Looking for a quick and easy hot low carb appetizer or snack? Look no further! These ultimate crispy Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers are stuffed with a cheesy herb filling, then wrapped in salami and air fried for a toasty hot keto snack. (Oven directions and video also included in the recipe card)
Whether you are hosting a gathering or tailgating before the game, these spicy pepper poppers are a huge crowd pleaser. These cheesy salami wrapped jalapeños have only a handful of ingredients and take about 6 to 8 minutes in the air fryer. What is not to like about that?!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Jalapeños are a mild pepper, and they rank at 2500 to 8000 on The Scoville scale. This scale is a measurement of the heat of chili peppers and other spicy foods. To put this in perspective a sweet bell pepper has zero on the Scoville heat units. However, a Ghost Pepper is 1,000,000 + on the Scoville scale. If you do not want the heat, exchange Jalapeños with sweet mini peppers like our keto appetizer for Feta Stuffed Mini Peppers.
- Cream cheese- we used a light cream cheese. If, you have dairy issues or need to keep it vegan there are many vegan cream cheeses on the market. We have tried the brand Violife Just Like Cream Cheese before, and it is not too bad for a vegan option.
- Grated cheese of choice - we used a Colby Jack, but a cheddar, Gouda, fontina, asiago or even a mozzarella all work well. I think any good melting cheese would work fine in here because the cream cheese is so mild. If dairy gives you tummy trouble, try exchanging out the grated cheese for a sprinkle of nutritional yeast instead.
- Salami – yep, we did it! Air fryer salami wrapped Jalapeño poppers rock. So much better than bacon wrapped Jalapeño poppers. Bacon takes a long time to get crispy and let the fat render down. Salami is quick to cook, gets crispy and adds a delicious flavor to this hot appetizer.
- Seasonings are optional but add a nice herb flavor to the mix. Green onions, garlic powder, oregano, salt, and pepper to taste.
When and How to Pick Jalapenos?
When choosing Jalapeño peppers, try to pick ones that are straight, so they are easier to cut and stay flat during the air frying process. Jalapeños should be firm, green and smell fresh just like in the Autumn Kale Salad with a Jalapeño maple dressing recipe. Avoid peppers that have white lines on the pepper.
Do you see the jalapeno in the wooden bowl with white lines? Did you know these white lines are indicative that the plant has been under stress during the growing process? These lines may mean that the Jalapeño is older, and it will be hotter and spicier than you may want.
Chili Pepper Do’s and Don’ts
When working with chili peppers, it is best to wear gloves, especially if you have sensitive skin. We find that even if we wash our hands well, there sometimes can be residual chili pepper oil on your hands. Then, you go and wipe your eye or someplace lower (much lower) and oh my word, ayaaah – the burn! Just wear gloves and you can avoid this whole mishap. Do not be touching your face or eyes after touching chili peppers.
How to Prepare
- Slice Jalapeños in half
- Remove the seeds and the white pith inside to reduce the spice and heat level.
- Mix the cream cheese herby filling
- Slice the salami
- Stuff herby cream cheese mixture into the cavity of the Jalapeño
- Wrap salami slices around stuffed Jalapeño
- Air fry for 6 – 8 minutes on 375 Degrees F (190 degrees C) or until toasty, crispy, cheese is melted, and the Jalapeño is tender.
Is an Air Fryer a Convection Oven?
An air fryer is actually a mini convection oven that can fit on your counter. There is no frying that actually goes on. However, the very hot air is circulated by a fan and this speeds up the cooking process.
We have a have an original Cosori air fryer toaster oven and can fit approximately 10 air fryer Jalapeño poppers on our baking tray. Yours may be different. However, we lined the baking tray with parchment paper for easy cleanup. In addition, we chose the baking tray instead of the air fryer tray as the cheese can start to ooze out over the edges an on to the air fryer. The last thing we want to be doing is more cleaning!
Differences in Equipment
Every brand of air fryer is a little different. Some may only hold a few pepper poppers at a time, and some can hold many. Also, the temperature and cooking time may vary according to your model. Our suggestion is to set the air fry temperature at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) but start checking on them after 5 minutes. Keep a close on them as they can go from cold to done in a matter of minutes.
