Jalapeno Popper Bucatini

jalapeno popper bucatini

This Jalapeno Popper Bucatini is filled with spicy jalapenos, cream cheese, and cheese. Topped with crispy, herby panko breadcrumbs. Imagine a crisp jalapeno popper in pasta form!

This sounds absolutely wild, trust me I know. But welcome to the inner workings of my mind.

I am totally in love with jalapeno poppers and I am just as in love with pasta. It seemed fitting, though a little wild to combine the two.

Just imagine a creamy, cheesy jalapeno popper in pasta form, all the flavours and textures transferred over. With each bite you know exactly what you’re eating but it’s a bit of a wild ride.

Your mind will be thinking, “hang on, wait? what?”. It’s quite the delicious confusion. I’m here for it, and if you’re reading this then I assume you are too.

This is a recipe that I implore you to try, if like me you love both jalapeno poppers and pasta.

Jalapeno Popper Bucatini

If you’ve gotten this far, then I know you’re as serious about this dish as I am. I’ve grown up with jalapeno poppers being one of my family’s favourite appetisers and move night snacks.

There’s something about crispy, spicy, cheesy food that just hits the spot. It’s addictive stuff!

We’re also HUGE pasta people, and recently I’ve been in the habit of trying a different pasta recipe every week. This one in particular has been a total hit with my family. We’re obsessed with it.

Our other favourite has been my Garlic and Chilli Cacio e Pepe.

Essentially it’s based on the exact same ingredients you would find in a jalapeno popper. I.e. the jalapenos, cream cheese, cheese and breadcrumbs. However I do throw in a few extra ingredients for the purpose of flavour.

But with every bite of this dish you get all the flavours and textures that you would if you were taking a bite out of a jalapeno popper. It’s honestly delicious and so incredibly more-ish at the same time.

It’s quite the simple dish once broken down and the ingredients are very easily accessible. Which just makes this recipe even better.

It’s perfect to serve up as a fun dish to wow your friends and family, or to impress your someone special on a date night. Thank me later.

Jalapeno poppers

If you’ve never encountered a jalapeno popper before, you are most certainly missing out. These are incredibly delicious, and an appetiser I could enjoy endlessly.

They consist of jalapenos stuffed with a mixture of cream cheese and cheese. They’re then coated in breadcrumbs and deep fried until golden and crisp. With each bite you get a crunch from the coating, followed by a subtle bite of the jalapeno.

This is paired with a ‘pop’ of the creamy cheese filling to create the most tongue tingling sensation and flavour explosion. It’s such an adventure in every bite.

If you just want to make a great jalapeno popper then I do have the perfect recipe for you. I love making these and they’re always a firm hit with my friends and family. Perfectly crispy, cheesy, and spicy.

You can find the recipe for them right here.


I’ve decided to use bucatini as the pasta of choice here. And this decision was not without reason.

There are plenty of pasta choices to select from and though they’re all mostly made from the same ingredients, and hence inevitably have the same flavour. They in fact all behave differently and some shapes are better suited for certain uses.

For example rigatoni is great for chunky, thick, creamy sauces. This is because the ridges on the outside adhere to the sauce, whilst the wide tubular interior is able to hold a chunky sauce within it. Rigatoni would also be a great option here.

Now, a bit more about bucatini. It does look relatively similar to spaghetti, albeit slightly thicker. It is in fact tubular, with a hollow centre running throughout each strand. Whilst spaghetti is a single strand without the hollow centre.

Both spaghetti and bucatini work well with creamy sauces, but the hollow centre and sturdier shape makes me favour bucatini for this recipe.

However feel free to use whatever pasta shape you have on hand, I guarantee it will be delicious either way.

jalapeno popper bucatini

What you’ll need to make this Jalapeno Popper Bucatini

(The full recipe is at the end of the blogpost)

For this recipe you’ll require:

  • Bucatini – you can find this in most supermarkets in the pasta aisle. I prefer to use the dry variety here
  • Olive oil
  • Fresh jalapenos – not the pickled variety that can be found in a jar. I always purchase these from South Asian/Indian supermarkets. They usually stock a good variety of fresh chillies including jalapenos
  • Garlic
  • Banana shallot – milder than a white onion and provides a very subtle sweetness that pairs well. You can alternatively use any other form of shallot or a small white onion
  • Cream cheese
  • Cheddar – this can be mild to mature depending on how you prefer your cheese and your jalapeno poppers. I prefer to use mature cheddar as I quite like the sharper and more pronounced cheddar flavour. Monterey Jack cheese or Pepper Jack cheese are also great options if these are available for you. They are a bit tricky to find in the UK in my experience, however they are readily available in the US
  • Oregano – both fresh and dried work well. I always prefer fresh oregano however dried will work too
  • Panko breadcrumbs – these are different from regular/golden breadcrumbs. Panko breadcrumbs are made from crustless white bread and are essentially more of a ‘flake’ than a ‘crumb’ in texture. They tend to get more crisp and provide a lighter, but crispier crunch

This recipe is

  • Delicious
  • Creamy
  • Quick and easy
  • Perfect for a comfort meal or a date night

Can this be made vegan?

