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Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites

Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites are the sassier little sister to Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers. These bite-sized morsels are just as creamy, crunchy, spicy, and flavorful as the original but easier to make AND easier to eat.

High angle shot of a bowl of jalapeno popper bites.

WHAT ARE AIR FRYER JALAPENO POPPER BITES?

These Jalapeno Popper Bites are morsels of creamy, spicy, crunchy goodness! They take all the best bits of jalapeno poppers and condense them into convenient little snacks that are perfect for munching while you watch your favorite sporting event or hang with friends.

They’re super easy to make in your air fryer and they’re healthy enough to eat as often as you like without feeling guilty!

To make traditional jalapeno poppers, you first have to mix the filling, fill the halved jalapeno peppers with it, wrap the filled halves in bacon, and deep fry them. Even if you cook them in the air fryer, you still have to do the same mixing, filling, and wrapping.

Using this simplified Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites recipe, you mix all of the filling ingredients, including the bacon and diced jalapenos together.

This cream cheese mixture is then formed into balls, which are then coated with seasoned flour, egg, and panko. Pop these coated balls in the air fryer to be air fried to crunchy, golden brown perfection.

The result is an easy air fryer snack that looks and tastes great.

High angle shot of a bowl of jalapeno popper bites with the air fryer in the background.

Why you’ll love air fryer jalapeno popper bites

These Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites have all the same ingredients as traditional jalapeno poppers, but they’re chopped up and mixed together. They’re both easier to assemble AND easier to eat.

Deep-fried jalapeno poppers are delicious, but they’re also loaded with fat and messy to make. This recipe replaces the oil with rapidly circulated. Plus, you won’t end up with oil splattered all over your stove.

The air fryer cooks these babies until they’re crispy on all sides—but still tender and creamy inside! By using this cooking method you save calories compared to traditional deep-fried jalapeño poppers, and a whole lot of cleanup.

With all the flavors and crunch of traditional jalapeno poppers, these bites are sure to be a hit.

The Ingredients You Need

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

These Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites have all the creamy, salty, spicy flavor and the addictive crunch of jalapeno poppers, but they’re all mixed up and made into little bite size balls.  Here’s what you need:

  • Shredded cheddar cheese—I like to use a sharp white cheddar, which provides tons of flavor.
  • Cream cheese—Use the brick-style cream cheese rather than whipped. It will hold up better to the mixing and cooking.
  • Jalapeños—Take the seeds out and mince them. You might want to wear gloves while you do it!
  • Bacon—Mmmm bacon.
  • Minced garlic—Fresh garlic adds great flavor to the mix.
  • Eggs—Eggs will help the coatings stick.
  • All-purpose flour—This will be seasoned and used to coat the bites.
  • Cornstarch—This helps create a crunchy crust.
  • Onion powder—For flavor, of course.
  • Garlic powder—More flavor!
  • Cayenne pepper—A little spicy kick.
  • Panko—These Japanese style breadcrumbs are lighter and crunchier than “regular” breadcrumbs. They make a great crunchy coating for these jalapeno poppers bites.
  • Oil—Be sure to use a non-aerosol spray or just brush regular cooking oil on using a pastry or basting brush.

How to Make Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites

For the complete list of ingredients with quantities and detailed prep and cooking instructions, please see the recipe card that appears at the end of this post.

These Jalapeno Popper Bites are even easier to make than Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers. Here’s how:

  1. Mix the shredded cheese, cream cheese, jalapeños, bacon, and minced garlic.
  2. Use a spoon or a cookie scoop to make 18 portions of the filling. and roll them into balls.
  3. Freeze the balls on a baking sheet for an hour.
  4. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and seasonings in one bowl. Put whisked eggs and panko in two separate bowls.
  5. Dredge the balls first in flour, then dunk in the eggs, then coat with the panko.
  6. Freeze again on a baking sheet for 20 minutes.
  7. Coat the balls with oil (either using a non-aerosol cooking oil spray or using a brush).
  8. Cook in the air fryer until golden brown. You’ll likely need to do 2 batches in order to put them in a single layer with enough room around them for even browning.
  9. Remove, let cool briefly, and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce.

