop of color. Let the dip cool for 5-10 minutes before serving as it's hot as lava straight from the oven. Serve with plenty of sturdy tortilla chips for dipping.
Yall...this dip is 100% legit! It's creamy and rich...with a nice pop of smokiness from the bacon. The cheese melts up gooey, the jalapeno cream cheese provides enough kick to keep things interesting, and the panko brings a bit of crunch to every bite. Prefer your food extra fiery? Feel free to add an additional half cup of diced pickled jalapenos to the dip base. I especially love how versatile this warm dip is! Its logical pairing is crunchy tortilla chips...but it's also great rolled up in small street taco tortillas OR spooned into halved and seeded mini sweet pepper halves. I hope you'll whip up a batch of my Maxed Out Jalapeno Popper was a huge hit when I made it for my family!

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