3-Ingredient Jalapeno Poppers Recipe

Make these three-ingredient jalapeño poppers that are stuffed with cream cheese and chicken sausage (and crisped to absolute perfection), and you'll discover what an amazing dish you can prepare in under 20 minutes. Jalapeño poppers are typically associated with frozen food aisles and greasy bar food. But this three-ingredient recipe that's brought to you by food blogger and photographer Ksenia Prints of At the Immigrant's Table is going to change your opinion of this app.

First off, our jalapeño poppers are low-carb and devoid of any coating or pesky bread crumbs that hide that delicious, spicy flavor. Second, they are stuffed with a filling of sausage and cream cheese, which is the perfect balance of salty and creamy. Lastly, they can be made in either the air fryer or the oven — we've got you covered with both methods!

Whether you cook them in the air fryer or the oven, making jalapeño poppers at home is easy, fast, and so much fun. This is the perfect snack for game night or simply the next time you're craving something special.

Gather three ingredients to prepare these jalapeño poppers

With only three ingredients, these are going to be the easiest and most satisfying jalapeño poppers you've ever prepared. Naturally spicy and filled to perfection with sausage and cream cheese, these little poppers will have you hooked within the first bite, so you'll likely want to keep these ingredients on hand at all times.

All you'll need to make them are fresh jalapeños, cream cheese (low-fat or full-fat, as you wish), and sausage. We love making these with chicken sausage, but any sausage you like will do.

Keep in mind that jalapeños vary in their level of spiciness from one pepper to the next. That means that while the first jalapeño popper may feel mild and satisfying, the next one may pack a punch of heat — so keep the soda or cold beer nearby.

Clean the jalapeño peppers

First, you'll need to clean the jalapeño peppers. Now, this doesn't just mean washing them with water. (Although, of course you'll want to start with that.) Cleaning the peppers implies removing all the membranes and seeds from inside the peppers.

To get started, you'll slice the jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise. Then, working with a paring knife or spoon, scrape or cut out the membrane and seeds from all the pepper halves.

We definitely recommend wearing gloves, or make absolutely sure you wash your hands immediately after cleaning the peppers. Avoid any contact with your eyes or face while working with raw jalapeño peppers. While some people can have a really bad skin reaction to the natural oils in spicy peppers, at the very least, it will burn tremendously — so it's better to be safe than sorry!

Make the sausage and cream cheese mixture

The filling is made out of two ingredients only: a good sausage of your choice and cream cheese. We use chicken sausage for these jalapeño poppers, but feel free to opt for Italian sausage or any sausage you like best. Just make sure it's diced or crumbled before proceeding.

The sausage provides the protein and flavor to this delicious, low-carb appetizer. The cream cheese adds creaminess and cheesiness, and it binds everything together.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cream cheese and chopped or crumbled sausage. Stir well with a spatula until the mixture is fully combined.

Fill the jalapeño poppers with stuffing

Let's get those gloves back on, because it's time to handle raw jalapeños again! Using a spoon, fill the jalapeño halves with the sausage and cream cheese mixture. Don't worry about flattening the filling — we actually want you to create little mounds that rise above the jalapeño halves. The key to juicy, delicious jalapeño poppers is a good, hefty dose of stuffing which will melt slightly as well as counterbalance the spiciness of the peppers.

Cook the jalapeño poppers in the air fryer

Now that your jalapeño poppers are filled, it's time to send them for a some time in the air fryer (or the oven, if you prefer — read on for that instruction).

Set the air fryer to 375 F. After a few minutes of preheating, arrange the filled jalapeños halves in the air fryer basket, and drizzle them with oil or spray them with oil spray. Cook the jalapeño poppers in the air fryer for 10 minutes. The jalapeño poppers are ready when the peppers have started to brown and the cream cheese sausage mixture is fully cooked. Remove the poppers to a plate. 

Depending on the size of your air fryer, you may only be able to fit a few jalapeño halves at a time, so you'll need to repeat the cooking process with the remaining poppers. Make sure there are no overlapping jalapeños, as it will prevent the poppers from developing a nice texture.

How to make oven-baked jalapeño poppers

But what to do if you don't have an air fryer? Well, you're in luck, because our three-ingredient jalapeño poppers can easily become oven-baked jalapeño poppers.

If you're baking them in the oven, preheat it to 375 F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or a reusable silicone mat. Once the jalapeño poppers have been stuffed, arrange the halves on a baking sheet, and drizzle them with oil or spray with oil spray. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Don't wait for the poppers to cool — serve them immediately while they are still nice and warm.

Serve the jalapeño poppers immediately

After less than 30 minutes of work, you have freshly made, spicy, cheesy, and gooey jalapeño poppers ready to enjoy. Serve the jalapeño poppers immediately with your choice of dipping sauce: sour cream, tzatziki, or even ranch dressing are all great choices. Anything cooling that helps offset the spiciness of the peppers will work.

We love eating these poppers for a light lunch with a salad or rice and beans, or as an appetizer during game night or movie night. Pair these jalapeño poppers with a cold beer or a soda of your choice. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container for four days, however, they will not retain their crispness once reheated.

3-Ingredient Jalapeno Poppers Recipe
5 from 15 ratings
Make these three-ingredient jalapeño poppers that are crisped to perfection, and you'll discover what an amazing dish you can prepare in under 20 minutes.
Prep Time
7
minutes
Cook Time
10
minutes
Servings
16
Jalapeño poppers
jalapeño poppers on a plate
Total time: 17 minutes
Ingredients
  • 8 jalapeño peppers
  • 1 (6-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 6 ounces sausage, shredded or chopped
Directions
  1. Preheat the air fryer to 375 F for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. While wearing gloves, cut the jalapeño peppers in half lengthwise, and remove the membrane and seeds.
  3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the cream cheese and sausage. Stir well with a spatula until fully combined.
  4. Using a spoon, fill the jalapeño halves with the sausage and cream cheese mixture.
  5. Place the filled jalapeños halves into the air fryer basket. Drizzle them with oil, or spray with oil spray.
  6. Cook the jalapeño poppers in the air fryer for 10 minutes, until they start to brown and the cream cheese sausage mixture is fully cooked. Remove to a plate, and repeat in batches, if necessary.
  7. Serve the jalapeño poppers immediately with your choice of dipping sauce.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 184
Total Fat 16.8 g
Saturated Fat 7.6 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 51.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.6 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 1.9 g
Sodium 313.8 mg
Protein 6.2 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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