Armadillo Eggs Recipe: A Quick and Tasty Dish

May 29, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Armadillo eggs are popular delicacies at southern barbecues. These delicious appetizers are made using jalapenos filled with cheese and wrapped in ground pork and bacon. Then, the meat is drizzled with BBQ sauce before and while grilling.

The name of this snack comes from how it looks. The exterior is wrapped in bacon, which gives it the look of an armadillo’s shell. Additionally, they resemble Scotch eggs, hence the name “armadillo eggs”. These appetizers are always a showstopper at my cookouts, and my guests never seem to have enough.

I learned how to make these delicious snacks in culinary school and have refined my techniques over the years. In today’s article, I’ll show you all I’ve learned, so you’ll become an expert just like me!

armadillo eggs

How to Make Armadillo Eggs?


Here’s what you’ll need to prepare these delicious bacon-wrapped eggs.

  • 1 cup of cream cheese: this is the base of the cream cheese mixture. I like that cream cheese doesn’t completely melt while cooking and retains its delicious cheesy flavor. Make sure you use softened cream cheese because it is easier to mix. 
  • ½ cup of cheddar cheese: old or medium cheddar cheese gives so much extra flavor to this recipe. You can use pimento cheese or Monterey Jack cheese instead of cheddar cheese for extra heat.
  • 16 bacon slices: Bacon is a must for this recipe. The extra crunch it gives is simply divine. I recommend using thinly sliced bacon for this recipe.
  • 8 jalapenos: I prefer to use medium-sized jalapenos for the ideal-sized appetizer, but you can also use large jalapenos if you want a bigger appetizer. Alternatively, you can use little jalapeno peppers in this recipe if you want smaller appetizer bites.
  • ½ cup of BBQ sauce: use any BBQ flavor of your choice. This recipe works great with most BBQ sauces I’ve tried. That said, I love using this smokey barbecue sauce for this recipe.
  • 2 pounds of ground pork sausage: You can use ground pork or any of your favorite sausage meat (e.g. turkey sausage, breakfast sausage, etc.) with the casing removed.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
Cheese, Jalapenos and BBQ Sauce on the Wooden Board


Step 1: Preparation Time

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, get a wire rack and foil ready.

Grab your eight large jalapenos, cut off the tops, and hollow them out by removing the seeds and stems. You can pit a jalapeno with different utensils, but I’ve discovered that a traditional butter knife works the best.

Remember, when handling jalapeno, you should consider using gloves because it contains capsaicin, a compound that can cause irritation when it touches the skin.

Simply insert the knife into the center of the jalapeno and push it down to separate the core from the pepper’s skin. Push the knife in a circular motion, the core should pop out now. After that, prepare the cheese filling.

To make the cream cheese filling, add cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic, salt, and pepper to a bowl and mix thoroughly. Once you’re done mixing the ingredients, fill the prepared jalapenos with the creamy cheese mixture.

Step 2: Wrap the Jalapeno Peppers

Next, take a handful of ground pork sausage and cover the stuffed jalapeno. Form the ground pork around the jalapeno; the result should look like an egg. Avoid adding too much ground meat because it’ll increase the cooking time.

Afterward, wrap two slices of bacon around the ground pork and jalapeno. The bacon slices should completely wrap the armadillo eggs. Use a toothpick to secure the ends of the pork eggs.

Step 3: Slather with Barbecue Sauce

Arrange the armadillo eggs on a wire rack. Then, brush as much barbecue sauce as you’d like over each bacon-wrapped armadillo egg once the eggs are arranged on the wire rack.

Step 4: Bake the Armadillo Eggs

Once all your bacon-wrapped armadillo eggs are covered in barbecue sauce, gently cover the wire rack with aluminum foil and bake the eggs for 20 minutes.

Remove the foil after 20 minutes, coat the armadillo eggs with more BBQ sauce, and bake them without the foil for around 20 minutes. Use your meat thermometer to monitor the temperature. The internal temperature should be around 160–165 degrees.

Once the armadillo eggs are done, allow them to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Lastly, serve these armadillo eggs alone or with a dipping sauce, and enjoy!

Tips for Making Armadillo Eggs

  • The jalapenos will have some crunch once you’re done cooking them. If you prefer your peppers soft, roast them for 5 minutes before pitting and filling them with the cream cheese mixture.
  • Ground pork is a crucial meat layer in this delicacy. But you don’t always have to use ground pork. You can substitute ground pork for any sausage you wish. This dish also works nicely with breakfast sausage, pork sausage, chicken sausage, or turkey sausage.
  • Even though the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper impart amazing flavor, you can always use a sweet rub for more unique flavor.
  • I typically use a mild-flavored barbecue sauce for this recipe because this dish is already quite flavorful. Nevertheless, you are free to use any BBQ sauce of your choice. This dish always comes out great, whether I use spicy BBQ sauce or even honey garlic BBQ sauce.
Bacon Wrapped Armadillo Eggs with Coriander Leaves

Other Ways to Cook Armadillo Eggs

These delicious armadillo eggs can be prepared in the oven, in a smoker, or even in an air fryer. Don’t fret; they taste wonderful regardless of the cooking method you use.

