Air Fryer | Appetizers | Recipes

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

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Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers are packed full of flavor. Creamy, cheesy, crunchy, and a bit spicy all in one bite!

Since these jalapeno poppers are baked in the air fryer, they are much healthier than the traditional deep-fried version, and they cook up in minutes. Everyone loves these tasty little appetizers!

air fryer jalapeno poppers

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

These cheesy, crispy air fryer jalapeno poppers cook up in just minutes! Filled with a combination of cream cheese, Colby Jack, and bacon bits, and coated in crispy panko breadcrumbs, these poppers are a flavor extravaganza.

Jalapeno poppers are the perfect appetizer or game day snack. Prepare them a few days ahead and cook them up just before you serve them. They take just minutes to cook in your air fryer.

more Game Day Food Ideas

Why You Should Make These Jalapeno Poppers

  • They cook up super fast – Since these poppers are not wrapped in uncooked bacon (the cooked, crumbled bacon is mixed right into the filling), the air fryer jalapeno poppers take only 5 minutes in the air fryer.
  • Simple and tasty – Made with simple ingredients and easy to make.
  • Perfect game day appetizer – Everybody loves these, and they are usually the first appetizer to go. Serve with extra ranch or blue cheese dressing for dipping.
  • Healthier than deep fried – The air fryer allows you to enjoy the same flavor and texture of a deep-fried jalapeno popper without all the added fat. Plus, they are low-carb and can be made gluten-free!
air fryer jalapeno poppers on a plate

Ingredients And Tips For air fryer Jalapeno Poppers

(Ingredients at a glance, you will find the full recipe with ingredient amounts in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)

ingredients needed to make jalapeno poppers
  • Jalapenos | I used 15 jalapenos, but it will depend on the size.
  • Cream cheese | I used plain, full-fat cream cheese, but low-fat works well too.
  • Colby Jack cheese | We love Colby Jack cheese, but you can substitute it with cheddar cheese or a combo of whatever you have on hand.
  • Seasonings | I used garlic powder, onion powder, and a pinch of salt to add flavor.
  • Panko breadcrumbs | Breadcrumbs add a nice texture. You can use regular breadcrumbs, but panko breadcrumbs tend to be crunchier.
  • Bacon bits | Bacon bits add more flavor and a touch of saltiness.
  • Cooking spray |

How to Make Jalapeno Poppers In The Air Fryer

1 Cut each jalapeno in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the insides of each half, so they are hollow. Set the prepped jalapenos aside. (If you leave the seeds and white membranes, your jalapeno poppers will be VERY spicy. Probably too spicy for most of your guests.)

2 In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese, Colby Jack cheese, and half of the bacon until the cheese and bacon are evenly distributed throughout the cream cheese. In a small bowl, stir together the bread crumbs and the remaining bacon.

how to make air fryer jalapeno poppers

3 Using a spoon or spatula, fill each jalapeno half with the cream cheese mixture.

how to make air fryer jalapeno poppers

4 Dip the cream cheese side of each popper into the breadcrumbs to fully cover the cream cheese.

jalapeno poppers in the air fryer

5 Preheat the air fryer for 5 to 6 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the air fryer has preheated, carefully place the poppers in the air fryer basket, give them a light spray of cooking spray and then cook them in batches, 5-6 at a time, for 5 minutes.

jalapeno poppers in the air fryer basket

Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

  • If you leave the seeds and white membranes in the jalapenos when prepping them, your jalapeno poppers will be VERY spicy. Probably too spicy for most of your guests.
  • Be careful when touching your face after you remove the seeds from the jalapenos. You can wear gloves when you remove the seeds, so you don’t have to worry about burning yourself. (And never ever, ever attempt to put contact lenses in after handling jalapenos. Even if it has been several hours, lol.)
  • You want to be careful not to overcook these jalapeno poppers. If you leave them in the air fryer for too long, the jalapenos will lose all of their moisture, and the poppers will fall apart when you try to take them out. If you preheat your air fryer for 5 minutes, it should be the perfect amount of time to cook.
  • I like to let my cream cheese sit out for a little bit before making the filling. It is not necessary, but it softens the cream cheese and makes mixing in the other ingredients easier.
  • These poppers are great served with chipotle aioli, ranch dressing, etc.
  • The panko crumbs do not add a lot of flavor, but they give the poppers a nice crunch that pairs well with the soft filling.

Variations

  • Use different flavors of cream cheese, like chives or onion, and switch up the Colby Jack for sharp cheddar, or Monterey Jack.
  • If you want some more heat in your poppers, try adding a few drops of Tobasco sauce to your filling. You can also add 1 tsp of red pepper flakes.
  • Try seasoned breadcrumbs instead of panko crumbs. Or add a dried herb seasoning to the breadcrumbs.
  • Sprinkle the poppers with green onions or chives.

Storage

You can store your leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. The jalapeno poppers can be served cold from the fridge or reheated in the microwave.

close up image of an air fryer jalapeno popper

FAQs

How long to air fry the jalapeno poppers?

This air fryer jalapeno poppers recipe cooks up in 5 to 6 minutes.

Can this jalapeno popper recipe be made in advance?

Yes, you can do all the prepping and fill the jalapenos with the filling a day or two beforehand. Just wrap them with plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container til ready to use. Then, when you are ready to cook the poppers, you can add the bread crumbs and air fry them.

You can also freeze the poppers. Prepare them to the stuffing phase, then tightly wrap them with plastic wrap and add them to an airtight container. When ready to cook, add bread crumbs and air fry. Add 1-2 minutes of additional cook time for frozen poppers.

Can I bake these jalapeno poppers in the oven?

Yes, you can bake these in the oven. While I love my air fryer for small-batch cooking, if I were planning to make a significant amount of jalapeno poppers, I would actually bake them in the oven at 400 degrees F for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

How do I make these jalapeno poppers gluten free?

If you want to make these poppers gluten-free you can substitute gluten-free panko breadcrumbs or make your own using gluten-free bread.

How can I make the jalapeno poppers less spicy?

As long as you remove all of the seeds and all of the white membrane, the poppers really aren’t that spicy. However, you could use the mini sweet peppers instead.

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air fryer jalapeno poppers - square

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

  • Author: Jamie Sanders
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 30 poppers 1x
  • Category: appetizer
  • Method: air fryer

Ingredients

Scale
  • 15 jalapenos
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • ¾ cup Colby Jack cheese
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder 
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup bacon bits

Instructions

  1. Cut each jalapeno in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scrape out the insides of each half so they are hollow. Set the prepped jalapenos aside.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, stir together the cream cheese, Colby Jack cheese, and half of the bacon plus a pinch of salt until the cheese and bacon is evenly distributed throughout the cream cheese.
  3. Using a spoon or spatula, fill each jalapeno half with the cream cheese filling.
  4. In a small bowl, stir together the breadcrumbs and remaining bacon. Dip the top cream cheese side of each popper into the breadcrumbs to fully coat the cream cheese.
  5. Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 390 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the air fryer has preheated, carefully place the poppers in the air fryer basket, give them a light spray of cooking spray and then cook them in batches, 5-6 at a time, for 5 to 6 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

*Air fryer times can vary based on the power of your air fryer. So keep an eye on your first batch.


Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 poppers
  • Calories: 119
  • Fat: 9
  • Carbohydrates: 9
  • Fiber: 3
  • Protein: 4

Keywords: air fryer jalapeno poppers, jalapeno poppers, jalapeno poppers in the air fryer

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