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What To Serve With Jalapeno Poppers [16 Side Dishes]

Jalapeno poppers are tasty bite sized treats that you can serve as a appetizer, as a snack, or as part of a ‘picky bits’ dinner (my favorite kind of dinner). And don’t worry if you don’t like spicy food, the heat of the jalapeno is tempered by cream cheese so anyone can enjoy them.

Here are my 16 tried-and-tested ideas for side dishes that pair wonderfully with jalapeno poppers. You can find everything from light and healthy dishes, to rich and indulgent ones.

The best side dishes to serve with jalapeno poppers are pulled pork sliders, buffalo wings, and mozzarella sticks. You can also serve a side of mac and cheese or spinach artichoke dip. For sauce options, there’s salsa, honey mustard, or a cooling yogurt dip.

Buffalo wings

Jalapeno poppers are a game-day classic, and so are these finger-licking good buffalo wings.

Traditional recipes usually involve deep-frying the wings, but Jessica Gavin takes the healthier route by baking them. She also uses baking powder instead of flour or cornstarch in the chicken coating, which ensures you still get a crispy bite with less oil.

The buffalo sauce had the right amount of heat, but I like serving the wings and jalapeno poppers with creamy ranch or a blue cheese dipping sauce for a cool, creamy contrast.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

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Corn salsa

If you’re looking for something bright and juicy, check out this corn salsa. It features a simple mix of corn, red pepper, tomatoes, fresh herbs, and lime juice. But don’t count it out.

It’s another excellent way to provide a fresh bite to something as rich as jalapeno poppers.

Pro tip: aim to make corn salsa at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to really blend. You can even make this the night before and leave it overnight to rest.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a tasty summer side.

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Pulled pork sliders

Got leftover pulled pork from last night’s dinner? Turn it into delicious sliders.

Imagine getting tender, juicy meat covered in rich barbecue sauce and aioli, sandwiched by two fluffy buns – what a feast!

These bad boys come together in less than 15 minutes too (as long as you’ve got pre-cooked pulled pork), making it great if you need a last-minute hearty addition to your party spread.

Why we love this recipe: the small portions make sure your guests will have plenty of room for your jalapeno poppers.

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Cucumber yogurt dip

If your jalapeno poppers are still too hot despite the cream cheese, serving them with a cooling dip an fix it. And what’s more cooling than a combination of cucumber and yogurt?

This recipe also adds some lemon juice for acidity to make sure everything doesn’t get too rich. Normally when you use cucumber in a recipe you need to salt it and wait for all the moisture to drain out.

But a quicker trick is to grate it and then squeeze the excess water out.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a perfect pairing for spicy dishes.

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Mozzarella cheese sticks

Mozzarella cheese sticks are an addictingly yummy side for get-togethers. After all, who wouldn’t want a plate of crunchy, gooey cheese?

These babies are coated in a seasoned breadcrumb mixture, giving them their signature tasty, golden brown crust.

Recipe creator Lalaine also suggests letting the breaded mozzarella sticks rest for 30 minutes in the freezer. I know it’s an extra step, but this ensures the cheese sticks won’t burst and melt out as you’re frying them.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a cheesy dish that can do no wrong.

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Guacamole is normally served with chips for dipping, but there’s nothing stopping you from dipping jalapeno poppers instead.

The simple combination of fresh avocados, tomatoes, onions, and lemon juice creates a refreshing kick to contrast the richness and heat of your jalapeno poppers.

And the best part? Guacamole is super easy to customize. I always add cilantro into my guacamole, but I know this is controversial.

Why we love this recipe: it celebrates fresh, clean ingredients.

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Mac and cheese

Homemade mac and cheese is the epitome of comfort food. It’s warm, cheesy, and chock-full of carbs.

What more could you want to cheer you up on a cold day?

Everyone has their own recipes, but I always come back to Carlsbad Cravings’ version. It tastes exactly like how grandma makes it, thanks to its bechamel base and the use of three different kinds of cheese.

Enjoy your jalapeno poppers alongside your mac and cheese or even as an appetizer for the ultimate cheese lovers’ meal.

Psst… fancy combining them? Try this jalapeno popper mac and cheese.

Why we love this recipe: the cheese sauce comes together in only one pot.

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Cocktail meatballs

These mini meatballs are another tasty game-day snack you can whip up to serve with your jalapeno poppers.

And unlike other recipes that use frozen meatballs, this version also shows you how to make them from scratch. That’s why these are a must-try, especially if you like knowing what goes into your food.

