Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers are stuffed with a 3 cheese cream cheese filling and are an easy appetizer for parties. Make them as a snack for game days or just everyday. They're cheesy, spicy and delicious!
This super easy snack is made with a few basic ingredients and is a game changer for parties and Mexican-inspired dinner nights!
It's made with no breading- just a mix of three cheeses and seasonings. Make them super spicy or mild. Jalapeño poppers can be made ahead of time too!
Keep reading to see just how it's done and how to alter this recipe for your tastebuds.
To make this recipe you need:
- Jalapeños: sliced lengthwise, with the seeds removed (leave the seeds in for a spicier version).
- Cheddar cheese: shredded, extra sharp brings the best flavor.
- Parmesan cheese: grated.
- Cream cheese: softened so that it easily mixes with the other ingredients.
- Minced garlic: substitute with garlic powder.
- Chives: fresh, frozen, or dried work fine here.
- Salt + pepper
Step 1. Using gloves, slice the jalapeños long ways and remove the inner membranes and seeds. There is no need to remove the stem. For spicier poppers, keep some or all of the seeds in the jalapeños or mix them into the cream cheese filling during the next step.
Step 2. Combine the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, half of the cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chives in small bowl. Stir until mixed well.
Step 3. Stuff each jalapeño slice with the filling. Place the jalapeños in the basket or tray of your air fryer. Sprinkle each with the remaining cheddar cheese. Use more cheese if you run out!
Step 4. Air fry at 375°Fahrenheit for 6 minutes. Add time in 1 minute increments if needed, until the cheese is melted and golden brown. There is no need to turn or rotate the poppers half way through.
Remove from the air fryer and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
FAQs for Making Air Fried Jalapeño Poppers
Air fry frozen jalapeños poppers at 375 degrees F for 8 minutes, or until the cheddar cheese on top is golden brown. Follow the same steps above for preparing them before freezing.
When making jalapeño poppers in the air fryer, I do not recommend using parchment paper. The bacon grease drained into the bottom of the basket so that the peppers and bacon stayed crispy.
Yes! Make them ahead of time by slicing and stuffing the peppers with the cream cheese filling. Then wrap in plastic and keep refrigerated until ready to cook, but not longer than 2 days. They taste best when served fresh, so don't air fry them until your ready to eat them.
Yes! You can freeze these prior to air frying or after.
Tips for this Recipe
- Always use gloves when slicing and removing the seeds from the peppers. The seeds and juices can burn delicate skin and cause your skin to feel very hot. Once the seeds are removed, you shouldn't be too bothered by the jalapeños themselves. But if you're super sensitive, leave the gloves on the entire time while preparing this recipe.
- Remove seeds for a mild version. For a spicy version, leave a few seeds in each pepper. For a super spicy version, leave all of the seeds in or mix them into the cream cheese filling.
- Before preparing the filling, soften the cream cheese. This will make it easier to mix with the rest of the ingredients.
- Time is dependent upon the strength of your air fryer. Start on the low end of 6 minutes and add time as needed. They may take up to 10 minutes.
- Don't turn or rotate the poppers while they are cooking. With many air fryer recipes, it's necessary to flip the food or shake the basket. There is no need to do that here.
Jalapeño poppers are delicious when enjoyed plain or with a dipping sauce or dressing. Dip them into cilantro lime dressing, tomatillo salsa verde or even a homemade tomato salsa. For extra spice, serve with mango habanero salsa! Or use a premade dressing or dip, like ranch or blue cheese.
Jalapeńo poppers can also be made with these simple variations:
- Spicy- keep some seeds inside of the jalapeños. The more seeds left, the spicier they will be!
- Bacon wrapped- wrap each popper in bacon and then air fry until the bacon is golden brown and crispy.
- Habañero poppers: swap out the jalapeño peppers for super hot habañero peppers!
- Prep ahead: stuff the jalapeńos with the cream cheese filling ahead of time and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
How to Store
Jalapeño poppers can be stored after being cooked or prior to. The steps and time for storing them is the same.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Wrap in plastic wrap or a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat leftovers, warm in the air fry or microwave until warmed through, about 3 minutes in the air fryer and 1 minute in the microwave.
For uncooked jalapeño poppers, follow the steps above for air frying once ready.
Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers Recipe
- 5 jalapeños
- ½ cup cream cheese softened
- ⅛ cup parmesan cheese grated
- ½ cup cheddar cheese shredded and divided
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon chives
- Using gloves, slice the jalapeños long ways and remove the inner membranes and seeds. For spicier poppers, keep some or all of the seeds in the jalapeños (or mix them into the cream cheese filling).
- Combine the cream cheese, parmesan cheese, half of the cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, minced garlic, and chives. Stir until mixed well. Fill each jalapeño with the filling.
- Line the air fryer tray or basket with parchment paper or spray with olive oil. Place the jalapeños in the basket or tray. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar cheese.
- Air fry at 375°F for 6 minutes. Add time in 1 minute increments if needed, until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
- Remove from the air fryer and let cool for a few minutes before serving.
I hope you enjoy this recipe!
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