What’s a keto-friendly, gluten-free appetizer that everyone will love? These Shrimp Stuffed Peppers with Bacon. If you’re having people over for dinner, look no further for an appetizer that is sure to impress your guests.
Full disclosure here — this is actually a Mr. Bayou recipe. He’s usually the one in charge of the grill, and he perfected this dish. You can buy these already prepared at many grocery stores, but they’re pricey. This recipe is a much more affordable option, albeit somewhat labor intensive.
Maybe it’s my Louisiana roots, but I can’t get enough of spicy food. Not everyone in the Bayou home agrees, however, so feel free to substitute jalapenos with a milder pepper, such as banana peppers or poblanos.
I found this useful graphic on the Taste of Home website, here. They also went into detail about each type of pepper, if you’re looking for more information.
Information About Jalapenos
JalapeÃ±os range in heat a lot, from 2,500 to 8,000 Scoville heat units. The Scoville Heat Index is used to measure the chemical capsaicin — more capsaicin means a hotter pepper (source). While jalapeÃ±os are certainly spicy, they don’t come close to other peppers like the ones on the top of the chart above. Interestingly, most of the heat in a jalapeno is found in the membrane, so by removing it, your peppers will be much milder. Even so, the spiciness varies greatly from pepper to pepper. Finally, consider this your warning: peppers at the end of the growing season tend to be the spiciest, so taste with caution if you’re sensitive to a little extra heat.
Preparing the Peppers
No matter what peppers you decide to use, you’ll need to prep them first. If you have an abundance of peppers on hand like we did, you can prepare a large batch of slice peppers in advance and freeze them to use later. I recommend wearing gloves when handling them to prevent transferring the spice to other things. The simplest method is to rinse the peppers, cut off the stem, cut in half, and use your finger to scoop the membranes and seeds.
Once your peppers are ready to go, line a baking sheet with aluminum foil for easy cleanup. Preheat the oven to 425 if you’re planning to bake them, or you can heat the grill to medium heat (about 375).
Cut the pepper jack cheese into slices about 1/8″ x 1/8″ x 2″, or about the size of a French fry. For larger peppers, you may need a little more cheese.
Set the cheese inside the peppers. We used pepper jack, but cheddar or Colby jack would also taste great. Next, add peeled, deveined 30-40 count shrimp. For smaller peppers, cut the shrimp to fit.
Finally, wrap each pepper with thin-sliced bacon. For smaller peppers cut the bacon in half, making sure there is enough bacon to wrap around it fully.
Either grill them on medium until the bacon is crispy, or bake them at 425 for about 17 mins. I like to set them on a few paper towels to absorb some of the extra bacon grease.
This recipe can easily be prepared a day in advance until you’re ready to cook them. I served these with Parmesan Chicken Wings (recipe coming soon!), roasted asparagus spears (coming soon), and sweet potatoes for a delicious meal.
Below is a printable PDF version of this recipe:
Let me know if you try making this! I’d love to know how it turns out.