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Air Fried Maple-Bacon Jalapeno Poppers with Goat Cheese

by Lily
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5 from 1 vote

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These poppers are just what you need as delicious finger food! Jalapeno halves are filled with creamy garlic goat cheese, wrapped with crispy, salty bacon, and brushed with sweet maple syrup. Not a fan of spicy food? Worry not! Follow my one trick to make the peppers mild (aside from removing the seeds).

My sister and I were on a dinner date a couple of months ago, and she decided to order jalapeno poppers for us to snack on while we waited for our main course. If you have never had jalapeno poppers before, you are missing out! The tasty blend of flavour you get in each bite is phenomenal! These were stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped with bacon, and oven-fried. We both enjoyed them so much that I knew I had to make them at home but with my own take! Et voilà, we have an air-fried version that has maple syrup and garlic incorporated!

*Good To Know*

  • I’m not too fond of goat cheese. What can I substitute?
    You can swap the goat cheese for regular cream cheese made with cow’s milk and cream.
  • Love the peppers, not the spicy heat! How can I make these mild?
    Removing the seeds and membrane is one part of the process since that is where the spicy oil concentration is. However, these oils can still transfer to the pepper while you work on removing the seeds. So what is the trick to making them mild? After all the peppers are deseeded, place them in a large bowl and add 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Fill the bowl with warm tap water until the peppers are submerged and soak the peppers for 15 minutes up to 1 hour. The longer they soak, the less spicy they become. After soaking time is done, drain the peppers and give them a good rinse with cold water. Now they are ready for the next step.

Ingredients you will need:

  • fresh Jalapeno peppers –  I found large jalapeno peppers at my local supermarket. They were about 4 ½ inches in length. If you can only find small ones (about 2½ inches long), you may need more than 12 peppers, or you can reduce the filling amount by half.
  • soft goat cheese I used unripened (fresh) goat cheese, which resembles the texture of cream cheese but is slightly softer and is usually sold vacuum-sealed in the shape of a log.
  • garlic
  • maple syrup
  • bacon

How to cut and remove seeds from jalapeno peppers

Have you ever rubbed your eyes and regretted it within seconds (blindly) because you forgot that you worked on chili peppers without gloves? Who? Me? … yes, hi! *waves hand* I made that mistake! Don’t be like me. Before you even think about touching that pepper, wear food-safe gloves like these ones! Ok… now that we have THAT out of the way. Let’s get started!

You will need a sharp small paring knife, a small spoon, a cutting board, a large bowl, and a small bowl (to dispose of the seeds).

  1. Place one pepper on your cutting board, and with your knife, carefully split it lengthwise, starting from the tip, and cut all the way to the stem (see picture for reference). Leaving the stem on prevents the filling from spilling out and creates a handle for easier snacking.
  2. Make a slit at the base of the membrane with your knife but be careful not to cut through the pepper.
  3. Use the small spoon to scrape the white membrane and seeds into your small bowl, starting at the tip of the pepper.
  4. Place the pepper into your large bowl and repeat steps #1-4 until all of the peppers are halved and deseeded.

How to mellow out jalapeno peppers

If you enjoy your poppers spicy, you can skip this step

Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar into the bowl containing the peppers, then submerge the peppers with warm tap water (about 4 cups). Stir the peppers in the water/vinegar solution a few times and let them soak for 15 minutes up to 1 hour. The longer you soak them, the less spicy they become. I like mine with a kick so I only soaked them for only 15 minutes. Drain and rinse them with cold water, then pat the peppers dry with paper towels.

Tip

  • You can make peppers less spicy by soaking them in just cold water. To make them completely mellow, adding white vinegar was more effective. The vinegar will not alter the taste of the jalapenos.
  • Omit the maple syrup or replace it with a keto-friendly syrup to make these poppers Keto friendly.

Mix filling and add to bag

Add pressed garlic, maple syrup, and goat cheese to a large mixing bowl. Combine everything and add the filling into a disposable piping bag or a large plastic zip-top bag. Snip the corner with a scissor to create an opening large enough to fit the pepper (about 1/2-inch).

Pipe goat cheese into jalapeno peppers

Pipe a single line of goat cheese filling into each pepper. Don’t worry if there is a slight gap as the cheese will melt to cover it when you air fry the jalapenos. 

Wrap each pepper with bacon

Finally, wrap each pepper with a whole strip of bacon. To do so, lay a strip of bacon on your cutting board. If your bacon strip is a little uneven (like mine), lay the strip with the smallest end closest to you. Start rolling the pepper by wrapping the end around the tip of the pepper first, then roll the bacon diagonally until the whole pepper is wrapped. Trim the end of the bacon if needed.

