Crispy, cheesy, and full of spicy goodness, my Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers are an easy appetizer that the whole family will adore!
Crispy Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
Cream cheese, bacon and jalapeños, oh my! This delightful appetizer has it all, you guys. Combined with cheddar cheese and coated in egg and breadcrumbs, these little beauties are lightly fried and so delicious.
I’m a huge fan of the classic jalapeno poppers made of whole, stuffed jalapeño peppers. But for my version, I’m making them a little bit easier! No stuffing and no deep frying. Instead, I’m using diced jalapeños and rolling them right into the cheese filling mixture, then frying them in my air fryer!
You’re going to love this addicting and spicy snack. And you’re really going to love how easy it is to make! This one’s a keeper.
What You’ll Need
You’ll notice that the main ingredients here are low-carb, which is awesome! That makes it is a great recipe to modify if you need a gluten-free appetizer or snack. Just replace the flour and breadcrumbs with your preferred low-carb/gluten-free versions, and you’re good to go!
- Jalapeños: Wash and dice a cup of fresh jalapeño peppers. Be sure to wear gloves if you have sensitive skin, and NEVER touch your eyes or face until you’ve washed your hands thoroughly from all of the pepper juices.
- Bacon: Cook and chop 4 slices of thick-cut bacon.
- Scallions: Using the white and green parts, thinly slice enough scallions to make ½ a cup.
- Cream Cheese: You’ll need one 8 oz. block or tub of cream cheese, at room temperature.
- Cheddar Cheese: I used 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. I prefer sharp, but mild is also great!
- Hot Sauce: You’ll need a tablespoon of your favorite Tabasco-style hot sauce for some heat and tangy flavor.
- Salt & Pepper
- Garlic Powder & Onion Powder: I used half a teaspoon of each.
- Breadcrumbs: You can use homemade or store bought. Panko crumbs are great, and they also have a gluten-free, low-carb version. You’ll need 2 cups.
- Eggs: You’ll need 3 eggs, lightly beaten.
- Flour: Have on hand half a cup of your preferred all-purpose flour.
How To Make Jalapeno Poppers
Making these little snacks is so easy! All you have to do is mix up the cream cheese filling, dredge the balls and air-fry them until they’re perfectly golden-brown. Makes me hungry just thinking about it!
Make Jalapeño Mixture: In a large mixing bowl, combine the jalapeños, bacon, scallions, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder.
Shape Poppers: Scoop and roll into 1.5-inch balls and place onto a lined baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes to firm up.
Dredge Poppers in Crumbs: Place the breadcrumbs, eggs and flour in 3 small separate bowls. Roll each ball in the flour, then dip it into the egg mixture, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs.
Air-Fry Poppers: Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and spray the basket with cooking spray. Depending on the size of your air fryer, fry 4-6 poppers at a time for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown.
Enjoy! Serve the jalapeno poppers warm with your favorite dip.
Why Use an Air Fryer?
Usually, jalapeno poppers are baked or deep-fried. But baking doesn’t quite give that yummy fried taste and texture. And deep frying takes a lot of oil, and can be messy.
That’s why I love making this kind of snack in my air fryer. The super hot convection technology “fries” the food using just a little bit of oil. There’s no messy hot grease to dispose of afterward, and the food absorbs very little oil. Great, huh?
Tips for Success
To make the most of this simple appetizer, keep reading for my top tips!
- Crispy Crunchy: If you want a thicker, crispier coating, dredge the poppers in the flour, egg and crumbs once, and then dredge in flour, egg and crumbs a second time! You’ll get twice the coating.
- Keep Warm: If you’d like, you can keep the first batch of poppers warm while you cook the others. Place them on a baking sheet in the oven or a toaster oven, set to low heat (200-250°F).
- Double Up: This is a great recipe to double or even triple and make ahead of time! See below for tips on storing the poppers.
- Get Spicy: To kick up the heat, add some more of your favorite hot sauce, to taste. Yum!
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
- Leftover poppers should be cooled, then placed in a single layer in an airtight container. You can also put them on a plate and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
- They will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Do not store at room temperature.
Can I Freeze Jalapeno Poppers?
Yes, you can! Here’s how to do it.
- Cool the poppers thoroughly.
- Arrange the poppers in a single layer, not touching, on a baking sheet or plate.
- Place in the freezer until poppers are frozen solid.
- Transfer to freezer bags or airtight containers. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- To reheat, I recommend baking at 350°F directly from frozen until the poppers are hot all the way through. You can then lightly air-fry them for just a minute or two to crisp them back up!
Air Fryer Jalapeño Popper Balls
- 1 cup diced jalapeños
- 4 slices thick-cut bacon, cooked and chopped
- 1/2 cup scallions, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 cups breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup all purpose flour
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the diced jalapeños, bacon, scallions, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, hot sauce, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Scoop out the mixture and roll into 1.5-inch balls. Place them onto a lined baking sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes to firm up.
- Place the breadcrumbs, eggs, and flour in 3 small separate bowls.
- Roll each ball in the flour, then dip it into the egg mixture, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. If you want a thicker outside, dip the ball back into in the egg mixture again and roll it in the breadcrumbs a second time.
- Preheat your air fryer to 400°F and spray the basket with cooking spray.
- Depending on the size of your air fryer, fry 4 to 6 balls for 10 – 12 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Serve the jalapeño popper balls warm with your favorite dipping sauce.
More Air Fryer Recipes to Try
There are so many dishes I like to cook in my air fryer, and these are a few of my very favorites!