Deep Fried Jalapeno Poppers

This recipe is all about simplicity and flavor. Fresh jalapenos are hollowed out and stuffed with a blend of cream cheese and cheddar, then coated in a light batter and crispy panko breadcrumbs. Serve these golden beauties fresh out of the fryer with a side of cool ranch or tangy sour cream to balance the heat.

And homemade jalapeno poppers are super affordable. Even if you’re buying the jalapenos out of season, these will be cheap to make. Go buy yourself something nice 😉.

close up of finished jalapeno poppers

Deep Fried Jalapeno Poppers

Stuffed with cream cheese and cheddar then battered and fried until their golden brown, this is a delicious appetizer recipe you'll be all too happy to eat for dinner.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Serving Size 4 people

Ingredients 

  • 2 dozen jalapeño peppers look for wide peppers
  • 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • ¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying

Instructions 

  • Prep the jalapenos. Wear gloves while handling peppers. Hollow peppers using a sharp paring knife or special pepper tool.
    Two-step image showing the process of hollowing out jalapeño peppers. On the left, a pile of whole jalapeños with one being cut open; on the right, seeds being removed from a jalapeño with a coring tool.
  • Make the filling. Combine cream cheese and cheddar cheeses with a fork until they are well-mixed.
  • Stuff the peppers. Stuff the filling in with a spoon, pressing to make sure there are no hollow spaces.
    A person's hands filling a halved jalapeño pepper with a creamy cheese mixture over a bowl containing the filling.
  • Prep for breading. Make the batter and breading. Combine the eggs and milk with a fork. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, panko, salt, and pepper. Dip in the batter, then breading. Repeat. Peppers should have a thick, sturdy coating of breading.
  • Bread the peppers. Dip in the egg mixture, then flour mixture. Repeat. Peppers should have a thick, sturdy coating of breading.
  • Fry. Heat oil in deep fryer, Dutch oven, or skillet until 375°. Fry for 3-4 minutes, turning once, until golden brown. Remove to paper towels.
  • Serve. Serve immediately, with ranch or sour cream.

Notes

If your peppers are very large, fry at 340 for 6 minutes to adequately cook them.  
Don’t bake them! You’re missing the point! If you don’t want to deep fry, I’d recommend a totally different style of popper: cut the peppers in half lengthwise, fill with the filling, wrap in a skinny piece of bacon, and bake or air fry at 375 until the peppers are soft.

I hope you love this appetizer recipe and it becomes one of your favorite things to make in your deep fryer.

You’ll need the following for this delicious appetizer:

  • jalapeño peppers (fat, short peppers are the easiest to hollow out)
  • cream cheese 
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • milk
  • eggs
  • all-purpose flour
  • panko breadcrumbs
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying
  • deep fryer, dutch oven, or deep skillet for straining
  • tongs
  • mixing bowls
  • paper towels

🥫 Storage instructions

Any leftovers will keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for 3-4 days

To freeze this recipe, just pop ’em on a baking sheet and freeze until solid, then transfer to a freezer bag. Deep fry from frozen and add a minute or two to the cooking time

🔍 FAQs

Can this recipe be baked?

Um…. I guess. They won’t be as good. If you don’t want to deep fry, I’d actually recommend a totally different style of popper: cut the peppers in half lengthwise, fill with the filling, wrap in a skinny piece of bacon and bake or air fry at 375 until the peppers are soft.

Are jalapeno poppers keto-friendly?

These are not. Too much breading. (The type I described above is, though.)

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

Watch this video if you need help removing the inside of the peppers with a knife:

  • Make sure to use short, fat peppers for this recipe. They are much easier to hollow out and fill than long, skinny peppers.
  • The batter and breading should be thick and sturdy. This will ensure that you get a thick, crispy coating that won’t fall off when you fry.

📘 More deep fryer Recipes

🍽 More recipes for jalapeno season

Deep Fried Jalapeno Poppers

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2 Comments

  1. Oops!!! In Step 3 you stated (in part) “cook the chicken for 3-4 minutes”. I think you meant fry the Jalapenos. Easy mistake…