How to Make Texas Twinkies

If you're a fan of jalapeno poppers, you're going to have to try these brisket-filled Texas Twinkies.

If you saw the name Texas Twinkies and imagined some riff on a sponge cake with a cream filling, you’re not the only one. Despite the name, this southern recipe is far from a dessert. Savory food lovers will be happy to hear this food is actually a cream cheese and brisket filled jalapeno pepper that is wrapped in bacon and baked to crispy perfection.

This appetizer is similar to jalapeno poppers, but the recipe calls for meat and barbecue sauce, making the dish a bit more hearty. While there are lots of ways to stuff a pepper, this might be our new favorite method when it comes to jalapenos. Texas Twinkies are a great tailgate snack, cookout app or even a side dish if you like to add heat to your weeknight dinners.

Texas Twinkie Recipe


  • 16 jalapeno peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded or chopped smoked beef brisket
  • 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 10 bacon strips, halved widthwise
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce


Step 1: Partially cook bacon

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In a small skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until partially cooked but not crisp. Remove to paper towels to drain; keep warm.

Step 2: Prep the peppers

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Cut a lengthwise slit in each pepper, exposing the center but not cutting all the way through. Make a crosswise slit just below the stem, leaving the stem intact. Use a small spoon to remove the seeds and membranes.

Step 3: Fill the peppers

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In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in the brisket, pepper jack and salt. Spoon into peppers. Wrap a bacon piece around each pepper; secure with a toothpick.

Step 4: Bake

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Place peppers on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake until peppers are tender and bacon is cooked through, 30-35 minutes. Brush with barbecue sauce. Broil 4 inches from the heat until bacon is crispy, 2-3 minutes.

Tips for Making Texas Twinkies

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How to Make Texas Twinkies Your Own

There are a few changes you can make to this recipe that will yield flavors you might enjoy even more. If you’re not a huge fan of cream cheese, or if you’d like a more cheesy flavor, pack your Texas Twinkies with pimiento cheese. To bring down the heat in this appetizer, you can sub the pepper jack cheese for cheddar or any of your favorite cheeses.

As for the outer wrap, you can add a hint of sweetness with maple bacon or opt for a peppered bacon for more texture.

Can you make them ahead of time?

For fans of meal prepping, you’ll be happy to know that you can assemble some of the parts of Texas Twinkies early to save time on a busy day. Although the prep time is only 25 minutes, there are a few things you can do in advance to shorten that prep time.

Luckily, the recipe already calls for smoked brisket, so that part can and needs to be done in advance. The jalapenos can be cut and stored in an airtight container before cooking, and the cheeses and garlic salt can also be combined and stored in an airtight container.

On the day of cooking, all you’ll need to do is form an assembly line of your prepped ingredients, stuff the peppers, cook the bacon and bake the assembled jalapenos.

Rosemary Siefert
Rosemary is an editor at Taste of Home where she can combine her love of writing with her love of all things food. When she's not working, Rosie can be found curled up with a coffee and a book, testing a new recipe for dinner or trying a new dish at a local restaurant.