Prep 30 mins
Cook 15 mins
These are delicious little treats similar to jalapeno poppers that are easy to whip up. Made healthier by adding vegetables and baking them. Directions for (alternatively) frying them are listed also. You can omit the hot sauce to make these mild if you like.
- 8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened and cut up into cubes
- 4 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped fine
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped fine
- 1⁄2 cup kernel corn, drained well if canned (thawed if frozen)
- 1 green onion, chopped fine
- 2 tablespoons hot sauce (we use Texas Pete)
- 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded fine
- kosher salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- panko breadcrumbs, to coat (bread crumbs)
- 1⁄2 cup jam (blueberry or your choice)
- 2 tablespoons berry juice (cherry or your choice)
- In a large bowl, mix cheeses thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients except Panko. Chill for 10 minutes or so if necessary to form balls easier.
- TO BAKE: Heat oven to 425F degrees. Using the palms of your hands, roll the mixture into 1 1/2" sized balls (keep them bite-sized). Roll each ball into the panko to coat evenly.
- Place each ball on a greased baking sheet (or use parchment or a silpat). Bake for 15-20 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a serving platter in a single layer. Serve with sauce.
- TO FRY: Place 1 cup flour, 3 eggs, and 1 1/2 cup Panko into 3 separate bowls. Roll each ball in the flour, then the egg and then the Panko. Set aside in a single layer (baking sheet works great).
- Heat a deep fryer (or large pot) filled with 2-3" of vegetable oil to 350°F Fry the poppers in batches (do not crowd them). Cook for 1-2 minutes per batch. Drain on paper towels. Serve with sauce.
- BERRY SAUCE: Heat jam and juice in a small saucepan. Simmer down to desired consistency (that of a dipping sauce). Serve sauce warm.