3-Ingredient Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers

Jalapeño poppers are to die for. No seriously. They are cheesy goodness with just the right amount of spice. But Air Fryer jalapeno Poppers are easy to make, healthier, and so fast.

jalapeño-poppers-on-porcelain-plate

From start to finish, you can make them in 15 minutes. Let’s getting poppin’!

Jalapeño Poppers vs Hush Puppies

Before I go any further in this post, let me stop right here and say: jalapeño poppers are not the same thing as jalapeño hush puppies. Don’t confuse the two.

The biggest difference is that hush puppies are deep fried with a dough made out of cornmeal. Though they often include flour. So if you’re looking for a doughier recipe, you’re looking for a hush puppy recipe. Take a look at the exact difference below.

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeño poppers are a type of stuffed pepper. You find them often at Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants. They’re typically served as appetizers.

The jalapeño pepper is either cored and hollowed out or sliced in half and the seeds removed. The peppers are then stuffed with everything from a cream cheese mixture to mozzarella to halloumi.

They are then grilled, broiled, baked, or air fried (in this case). Some people also bread and then deep fry them. That’s where the confusion with hush puppies comes in.

Hush Puppies

Hush puppies, on the other hand, are a Southern staple, and there are as many recipes for them as there are families in the South. But despite the variations, all hush puppies share a few key ingredients:

  • Yellow cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda combine to form a basic batter. This batter is then mixed with buttermilk or milk and eggs. It’s then deep fried.

Making Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

How to Clean and Cut jalapeno Peppers

If you have food-safe gloves, I highly recommend using them while cleaning your jalapeños.

The heat in peppers comes from capsaicin which is a colorless and odorless oil-like compound. Capsaicin is what gives the peppers their heat, and it is mostly found in the membrane that holds the seeds.

It’s hard to avoid capsaicin when working with jalapeños. If you cut hot peppers and then put your hands near your airs, nose, lip, etc. you’re going to be cursing yourself for about an hour. So wear gloves. It’s also important if you have pets or kids around.

The last thing you want to do is cut hot peppers, then transfer the oil to the nose of your dog or the eyes of your children.

When cleaning and cutting jalapeño peppers, you have two options:

Use a Jalapeño Corer

If you have a jalapeño corer that’s great! They are fun little tools to have in your kitchen. You cut off the top of the pepper, insert the tool, rotate a few times, and the seeds and rib of the pepper slide right out.

Cut them in Half

If you don’t have a jalapeño corer, that’s fine. Slice your jalapeños in half. It’s up to you whether you want to leave the stems on or not. Scrape out the seeds with a small spoon, then run a paring knife along the inside of the pepper to remove the rib. Tada! Now, you’re ready to stuff your poppers.

Below is a great video I love showing how to core and clean jalapeño peppers.

collage-of-steps-to-making-jalapeno-poppers

How long do you air fry jalapeño poppers?

The answer to this is not long. If you were to make jalapeño poppers in a traditional oven, you’d need first to preheat the oven. This takes about 12-15 minutes. You then need to bake them for about 20-25 minutes. You’re already at about 30 minutes, and that’s without prep time!

The short of it is that with Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers, from start to finish, it takes you 15 minutes. That’s it!

Controlling Your Spice Level

Controlling the spice level for your Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers is all about cleaning them well. You need to control that capsaicin. So the better you clean the peppers, the more of the capsaicin you’re removing.

With that said, if you like a lot of spice, feel free to leave some seeds and the rib on. But beware! A few jalapeño seeds go a long way.

Ingredients

  • 6 jalapeño peppers
  • 6 ounces of halloumi (you can also use mozzarella)
  • ½ cup of Mexican mix shredded cheese (or any shredded cheese)

Instructions

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Preheat your air fryer according to the instructions of your air fryer model.

Cut the top off of your jalapeño peppers, then cut them in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, remove the seeds and either scrape or cut out the rib that runs the length of the pepper.

Cut your halloumi into small pieces. Halloumi is harder than mozzarella but not as soft as cream cheese. So the smaller you cut your pieces, the easier it will be to work with. You don’t want large chunks of cheese falling out into the air fryer. Don’t lose your filling!

Stuff your peppers with halloumi and set aside.

When your air fryer is hot, spray a thin layer of oil on the air fryer basket and line up your stuffed peppers in the basket.

Cook at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes on air fryer mode.

Halfway through, or when your air fryer reminds you, add the shredded cheese to the top of your stuffed peppers. The halloumi will be starting to melt but won’t be completely soft at this point. Continue to cook until the timer goes off.

Your Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers will be very hot when they come out. So let them rest for a few minutes before removing and serving. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes:

Don’t feel like you have to use halloumi cheese. You can use any cheese you’d like, as well as fillings or wrappings such as bacon. Below are a few other cheese and topping options.

  • Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese
  • Stuff your poppers with a cream cheese filling or a cream cheese mixture with a few different types of cheese
  • Wrap your poppers in bacon (You could even use turkey bacon!)
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top for a nice crunch (You could also use Ritz crackers!)
jalapeño-poppers-on-porcelain-plate
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3-Ingredient Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

Gooey, salty with a kick. Perfect for a meal or appetizer.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Air Fryer Appetizers, Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers, Jalapeno Poppers
Servings: 3 servings
Calories: 254kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 6 jalapeños
  • 6 ounces halloumi
  • ½ cup Mexican mix shredded cheese

Instructions

  • Preheat your air fryer according to the instructions of your air fryer model.
  • Cut the top off of your jalapeño peppers, then cut them in half lengthwise. With a small spoon, remove the seeds and either scrape or cut out the rib that runs the length of the pepper.
  • Cut your halloumi into small pieces. Halloumi is harder than mozzarella but not as soft as cream cheese. So the smaller you cut your pieces, the easier it will be to work with. You don’t want large chunks of cheese falling out into the air fryer. Don’t lose your filling!
  • Stuff your peppers with halloumi and set aside.
  • When your air fryer is hot, spray a thin layer of oil on the air fryer basket and line up your stuffed peppers in the basket.
  • Cook at 370 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes on air fryer mode.
  • Halfway through, or when your air fryer reminds you, add the shredded cheese to the top of your stuffed peppers. The halloumi will be starting to melt but won’t be completely soft at this point. Continue to cook until the timer goes off.
  • Your Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers will be very hot when they come out. So let them rest for a few minutes before removing and serving. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Don’t feel like you have to use halloumi cheese. You can use any cheese you’d like, as well as fillings or wrappings such as bacon. Below are a few other cheese and topping options.
  • Sprinkle the top with Parmesan cheese or cheddar cheese
  • Stuff your poppers with a cream cheese filling or a cream cheese mixture with a few different types of cheese
  • Wrap your poppers in bacon (You could even use turkey bacon!)
  • Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top for a nice crunch (You could also use Ritz crackers!)

Nutrition

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 18mg | Sodium: 795mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 425IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 693mg | Iron: 0.2mg

Spousal rating: My wife gave these a 12/10. I made them on a Friday night while also making Lemon Garlic Pasta. I’m chopping garlic for the pasta, and she comes in looking for the rest of the poppers. We’d eaten them all! So I made another batch. It was Friday, after all 😉

The more I use my air fryer, the more I fall in love with it. For my wife and I, it’s less about trying to get that crispy fry and more about speed and ease. We both work 12-15 hour days, and the air fryer has let me create easy, fun, and healthy meals for us. There is only so much takeout a couple can (and should) eat.

Other Air Fryer Recipes

Crispy Air Fryer Chicken Wings

Air Fryer Potato Skins

Air Fryer Frozen Broccoli

Air Fryer Green Beans

Air Fryer Rib Eye Steak

Air Fryer Quesadillas

More Tasty Appetizers

Have a large group coming over for game day, an Oscar-watching party, or New Year’s Eve? We’ve got you covered with appetizer suggestions to please every crowd.

Easiest-Ever Crab Cakes

Sweet and Spicy Strawberry jalapeño Crisp Bread

Meatball Subs on a Stick

Easy Hamburger Sliders

Kickin’ BLT Dip

Slam Dunk Mac and Cheese Bites

I hope you enjoyed this Air Fryer Jalapeño Popper Recipe. Remember, if you can dream of the perfect cheese and topping filling, you can use it. Stay hungry and creative!

Until next time: Stay salty, and sweet 😉

Air-Fryer-Jalapeño-Poppers-pinterest-pin

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