Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

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Crispy and cheesy Jalapeno Poppers made in the air fryer!

Spicy jalapenos are stuffed with a creamy and cheesy ranch filling and topped with crispy golden brown Panko breadcrumbs! Pop in the air fryer for a few minutes (fresh or frozen!), and you’re on your way to an irresistible and incredibly easy appetizer!

Crispy and cheesy air fryer jalapeno poppers

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How to make jalapeno poppers in the air fryer:

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

Makes 10-12 jalapeno poppers

Ingredients for the Popper filling:

  • 6 large jalapenos
  • 4 oz of cream cheese, room temp works best
  • 1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coarsely minced scallions (about one scallion, green and white parts)
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered ranch seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • pepper to taste (optional)

For the Panko Topping:

  • 1/2 cup of seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese*

Instructions:

Cut the jalapenos lengthwise, trying to keep the stem end intact–don’t cut the ends of the pepper off! Scoop out the seeds and the membrane, to make the peppers less spicy.

Remove the seeds and membrane from the jalapeno peppers

In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of cheddar, scallions, ranch, garlic powder, and pepper. Using a hand mixer or a sturdy spoon, mix the ingredients until well combined.

Use a small spoon to scoop up the filling and stuff inside of the pepper. Smooth out the top, so that the filling is level with the pepper.

stuff the peppers with the cream cheese mixture before air frying

Once all the peppers are stuffed, set aside and make the topping.

In a small bowl, combine the Panko, garlic powder, and salt.

Add the tablespoon of olive oil and give the mixture a toss to coat the crumbs. Next, add the cheddar cheese and give the topping a quick mix until the ingredients are well distributed.

Distribute the Panko mixture on top of all the peppers until no more is left in the bowl. Press the crumbs lightly into the cream cheese filling to make sure they stick really well. You can be generous with the topping!

Top the jalapeno poppers with the Panko mixture

Air Frying the Poppers:

To fry, spray the basket of your air fryer lightly with cooking spray. Gently add as many poppers as you can in a single layer. You may need to fry in batches.

Add the poppers to the air fryer basket

Lightly spray the top of the poppers with cooking spray and fry at 360º for 5-8 minutes. The tops should be nice and brown, crisp, and the filling should be creamy.

Using a large spoon, gently remove the jalapeno poppers from the air fryer and transfer them to your serving dish.

Repeat the frying process until all the jalapeno poppers have been air fried! Allow the poppers to sit a few minutes before eating.

Jalapeno Poppers fully cooked and golden brown in the air fryer basket

*Note– If you’re grating the cheddar yourself run a knife through the cheese after grating so the shreds aren’t too big OR use the little hole side on the grater. Store bought shredded cheese is the right size, so you can just use that if it’s easier.

Serving your Air Fried Jalapeno Poppers

I love serving these poppers on a nice white platter, with a side of ranch!

These would also be delish with some honey mustard, salsa, or a sweet BBQ sauce!

Serve these guys as a football snack, a holiday appetizer, or alongside a taco bar or pizza party. These jalapeno poppers are really perfect for any time you need party snacks…even if it’s just a party for one.

Serve your air fried jalapeno poppers with ranch

Can I make these Jalapeno Poppers ahead?

Yes!

You can prepare the recipe fully, but instead of cooking, just store the poppers in an airtight container in the fridge for about 3 days!

When you’re ready to serve, pop the poppers in the air fryer and cook at 360º for 5-8 minutes.

For long term storage, you can freeze your jalapeno poppers! Instructions below.

Making Frozen Jalapeno Poppers in the Air Fryer

The best part about this recipe is that it freezes BEAUTIFULLY. Meaning when you need a fast appetizer, or a spicy snack, a batch of poppers is only minutes away from serving!

To freeze, prepare the recipe as stated above, topping and all, but don’t cook them. Instead, line up the poppers in a freezer safe container and store them in the freezer.

They’ll keep frozen for up to a month.

When you’re ready to cook, spray the air fryer basket with a little cooking spray, and add the frozen jalapeno poppers to the air fryer-no need to thaw!

Spritz the tops of the poppers with a little cooking spray and cook the frozen poppers at 360º for 6-9 minutes. The topping will be crispy and brown and the cheese and jalapenos will be completely cooked through. Serve and enjoy!

WHAT IS AIR FRYING?

Ok, so air frying has caught on over the last few years, and for good reason. Cooking in an air fryer gives food a delightfully crispy exterior in half the time an oven would, without all that unhealthy oil.

It’s important to know that air frying is not really “frying”. It’s just a fast and efficient way of baking using convection cooking.

Basically, the air fryer uses hot air to mimic the way hot oil would cook food if you were deep-frying. The air fryer uses a fan to circulate the heat from the heating element, which cooks the food on all sides, top to bottom. Pretty neat right?

If you want even more info about air fryers, I found a great article from Good Housekeeping that goes into a little more depth about air frying. The article provides some really helpful tips too!