How to air fry jalapeno poppers

Preheat your air fryer to 325°F (163°C). Place jalapeno poppers with the cheese filling facing up into your air fryer basket. I was able to fit 6 poppers into the basket without overcrowding it. Air fry poppers for 7 minutes, then brush each jalapeno with maple syrup and air fry for another 3 minutes. If you like your bacon a little crispier, air fry the jalapenos for another minute or two. Repeat this step until all the poppers are air fried. 

Enjoy while warm but be careful biting into the filling! Bet you can’t eat just one!

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Air Fried Maple-Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

These poppers are just what you need as delicious finger food! Jalapeno halves are filled with creamy garlic goat cheese, wrapped with crispy, salty bacon, and brushed with sweet maple syrup. Not a fan of spicy food? Worry not! Follow my one trick to make the peppers mild (aside from removing the seeds).
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
soaking time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Yields: 24 poppers

Ingredients

For the poppers

  • 12 large (300 g) fresh jalapeno peppers (4½-inch length), or about 18 jalapeno peppers (2½-inch length)
  • 24 strips (528 g) bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup

To mellow out the jalapeno peppers (optional)

  • ½ cup (118 ml) white vinegar
  • 4 – 5 cups ( L) warm tap water, or until the peppers are submerged

For the filling

  • 1 large log (300 g) soft unripened goat cheese (20% M.F. | 59% Moisture)
  • teaspoons garlic (3 cloves), peeled & pressed or minced
  • 3 teaspoons maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS 

For the jalapeno peppers

  • Place one pepper on your cutting board, and with a small paring knife, carefully split it lengthwise, starting from the tip, and cut all the way to the stem (see picture for reference). Leaving the stem on prevents the filling from spilling out and creates a handle for easier snacking.
  • Make a slit at the base of the membrane with your knife but be careful not to cut through the pepper. Use a small spoon to scrape the white membrane and seeds into a small bowl, starting at the tip of the pepper.
  • Place the pepper into your large bowl and repeat steps #1-3 until all of the peppers are halved and deseeded.

*Optional Step* – To mellow out peppers

  • If you enjoy your poppers spicy, you can skip this step
    Add 1/2 cup of white vinegar into the bowl containing the peppers, then submerge the peppers with warm tap water (about 4 cups). Stir the peppers in the water/vinegar solution a few times and let them soak for 15 minutes up to 1 hour. The longer you soak them, the less spicy they become. Drain and rinse them with cold water, then pat the peppers dry with paper towels.

For the filling

  • Add pressed garlic, maple syrup and goat cheese to a large mixing bowl. Combine everything with a spatula and add the filling into a disposable piping bag or a large plastic zip-top bag. Snip the corner with a scissor to create an opening large enough to fit the pepper (about 1/2-inch).
  • Pipe a single line of goat cheese filling into each pepper. Don’t worry if there is a slight gap as the cheese will melt to cover it when you air fry the jalapenos.

Air fry the peppers

  • At this point depending on how quickly your air fryer heats up, preheat it to 325°F (163°C) or do so once the peppers are wrapped with bacon.
  • Wrap each pepper with a whole strip of bacon. To do so, lay a strip of bacon on your cutting board. If your bacon strip is a little uneven (like mine), lay the strip with the smallest end closest to you. Wrap the bacon end around the tip of the pepper first, then roll the pepper diagonally with the bacon until the whole pepper is covered. Trim the end of the bacon if needed.
  • Place jalapeno poppers with the cheese filling facing up into your air fryer basket. I was able to fit 6 poppers into the basket without overcrowding it. Air fry poppers for 7 minutes, then brush each jalapeno with maple syrup and air fry for another 3 minutes. If you like your bacon a little crispier, air fry the jalapenos for another minute or two. Repeat this step until all the poppers are air fried. Enjoy while warm but be careful biting into the filling! Bet you can’t eat just one!

Video

Category: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Keyword: bacon, goat cheese, jalapeno, jalapeno poppers, maple syrup, quick

Tips

I’m not too fond of goat cheese. What can I substitute?
You can swap the goat cheese for regular cream cheese made with cow’s milk and cream.
Notes:
  • You can make peppers less spicy by soaking them in just cold water. To make them completely mellow, adding white vinegar was more effective. The vinegar will not alter the taste of the jalapenos.
  • Omit the maple syrup or replace it with a keto-friendly syrup to make these poppers Keto friendly.
Your Own Digital Notes
Nutrition Facts
Air Fried Maple-Bacon Jalapeno Poppers
Amount per Serving
Calories
102
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
9
g
14
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Cholesterol
 
15
mg
5
%
Sodium
 
151
mg
7
%
Potassium
 
68
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
3
g
1
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
2
g
2
%
Protein
 
3
g
6
%
Vitamin A
 
84
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
8
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
8
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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