It absolutely can, you just require plant based substitutes for the cream cheese and cheddar. I’ve had great vegan cheeses that are pretty close to a mild cheddar.

But I’m yet to have a good vegan substitute for cream cheese. If you are able to find substitutes that you enjoy then this recipe is very easy to veganise.

If you struggle to find these products, I imagine a vegan cream along with some nutritional yeast may help mimic the flavour and cheesiness. Though it’s not a method I’ve tested myself.

How to make this Jalapeno Popper Bucatini (photos)

Let’s make the breadcrumb topping first:

1) Heat some olive oil in a pan on a medium heat
2) Add the panko breadcrumbs and fresh/dry oregano and mix continuously until golden brown

jalapeno popper bucatini breadcrumb topping

3) Once golden brown, season with a pinch of salt and leave aside for later

Next let’s make the sauce:

1) First start off by sautéing the shallot and garlic until the shallot has started to turn translucent – this can take around 1 minute
2) Then add the finely sliced jalapenos. I’ve deseeded my jalapenos except 1 of them in order to control the heat. Feel free to deseed all of them to make this jalapeno popper bucatini completely mild

3) Sauté the mixture for around 1 minute in order to slightly soften the jalapenos. We still want to retain some of their crunch
4) Next add the cream cheese and mix together

5+6) Once the cream cheese has been mixed in, add in a ladle of pasta water and mix together. Make sure to reserve extra pasta water as you can add more to loosen the sauce at the end if required

7) Add in the bucatini
8) Also add in the finely grated cheddar and fresh/dry oregano

9) Mix together with the pan off the heat until the sauce thickens and becomes creamy. Add more pasta water at this stage if required to thin out the sauce
10) Serve up and top with the crispy breadcrumbs we made earlier!

How to make this Jalapeno Popper Bucatini (video)

Frequently asked questions

Can this be made vegan?

Absolutely, just swap the cream cheese and cheddar for vegan substitutes. I’m yet to find a good vegan cream cheese but if you have access to one then it will work perfectly.

4 jalapenos sounds like a lot, is this spicy? Can the heat level be changed?

Once the jalapenos are deseeded and sautéed they become incredibly mild. If you prefer some heat with your jalapeno poppers then I would recommend leaving the seeds in from one of the jalapenos.

That’s exactly why I did as I prefer some heat here. If 4 jalapenos seems too much for you, feel free to reduce it to your preference.

If you enjoyed this recipe

Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.

You can also tag me on Instagram at @dish_by_rish. Or follow me on FacebookPinterestYoutube, and TikTok to keep up with all my cooking and baking creations.

Until then, happy cooking!

jalapeno popper bucatini

Jalapeno Popper Bucatini

A creamy, cheesy pasta dish with plenty of jalapenos and topped with crispy breadcrumbs. Imagine a crispy jalapeno popper combined with pasta.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, Italian, Mexican
Servings 3 people


  • 250 g dried bucatini

Jalapeno popper sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 fresh jalapenos deseeded and sliced (leave some seeds in if you want some heat)
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 banana shallot minced
  • 150 g cream cheese
  • 50 g cheddar finely grated
  • Small handful of fresh oregano or 1tsp dried
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Breadcrumb topping:

  • 20 g panko breadcrumbs or any breadcrumb of choice
  • Small handful of fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt


Breadcrumb topping:

  • Heat the 2tbsp of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat
  • Add the panko breadcrumbs and fresh/dry oregano and mix continuously until golden brown, this will take several minutes
  • Once golden brown, season with a pinch of salt and leave aside for later

Jalapeno popper pasta:

  • Start by boiling the bucatini in plenty of salted water. Cook for 1 minute less than the packaging instructions so the pasta remains al dente. Make sure to reserve the pasta water for later
  • At the same time, sauté the shallot and garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat until the shallot has turned translucent. This will take around 1 minute
  • Then add the finely sliced jalapenos and continue to sauté for a further minute to slightly soften the jalapenos
  • Next add the cream cheese and mix together over a low heat
  • Add a ladle of pasta water along with the bucatini, and then add the finely grated cheddar and oregano.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and mix together until the sauce thickens and becomes creamy. Add more pasta water to loosen the sauce if desired. It thickens quite quickly
  • Serve up and top with the crispy breadcrumbs
Keyword baked cheesecake, bucatini, cheddar, cream cheese, jalapeno, jalapeno popper bucatini, jalapeno popper pasta, jalapeno poppers

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    March 13, 2024 at 2:04 am

    5 stars
    Hey this is really delicious. Thanks so much for sharing.

  • Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating