These air fryer jalapeno poppers are quick, easy, and super tasty! These perfect little appetizers are simple to make in the air fryer.
I am a jalapeno popper fiend. Every year at Christmas my grandmother makes delicious jalapeno poppers and I have very fond memories of sitting on the floor with a plate full of poppers, ready to stuff my face. These flavors work really well together and are great in this bacon-wrapped jalapeno popper stuffed chicken.
But my one complaint is that jalapeno poppers take forever to cook. You have to leave them in the oven long enough that the bacon gets crispy, the cheesy center gets warm and creamy, and the jalapeno gets nice and tender. It’s at least 30 minutes. Way too long to wait!
We’ve found a way to skip the wait. The air fryer! Everyone’s favorite kitchen appliance once again comes to the rescue. Now we can make delicious poppers in minutes.
What You Need
Jalapenos – halved, seeded and ribbed.
Cream cheese – softened
Seasonings – garlic powder, cumin and salt
Bacon – thin sliced bacon works best so that it can crisp up quickly and evenly.
How to Make Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
Start out with nice firm and plump jalapenos that are big enough to cut in half and hold a scoop of filling.
Don’t forget to wear your kitchen gloves when cutting and deseeding jalapenos! The oil can get on your hand and is easily transmitted to your face and eyes if you have an itch. Been there, don’t want to go again.
Cut the jalapenos in half the long way. To remove the extreme heat from the peppers, take out the seeds and ribs. That is where the heat comes from. If you like your poppers very spicy leave some seeds and ribs in.
Mix an 8oz package of softened cream cheese in a bowl with garlic powder, cumin and salt.
Fill each jalapeno half with the filling and wrap with half a slice of bacon. You may want to secure the bacon with a toothpick. Bacon tends to shrink as it cooks and it might unwrap a bit. I don’t mind this. It adds character.
Add the bacon-wrapped jalapenos to your air fryer basket in a single layer. Don’t crowd them. They will cook better if the air can circulate around each one.
Cook at 360 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
Do keep in mind that every air fryer cooks a bit different so yours may require more or less time. I always take a look at the peppers at the halfway point to make sure everything’s good. You can adjust the cooking time then, if necessary.
I like the poppers to be soft and the bacon nice and crispy. If you want a bit more crunch to the peppers, shorten the cook time.
Why Use an Air Fryer
An air fryer is an incredibly easy way to cook just about anything. You place the food in a fryer-style basket and hot air rapidly circulates all around the food, making the food crisp – much like deep-frying, but without the oil. You can cook anything you’d make in the oven.
- If you don’t have an air fryer yet, check out these options to find one that fits your needs.
- See reviews and prices for air fryers on Amazon.
- Click to find more recipes to make in your Air Fryer.
- Learn how to make fun things in the air fryer, like potato wedges, pork belly bites, and chicken wings.
OUR RECOMMENDED AIR FRYER: Ninja MaxXL
Can You Freeze Jalapeno Poppers?
Yes! I would suggest freezing them raw. Fully cooked poppers can be soft. They may get even softer and mushy when thawed. You can stuff and wrap them and then freeze them to cook later.
The joy of using the Air Fryer to cook these is that you can pull a few out of the freezer whenever you want them and it only takes 11 minutes to cook them.
Tips and Tricks
- Try getting jalapenos that are all the same size, that way they all cook the same. Bigger jalapenos are easier to fill and hold filling better.
- Use kitchen gloves when cutting and deseeding the jalapenos. Make sure to avoid getting the oil on your fingers and touching your face.
- If you want a more mild pepper remove all of the seeds and ribs. For more spice, leave some in.
- The bacon will shrink as it cooks, so try to wrap it leaving the ends under the popper or secure it using a toothpick.
- If you don’t want to use bacon try topping the poppers with seasoned bread crumbs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Make Jalapeno Poppers Ahead of Time?
Yes, definitely. Since the majority of the work involves the jalapeno peppers, getting the prep work out of the way early is a great idea. You can prep the jalapenos, make the filling, stuff the poppers and then either refrigerate or freeze for future use. You can refrigerate them wrapped up tight in plastic wrap for a 3-5 days. They will last for 6 months in the freezer.
Do I Need to Use Oil in the Air Fryer Basket?
No, you don’t need extra oil for this recipe. The bacon will come out nice and crispy and add oil to the basket so the jalapenos shouldn’t stick.
Can I Cook Jalapeno Poppers in the Oven?
Yes. If you don’t have an air fryer the oven is a great way to cook them. Add them to a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake at 400° F (200C) for 15-18 minutes, depending on the size of the jalapeno, or until bacon is brown and crispy.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
- 10 jalapenos, halved, seeded and ribbed
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 slices of bacon, halved
- Cut jalapenos in half long ways. Remove the seeds and ribs.
- Mix softened cream cheese, garlic powder, cumin and salt. Taste and add more seasoning if desired.
- Fill each jalapeno with filling. Cut bacon in half. Wrap jalapenos in bacon and secure with a toothpick
- Fill air fryer basket with jalapenos, making sure they don't touch. Cook at 360 degrees for 10-12 minutes checking half way through.
Pin it for later!
Jillian Morris is the resident baker for A Food Lover’s Kitchen. She started baking when she was very little and found she had a great passion for it. She is a high-schooler in a small town in Oregon, where she enjoys music, writing, and baking in her spare time.