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The Jalapeño Popper Sandwich

This grilled cheese sure does pack a punch

Jalapeño poppers are one of our absolute favorite party appetizers. Bring the gooey, spicy delight of that fried food to your grilled cheese.

This recipe is courtesy of Tillamook and Heidi Gibson & Nate Pollak of The American Grilled Cheese Kitchen in San Francisco.


For the Apricot-Jalapeño Relish:

  • 8 Ounces dried California apricots (or Blenheim), chopped
  • 6 Tablespoons white onions, diced
  • 4 jalapeño peppers (stems and seeds removed), minced
  • 2 serrano peppers, cleaned and minced
  • 1/2 Habanero pepper (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 Tablespoon mustard powder
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Teaspoon salt

For the sandwiches:

  • 4 Teaspoons salted butter (preferably Tillamook), softened at room temperature
  • 8 slices high-quality artisan bread (like a levain), sliced 1/2-inch thick
  • 1/4 Cup fresh goat cheese
  • 1/2 Cup apricot-jalapeño relish
  • 8 pieces bacon, cooked
  • 8 Monterey Jack cheese slices, preferably Tillamook


For the Apricot-Jalapeño Relish:

Mix all ingredients for the relish together thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, preferably overnight.

For the sandwiches:

Spread butter on one side of 2 slices of bread. Lay bread butter-side-down on a cutting board.

Spread goat cheese (which can be softened by heating it briefly in the microwave) evenly over 1 slice of bread.

Spread Apricot-Jalapeño relish evenly on top of goat cheese.

Place bacon on relish, then top sandwich with cheese slices.

Repeat for each sandwich.

Sandwiches can be cooked open face on a pre-heated cast iron pan in a 500 degrees F oven, then closed and served. Or they can be closed, then cooked in a pan on a stovetop over medium-low heat until bread is toasted and cheese is melted.