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The ultimate snack or party appetizer, no matter the occasion!

Air fryer jalapeño poppers are wrapped in bacon and come out deliciously gooey! Skip the frozen aisle and make your own with fresh ingredients.

bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers on a white plate garnished with sliced green onion tops on a table.

No party is complete without bacon wrapped jalapeños stuffed with three kinds of cheese and topped with crispy panko breadcrumbs! Each savory bite delivers the perfect combination of creamy and crunchy textures with just the right amount of heat.

The air fryer makes it so easy to whip up side dishes and appetizers in minutes. Try some crispy asparagus fries with lemon aioli or homemade sweet potato chips with a fraction of the oil as bagged versions.

And if you’re craving more poppable bites, you’ll love these baked spinach stuffed tomatoes. Have a batch ready to go in just 30 minutes!

Key ingredients & substitutions for Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers

  • Peppers — You’ll want each one to be at least 3 inches long so they are easier to stuff. They should be firm to the touch without any wrinkled skin or blemishes.
  • Cream cheese — Pull this out of the refrigerator before prepping the other ingredients so it has plenty of time to soften.
  • Shredded cheese — I used a combination of sharp cheddar and Monterey Jack for a balance of bold flavor and creamy texture. To make these even spicier, swap in some Pepper Jack!
  • Bacon — Use thin-cut slices to ensure they get nice and crispy. Unless your jalapenos are especially large, you’ll want to cut each strip in half first.
  • Panko breadcrumbs — These add a lovely crunch to each bite and won’t get soggy from the bacon grease.

tips

  • Wear gloves and avoid touching your eyes when removing the seeds and membranes from the jalapeño peppers. These contain capsaicin which can cause irritations and even burn your skin!
  • I always recommend grating a fresh block of cheese if you can. Bagged shreds don’t melt down quite as well, and the flavor tends to be milder.

process steps for making air fryer jalapeno poppers: remove seeds from peppers; fill with cheese and top with breadcrumbs; wrap in bacon; cook in air fryer.

How to make bacon wrapped jalapeños?

STEP 1 | Core the peppers

Slice each one in half and scoop out the insides to make jalapeño boats. A lot of the heat comes from the seeds, so be sure to scrape them all out with the tip of a knife.

STEP 2 | Add the filling

Combine the cheeses, cumin, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. Divide the mixture evenly between the pepper boats. It should be mounded in the center instead of level with the peppers.

Stir melted butter into the seasoned panko breadcrumbs, then sprinkle over the tops of the poppers. Gently press the crumbs into the filling to prevent them from falling off.

STEP 3 | Wrap with bacon

Wrap each stuffed popper with a strip of bacon. Be sure to cover more of the top than the bottom to help hold in all of the filling.

Poke a toothpick through the side to hold it all together. You can remove these later or leave them to make it easier for guests to serve themselves.

STEP 4 | Cook

Place the bacon wrapped jalapeños in the air fryer basket, leaving space between each one for better circulation. You will need to work in batches until they are all cooked. Once the cheese is bubbly and the bacon is crisped, transfer the air fryer jalapeño poppers to a platter and cool before serving.

bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers on a white plate garnished with sliced green onion tops.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make bacon wrapped jalapeños ahead of time?

Absolutely! Prep the poppers up to 3 days in advance and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to bake.

How do I make a larger batch?

Since air fryer jalapeño poppers already need to be cooked in batches, a double recipe will require the oven.
Assemble the peppers as directed, then place them in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees, or until tender and the bacon starts to crisp.

Can I use a different type of pepper?

Since jalapeños are considered one of the mildest chili peppers, your mouth may catch on fire with a different variety! If you’re sensitive to spice, try using baby bell peppers instead — they may also be labeled as mini sweet peppers and typically come in a bag.

Special supplies needed

Clearly, you will need an air fryer to prepare this recipe. And don’t forget the tongs! These make it easier to transfer your bacon wrapped jalapeños in and out of the basket. Choose ones with silicone tips to prevent scratches.

close up shot of a hand holding a jalapeno popper.

Serving suggestions

Dip your air fryer jalapeño poppers in a side of ranch or blue cheese dressing! The creamy dairy helps to cool your tongue after each spicy bite.

If you’re hosting game day or a family get together, add a few more easy appetizers to keep your guests happy. You can never go wrong with a platter of deviled eggs, and these sticky baked chicken wings are sure to go fast!

Please share!

Your shares are how this site grows and I appreciate each one. Do you know someone who would enjoy this recipe? I’d love it if you would share it on Facebook or on your favorite Pinterest board!

bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers on a white plate garnished with sliced green onion tops.

Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers

No party is complete without bacon wrapped jalapenos stuffed with three kinds of cheese and topped with crispy panko breadcrumbs!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Appetizers
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 263 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 6 large jalapeño peppers
  • 4 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin or more to taste
  • 1/4 cup panko crumbs
  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter melted
  • 6 slices thin-cut bacon cut in half into lengthwise strips
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the air fryer for 5 minutes at 370 degrees.
  • Slice each jalapeño in half lengthwise. Wearing disposable gloves, remove the core of the jalapeño and scrape out all of the seeds with paring knife.
  • Place the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, cumin, and a pinch of salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater attachment. Beat on medium-low speed to combine.
  • Generously stuff each pepper with 1 to 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture.
  • In a small bowl, combine the panko crumbs and melted butter. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle a generous amount of panko mixture over each stuffed pepper.
  • Wrap a strip of bacon twice around each pepper and secure with a toothpick, if necessary, to hold the bacon in place.
  • Place a batch of the poppers in the air fryer basket, cheese filling facing up, and cook for 10 – 12 minutes, until the peppers are tender, the cheese is bubbly, and the bacon begins to crisp. Let the poppers cool for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • Wear gloves and avoid touching your eyes when removing the seeds and membranes from the jalapeño peppers. These contain capsaicin which can cause irritations and even burn your skin!
  • I always recommend grating a fresh block of cheese if you can. Bagged shreds don’t meltdown quite as well, and the flavor tends to be milder.

To bake a double batch in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet pan with aluminum foil (or place a rack on the baking sheet).
  2. Bake until the peppers are tender and the bacon begins to crisp, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool the poppers for 5 – 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 263kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 13gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 60mgSodium: 514mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2g
Keyword air fryer appetizer, bacon, cheddar, jalapeno, jalapeno popper, Super Bowl food
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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