Jalapeno Popper Pizza
Love jalapeno poppers? Then put this Jalapeno Popper Pizza on the menu! It’s a tasty way to mix up Friday night pizza night!
Pizzas come in all shapes and sizes. Some are baked in cast iron skillets. Others in bundt pans. Some come with traditional red sauce. Some come without. Heck, some pizzas aren’t even pizza at all…at least not in the traditional American definition of pizza. But this Jalapeno Popper Pizza is the first time I’ve ever used cream cheese as a “pizza sauce.”
And guess what? It was amazing! I had my doubts about spreading cream cheese all over pizza dough, but that creamy base was surprisingly delicious. In fact, Laura commented that it would be a great base for all sorts of white pizzas. I want to try a garlic version next!
The idea to use cream cheese as a pizza base came about when I wanted to channel the flavors of jalapeno poppers in a pizza form. A classic jalapeno popper starts with a hollowed-out jalapeno that gets stuffed with cream cheese, cheddar cheese and sometimes bacon.
Ok, so I needed to incorporate those flavors into a pizza. I thought about dropping spoonfuls of softened cream cheese around the top of the pizza, but then I realized a big bite of cream cheese might not be the best. So I backed up, eliminated the traditional red sauce and spread a layer of cream cheese on top of the unbaked pizza dough.
Jalapeno Popper Pizza
From there, the rest was a piece of cake! I used a combination of Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar along with a bit of Parmesan, garlic, onions and of course jalapenos. Oh, and bacon! Jalapeno poppers are often wrapped in bacon (or bacon is diced and mixed into the filling). I couldn’t leave the bacon out, so I crumbled several slices of cooked thick-cut bacon on top of the pizza. This was seriously one of my favorite homemade pizzas in quite some time!
I used two large jalapeños for the top of this pizza, and both Laura and I agreed that I could’ve used three. I did take the time to remove most of the ribs and seeds in the jalapenos. That eliminated most of the heat while still leaving the actual jalapeno taste.
For a spicier pizza, feel free to leave the seeds and ribs in the sliced jalapenos. Next time, I’m thinking I might leave half of the seeds and ribs in – we’ll see. But I can assure you there will be a next time with this jalapeño popper pizza! And I suspect that next time will be coming soon.
If you’re looking for a fun appetizer for gameday or a way to mix up pizza night at home, then I highly recommend putting this pizza on the list. The cream cheese base might sound different, but trust me on this one. It makes for a great creamy base for pizza! (This recipe only uses 4 oz cream cheese. A full block of cream cheese would be too much.) I hope you enjoy this pizza as much as we do!
Did you make this Jalapeno Popper Pizza at home? Leave a comment, or snap a photo and tag me on Instagram (@Spicedblog) – I’d love to see your version!
Jalapeno Popper Pizza
For the Pizza
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon
- 16 oz. pizza dough homemade or store-bought
- 1 Tbsp cornmeal
- 4 oz. cream cheese softened
- 2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
- 1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese I used Cabot's Monterey Jack
- ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese I used Cabot's Seriously Sharp Cheddar
- 2 jalapeno peppers sliced (see note)
- ¼ cup sliced red onions
- ½ tsp minced garlic
For the Crust
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp Italian seasonings
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
For the Pizza
- Preheat oven to 460°F.
- Using a large skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Pat dry with paper towels and crumble into a bowl; set bacon aside.
- Working on a lightly-floured surface, roll pizza dough into a 16” circle. Lightly dust a piece of parchment paper with cornmeal; lay pizza dough on top.
- Spread softened cream cheese evenly on top of pizza dough, leaving a 1” circle around the edge of the pizza to form a crust.
- Top pizza with Parmesan, Monterey Jack, cheddar, jalapenos, onions, garlic and cooked bacon.
For the Crust
- Using a small bowl, combine the olive oil, Italian seasonings, salt and garlic powder. Brush this mixture around the outer 1” of the dough. (This will become the crust for the pizza.)
- Bake at 460°F for 12-13 minutes, or until pizza crust is golden brown in color.
Looking for more tasty jalapeno popper recipes? Check out these other favorites, too:
Bacon & Jalapeno Stuffed Grilled Pork Loin
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Cant wait to make this soon for me can i use mushrooms / vegan cream cheese and cheeses i love pizza sooooooooooooooo much i never had jalapeno popper pizza before perfect for my after office meals love your recipes as always brightens up my day everyday after work
Hey Ramya! Yes, you can substitute any ingredients here to make a vegan version. However, I might recommend leaving off the mushrooms. They could be tasty, but I’m not sure how they would work with the creamy cream cheese base here. Let me know if you try this pizza out!
I know I would love this pizza. Our friend often bbq’s jalapeño poppers and I can never stop eating them! such great flavors!
I’m with ya, Mimi – if jalapeno poppers show up, I can’t stop eating them! This pizza turned out really well. I highly recommend it!!
I love jalapenos! I like the bit of heat but i think the flavour makes them so good. You know how some chillies are just hot and have no real flavour? THis pizza looks the business david!
I hear ya, Sherry! I’ve been saying for years that jalapenos are SO much more than just heat. They have an actual flavor – and it’s delicious!!
Very interesting David. I can’t recall ever using cream cheese on a pizza prior to baking. It’s mostly always been the usual tomato based pizza sauce. Must try. And Lynne is a huge fan of jalapenos so this would definitely go down well in our house. Yum!
The cream cheese is admittedly a unique pizza ingredient, but it brings the iconic flavor and creaminess that comes along with jalapeno poppers. It’s truly delicious, Neil! At the end of the day, a classic tomato-based pizza is always my favorite, too…but it sure is fun to mix things up once in a while!
This is a genius riff on jalapeño poppers, David! What a fun way to spice up pizza night!
Thanks so much, Marissa – this pizza was absolutely fantastic! 🙂
Pizza may sound like a very simple and straightforward dish, but it can be so complex (and sometimes even divisive, depending on peoples’ taste.) For instance, Andrew does not recognize white pizza sauce – in his opinion it must be red, otherwise that is not a pizza. Or he cannot even imagine a classic potato pizza because according to his logic, dough + potatoes = pie, not a pizza.
Anyway, whatever you call it – or whichever form it is – pizzas and co. are always a great idea. You’ve got such an interesting and appetizing combo here. I’ve also tried cream cheese as the base in the past (mostly with naan flatbreads), and I can confirm it’s a legit and tasty alternative!
You make an excellent point, Ben. Pizza can be as simple and classic as tomato sauce and cheese, or it can be something completely different. In the case of this Jalapeno Popper Pizza, it’s something completely different – but it’s still delicious! I highly suggest making this one…just don’t call it a pizza so that Andrew will still eat it. 🙂
Love this flavour variation on pizza! The sauce-less cheese base would be what my kids would love on their pizza!
This was a really fun pizza, Michelle – and it tastes just like jalapeno poppers!
This is a nice delicious twist on traditional pizza. I’ve never thought of using cream cheese as a pizza sauce, but I’m definitely intrigued after reading your post. The combination of Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar along with garlic, onions, and bacon sounds amazing. I’m a fan of spicy foods, so I might leave some of the seeds and ribs in the jalapenos for an extra kick.
The bit of cream cheese in this recipe is perfect for mimicking the flavor of jalapeno poppers. I wouldn’t normally go for cream cheese on pizza either, but I’m telling ya – this was fantastic! Leave all those jalapeno seeds and ribs in for your version, Raymund!