My Healthy Jalapeno Popper Dip recipe has some healthy swaps, but still packs a huge flavor punch. This Jalapeno Cheese Dip is surprisingly tasty and completely addictive. Perfect for any party from New Year's to Super Bowl Sunday, this cheesy and slightly spicy melty dip will disappear anytime you serve it.
Healthy Jalapeno Popper Dip- The BEST Jalapeno Cheese Dip
This Jalapeno Popper Dip just happens to be one of my all-time favorite recipes to make for a party. Whether it's the holidays like Christmas or New Year's or Super Bowl Sunday this cheesy and creamy Jalapeno Cheese Dip will shine and everyone will be asking you for the recipe. It's totally crave-able, addictive and something you've just got to try.
This dip is a fun twist on classic Jalapeño Poppers which are fresh jalapenos filled with cream cheese and cheddar cheese and then fried. They can be a bit spicy and labor-intensive to make, but this dip has ALL of those super yummy flavors but in a MUCH simpler package to make. In fact, you can mix this entire cheese dip together in under 5 minutes with no chopping or fuss.
Now for the sake of full disclosure, I'm using the term healthy loosely here... this is still a cheese base dip you dunk chips or crackers in... BUT my version has some healthy swaps and cuts some corners to make this dip a bit lighter. We'll call it healthier! It also happens to be vegetarian and low carb too!
Don't worry if you don't like spicy food either, this just has flavorful but mild heat. Nothing crazy.
It's soooo cheesyyyy!
Why You'll Love This Jalapeno Popper Dip...
- My Healthy Jalapeno Dip recipe uses lots of lighter or healthy sways. I use greek yogurt instead of sour cream or mayo and also cut the butter out of the crunchy topping. I also tested with reduced-fat cheese, but you can use whichever type makes you happier or fits your diet.
- There is very little prep work to get this Jalapeno Cheese Dip together. There's no making a fancy cheese sauce and it's mainly open and dump recipe. Most of the time to make the recipe is hand-off while it's baking to golden deliciousness in the oven.
- It's SO cheesy but still light and fluffy.
- You can make this ahead and bake it when it's time for your party!
- It will disappear every time you serve it. I promise.
Here's what you'll need to make this Healthy Jalapeño Popper Dip recipe.
- Jalapenos: To get the best flavor use jarred jalapenos that are already diced. They have lots of flavors and just enough heat. It's not overwhelming though. Did you know that jarred or canned jalapenos are actually pickled giving them a light and unique flavor?
- Plain Cream Cheese: I like to use reduced-fat plain cream cheese to cut the calorie count of my jalapeno popper dip however you can use full fat if that fits more into your dietary preferences. For easiest mixing allow the cream cheese to soften a bit outside of the fridge before you try to mix the cheese dip together.
- Plain Greek Yogurt: Instead of using mayonnaise or miracle whip I used plain greek yogurt. It gives the dish that creamy texture but in a healthier package. You can use low fat or full fat depending on how your personal taste and preferences.
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese: I love a sharp cheddar cheese for the richest flavor. For the BEST results shred your cheese by hand with a grater. That will give your the creamiest finished product. HOWEVER, this recipe will work with pre-bought shredded cheese, and when I'm short on time I use it too.
- Parmesan Cheese: The nutty parmesan cheese adds so much flavor to the dip. I just use the type that comes in the plastic container, but you could upgrade for sure and use freshly grated.
- Onion Powder & Garlic Powder: This combination of spices gives the dip a savory and rich flavor without much fuss. I amp up the flavor with these pantry staples... garlic powder and onion powder. Those two are just what this dip needs to really make the flavor pop.
- Panko Breadcrumbs: Panko is the perfect light breadcrumb to use to give this a nice texture. If you are having trouble finding it, buy it here. If you are trying to make this gluten-free, use gluten free panko.
- Garnish: Parsley or Green Onions
What About Dippers?
There are so many fun dippers you can serve with this jalapeno cheese dip. Here are a few ideas:
- Tortilla Chips
- Pita Chips
- Pretzel Chips
- Bell Peppers
- Sliced Cucumber
Here's how to make the Jalapeno Cheese Dip!
