These Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers are crispy thanks to a quick “fry” in the air fryer. Everyone will rave over the melty three-cheese filling and crunchy panko topping.
Crispy Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
Oh, jalapeño poppers. How I love you. 💕 How I look forward to devouring you. I mean, who wouldn’t? A spicy jalapeño pepper, perfectly bite-sized, fried up into mellow, yet still sliiiightly spicy perfection, and filled with cheese? Yes. Please. I’ll take a dozen.
My recipe for jalapeño poppers is so simple, but the combination of three kinds of cheese, fresh garlic, and chives gives you flavor for days! If you’ve never made real homemade jalapeño poppers, I’m sure you’ll love these—and you’ll love how easy they are to make.
For even more super ideas, be sure to check out my archive of easy air fryer recipes.
Why Use an Air Fryer?
Air Fryers make frying up your favorite snacks so much easier, and healthier! Unlike deep frying, which uses a lot of oil and can be very time-consuming, air fryers get the job done with just a spritz or two of oil and a very easy process.
Just pop the ingredients in the air fryer, spray on a little bit of non-aerosol cooking spray (or your favorite cooking oil), and push a button! A few minutes later, you have amazing jalapeño poppers with the perfect texture. The breading is sizzling and crunchy, the pepper is perfectly soft, and the cheesy filling is ooey, gooey, scrumptious.
Here’s a rundown of the recipe ingredients (for the full recipe card with amounts and nutrition facts, scroll on down to the bottom of the post).
- Cream Cheese: Soften the cream cheese to room temperature. You can use low-fat cream cheese here, if you prefer.
- Cheddar Cheese: Sharp cheddar is the best! It really adds a powerful punch of flavor, and melts beautifully. Finely grate it (or buy it pre-shredded).
- Feta Cheese: Crumbled feta is my secret weapon! It’s extra tangy, and elevates the dish in a special way. If you don’t have feta, use crumbled goat cheese instead, or substitute more cheddar.
- Garlic: Mince or press fresh garlic for the brightest flavor. Garlic powder is fine, though, if you prefer to use that.
- Chives: I use chopped fresh chives, but dried chives will work as well.
- Salt and Pepper
- Jalapeño Peppers: You’ll need to halve the jalapeños lengthwise, and remove the seeds (more on that in a minute).
- Panko: Use regular panko breadcrumbs, or for a low-carb version, use pork rind panko.
- Cooking Spray: Make sure to use non-aerosol cooking spray to avoid damaging the finish on your air fryer basket.
How to Hollow Out a Jalapeño Pepper
To hollow out your jalapeños, the easiest way is to just cut the jalapeños lengthwise, leaving you with two identical halves. Then, take a teaspoon and gently scrape the seeds and any white membrane away.
Be sure to wear gloves if your hands/skin are at all sensitive or dry, since jalapeño juice can really burn sensitive skin! And your eyes, if you touch ’em. Been there, done that. ouch! 😣
How to Make Jalapeño Poppers in the Air Fryer
Now that you’ve got your ingredients list nailed down, here’s how to make these addictive little appetizers. The process is really easy, and even fun!
- Preheat the Air Fryer and Make the Filling Mixture. Before you get started, make sure to preheat air fryer to 325˚F. Preheating tends to give the best results. Next, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, feta, garlic, chives, salt, and pepper in a big bowl. Use a spoon or fork to stir everything together until it’s well-blended.
- Stuff the Jalapeño Halves. Line up your jalapeño (cleaned out) halves on a plate or tray. Use a tablespoon to stuff each jalapeño half with 2 tablespoons or so of the cheesy filling.
- Arrange the Poppers in the Air Fryer Basket. Spritz the air fryer basket with cooking spray. Then arrange the poppers in the basket in one layer. Don’t crowd the basket, and don’t stack the poppers or have them overlapping. Top each popper with crumbs, and give them a light spritz with a bit more oil.
- Cook. Air-fry the poppers for 15 minutes or so, until cheese is melted and gooey, and peppers are tender.
▢4 ounces cream cheese, softened
▢4 ounces finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese
▢2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
▢1 clove garlic, minced
▢2 tablespoons chives
▢Salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
▢6 fresh jalapenos, halved lengthwise and seeded
▢¼ cup pork rind crumbs, or you can use panko crumbs
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.