Armadillo Eggs


These bacon wrapped armadillo eggs are a take on a jalapeno popper. Made famous in Texas these are a cross between a traditional jalapeno popper and a meatball. They are cream cheese stuffed jalapenos that are wrapped in sausage meat then bacon and cooked in a smoker. They end up being quite large so they make a perfect individual serving or a hefty appetizer. They are perfect for a snack, appetizer or your next game day or tailgate party.

Traditionally made with seasoned sausage meat, I have also made them with Italian sausage (mild or hot) to add even more flavor. If you don’t like things too spicy then stick to the regular seasoned sausage meat and skip the hot Italian sausage.

The same can be said for the cream cheese filling. You can definitely use plain cream cheese, but I prefer cream cheese with some shredded cheese and spices to amp up the flavor. Experiment with flavors if you like. I usually go with granulated garlic, smoked paprika and cheddar cheese.

You can probably bake these armadillo eggs, however, I have only ever done them in the smoker or pellet grill (we have both). They are perfectly done this way. However you decide to cook them, make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Baste them with your favorite BBQ sause for even more flavor.

If you want them extra crispy either broil or cook in your air fryer until they get your desired crispiness. I did these ones for 10 minutes in my air fryer. So yummy

If you’re looking for other game day or tailgate recipes then here are of few of my favorites:

Armadillo Eggs (Sausage wrapped Jalapeno Poppers)

A variation of Traditional Texas staple, Jalapeno Popper. Cheesy stuffed jalapenos wrapped in pork sausage meat then wrapped in bacon and smoked or baked to perfection.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 12 medium fresh jalapeno peppers tops sliced off and seeds and veins removed
  • 4 oz Cream cheese, softened
  • 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese or cheese blend
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 750 grams pork sausage * or 375g pork sausage and 375g Italian Sausage
  • 500 grams regular or thin sliced bacon *12 slices
  • Barbeque Sauce *optional


  • preheat your smoker to 250℉
  • Cut the top off the jalapenos and remove the seeds and veins
  • In a bowl combine4 oz Cream cheese, softened, 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese or cheese blend, 1 tsp granulated garlic, and ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • Spoon some of the cheese filling into the peppers. I use a small spoon and wear kitchen gloves to push the filling all the way down to the bottom of the pepper and fill to the top.
  • Divide the sausage meat into 12 portions (or 6 pork and 6 Italian sausage portions if using). Flatten the sausage meat into a disk then lay a filled pepper on top and wrap the pepper with the sausage meat, ensuring that there are no gaps, roll into an egg shape, repeat with all 12
  • Wrap each sausage covered pepper with a slice of bacon. I like to press and stretch each bacon slice before wrapping to ensure that it covers all of the sausage meat. Secure the bacon with toothpicks if necessary.
  • Place the bacon wrapped Armadillo Eggs on the rack of your smoker over indirect heat and close the lid.
  • Cook until an internal temperature of 165℉ is reached. This will take between 1.5-2 hours depending on how big your armadillo eggs are.
  • Before removing from the smoker, you can brush the armadillo eggs with your favorite bbq sauce before serving.
  • If you like them crispy, you can place them under your broiler for about 5 minutes before serving.


A Perfect appetizer for game day!
Keyword armadillo eggs, easy appetizer, jalapeno, poppers

What you need for Armadillo Eggs:

  • Jalapeno Peppers: I recommend that you try and use medium sized jalapeno peppers. If you use large ones, they will be massive once they’re wrapped in sausage and bacon (not to mention you’ll use a lot more sausage and bacon to cover them).
  • Pork Sausage: I like to use a regular seasoned pork sausage meat. I have also made these with hot Italian sausage meat, so you can definitely use whatever kind of sausage meat you like and have on hand (even a good chorizo would work)
  • Bacon: I recommend a regular or thin sliced bacon. It covers well and it crisps up nicely without overcooking everything else.
  • Cheese: I recommend shredded cheddar be added to the cream cheese, but you can use whatever cheese you have on hand. Cheddar, Jack, colby, mozzarella would all work really well.
  • Seasonings: I like to add granulated garlic and smoked paprika to the cheese blend for a little extra flavor.
  • Optional Sauce: If you like more of a BBQ flavor then I recommend using your favorite BBQ sauce and lightly brush the armadillo eggs once they’ve finished cooking. Add a little on the side too, for a dip.

How long to I cook the Armadillo Eggs?:

Depending on how large your armadillo eggs end up being (size of peppers used), they will take between 1.5 and 2 hours on a smoker at 250 degrees F. Make sure they reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Then if you want the bacon crisp, another 10 minutes in an air fryer or 5 minutes in an oven on broil (watch them carefully). I use my air fryer and the come out perfectly

Crisping them in the Air Fryer

Tips and Tricks for the perfect Armadillo Eggs:

  • Preheat your smoker or pellet grill to 250 degrees F.
  • Use your favorite hardwood for smoking (Hickory, maple, oak)
  • Make the cheesy filling for the jalapenos and then Stuff the cored and seeded Jalapenos fully
  • Make a disc out of 1/6 of the sausage meat (one 375 g tube) and wrap the poppers, making sure to seal the pepper and form into an egg shape.
  • Wrap each sausage covered popper with one slice of bacon (Tip* stretch out the bacon and press it with your hands to make it thinner and longer, so you only need 1 slicer per “egg”
  • Place directly on the grates of your smoker or pellet grill.
  • Cook to an internal temp of 165 degrees F.
  • Brush with your favorite BBQ sauce (optional)
  • For extra crispy bacon, air fry for 10 minutes or Broil for 5 minutes (watch them carefully)
  • Let the Armadillo Eggs cool for 5 minutes before enjoying them as the filling will be very HOT!
  • IF you don’t have a smoker they can be done in the oven on an elevated rack on a baking sheet. Bake until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached, broil or air fry as above for crispy bacon.

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