These Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers are perfect for anyone who loves a little bit of spice and a lot of flavor! With a creamy cheesy center, crispy breadcrumbs, and a kick of jalapeno heat, these poppers are always a crowd-pleaser!
I love making these Air Fryer Jalapeno poppers as they are a great option for casual entertaining with friends and family or for a fun game day spread or party appetizer spread! They make delicious appetizers that come together with minimal prep work and I find the air fryer is the best way to cook healthier poppers and avoid the mess of deep frying.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
These air fryer jalapeño poppers are:
- Quick and easy to make with fairly simple ingredients!
- Deliciously cheesy and spicy perfect paired with sweet cocktails!
- Great for parties, game day, or any fun occasion! Can be customized with your favorite toppings
- Jalapeño peppers: Choose fresh, firm peppers that are free of blemishes. Be sure to wear gloves when handling jalapenos to avoid irritation.
- Cream cheese: Use softened cream cheese for easy mixing.
- Mayonnaise: Adds a tangy flavor and creamy texture to the filling.
- Sharp cheddar cheese: Shredded cheddar cheese adds a rich, cheesy flavor.
- Garlic powder and Ground black pepper: Add a little bit of extra flavor to the filling.
- Panko bread crumbs: These Japanese-style breadcrumbs add a crispy texture to the poppers.
- Crispy Bacon Crumbles: Optional, but highly recommended for topping!
- Olive oil spray: Helps the poppers cook evenly and adds a little bit of extra flavor and crunch to the topping.
How to Make Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
- Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise.
- Carefully scoop out the membrane and seeds for less heat or leave a few in for a spicy kick!
- Add cream cheese, spices, mayo, and cheddar cheese to a large bowl.
- Mix cream cheese mixture to combine with a rubber spatula.
- Fill jalapeño halves with cream cheese filling.
- Top poppers with panko.
- Add filled poppers to the preheated air fryer basket in a single layer.
- Cook until the panko is golden and the cheese is bubbly.
* See below for full instructions in the recipe card.
Frequently Asked Questions
This homemade air fryer jalapeno poppers recipe can be cooked in an air fryer at 380 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes or until golden on the top and the cheese is heated through.
Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees Fahrenheit, place the poppers inside the basket, leaving space between them for the air to circulate, cook for 5 minutes, then flip and cook for an additional 4 minutes or until golden with cheese just starting to ooze out.
The best dipping sauces for jalapeno poppers include ranch dressing, sour cream, guacamole, salsa, or a spicy sriracha aioli sauce!
- Use gloves when handling spicy jalapenos to avoid irritation to skin and eyes.
- Using softened cream cheese is the easiest way to mix the filling.
- Preheat the air fryer before adding the jalapenos to ensure even cooking and perfect poppers.
- Spray the tops of the poppers with olive oil or cooking spray to help them crisp up. Also, be sure there is space between the poppers for the hot air to circulate!
- Add cooked crumbled air fryer bacon to the filling for extra flavor.
- Top the poppers with diced tomatoes or green onions for a fresh twist.
- Substitute the cheddar cheese with Colby jack or pepper jack cheese for an extra kick of spice. You can even experiment with feta cheese if you like.
- You can also bake the poppers in a preheated oven on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
- Experiment with different cheeses like Monterey Jack, Colby, or Pepper Jack if you like.
- Use Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise for a healthier option.
- Substitute the panko bread crumbs with regular bread crumbs or crushed cornflakes.
- Swap out the jalapenos for mini bell peppers for a milder version.
- Store any leftover poppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
- You can freeze the poppers before cooking. Store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. To cook, thaw them in the refrigerator overnight and then cook them in the air fryer or oven as directed.
- Reheat the poppers in the air fryer or oven for a crispy texture.
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
- Cutting Board
- spoon for scooping out seeds and membrane from jalapenos
- Cheese Grater
- large bowl
- rubber spatula
- Air Fryer
- 6 jalapeno peppers sliced in half with seeds removed
- 4 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- olive oil spray for cooking
- cooked crumbled bacon ranch dressing and cilantro for serving if desired.
- To prepare the Jalapeno peppers, start by washing and drying them. Then, place them on a cutting board and slice them in half lengthwise. Be careful when handling the peppers as the seeds and white membrane can cause irritation to the skin and eyes. Use a small spoon to carefully scrape out the seeds and membrane.
- Next, in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix the ingredients together with a silicone spatula until they are evenly combined.
- Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees. Take each of the jalapeno halves and add about a tablespoon of the cheese mixture to each one. Use a small spoon to spread the mixture evenly. After that, generously top the jalapenos with the panko.
- Once the air fryer is heated, add the jalapenos to the tray and spray the tops with olive oil spray. Cook the poppers at 380 degrees for 5 minutes or until they are golden on top and the cheese is heated through.
- Finally, serve the poppers immediately, garnished with cooked crumbled bacon, finely chopped cilantro, and ranch dressing for dipping.
- Use gloves when handling jalapenos to avoid irritation to skin and eyes.
- Make sure the cream cheese is softened for easy mixing.
- Preheat the air fryer before adding the poppers to ensure even cooking.
- Spray the tops of the poppers with olive oil spray to help them crisp up.