With only 4 simple ingredients, these Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers are filled with creamy cheese mixture, wrapped in crispy bacon and conveniently made in the air fryer.
There's something so homey about this combination. Jalapeños, creamy cheesy center, enveloped by crispy smoky bacon.
With just a little bit of prep work and the oven fully taking care of cook time, you'll have the perfect party appetizer that will be enjoyed by all.
This is a great recipe to have on hand for easy entertaining. It's naturally low carb and has bacon. Because who doesn't love bacon?
❤Why you'll love these poppers
- Taste: a lovely combination of savory, salty, fiery, and smoky
- Texture: the cheesy mixture lends a very creamy filling yet pairs well with crispy bacon and zesty jalapeño
- Level of difficulty: this is an easy appetizer recipe but admittedly has little prep time because the peppers need to be halved, with seeds and pith removed
- Crowd pleaser: what's game day without jalapeño poppers? These are easily made in advance and frozen for easy appetizer (see instructions below). Additionally, it's an easy recipe to double.
💭Fun Fact: Jalapeño poppers are also known as Armadillo Eggs, especially if they are wrapped in bacon or meat (to give the appearance of armadillo).
- jalapeño peppers: this is the star of this classic appetizer - when buying, look for plump jalapenos that have nice firm skin and blemish free
- cream cheese: regular full fat cream cheese is best; I would not recommend using low fat, fat free, lactose-free, or whipped cream cheese in this recipe
- cheese: best choice is cheddar cheese because it holds up well during the frying; avoid mozzarella cheese in this recipe
- avocado: this is optional but adds richness and smooth texture and truly makes these keto jalapeño poppers
- bacon: find the best quality thin cut bacon your budget allows
- seasonings: red pepper flakes, garlic powder, dried parsley are my favorite to throw into the creamy cheese mixture for extra flavor (but these can easily be omitted for ease and simplicity)
See recipe card for a full list of ingredients and exact quantities.
📖Substitutions and Variations
- Tone down the spice - instead of jalapeños, you can use mini bell peppers for a milder overall flavor
- Make it hot - to truly make these a spicy appetizer, use Monterey Jack cheese or add more red pepper flakes to the cheese mixture. Additionally, you can add a few removed jalapeno seeds for extra heat.
- Up the protein - wrap the poppers first in turkey deli meat followed by bacon
- Kid friendly - add panko crumbs, regular bread crumbs, or even crushed potato chips on top for a fun garnish
- Italian flare: Swap the avocado with roasted bell peppers and wrap with prosciutto instead of bacon.
These Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers are naturally grain free and gluten free. As with all foods, always make sure to read the ingredient labels to avoid nitrates and nitrites (in bacon) and gums and fillers in cream cheese.
Additionally, it's best to grate your own cheese to avoid anti-caking agents typically found in bagged cheese.
I have not made these dairy free to be truly Paleo and Whole30 compliant. The combination of the dairy cream cheese and semi-hard cheese is important to the overall texture.
- 🕐Time Saving Tip: use room temperature cream cheese as this will take less time to make the cream cheese filling; line air fryer basket with parchment paper to save time on cleaning;
- 💲 Money Saving Tip: skip the avocados and all the ingredients are regularly on cyclical sales at grocery stores; bacon freezes wonderfully and is best to stock up when it's on sale; cream cheese and cheddar cheese has a long refrigerator life when unopened
- 🗓Make-Ahead Tip: make these per full instructions below and flash freeze for an easy finger food or consider preparing the peppers and cheesy mixture and keeping that separate in airtight containers until ready to make and serve
- 🚫Food Safety: use thin cut bacon so it fully cooks - set to broil in the last 5 minutes of air frying (if your air fryer has that option)
💭Make it Nutrient-Dense: Use raw cheddar in these jalapeno poppers as it still contains live gut-healthy enzymes and microbes.
The complete printable recipe is below in the recipe card for your convenience.
This Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers recipe calls for these ingredients that you will need: jalapeños, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, dried parsley, avocado, and bacon.
Step 1. Prepare jalapeños
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cut the washed and dried jalapenos lengthwise. Remove the pith and seeds. Discard if you don't want to add more heat back to the poppers. If you want to kick up the heat, add a teaspoon or two of the seeds to the cheesy mixture in step 2.
Step 2. Cream cheese mixture
In a small bowl, mix the room temperature cream cheese and your choice of shredded cheese, along with any seasonings if desired. My favorite stand-ins are garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and dried parsley.
Step 3: Stuffing & frying jalapeños
Fill each halved jalapeño with the cheese mixture. Top with an avocado slice, if using. Cut bacon strips into half crosswise to create 20 smaller slices.
