Cynthia is a social butterfly who enjoys entertaining family and friends with dinner parties and barbecues.
Do you have an air fryer? Do you love jalapeño poppers? Are you looking for low-budget recipes for game-day snacks? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this is the perfect recipe for you.
Bacon-wrapped cream cheese stuffed jalapeño poppers are the perfect appetizer. If you have friends coming for a summer barbecue or dinner party who are dieting or trying out the keto lifestyle, they will be happy with this treat.
This is a really easy recipe, and I've included step-by-step instructions below. Who doesn't love bacon? I make these constantly as an alternative to less-healthy snacking options. Even friends who don't normally like spicy foods still enjoy these.
This is a recipe anyone can follow and you can make these ahead of time and freeze them, too. Pulling them out of the freezer and popping them straight into the air fryer makes these a breeze for snacking in a hurry or last-minute guests.
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12 servings (24 poppers)
- 12 jalapeños
- 1 package cream cheese
- 12 bacon slices
- Lay out the bacon and cream cheese.
- Wash the jalapeños. Trim off the tops and cut lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds.
- Fill the jalapeño cavities with cream cheese.
- Wrap each jalapeño with bacon.
- Place in the air fryer and set to 350 degrees. Cook for 10 minutes.
This recipe is really easy. Even for first-time cooks in the kitchen, it won't turn out badly.
Step 1: Prep the Jalapeños
Always wash the jalapeños before getting ready to use them. This eliminates any possible pesticides or bacteria that may be residing on them at the market.
Trim off the tops and then cut length-ways. Trimming lengthwise allows for easy filling and produces two poppers from each jalapeño.
Spoons are best at scooping out the seeds. If you don't like extremely spicy peppers, strip out the white membranes too. These often hold heat. Personally I complete a mix leaving in some, and removing in others.
Step 2: Add the Cream Cheese Filling
To fill the jalapeños I rinse the same spoon I used to remove seeds. Take a spoonful of cream cheese and using the spoon spread into the open side. Sometimes you may need to add somewhat more cream cheese as no two jalapeños seem the same size. I don't overfill these. The filling should be level with the sides of the pepper to avoid spillage when cooking.
Pro tip: I prefer to lay out both the cream cheese and bacon when I begin cutting my jalapeños. Both are much easier to work with when they are warming up versus cold from the fridge. If you forget to set them out it is not a problem. It just may take a little more effort at assembly time.
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Step 3: Wrap With Bacon
Wrapping with bacon is simple. Take the end of a strip of bacon and start at one end of the pepper. Then in a circular motion wrap around the entire jalapeno.
Once wrapped the poppers are ready to put in the air fryer. A full slice of bacon per pepper is not required, you can cut strips in half. Using half a slice of bacon per popper is a great way to stretch your food budget. I often do both, full slice if I catch bacon on sale, and half slices if I cannot find a good price.
Step 4: Cook in the Air Fryer
Every air fryer is slightly different. Mine is a Dash Chef Series 7-in-1 air fryer. I set it to 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Using a different air fryer you may need to go somewhat longer.
Everyone has a different level of crispness they like regarding bacon. This is a sufficient way to determine the best cooking time for your specific air fryer. Watch out for the time and once you have reached the desired crisping of your bacon make a note for future batches.
These will be hot, let them sit for a few minutes before digging in! These are delicious at room temperature, too, if you are having a party with a buffet-style set up for food.
Additions and Substitutions
There are other filling options if you want to tweak this recipe. I love to cook and play around with recipes. Adding different ingredients will create new and unique flavor profiles for many dishes. Bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers are no different.
My ingredients are often determined by what is cost-effective. Don't let prices keep you from making things you enjoy. Sometimes I use regular smoked bacon and recently started using peppered bacon. You may choose to use different flavored bacon to your liking.
- Monterey Jack
- Goat Cheese
- White Cheddar
You are no longer confined to one cheese! Try blending a number of exceptional cheeses together to create some extremely good poppers.
There are even more picks to consider. You can add substances to cheese and cream cheese to fill too.
- Cooked sausage
- Coarse-ground pepper
The chances are countless for growing fascinating and new flavors for filling. These are great game-day snacks or appetizers for dinner parties. You need only three ingredients to make a basic popper, and it takes less than 20 minutes.
Bacon-wrapped poppers are low cost and fast. This recipe can be accomplished swiftly when unexpected guests are on the way. I often make large batches and freeze ahead.
Cooking in the oven is an option as well for anyone who does not have an air fryer. I prefer the air fryer method is it less messy and a lot of fats are cooked out. So these are not greasy at all for serving.
I have been through many air fryers over the years. I wanted to shed some light on the varying types of air fryers and I love my Dash Chef Series 7 in 1 air fryer.
Not all air fryers are the same. I commenced with a small one when I first jumped on the air fryer fleeting style a few years back. I almost without delay regretted it and within a few months I had upgraded to a larger unit.
The larger unit still wasn't ample enough to use for a household of four effortlessly. So instead of running out and buying just any old air fryer, I did much research. I finally settled on my Dash.
My air fryer is a 7-in-1. This means I can not only air fry but I have options. Anything from cakes, cookies rotisserie fowl and more I can make with ease. Without needing to use it 3-4 times to prepare enough food for a meal like with smaller fryers.
With my air fryer I can do all of the following:
- Convection Bake
It is not extremely large and takes up less space than my microwave on the counter. I can cook entire meals in one appliance with ease. It saves time and I can also cook more than one item at a time depending on what I am making. I can prepare a tenderloin and roast veggies all at one time with the various shelves and trays.
When choosing an air fryer for your family size is everything. If you purchase a small compact fryer it will take more time to say prepare chicken tenders for the whole family. My first unit would only prepare 2-3 tenders at a time.
Smaller units are suitable for someone who lives alone. Those of us with larger broods to feed would benefit long run from buying a bigger unit to begin with.
I gave away my smaller units to friends and family, but I could have save money going big from the start.
Questions & Answers
Question: Does the bacon turn out crispy in the air fryer?
Answer: Yes, the bacon turned out crispy using the air fryer just like it would if using the oven or stove. You can if you like to take them out sooner if you prefer more chewy bacon. My preference is crispy especially with slices that tend to be fattier.
Question: How do you prevent the cheese from oozing out?
Answer: At times there some cream cheese that escapes. Overfilling the jalapeño peppers with cream cheese may result in it oozing out. If you are concerned about losing the filling use an entire slice of bacon. A full slice will wrap around the entire jalapeño and hold in all of your fillings as you can wrap it completely. The bacon tends to stay in place and fully covers the entire jalapeño popper.
I have at times filled a little too much and lost some filling. Even then and using only a half slice of bacon to wrap you won't lose a lot of filling. Cream cheese is a soft and delicate cheese but it doesn't melt the same as say mozzarella.
Question: What's your recommendation on reheating any leftover jalapeño poppers?
Answer: If we have jalapeño popper leftovers and I want them crispy I will reheat in the air fryer. I preheat it to 350 degrees then toss in my poppers for 3-5 minutes. If using this method be careful, you just want to reheat not overcook. But you can reheat small or large batches easily in the air fryer.
Reheating in the microwave start with using 40-second intervals for 5 or more poppers. I have to be in a big hurry to use the microwave method. Reheated bacon tends to be chewier when using the microwave and I enjoy a little crunch to mine.
Using your oven is also an option but that requires a lot more time waiting since preheat takes longer. If it is your only appliance set to 350 for preheat, then put the jalapeño poppers in for 3-5 minutes.
© 2020 Cynthia Hoover