But the true game-changer for these meatballs is the homemade cocktail sauce. Carlsbad Cravings uses pepper jelly as one of the bases, but you can try using other jellies if you aren’t a fan of spicy food.

Why we love this recipe: it’s freezer-friendly.

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Honey mustard sauce

Jalapeno poppers and honey mustard might sound like an unlikely pair, but the sweet and tangy flavors of this dip work surprisingly well with the poppers. The honey balances the heat of the jalapenos, while the tanginess of the mustard adds depth to each bite.

And you only need 5 minutes and 4 ingredients (plus salt) to put this together. It will last two weeks in the fridge too, so you can make a decent amount and enjoy it whenever the craving hits.

Why we love this recipe: its simple but elegant.

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Spinach and artichoke dip 

If you’re a cheese-lover, you have to try pairing your jalapeno poppers with spinach artichoke dip. This dip is deliciously indulgent, with subtle grassy notes that help keep it from becoming overwhelming.

Plus, it’s such a breeze to make. There’s zero active cooking involved because once you have everything mixed together, the oven does the rest of the work.

I love serving this dip fresh from the oven, but you can also chill it if you prefer a cold dip.

Why we love this recipe: it’s great for sharing.

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Carne asada nachos

Looking for the best nachos to serve with your jalapeno poppers? Well, the search is over because these carne asada nachos will steal the show every time.

They’re loaded with juicy meat, creamy avocado, sharp cheddar, bright pico de gallo, and luscious queso blanco (or one of these queso blanco substitutes).

What more could you want?

Damn Delicious’ recipe uses homemade carne asada, but no worries. Making this is easier than you think and won’t take much time.

Why we love this recipe: they’re based on everyone’s favorite Mexican street tacos.

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Bacon-wrapped shrimp

Another delicious finger food you can pair with jalapeno poppers is these bacon-wrapped shrimp.

The sweetness of the shrimp and the brown sugar rub, combined with the smoky, savory notes of the bacon offers a tasty break from the creaminess of your jalapeno poppers.

I prefer baking these beauties because the bacon adds a light crunch, but Sweet and Savory Meals also has instructions for grilling if you want an extra dose of smokiness.

Why we love this recipe: bacon makes everything better!

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Vinegar coleslaw

For a tangy twist on a classic side, try a vinegar coleslaw. This version skips the traditional creamy dressing and opts for a lighter approach.

The acidity from the apple cider vinegar, combined with a hint of sweetness from a dash of honey, creates an irresistible dressing that won’t leave you feeling like you’ve over indulged.

Why we love this recipe: It’s really easy to customize.

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Squash puppies

Squash puppies are hush puppies, made of… you guessed it… squash!

Adding yellow squash gives them a sweeter taste, but this is balanced out by the addition of spicy cayenne pepper.

The key with these is to make sure you steam the squash until it’s super tender so you can mash it into a silky smooth consistency. This way, the mashed squash melds into the hushpuppy batter perfectly.

Serve a bowl of these on the table next to your jalapeno poppers and watch them disappear within minutes.

Why we love this recipe: it’s a creative spin on your classic hush puppies.

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The only type of dip I haven’t mentioned yet is a tomato based one! And my favorite tomato based dip is always going to be salsa.

It’s so fresh and I love the chunky texture. If you have a food processor or blender it’s also an absolute breeze to make, simple chuck everything in there together and blitz.

Psst… You can skip the jalapenos in the recipe if you want.

Why we love this recipe: it’s budget-friendly.

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What To Serve With Jalapeno Poppers [15 Side Dishes]

In this short recipe, I show you exactly what to serve with your jalapeno poppers.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: jalapeno poppers side dishes, what to serve with jalapeno poppers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 100kcal


  • 1 portion buffalo wings
  • 1 portion carne asada nachos
  • 1 portion bacon-wrapped shrimp
  • 1 portion squash puppies
  • 1 portion cocktail meatballs
  • 1 portion spinach and artichoke dip
  • 1 portion … and more


  • Prepare your jalapeno poppers according to your favorite recipe.
  • In the meantime, choose one of the following sides to serve alongside it.
  • Side dishes include: buffalo wings, pulled pork sliders, chicken pesto pizza, guacamole, bacon-wrapped shrimp, carne asada nachos, mozzarella cheese sticks, corn salsa, mac and cheese, squash puppies, cocktail meatballs, spinach and artichoke dip, and teriyaki chicken skewers.
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!


Serving: 100g | Calories: 100kcal

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