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray an 8x8 casserole dish with cooking spray. You can also use a cast-iron skillet. (Amazon Link)
- In a medium bowl, mix the jalapenos, cream cheese, plain greek yogurt, sharp cheddar cheese, ¾ cup parmesan cheese, onion powder, and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix the cream cheese mixture by hand until well combined.
- Spread the mixture in a cast-iron skillet or baking pan.
- Mix the last ¼ cup of the parmesan and the panko bread crumbs together. If you don't have fresh parsley to top it with you can add some dried parsley to this mixture for color. Put mixture evenly on top of the cheese mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the top is golden brown. You can also pop it under a broiler for a minute to get the golden color on top. Just watch it carefully so it doesn't burn.
- Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately with chips or crackers.
How to Make Jalapeno Popper Dip in the Crock-Pot:
It's really easy to make this cheese dip in the crock pot or slow cooker too!
- Just mix the dip together as mentioned in the directions above. Then just put the dip into the bottom of a greased crock pot instead of the baking dish. Then layer the panko parmesan mixture on top.
- Cook on low for about 2-3 hours until the cheese is warm and cooked through.
- Serve immediately or keep on warm until it's time to serve. Use the same dippers.
Variations & FAQ
I love this Jalapeno Popper Dip as written, but here are a few ideas to mix it up.
- If you love spicy food use fresh jalapenos instead of jarred.
- If you eat pork, add bacon.
- Use Ritz crackers instead of panko for a more traditional topping.
- If greek yogurt isn't your thing use sour cream or mayonnaise instead.
- Use a Mexican Cheese blend or Mozzarella Cheese instead of the shredded cheddar.
- Make it even more low-carb, keto or gluten-free by just leaving off the topping. It's great either way!
Is this really spicy?
Don't worry if you don't like really hot food either. The jarred jalapenos are fairly mild and there is enough other stuff in this to where you don't eat a lot at one time. They just make this warm and add a ton of flavor. The Hubs doesn't like really spicy food and he said the spice level in this was perfect.
Can I make this Jalapeno Cheese Dip ahead of time?
YES! This dip is actually great to make ahead of time. You can mix together the jalapeno cheese dip and put it in the dish ready for baking. Store the dip in the fridge. When you are ready to bake it sprinkle the panko parmesan mixture on top and then follow the same baking instructions.
How do I store leftovers?
I seriously doubt you will have leftovers but if you do they can store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Can I freeze it?
Yes, you can make this dip and freeze it in a freezer-safe dish for up to two months.
How to Serve the Dip:
This dip is best served right out of the oven when it's still warm and melty.
Serve this dip as part of a party spread alongside your favorite dippers like crackers, chips, or veggies! It's great as a party snack or appetizer. I love having this on my Healthy Super Bowl Sunday menu.
But let me warn you... this Healthy Jalapeno Dip recipe will disappear quickly and everyone will be asking for the recipe. The hubs and I ate this all in one sitting, and we loved every bite. We totally made an indulgent dinner out of it. This cheesy combination is downright addictive... plus you'll never notice the healthy swaps.
I hope you'll try this and let me know what you think!
More Healthy Dips to Make:
- Vegetarian Buffalo Dip
- Everything But the Bagel Cream Cheese Dip
- Buffalo Shrimp Dip
- Hot Crab Dip
- Avocado Feta Dip
- Whipped Garlic Feta Dip
Healthy Jalapeno Popper Dip Recipe
- ½ cup diced, jarred jalapenos
- 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
- 1 cup plain greek yogurt
- 2 cups low fat, shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup panko
- optional garnish: parsley
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Mix the jalapenos, cream cheese, plain greek yogurt, sharp cheddar cheese, ¾ cup parmesan cheese, onion powder and garlic powder in a bowl. Mix well manually or with an electric mixer until well combined.
- Spread the mixture in a cast iron skillet or baking pan.
- Mix the last ¼ cup of the parmesan and the panko together. If you don't have fresh parsley to top it with you can add some dried parsley to this mixture for color. Put mixture evenly on top of the cheese mixture.
- Bake for 35-40 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and the top is brown. You can also pop it under a broiler for a minute to get the golden color on top.
- Top with chopped parsley and serve immediately with chips or crackers.
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