I've made a ton of stuffed jalapenos here on the blog, love them! My no-heat jalapeno plant is still ~very~ happy and truly overachieving... So I decided to treat myself to some Air Fryer Poppers for lunch one day. This started me thinking, with so many recipes and variations out there, what's the difference between a stuffed 'peno and a popper? To me, it comes down to one thing, cream cheese. We can make a stuffed pepper with anything we'd like, but add a little cream cheese to a jalapeno, and it's a party:@) Here's what I do to make poppers that are a tad healthier and a tad lighter in calories, yet still taste great! No breading, no deep frying, and this will work with an air fryer, or in the oven if you don't have one (although the oven might take a little longer to bake.)
I used my ♥Instant Pot with the Mealthy Air Fryer Lid.
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
- Preheat air fryer at 400 degrees while preparing peppers.
- Slice peppers in half lengthwise. Remove seeds and membrane if desired. A melon baller works great!
- Place on air fryer rack cut side up. Bake at 400 degrees for 3-4 minutes. 3 if you like them a little firmer, 4 softer.
- Remove from air fryer, place cut side down on paper towel to drain, and allow to cool until you can handle them.
- At this point I added some tin foil to my baking rack, I didn't want cheese to melt all over...
- Mix softened cream cheese with other shredded cheeses if desired, I like cheddar. Spread the cheese inside the pepper.
- Add protein of choice if desired, I added some small diced leftover buffalo chicken. (You could mix the meat in with the cheese too, either or.)
- Top with more shredded cheese.
- Sprinkle with panko or regular bread crumbs if desired. I did not use them this time.
- Bake at 400 degrees for about 3 more minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Serve with bleu cheese or ranch dressing, hot sauce, celery sticks, etc.
Let's use what the garden gifts us and have a happy day:@)