What temperature Should I use for these Jalapeno Poppers?

While I was cooking these jalapeno poppers, I found setting my air fryer temp to 360º was the best way to get a creamy filling, nicely cooked peppers, and a crisp topping. This worked with both my frozen and fresh poppers.

If you prefer a crunchier pepper, set the air fryer to 390º. The topping and filling will cook quicker and the pepper will have a little more snap to it. Just note, this temp will only work for fresh poppers. Frying frozen jalapeno poppers will still need a lower temp to heat the filling through.

The cook time for the poppers

For fresh jalapeno poppers, I air fry for about 5-8 minutes, depending on how browned you like your topping and how cooked you like the peppers!

When cooking frozen jalapeno poppers, I just add a minute to the cooking time–so about 6-9 minutes. The peppers come out perfectly browned, creamy, and cooked through!

Variations:

Poppers all done and ready for snacking.

These jalapeno poppers are delish as is, but definitely leave a little room for customization! Here are a few suggestions that would be delicious!

  • Add finely crumbled bacon to the topping and/or filling. YUM
  • Crumbled Italian sausage or taco meat would be super good in these too.
  • Swap out the ranch seasoning for some taco seasoning instead
  • Add a couple dashes of hot sauce to the filling for extra heat
  • Use Monterey Jack cheese with or instead of cheddar, or use your favorite Mexican blend of cheeses
  • Reduced fat cream cheese works well in this recipe too–just don’t use nonfat.

Tips for making the best Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

  • Be careful when cutting and removing the seeds from the jalapenos! Wearing gloves will protect your hands…and your eyeballs when you forget that you just handled peppers and then rub your eyes by accident.
  • Leave the stems and the ends of the pepper intact. The end is not great to eat, but it keeps the filling from oozing out during cooking.
  • Don’t over stuff the peppers with cheese filling. As the poppers cook, the filling will soften , so overstuffing would cause a spill over. Fill the peppers with cheese and level out the top.
  • Be generous with the topping. Some of the topping will be absorbed by the cheese filling, so adding a generous amount of topping will ensure you get a nice crisp top in the end.
  • Use a big spoon to scoop out the peppers. I found that the cavity of a spoon cradles the pepper and gets it out of the air fryer easier, without spilling out all the contents.
  • Let the peppers sit for a couple minutes on the serving platter before eating. The filling is molten hot and runny straight out of the fryer, so be careful not to burn yourself!

OTHER RECIPES YOU MIGHT LIKE:

Homemade Air Fryer Mozzarella Sticks

Air Fryer Nachos

Air Fryer Zucchini Chips

Crispy Tofu With Hoisin Sauce

Chili Cheese Tater Tot Nachos

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 8 minutes

Crispy, cheesy, and spicy Jalapeno Poppers made in the air fryer! These are perfect when you need a tasty appetizer in a flash!

Ingredients

For the jalapeno popper filling

  • 6 large jalapeno peppers
  • 4 oz of cream cheese, room temp works best
  • 1/2 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons of coarsely minced scallions (about one scallion, green and white parts)
  • 1 tablespoon of powdered ranch seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Pepper to taste (optional)

For The Panko Topping

  • 1/2 cup of seasoned Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of grated sharp cheddar cheese*

Instructions

  1. Cut the jalapenos lengthwise, trying to keep the stem end intact--don't cut the ends of the pepper off! Scoop out the seeds and the membrane, to make the peppers less spicy.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of cheddar, scallions, ranch, garlic powder, and pepper. Using a hand mixer or a sturdy spoon, mix the ingredients until well combined.
  3. Use a small spoon to scoop up the filling and stuff inside of the pepper. Smooth out the top, so that the filling is level with the pepper.
  4. Once all the peppers are stuffed, set aside and make the topping.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the Panko, garlic powder, and salt.
  6. Add the tablespoon of olive oil and give the mixture a toss to coat the crumbs. Next, add the cheddar cheese and give the topping a quick mix until the ingredients are well distributed.
  7. Distribute the Panko mixture on top of all the stuffed peppers until no more is left in the bowl. Press the crumbs lightly into the cream cheese filling to make sure they stick really well. You can be generous with the topping!
  8. To fry, spray the basket of your air fryer lightly with cooking spray. Gently add as many poppers as you can in a single layer. You may need to fry in batches.
  9. Lightly spray the top of the poppers with cooking spray and fry at 360º for 5-8 minutes. The tops should be nice and brown, crisp, and the filling should be creamy.
  10. Using a large spoon, gently remove the jalapeno poppers from the air fryer and transfer them to your serving dish.
  11. Repeat the frying process until all the jalapeno poppers have been air fried! Allow the poppers to sit a few minutes before eating.

Notes

* If grating the cheddar yourself, you may need to run a knife through the shreds a little so the pieces aren't too long. Or use the smaller holes on your grater.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 268mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 5g

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