Wrap stuffed jalapeños with a slice of bacon and place on the crisper tray or air fryer basket seam side down in single layer. Season with freshly cracked black pepper.
Air fry bacon wrapped jalapeño poppers for 20 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked and crispy. Cooking time varies greatly across the board for all air fryers but 20 minutes is a good start. Look for crispy bacon as you would when making air fryer bacon.
Remove the peppers from the air fryer and rest for 5-10 minutes to allow cheese to settle. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.
💭Pro Tip: If using a convection oven air fryer, you may need to broil for 5 minutes to achieve that golden brown top. Basket type air fryers tend to naturally give that crust on top with no need to broil.
🔪Helpful Tools & Links
Below are some affiliate links that may be helpful to you as you make this Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers. However, some of these items can be found cheaper at your local store but it helps to have a link so you know what you're looking for.
- Tools: chef knife, cutting board, mixing bowl, extra-large air fryer,
- Ingredients: real salt, black pepper
- Storage Supplies: glass snapware for leftovers
These spicy peppers are traditionally a big thing on game day, enjoyed with many other typical fun foods.
These delicious appetizers would be great served with these recipes:
♨️Storage & Reheating Instructions
To store: this finger food will keep well in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
Reheating tips: just transfer the poppers on a crisper tray and pop them in the convection oven and broil for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
To freeze: please see proper freezing instructions below in FAQs.
The best air fryer for these spicy peppers is the one you have at home. I love my Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer 360XL Deluxe because it's quite large for an air fryer and comes with 3 crisper trays that I use regularly. After much research, I decided on this air fryer because it was important to me to avoid the non-stick coating typically found in basket-style air fryers.
A great benefit to using a convection-oven type air fryer is that the capacity is much larger than air fryer basket and I am able to fry this entire jalapeño poppers recipe in one batch.
This will depend on the type and the size of your air fryer. Basket-type air fryers generally fry foods quicker than convection-type oven air fryers.
Twenty minutes is a good time to start checking on those spicy peppers. The most important thing to remember is that bacon needs to be fully cooked and crispy. That's why I always prefer to broil for additional 5 minutes to get that golden crust on top.
The best way to freeze jalapeño poppers is using the flash freezing method. Spread out the cooked and cooled jalapeño poppers on a baking sheet or a tray, making sure they do not touch. Transfer to freezer for 2 hours or until firm.
Remove the poppers from the sheet or tray and transfer to resealable freezer bags or freezer-safe container with tight-fitting lids. Don't forget to label the bag or container and return to freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat Jalapeño Poppers in the air fryer, transfer them to a crisper tray or basket and bake uncovered for 10-15 at 400 degrees Fahrenheit or until warmed through. Do not preheat the air fryer first - the peppers will thaw as the air fryer preheats.
Looking for more easy recipes? Here are some ideas: Easy Deviled Eggs Chunky Guacamole Everything Bagel Cucumber Bites Caprese Stuffed Avocados
Did you make this? Please leave a ⭐ rating in the recipe card below and leave a review in the comments. Thank you!💚
Air Fryer Bacon Wrapped Jalapeño Poppers
- 10 jalapeño peppers washed and dried
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 medium avocado optional
- 10 strips thin-cut bacon cut in half
- red pepper flakes, garlic powder, dried parsley optional, 1 teaspoon each
- Preheat air fryer to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut jalapenos in half lengthwise and remove pith and seeds.
- In a small bowl, combine 8 ounces of cream cheese, 8 ounces of grated cheese, and 1 teaspoon of each: garlic powder, dried parsley, and red pepper flakes if using.
- Fill each halved pepper with the cheese mixture, top with an avocado slice, and wrap with ½ slice of bacon. You may have to gently stretch the bacon piece to make a tight wrap. Place peppers on prepared baking sheet.
- Top with an avocado slice (if using), and wrap with the ½ strip of bacon. You may have to gently stretch the bacon piece to make a tight wrap. Place peppers on prepared crisper tray or air fryer basket with the seam side down.
- Bake in preheated air fryer for 20 minutes or until bacon is fully cooked and crispy. Remove from air fryer and set aside for 5-10 minutes for cheese to settle.
- Cheddar cheese or Monterey Jack are great options for this recipe.
- Cooking time will vary depending on type of air fryer but 20 minutes is a good starting time. Air fry until bacon is cooked through. Broiling for 5 minutes will assure a crispy golden brown top.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
- Reheat in the oven on low broil and bottom rack for 5 minutes or until warmed through.
The information shown is an estimate provided for your convenience by an online calculator. It should not be considered as a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our complete Nutritional Information Disclaimer.
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This post was originally published September 2017 but has since been updated to include helpful information.