Grilled Pepper Poppers - Game Day Grilling Series

The Game Day Grilling Series is a unique time of year where truck beds become outdoor kitchens, and brotherly love flows from vehicle to vehicle, as long as their owners bear the same coat of arms. This age of tailgating and game day feasting is marked by its food: bold, messy, spicy, messy, bursting with flavor, and exceedingly messy. Today, we bring you Grilled Pepper Poppers – a fantastic spicy appetizer sure to ignite and awaken the team spirit of even the faintest of heart. 

These Pepper Poppers pack a powerful punch of flavor and heat. As with all fresh peppers, the heat will vary according to the freshness and yield of the peppers. The tasty filling combines cream cheese, garlic powder, cumin, pepper, and bacon for a salty counterpunch. The ranch dipping sauce is a creamy and refreshing balance to the heat of the peppers. This is a hearty finger food appetizer to get any game off on the right foot. Grab your team apparel and plenty of napkins and wipes, and get ready to burn your lips off just in time for the big game!

Serves 4

Grilled Pepper Poppers Ingredients

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 packet (1 ounce) Ranch Dip Mix
  • 16 ounces sour cream


  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 18–20 large peppers (Note: for a less spicy substitute, try 6–8 small poblano peppers instead)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 6 ounces (1½ cups) aged provolone cheese shredded
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature

Grilled Pepper Poppers Directions

  1. Mix dipping sauce ingredients in a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate.
  2. Fry bacon, drain and let cool. Crumble bacon into cream cheese and add all additional ingredients. Mix well. Place cream cheese mixture inside a quart-size food storage bag. Cut off one of the corners to make a pastry bag.
  3. Cut off the top of the peppers, approximately ¼-inch from the base of the stem, and set them aside. Stuff cream cheese mixture in the top of the peppers and replace caps. Wrap each pepper tightly in foil.
  4. Place wrapped peppers on the grill grate over direct heat and frequently turn for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the grill, let cool, unwrap, and serve with Ranch dipping sauce to cool down the spice from the peppers.

Taken from