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Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers

These air fryer jalapeño poppers scream “perfect game-day snack.”

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 medium to large jalapeños (about 1 pound total), halved & seeded
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 5 ounces sliced bacon (about 5)
  • 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray

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INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place 6 ounces cream cheese in a medium bowl and let sit at room temperature until softened, about 45 minutes. (Alternatively, soften by microwaving for about 25 seconds.)
  2. Halve 8 jalapeno lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Grate 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese on the large holes of a box grater (about 1 cup).
  3. Cut 5 ounces sliced bacon crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a medium skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to brown and crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel-lined cutting board. Add 2/3 cup panko breadcrumbs to the bacon grease and stir to combine. Finely chop the bacon, add to the panko, and stir to combine.
  4. Add the cheddar cheese, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 3/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if using), 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper to the bowl of softened cream cheese. Mix with a fork until combined and mostly smoothed.
  5. Heat an air fryer to 400ºF. Fill each jalapeño shell with 1 tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture. The filling should be flush with the rim of the jalapeño. Take each jalapeño and press cream cheese-side down into the panko and bacon mixture. Press any remaining panko mixture onto the jalapeño poppers.
  6. Coat the air fryer tray or basket with cooking spray. Lightly spray the jalapeño poppers with cooking spray. Cooking in batches if needed, placing a single layer of peppers in the basket or tray, leaving about 1/2-inch of space between poppers. Air fry until the filling is hot, the jalapeños are fork tender, and the tops are golden-brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Tent the poppers with aluminum foil if the tops are browning too quickly before the jalapeño poppers are done.

RECIPE NOTES

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Make ahead: Freeze the assembled but uncooked jalapeno poppers in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature before air frying.

NUTRITIONAL INFO

  • Calories591
  • Fat52.6 g (81.0%)
  • Saturated19.3 g (96.5%)
  • Carbs14.8 g (4.9%)
  • Fiber0.7 g (2.9%)
  • Sugars2.3 g
  • Protein15.1 g (30.1%)
  • Sodium597.9 mg (24.9%)

 

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