June 13, 2021

Easy Baked Jalapeño Poppers in the Oven or Air Fryer

I am unsure if there is a more perfect party appetizer than an easy jalapeño poppers recipe that doesn't require deep frying. Though, I love nothing more than to sit at a sports bar that has good drinks, a Seahawks game on the tvs, and jalapeños stuffed with cheese deep-frying in the kitchen. Honestly, it's one of the best things I have eaten and is one of my favorite foods.

Sadly, deep frying foods don't work for this body anymore, so I tried to figure out an easy baked jalapeno poppers recipe that I could make at home. I've tested this recipe many times, trying to create the perfect game day snack with simple ingredients. A go-to appetizer that is baked and an easy recipe to make. Well, here it is, the perfect appetizer for your game day, baked, not fried, and oh-so good.

  • For easy cleanup lay a piece of parchment paper, or aluminum foil down prior to add oil.
  • You can also make a double batch easily by simply doubling the recipe.
  • Make sure all the white membranes and seeds have been removed for a milder flavor. Sometimes the small pieces left inside can create a little or a lot of heat.
  • If your guests are ballsy and love hot peppers, you don't need to be as diligent when cleaning out the peppers; sometimes, a surprise kick is just wanted.
  • If you prefer bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers, I suggest precooking and chopping up bacon pieces for bacon filling for those bacon jalapeno poppers that so many people love.
  • Use disposable gloves when working with peppers because you never know how hot they can be. Or if you are like me and want to live on the edge and not wear gloves, after cutting your jalapeño, add a little olive oil to your hands and rub well all over, especially your fingertips, before washing with hand soap. You may have to repeat the process several times to remove the jalapeño oils and juices from your hands.
  • This recipe is very simple with minimal ingredients, but feel free to mess around with the filling a little bit and try adding a teaspoon of garlic powder or onion powder for additional flavor.
  • If you leave the jalapeños in the freezer for longer than 15 minutes, you will need to reheat them for longer than listed above. Because heat varies, check every five minutes after 15 minutes of cooking until jalapeño has softened and the crispy topping is golden brown.

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Easy Baked Jalapeño Poppers in the Oven or Air Fryer

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.


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