Now that we are in the middle of football season, we thought we would share one of our favorite game day appetizers that we make in the Air Fryer, Jalapeno Popper Bites.
As much as we love our Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers and our Jalapeno Popper Dip, this appetizer is one of our favorites. Crunchy and cheesy bite size balls filled with bits of bacon, diced jalapeños green onions, and cheese. Then they are rolled into small balls and coated with Panko breadcrumbs and air fried until golden brown.
And the best part of all, when you are ready to serve them there are no utensils required! Simply pick up the bites and pop them in your mouth. Or, if you are like many of my friends, dip them in Ranch Dressing or Chipotle Mayo before taking the first bite.
How to Make Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites
The first step in making this delicious appetizer is to dice the jalapeños. This recipe requires a cup of diced peppers.
However, it is up to you whether or not that you want to remove the ribs and seeds. This is where the majority of the heat is located. So if you want a milder taste, be sure to remove them. On the contrary, if you like it hot, keep them all!
Next, dice up your cooked bacon and green onions. When it comes to the green onions be sure to use both the white and green sections.
Now mix the jalapeno peppers, bacon, and green onion with the softened cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese. Add in the spices and mix the jalapeno popper bites mixture until well incorporated. Set aside.
Next, line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using a small cookie scoop, place the mixture in your hands and roll into small, 1-2 inch balls. Set on the prepared baking sheet.
Then repeat until the mixture has been completely transformed into jalapeno popper bites. Now it is time to prepare the dredging station.
You will need three shallow bowls to make a dredging station. In the first bowl add the flour. Then in the second bowl, whisk together the egg and milk.
Finally, in the third bowl add the Panko breadcrumbs. This will become the exterior crunchy coating when you cook your Air Fryer Jalapeno Popper Bites.
Working one at a time, dip each ball in the flour, then egg mixture, and then coat it entirely in the breadcrumbs. If you want to have an extra crispy coating, dip the Panko coated balls back in the egg mixture and coat with another layer of breadcrumbs.
Pat the breadcrumbs lightly so that they adhere. Then place the balls in the Air Fryer basket that has been sprayed with baking spray or lined with parchment paper.
If you choose parchment paper, there are several brands that make pre-cut sizes that are designed for Air Fryer Baskets. However, you can also cut a piece of parchment from a standard roll as well.
Working in batches, place the Jalapeno Popper Bites in a preheated Air Fryer until golden brown. After you remove the basket allow the bites to sit for 3-5 minutes so that they firm up before transferring them to a serving plate.
Serve as a stand alone appetizer or with your favorite dipping sauce. We like to dip our Jalapeno Popper Bites in Ranch dressing, Chipotle Mayo and Yum-Yum sauce.
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Air Fryer Jalapeño Popper Bites
- 1 cup Jalapeños diced (approximately 4 medium jalapeños)
- 12 slices bacon cooked and diced
- 1/2 cup green onions diced
- 8 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
- 2 cups sharp Cheddar Cheese shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 2 cups Panko Breadcrumbs
- 3 eggs large
- 1/2 cup flour
- 2 tbsp milk
- Ranch Dressing Sour Cream mixed with Smoked Paprika, Marinara Sauce, Yum-Yum Sauce
- In a medium mixing bowl add softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar, jalapeños, scallions, chopped bacon, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper and mix until incorporated.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Scoop and roll the mixture into 1.5-2-inch balls and place on the baking sheet.
- In a small, shallow bowl add the flour. In another small, shallow bowl whisk together eggs and milk. Place breadcrumbs in a third shallow bowl.
- Roll a jalapeño ball in the flour, dip it in the egg mixture, and then roll it in the breadcrumbs. Repeat this process with all of your balls.
- Spray the basket of your air fryer with cooking spray and/or parchment paper and preheat to 400°F.
- Line your air fryer basket with the bites, being sure to leave room between each one. Air Fry for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let the bites sit for a few minutes before removing them from the air fryer basket.
- Repeat with the remaining bites.
- Serve with dipping sauce of your choice if desired.
Recipe provided by Make Your Meals