Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers are stuffed with a cheesy, gooey cream cheese, cheddar, and bacon filling, and topped with a crispy crumb topping. They're cooked easily and quickly in the air fryer.
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers are the ultimate party and game day appetizer. They are super easy to make homemade and so much better than the boxed version.
Fresh jalapenos are halved and stuffed with a cream cheese, cheddar filling and a savory breadcrumb topping that replicates the classic. Cooking the jalapeno poppers in the air fryer gives them the perfect golden, crispy crust with the topping and warm, melty, gooey center.
These are sure to be a hit, and there won't be any leftovers!
How to Cut a Jalapeno for Stuffing
Start by cutting off the end with the stem. Then cut the jalapeno in half length-wise. Scrape out seeds and pulp, and discard. Your jalapenos are ready to be stuffed!
Tip: You may want to wear gloves to prevent the oils from the jalapenos from burning your skin, which can happen especially after dealing with multiple peppers as in this recipe.
Are Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers Keto?
This recipe made as-is is not keto, but you can easily make it keto. Instead of using traditional breadcrumbs, instead use pork rind crumbs. Just crush them or toss some into the food processor and use them in place of breadcrumbs in the recipe.
Here are some dietary and flavor variations to try depending on your needs and preferences.
- Dairy Free - Use dairy free cream cheese and shredded cheese alternatives. You can also omit the shredded cheese. Use olive oil or coconut oil instead of butter.
- Gluten Free - Use gluten free breadcrumbs instead of traditional. You can also use crushed pork rinds, like the keto version.
- Keto - Use crushed pork rinds in place of traditional breadcrumbs.
- Vegetarian - Omit the bacon. I actually love them best this way!
- Wrapped in bacon - Instead of bread crumbs, you can wrap a piece of thin-cut bacon around the jalapeno popper and secure with toothpicks before air frying.
- Cheese - You can use any kind of cheese you want here! Try parmesan, Chihuahua, smoked gouda or cheddar, or a Colby or Monterey Jack.
- Ranch seasoning - Add a tablespoon or 2 of ranch seasoning for an extra savory flavor.
- Spicy - Add more heat with a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce or crushed red pepper flakes to taste.
Can You Freeze Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers?
Yes, you can! When you thaw them, the jalapenos will be a little softer, so just be aware if the texture is going to be a problem for you.
To freeze, prepare to recipe instructions, and stop before cooking. Lay flat on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1-2 hours. Transfer to a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months. Then cook from frozen, adding a couple minutes to account for them being frozen.
Tips for the BEST Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
- Wear gloves! This tip is important, especially when handling many jalapenos. The oils can soak into your skin and cause a burning sensation for days to come, which is really very uncomfortable, at best. Wearing gloves and washing your hands with dish soap when you're done will prevent this unsavory experience.
- Poppers soggy? That's likely because they were cooked a little too long. Try again, and this time, shorten the cook time by a minute or two.
- How to know when they're done cooking: The easiest way to test cook time for your specific air fryer is to cook just one popper for a trial run. If the cook time made the popper to soft or soggy, shorten the cook time by a minute or 2. If the cook time left the jalapeno too firm or the filling cool in the middle, increase the cook time by a minute or 2. I test it by just picking it up, cutting it in half, or even taking a bite. Then you can feel safe cooking the rest at the correct time.
- Storage: Store poppers covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- How to reheat: Reheat poppers in the air fryer for about 3 minutes, or until heated through.
How to Serve Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers are best served immediately and are often accompanied with ranch sauce for dipping.
It can also be served among other appetizers such as air fryer mozzarella sticks, hot spinach artichoke, homemade guacamole, or Texas Trash Dip.
More Air Fryer Recipes You'll Love
- Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks - This homemade appetizer is crispy on the outside and war, melty, and gooey on the inside.
- Air Fryer Hush Puppies - so good, they could turn into dinner if you're not careful! Perfectly seasoned hush puppies with a cornmeal base that are crisp and golden on the outside and warm and tender on the inside.
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fries - a delicious way to use up fresh zucchini and a fun twist on a classic.
- Air Fryer Baby Potatoes - super quick and easy side dish for any dinner.
- Air Fryer Zucchini Fritters - classic fritters made in the air fryer. They're easy to make, perfectly seasoned, and no messy oil to clean up!
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers Video
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
- 10 fresh jalapenos
- 4 slices bacon chopped (optional)
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup sliced green onions
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons butter melted
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped or dried parsley (optional for color and garnish)
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat. cook bacon pieces until crispy. Drain onto paper towel lined plate. Set aside.
- Slice jalapeno in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and inner membranes. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add cream cheese, cheese, green onions, bacon, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir until everything is incorporated.
- Spoon the mixture into the peppers, about 1½ to 2 tablespoons for each half pepper. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, mix together breadcrumbs, butter, and parsley.
- Dip the cream cheese part of the filled peppers into the breadcrumb mixture.
- Lay poppers in the air fryer in an even layer. (You may need to work in 2 to 3 batches depending on the size of the air fryer. There should be space between each pepper to ensure it cooks evenly.)
- Cook at 370°F for about 7 minutes. Check at 7 minutes and if jalapenos are not at desired softness, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Bacon is fun to add, but not necessary. Feel free to skip it to save time or add it if you love bacon!
- Wear gloves. When you handle spicy peppers, gloves help prevent accidental burns in your eyes or hands. Always wash your hands after preparing spicy peppers.
- Work in batches. If you have a small air fryer, stretch the cooking over multiple batches to ensure they have enough air flow to get crisp. Don’t crowd the basket.
- Storage: Store poppers covered in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat poppers in the air fryer for about 3 minutes, or until warmed through.
- Freezer: Prepare according to recipe instructions, and stop before cooking. Lay flat on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Freeze for 1-2 hours. Transfer to a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months. Then cook from frozen, adding a couple minutes to account for them being frozen.
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