Spicy fried Jalapeno Poppers are a classic appetizer that everyone wants! Bite into these cheesy poppers for a flavor explosion!
Jalapeno Poppers are one of my favorite go-to appetizer recipes. These little bites of heaven are fried until they are golden brown, and all that cream cheese goodness is melted inside.
The flavors in these poppers are AMAZING. Spicy and cheesy, and just downright addicting! Perfect for people who love a good amount of spice, crunch and cheesy-ness (they’re similar to our Sausage Stuffed Jalapeños).
Unfortunately, these bad boys don’t last long in our home (they’re gone in minutes!) The crispy crust is deep-fried, and will not slip off after you take them out to dry.
How to Make Jalapeno Poppers
Don’t be intimidated by the deep-frying portion of this recipe. It’s super easy – I promise!
FILLING. Start by mixing the cream cheese and shredded cheese in a bowl. After it’s mixed, spoon a few tablespoons of this mixture into the pepper halves.
BREADING. Place the milk, flour, and bread crumbs in small separate bowls. Dip the jalapeños in milk, then flour, then back in milk. Dip the peppers in the bowl with bread crumbs, making sure to coat completely.
If you want to make sure they are extra coated, re-dip in milk and then back in breadcrumbs.
FRY. Heat up the oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Fry each jalapeño popper for a few minutes, or until golden brown. Let the poppers drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
Use an oil that can withstand a 350°F temperature. Canola, peanut, and vegetable oils are all good choices.
SERVE. Make sure to serve them warm with homemade Ranch Dip, or other dipping sauces.
all things jalapeno
Heat levels. There are several varieties of jalapenos, and each one can work in this recipe. However, you want to be careful because they vary in heat levels.
- We chose to use the most common green or TAM chili pepper, which are fairly mild, especially when the membrane and seeds are removed.
- Another popular jalapeno is the red or Huachinango chile peppers. These rank much higher in how hot they are.
Picking peppers. When picking out your peppers, look at their skin. Younger peppers that have clear, smooth, shiny skin are less spicy than older peppers whose drier skin has stress marks, fleck or white lines on it.
You will also want to choose larger jalapenos, so they can hold a good amount of the cream cheese filling.
How to prepare jalapenos
Wear gloves. If you are not used to working with jalapenos, or are using a spicy variety, I recommend wearing gloves. The oils from this vegetable can cause mild skin irritation, to uncomfortable burning. Above all, DO NOT touch your face or eyes.
- Slice the jalapeno lengthwise.
- Once you open the slices, you will notice a membrane with seed. This is where most of the heat comes from.
- For the mildest popper, use a spoon to scrape out all of the membranes and seeds. To increase the heat, leave some of them in.
Blanch the peppers. If you wish to have a softer jalapeno popper, you can blanch them, but it is not necessary. Should you wish to do so, it’s quite easy.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Place the cut and prepared jalapenos in the water for about 90 seconds.
- Remove and add them directly into a bowl of ice water.
- Pat dry before stuffing, coating and frying.
Bread crumbs. Add extra flavor by seasoning the bread crumbs with salt, garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, or onion powder.
Easily switch up the fillings of these Jalapeño Poppers to create different flavors:
- bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers
- mushrooms with goat cheese
- cheddar cheese and ground beef
- crabmeat, green chiles, and mayo
- refried beans and salsa
Alternative cooking methods
Oven. Bake these jalapeno poppers, instead of frying them. Preheat the oven to 400°F and bake for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and the cheese is melted inside.
Air fryer. Turn the air fryer to 375°F. Cook them for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown. Turn them halfway through, so they cook evenly.
The best dipping sauce helps offset the spiciness of the jalapeno. A creamy Ranch Sauce is our favorite. You can also use a Blue Cheese Sauce and Sweet Chili Sauce. Here are a few of our favorites:
STORE. We really recommend that you eat these yummy jalapeño poppers fresh! But if you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Heat them up in the oven at 400° for about 10-15 minutes.
FREEZE. After you have coated the jalapenos, place on a platter, and then in the freezer. Once they are solid, transfer to a freezer Ziploc.
To fry, allow them to sit at room temperature while the oil is heating up. Fry until warm and golden.
These cream cheese poppers are addicting, so don’t say we didn’t warn you. Just be prepared to want them all. 😉
For more appetizers, check out:
- Crockpot Meatballs
- Bacon Wrapped Smokies
- Spinach Puffs
- Southwest Egg Rolls
- Cream Cheese Bean Dip
- Bacon Wrapped Sweet Potato Bites
Jalapeno Poppers Recipe
- 6 oz cream cheese softened
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 10-12 jalapeno peppers halved and seeded
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- vegetable oil for frying
- Mix cream cheese and shredded cheese in a bowl. Spoon a few tablespoons of this mixture into the pepper halves.
- Place milk, flour and bread crumbs in separate bowls. Dip jalapenos in milk, then flour, then back in milk. Dip peppers in bowl with bread crumbs making sure it is all coated. (To make sure they are coated, re-dip in milk and back in breadcrumbs)
- Heat oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Fry jalapeno peppers for a few minutes or until golden brown.
- Let drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Serve warm with ranch or other dipping sauces.