Jalapeño poppers are a fan favorite for just about any gathering or game days. This recipe is an easy option that is gluten free and ready in 15 minutes. These bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers are done in the air fryer and have all the flavors you want in a popper, can be customized depending on your spice preferences, and are super easy to double or tripe a batch and freeze for later.
Why This Recipe Works
- Gluten Free and Low Carb: Jalapeño poppers are traditionally breaded but with the bacon wrap and the air fryer you cut out the gluten and keep it low carb.
- Simple: With only 6 ingredients and a 5 minute prep time this is a super easy recipe to get a great appetizer out for game day or any occasion.
- Fast: It takes almost no time to mix the filling for these bacon wrapped poppers and with a 15 minute cook time you have good food in a snap.
- Crowd Pleaser: Jalapeño poppers are always a fan favorite so having a simple recipe on deck is perfect.
- Easy to Increase Batches: This recipe uses 6 jalapeños for a batch and with how simple they are to make it’s a breeze to double or triple the batch for larger gatherings or to save some for later.
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Ingredients
In order to make these bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers you will start with 6 jalapeño peppers that have been cut in half lengthwise with the insides and seeds removed. You will need 4 ounces of room temperature cream cheese, a half cup of shredded cheddar cheese, and 6 slices of bacon cut in half. Lastly required is garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
Optional additional ingredients consist of 3-4 dashes of Frank’s Red Hot or your favorite hot sauce and about 1/4 pounds of cooked and drained ground chorizo.
Easy Substitutions to Add a Twist
- Serrano Peppers: Serrano peppers are similar to jalapeño peppers but are a touch spicier so if you want a little more pop in your poppers give these a try!
- Taco Seasoning: Try substituting the spices in this recipe for taco seasoning to change up the flavor a touch. About a teaspoon will do. You can use pre packaged taco seasoning if you have any on hand but I would recommend just making your own since it’s such a small quantity. You can find my homemade taco seasoning recipe here.
- Fajita Seasoning: Similar to the taco seasoning, you will swap out the spices for about a teaspoon of fajita seasoning. Again, use your favorite brand or try out this homemade fajita seasoning recipe.
- Habanero Peppers: If you’re a spice lover and want to really add some heat to your poppers try using habanero peppers. They are a delicious blend of sweet and spicy and work perfectly in this recipe. The peppers are slightly smaller than jalapeños generally so use 6-8 depending on their size and change the cook time from 15 minutes to 12 so you don’t overcook them accidentally.
- Mini Sweet Peppers: If you want a non spicy bacon wrapped popper, try using mini sweet peppers instead of jalapeños. They don’t have the heat, but are about the same size as a jalapeño and still give you the flavor you’re looking for.
How to Make Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers
If your air fryer is one the requires preheating, preheat it to 400 degrees F and make sure your cream cheese is room temperature or soft enough to work with. Cut the jalapeños lengthwise and remove the seeds and ribs.
Note: If you prefer a spicier popper you can add some of the jalapeño seeds to the upcoming cheese mixture or try using Serrano peppers instead of jalapeños. Either choice ups the spice level a notch.
Pro Tip: Removing the insides of the jalapeños is made super easy if you have a metal 1/4 teaspoon or 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon handy. This depends on the size of the jalapeños, of course, but its a small too that will be easy to work with.
Add the cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and all the spices into a bowl and mix it until it is well combined. Depending on how soft your cream cheese is, you can use a spoon. If it’s still a little harder, a small hand mixer will work best.
If you included any hot sauce in the ingredients this is where you would add that. Just add 3-4 dashes and mix it in with the cheese and spices and slowly add any more as needed to taste.
Scoop the cheese mixture into each jalapeño half to fill each. Don’t overfill the pepper halves; just enough to be slightly over level. This will save you from a messy air fryer basket later on.
Next, wrap each jalapeño half with a half slice of bacon so the overlap portion of the bacon slice is centered at the top of the pepper. Secure the bacon with a toothpick to hold in in place for cooking.
Pro Tip: Push the toothpick only far enough into the pepper half to secure the bacon and don’t push it all the way through the pepper. This will make it easier to pull the toothpick out of the jalapeño poppers once they are air fried and the bacon is crispy enough to hold itself in place.
Arrange the bacon wrapped jalapeños in the air fryer basket so the cheese filling and toothpicks are upwards facing. Keep them in a single layer and don’t have any overlap, if possible, with the air fryer you’re using.
