Step-by-Step: Cooking Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers offer a mouthwatering combination of spicy, creamy, and crunchy in every bite. This modern twist on a classic appetizer uses the convenience of an air fryer to achieve a perfect golden exterior without the need for deep frying. Filled with a rich blend of cheese and spices, and wrapped in a crispy bacon shell, these poppers are a surefire hit for any gathering, game day, or as a savory treat to spice up your snack time. Whether you’re a spicy food aficionado or looking for a delicious way to kickstart your meal, these jalapeno poppers made in the air fryer promise a less guilty pleasure with all the flavor intact.

The inspiration to try Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers came from a desire to enjoy my favorite appetizer in a healthier way. I remember the first time I served them at a small get-together. Watching my friends’ reactions as they bit into the perfectly cooked poppers—crispy on the outside, gooey and spicy on the inside—was incredibly satisfying. The air fryer not only made the cooking process cleaner and simpler but also kept the jalapenos juicy and the bacon crisp, elevating the entire experience.

That evening turned these poppers into a most-requested favorite, sparking conversations about healthy eating without compromising on taste. It was a joyful discovery that you can indeed have the best of both worlds—deliciously indulgent food that’s also better for you.

 

Why You’ll Love Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

 

  • Flavorful and Spicy: The perfect treat for those who love a little heat in their snacks.
  • Healthier Option: Enjoy the crunch and texture of fried food without the excess oil.
  • Quick and Easy: Simple preparation and the air fryer’s efficiency cut down on cooking time.
  • Versatile: Customize the filling with different cheeses or add-ins to suit your taste.
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Ingredients Notes For Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

  • Jalapenos: Medium-sized peppers, halved and seeded for the perfect bite-sized appetizer.
  • Cream Cheese: Forms the creamy, tangy base of the filling.
  • Shredded Cheese: Adds extra flavor and meltiness; cheddar or a Mexican blend works well.
  • Spices: Garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin add depth to the cheese filling.
  • Bacon: Thin slices wrap around the stuffed peppers, adding a smoky, crispy layer.

Recipe Steps

  1. Prepare Jalapenos: Halve the jalapenos lengthwise and remove the seeds and membranes.
  2. Mix Filling: Combine cream cheese, shredded cheese, and spices in a bowl.
  3. Fill Jalapenos: Stuff each jalapeno half with the cheese mixture.
  4. Wrap with Bacon: Wrap a slice of bacon around each stuffed jalapeno, securing with a toothpick if necessary.
  5. Air Fry: Arrange the poppers in the air fryer basket and cook until the bacon is crispy and the peppers are tender.
  6. Serve: Let them cool slightly before serving to allow the filling to set.

Storage Options

  • Refrigerate: Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat in the air fryer for best results.
  • Freeze: Freeze prepared but uncooked poppers on a baking sheet, then transfer to a freezer bag. Cook from frozen, adjusting the time as needed.

INGREDIENTS

  • Jalapeños: 6-8, medium-sized, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
  • Cream cheese: 8 oz (225g), softened
  • Shredded cheddar cheese: 1/2 cup
  • Garlic powder: 1/2 teaspoon
  • Smoked paprika: 1/4 teaspoon (optional for extra flavor)
  • Bacon: 6-8 slices, cut in half
  • Salt and pepper: to taste
  • Green onions or chives: chopped, for garnish (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare the Jalapeños:
    • Carefully cut the jalapeños in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scrape out the seeds and membranes to make room for the filling. Tip: Wearing gloves can protect your hands from the spicy oils.
  2. Mix the Filling:
    • In a bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, garlic powder, smoked paprika (if using), salt, and pepper. Mix until well combined.
  3. Fill the Jalapeños:
    • Spoon the cheese mixture into each jalapeño half, filling them generously.
  4. Wrap with Bacon:
    • Wrap a half slice of bacon around each filled jalapeño half, securing it with a toothpick if necessary.
  5. Air Fry:
    • Preheat the air fryer to 375°F (190°C) if your air fryer requires preheating.
    • Place the jalapeño poppers in the air fryer basket, leaving a little space between each for airflow.
    • Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and the peppers are tender. You may need to cook in batches depending on the size of your air fryer.
  6. Serve:
    • Carefully remove the jalapeño poppers from the air fryer and let them cool for a few minutes. Garnish with chopped green onions or chives if desired.
    • Serve warm and enjoy!
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