Easy Homemade Jalapeño Poppers the perfect appetizer for your game day, baked, not fried, and oh-so good. This recipe couldn't be easier to make with oven and air fryer directions.
10 fresh jalapeno peppers, medium-sized
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 oz cream cheese
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup bread crumbs or panko
1 teaspoon salt
Remove stems from the fresh jalapenos. Then cut each jalapeño in half, lengthwise. Remove the seeds and inner membranes; use a spoon, paring knife, or melon baller for easy removal. (You can also leave the seeds and membrane if you want your popper to be HOT!) Lay jalapeño peppers in a single layer on a lightly oiled baking sheet and set aside.
In a small bowl, add the filling ingredients to make your cream cheese mixture. Take a small spoon, grab a scoop of the cheesy filling, place into the open half of the jalapeño and place it back on the baking sheet. Continue with the remaining jalapeños until the rich cream cheese filling is evenly distributed among the jalapeño pepper halves.
Place the butter into a microwave-safe small mixing bowl and microwave for 30 seconds (if the butter isn't fully melted, continue cooking in 15-second increments until it has melted). Add the bread crumbs and salt and mix until butter is well combined with the bread crumbs.
Take each jalapeno half and dip the cheesy side into the bread crumbs, pressing down gently to get the bread crumbs to adhere to the softened cream cheese mixture. Place the cheesy side up on the lightly oiled baking sheet. Place in your freezer for 15 minutes.
While your poppers are in the freezer, preheat your oven or air fryer to 425˚. If your air-fryer only heat to 400˚, then use that temperature.
After 15 minutes, remove the poppers from the freezer and place them into your preheated oven or air-fryer.
Oven: cook for 15-20 minutes
Air fryer with basket: cook for 10-12 minutes
Air fryer toaster oven: cook for 15 minutes
Cook until the jalapeños have softened and the crispy topping is golden brown.
Remove poppers from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before serving.
Optional toppings and dipping sauce ideas: green onions, sprinkle of chili powder, bacon pieces or bacon crumbles, blue cheese dressing, ranch dressing, or my personal favorite strawberry or raspberry jam.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. They can be reheated or enjoyed cold.