We made a couple of batches. Both batches were both done between the 6-to-8-minute mark. The goal is for the salami to get crispy, cheese to get melty and the Jalapeño to get tender.
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
You sure can! There are 2 different ways to do this. You can stuff and wrap your Jalapeño poppers with salami and then store them in the refrigerator covered for up to 3 days. Then, just air fry when your guests arrive so they are toasty hot.
Alternatively, prepare and air fry your Jalapeño popper appetizers in advance. Then, allow them to cool and then freeze if a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. You will want to lay them flat and not touching so they do not stick together.
Preheat your air fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Then, place the prepared frozen Jalapeño poppers in your air fryer basket or linen air fryer baking tray (if you don’t like a lot of clean up). Air fry Jalapeños between 6 to 8 minutes or until the cheese is melty and the topping is crisp.
First make sure you are wearing gloves as chili peppers can cause skin irritation. Next, slice in half and remove all the seeds and the white pith as this is where all the heat is. Additionally, you can rinse the Jalapeños well to get any remaining oil off the chili pepper. Allow them to dry well before using in your recipe.
Crowd Pleasing Appetizers
Air fried Jalapeño poppers are quite simple to throw together. If you are hosting a gathering, be sure to also try our Savory Baked Brie in Puff Pastry, Spiced Nut Mix , Feta Stuffed Mini Peppers and our Traditional Baba ghanoush or you can consult our appetizer section to see if something suits your fancy.
Keto Appetizer Recipes
Our air fryer has been life changing. It does not take long to heat up and you don’t heat up the whole house like you do with an oven. It’s fast and the best part you can make everything healthier and without deep frying.
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Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers
- air fryer
- 5 whole Jalapeños cut in half and seeds and pith removed
- 4 ounces Cream Cheese light
- ½ cup Colby jack or shredded cheese of choice
- 2 green onions sliced green parts only
- 1 teaspoon Oregano dried (optional)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder dried (optional)
- salt to taste
- 10 slices Salami cut in half
- ground black pepper to taste (optional)
Air Fryer Instructions
- Preheat air fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
Prepare the Jalapeno Poppers
- Wear gloves! Cut each jalapeno in half. Scoop out the seeds and white pith. (If you want to make sure they are mild, go the extra step and rinse and dry well too to remove any excess chili oils).
- In a medium bowl, add cream cheese, Colby Jack or shredded cheese of choice, green onions, garlic powder, oregano and salt to taste and mix well. Set Aside.
- Stack a few slices of salami together. Cut off a small portion of the edges on either side (these are little snacks for the chef). Then cut each salami slice in half to make it easier to place on the poppers. You should have a total of 20 cut in half slices or 2 salami rectangular slices for each jalapeno. You can just leave the salami slice whole but we found this difficult to wrap around the popper.
- Stuff each halved jalapeno with a little of the cream cheese mixture to fill. Do not overfill as this can cause a big mess while cooking. Wrap 2 of the pieces of sliced salami around each stuffed jalapeno pepper. Wrap tightly, so that they cross over in the back and no toothpicks are needed.
- Place prepared poppers in a single layer in the air fryer basket or a lined baking tray (with parchment paper) for the air fryer. Season with freshly ground pepper if desired.We have a Cosori air fryer oven toaster style model. We used a lined baking tray (to minimize any cheesy mess) and could fit 10 jalapeno poppers on the sheet at a time. (As you can see in our recipe video, we actually doubled this recipe and air fried in 2 separate batches. The first batch was gone in a nanosecond. BOYS! - need we say more)
- Air Fry jalapenos for 6 to 8 minutes or until the cheese is melty, the salami is crispy and the jalapeno is tender. Every air fryer cooks a little differently. We highly suggest you start looking at your poppers at the 5 minute mark and keep a close eye on them because they go from cold to cooked in a matter of minutes. Some air fryers may need longer time to cook as well. Your goal is toasty melty cheese, crisp salami and a tender jalapeno.
- Enjoy while toasty hot!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F or 176 degree C
- Line baking sheet and or spray with non-stick spray. Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until jalapenos are fork tender.