To make cleanup easier I sometimes like to place a small sheet of foil at the bottom of the air fryer basket with a light coating of oil or cooking spray. This catches any drippings from the cheese mixture filling that may occur during cooking.
Air fry your bacon wrapped poppers at 400 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until the bacon crisps up and the cheese mixture begins to brown a touch.
Bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers are great on their own but if you want something tasty to pair them with give these a shot!
- Ranch: This one is a classic and is probably required to be on this list. You’ve got your favorite brand so roll with it!
- Queso Mozzarella: If you want a bit more cheese in your life with these jalapeño poppers, they work great with this queso mozzarella recipe. Bonus: If you have more queso left over after the poppers you can dip anything into it from chips to bread to veggies!
Instructions for Storing for Later
To store your bacon wrapped poppers for later, let them cool to room temperature. Then place them into an airtight container and refrigerate. They will keep well for about 5 days in the fridge.
If you want to freeze these to save for the future, you will still let them cool to room temperature. Refrigerate them for about a half hour to make sure the cheese mixture becomes more solid. Place your poppers in a single layer on a sheet of plastic wrap or press ‘n’ seal wrap and wrap them up trying to get as much air out of the pouch as possible. Wrap this package in a layer of foil and place into the freezer.
When reheating from frozen, let them thaw out in the refrigerator overnight or out on the counter for about a half hour and then air fry at 400 degrees F for about 8 minutes. If cooking directly from frozen air fry for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F.
What do jalapeño poppers contain?
Typically, Jalapeño poppers consist of a jalapeño pepper that has been seeded and hollowed out and filled with a combination of cheese, spices, and, at times, meat. Most often they are bread and deep fried, but not always.
Why are jalapeño poppers called poppers?
They are called jalapeño poppers because, with their small bite size, you can just pop them in your mouth!
How do you know when jalapeno poppers are done?
You will know when they’re done when the cheese begins to turn that beautiful golden brown color. Typically between 10 and 15 minutes into baking. Just keep an eye on them.
Do you remove seeds from jalapeno poppers?
Generally you do remove the seeds when prepping jalapeños to make poppers. This makes for a more mild spice level without sacrificing the flavor. If you prefer a little more heat try leaving the ribs in the pepper or a couple of the seeds. It depends on your personal preference.
Should you wear gloves when cutting jalapeños?
You don’t NEED to wear gloves when cutting jalapeños but the oils inside can burn your skin a bit so if you’re sensitive to that gloves are recommended. You can, however, skip the gloves if you’re being careful and remember to wash your hands immediately after cutting the peppers.
What neutralizes hot peppers on skin?
If you do end up with some oil burn from prepping a jalapeño you can use a starch to neutralize it. About a tablespoon of corn starch or baking soda mixed with a tablespoon of water will form a paste that will ease your pain. Just rub it on where the burn is.
Where did jalapeño poppers come from?
Jalapeno poppers originated in the Texas area in the 1970’s. They are believed to be a twist on chiles rellenos which are roasted poblano peppers stuffed with cheese, coated in an egg batter, and fried.
Other Party Appetizer Recipes You’ll Love!
- Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Wings
- Redneck Caviar
- Air Fryer BBQ Wings
- Smoked Buffalo Chicken Dip
- Air Fryer Buffalo Wings (+Oven Instructions)
- Smoked Tuna Dip
- Greek Meatballs
- 6 jalapenos, cut in half lengthwise and seeds removed
- 4 ounces of room temperature cream cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of salt and pepper, to taste
- 6 slices of bacon, cut in half
- If your air fryer requires preheating, preheat to 400 degrees F.
- Add cream cheese, shredded cheese, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper into a bowl and mix to combine
- Scoop the mixture into each jalapeno half to fill the inside of each pepper
- Wrap each stuffed jalapeno half with a half slice of bacon. Secure it with a toothpick to keep it in place
- Place the jalapenos into the air fryer in an even layer, not overlapping, and air fryer on 400 degrees F. for 15 minutes
- For a less spicy popper, use mini sweet peppers in place of jalapeños
- To spice up the poppers a notch, use Serrano peppers or keep a couple of the jalapeño seeds to mix into the filling.
Keywords: air fryer bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers, how to air fry jalapeno poppers, gluten free jalapeno poppers
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