Tips for Success

To really get these poppers super crispy, you’ll want to dip them in the eggs before coating with the panko breadcrumbs.

Some people like their popper bites spicy; others enjoy them mild. Customize them to your taste by adding more jalapeño peppers or different types of peppers depending on how hot you’d like your popper bites to be.

Overhead shot of a bowl of jalapeno popper bites with sliced jalapenos.

You can create your own versions of these Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites by adding different ingredients to the filling. Try adding crabmeat or using a different type of cheese.

You can also change up your Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers by serving different dipping sauces alongside. Try anything from Sriracha Ranch Dressing to Cucumber Raita!

What to serve them with

Serve these on game day, at parties, after school, or any you want a delicious snack or appetizer. Your friends and family will come back again and again for more of these flavorful bites!

Jalapeño poppers are traditionally served with a side of Ranch Dressing for dipping. I like to use Blue Cheese Dressing, Sriracha Ranch, or Buffalo Sauce. BBQ Sauce is another great option.

But let’s be honest, these delicious jalapeno popper bites don’t even need a sauce because they’re so full of flavor on their own.

Close up shot of a hand holding a jalapeno popper bite that has been bitten in half so you can see the inside.

More air fryer snacks you’ll love

If you love making snacks or appetizers in your air fryer, be sure to check out these great air fryer snack recipes: Air Fryer Empanadas, Air Fryer Taquitos, Air Fryer Wontons, Arepas con Queso, Air Fryer Onion Rings, Air Fryer Korean Fried Chicken, and Air Fryer Sesame Chicken.

Yield: Makes 18

Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites

Low angle shot of a bowl of jalapeno popper bites.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup panko
  • Oil for coating (you can use non-aerosol cooking oil spray or use cooking oil and a pastry brush)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, mix the shredded cheese, cream cheese, jalapeños, bacon, and minced garlic.
  2. Use a spoon or a cookie scoop to make 18 portions of the filling. and roll them into balls. Arrange the balls on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer.
  3. Freeze the balls on the baking sheet for an hour.
  4. Mix the flour, cornstarch, and seasonings in one bowl. Put whisked eggs and panko in two separate bowls.
  5. Dredge the balls first in flour, then dunk in the eggs, then coat with the panko. Put the coated balls back on the baking sheet.
  6. Freeze again on a baking sheet for 20 minutes.
  7. Coat the balls with oil (either using a non-aerosol cooking oil spray or using a brush).
  8. Cook at in the air fryer at 340°F for 7 minutes or until golden brown. You'll likely need to do 2 batches in order to put them in a single layer with enough room around them for even browning.
  9. Remove, let cool briefly, and enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce.

Notes

1. You can add other ingredients to make variations on these. Try crabmeat, chopped, cooked shrimp, or additional spices to the cream cheese mixture.

2. Serve these with your favorite dipping sauce—Ranch Dressing, Sriracha Ranch, Buffalo Sauce, Barbecue Sauce, or just pop them on their own.

Nutrition Information

Yield

18

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 132Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 3gCholesterol 37mgSodium 195mgCarbohydrates 11gFiber 1gSugar 1gProtein 5g

Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and manner of food preparation. Nutrition may vary based on methods of preparation, origin, freshness of ingredients, and other factors.

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By on March 24th, 2022

About Robin Donovan


Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 40 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners, 5 Ingredient Cooking for Two, Sushi at Home, The Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and other popular publications.

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4 thoughts on “Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites”

  1. What is the air fryer temperature? The instructions on your “card” don’t seem complete. They stop at putting panko in a bowl. These look really good though!

    Reply
    • Oh my gosh, you are right! I’m so sorry about that! I just fixed the recipe card and all the instructions are there now! Thank you so much for letting me know.

      Reply
    • I’m so sorry! I fixed the card. All the instructions are there now. Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

      Reply

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