Air Fryer

Bacon-wrapped armadillo eggs can also be prepared in the air fryer, though you might need to cook them in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.

  • Follow steps 1 to 4 above and assemble the armadillo eggs in the air fryer.
  • Cook the eggs for 15 minutes, flip them over, and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • Take out your meat thermometer after 25 minutes and check the internal temperature of the meat. The desired internal temperature should read 160 degrees
  • Remember to brush the eggs with barbecue sauce when the internal temperature is 160°F and allow the meat to cook until it reaches 160°F.


Even though the oven-baked recipe tastes excellent as is, you can add more smokey flavor by cooking them on a smoker. I use a pellet smoker whenever I’m smoking armadillo eggs, and I add some hickory wood chips to the loader for extra smokiness.

  • First, preheat the smoker to 250 degrees F, then place the prepared armadillo eggs in the smoker. Keep the eggs away from direct heat and close the lid.
  • Smoke for about two hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160°F. The bacon should have crisped up by then.
  • Using a basting brush, lightly coat the smoked armadillo eggs in barbecue sauce, then allow them to simmer for a further 20 to 30 minutes to set the glaze. The smoked armadillo eggs will come out smokier and flavorful.

Can I Freeze Armadillo Eggs?

You can freeze these tasty armadillos before cooking them. This is great news for people who like to prepare meals beforehand. These tasty appetizers can be frozen for up to one month, but you must follow the right steps. Wrap each egg in plastic film, place them in a freezer-safe bag or container, and store them in the freezer.

When you’re ready to cook the eggs, remove them from the freezer and defrost them in the refrigerator overnight. Then, bake at 375 degrees F. Alternatively, you can bake them frozen by covering the baking dish with aluminum foil for the first 15 minutes.

Then, take off the foil and continue cooking for about 20 more minutes. Remember to check the temperature with a thermometer. The internal temperature should reach 160 degrees F before you turn off the oven.

Bacon Wrapped Armadillo Egg Lollipops

How to Reheat Leftover Armadillo Eggs?

Simply take out the leftovers from the fridge or freezer and allow them to completely thaw. Then, slather the meat with BBQ sauce for extra flavor. Bake the armadillo egg leftovers for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. They can also be cooked for around 5 minutes in an air fryer.

You can get that signature crispy exterior using either of these methods. However, if you microwave them, you may not get that crispy mouthfeel that makes these eggs more delicious.

What to Serve with Armadillo Eggs?

I prefer cutting these crispy bacon-wrapped jalapenos in half before serving them. In my experience, cutting them makes them easier to eat alone or with side dishes.

Even though the tasty cream cheese filling offers enough flavor, you can enjoy smoked armadillo eggs with any dipping sauce of your choice. I found that blue cheese dipping sauce adds more cheesy goodness, while sweet chili sauce gives off a sweet heat. You can also enjoy this appetizer with coleslaw, potato salad, and baked beans.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Jalapenos to Choose for Armadillo Eggs?

Look for jalapeno peppers that are straight because they are easier to core and wrap meat around. Also, pick peppers that are neither too thick nor too long. Even though you can always cut longer peppers short, doing this will result in the cheese oozing from the bottom.

2. Where Did Armadillo Eggs Originate From?

Although the origins of armadillo eggs are unknown, it is thought that they began in Texas in the 70s or 80s.

According to legend, they were first created by cowboys searching for a filling and tasty snack to eat on the route. The recipe changed over time and became a well-liked starter at BBQ restaurants and tailgating events. Today, foodies and BBQ fans worldwide enjoy armadillo eggs.

3. What Happens if You Eat Bad Armadillo Eggs?

Spoiled armadillo eggs contain bacteria that can cause distressing food poisoning symptoms. These symptoms may be mild or severe and could range from headaches, stomach cramps, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, etc.

For this reason, it’s crucial to check if the eggs are still good before eating them. Avoid eating the armadillo eggs if you notice mold or discoloration on the meat. Moreover, pay attention to the smell and texture of the meat. If the meat smells sour and feels slimy, make sure you throw it out.

4. How to Store Armadillo Eggs?

You can store your delicious armadillo eggs in a refrigerator or freezer, depending on when you want to eat them. These pork shots will keep for 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator and up to a month in the freezer.

Remember to wrap the armadillo eggs in plastic film to prevent moisture from seeping in. Then place them in an airtight container and label them before placing them in the fridge or freezer.

5. Do Armadillo Eggs Fit Into a Keto Diet?

Armadillo eggs are a fantastic keto-friendly meal. They taste great, contain high fat, and have few carbs. So, if you’re on a keto diet, you can indulge in these cheese-filled snacks at the next cookout. 

Crisp and Juicy Armadillo Eggs on the Plate

Final Thoughts

That’s all there is to this delicious armadillo egg recipe. Hopefully, you can now make armadillo eggs that your family and friends will love. Armadillo eggs are a fantastic appetizer that’s so much fun to eat and make.

Feel free to experiment with different meats, cheeses, spices, and dipping sauces. In time, you can have your own special recipe and become a master at making these delicious bacon-wrapped jalapenos.

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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