let's get spicy!
I don't know why but I am all about eating appetizers lately. I think everyone has that one go-to item that they crave at odd times. Once a month (ugh) or while tipsy or while high (don't judge)...but that one thing that just hits the spot. For me, it's a simple, no brainer - jalapeño poppers. Specifically, Jack in the Box cheddar ones. Well, guess what? Chicago doesn't have Jack in the Boxs, which is fine because it's well...Jack in the Box. But when you need some jalapeño poppers in your life, you need them fast! Now I know that there are cream cheese lovers out there and I don't judge, but for me, the sharp cheddar is the perfect contrast for the spicy jalapeño. Well the good news is that you can buy them anywhere now and keep them in the freezer for those emergency situations. Now, with the air fryer? It couldn't get more simple.
Today, that's what I wanted but I also really wanted to keep on the low carb train so I decided to make fresh ones and instead of breading them, I wrapped them in bacon. It's a classic combo and has always been a great addition to any keto lover's repertoire of recipes. I wanted to adapt it to be able to cook it quickly in the air fryer. After a few attempts with the pre-heating and the timing, I finally got the perfect recipe! It all starts with the freshest and best jalapeños!
Beautiful right? Once you wash and dry them, the next thing you need to do is carefully split them down the middle so that you have a good surface in which to put the filling in.
Once you have split them, I use a small teaspoon to carefully hollow them out, removing the seeds and membranes.
Next, SUPER important, is to wash your hands REALLY well. Like scrub because I have found that when you really try to not rub or scratch your eye, you immediately have to right away. Every. Single. Time!
Once that's all done, you are ready to make these delicious nuggets of yumminess! The filling is super simple and you can customize it anyway you want. You can even add in ground spicy sausage or shredded chicken or whatever you have...they are the perfect vehicle to incorporate lots of leftovers from your fridge.
I went simple with my filling because I was in a hurry to eat them! Normally, I would just stick to cheddar cheese but for all my few readers out there who love their cream cheese, I decided to do a combo of the two.
You can also tweak the filling how you like it but I had green onions on hand and I always love garlic in everything.
Once you have the filling put tougher, simply fill the jalapeños - you want it to be full but not so full that it will ooze out of the bacon while cooking.
Once the filling is in, you want to wrap the bacon around it and I use a toothpick to secure it close but honestly, I don't know if was really needed. If you place them in the air fryer basket, seam side down, it should cook in place and be fine. I found that cutting one bacon slice in half was a good size for each one.
Don't they look delicious?? At this point, you could even put the assembled poppers on a tray and freeze them. Once they are individually frozen, just put them in a freezer ziplock back and keep them on hand to throw in the air fryer for when you are craving them. Anything that you make yourself is bound to be better tasting and better for you than the processed, frozen ones you get at the grocery store!
If you can't wait like me, then just go for it! Literally 14 minutes later, you have deliciousness ready to be enjoyed with an ice cold beer!
Bacon Wrapped Jalapeños Poppers
6 medium to large jalapeños, split down the middle, hollowed of seeds and membrane
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 green onion, chopped finely
1 tsp garlic powder
6 slices of bacon, cut in halves for 12 pieces
freshly ground pepper, to taste
Mix the cheeses, green onions and garlic powder together thoroughly.
Stuff the filling into each of the jalapeños so that they are full but not bursting.
Preheat the Air Fryer to 320F for 5 minutes.
While it is pre-heating, wrap each of the jalapeños halves in bacon and secure with a toothpick (or place seam side down on a plate) until it is time to cook in the Air Fryer.
Once the Air Fryer is ready, place the jalapeños in the basket so that they are not touching.
Cook at 320F for 14 minutes, carefully flipping the jalapeños at the half way mark.
Carefully transfer the cooked poppers to a serving plate and serve warm!
Easy, delicious and good enough to serve at any party!!!