Crispy Deep-Fried Jalapeño Poppers Recipe

Fried jalapeño poppers with shatteringly crisp exteriors, and a melted cream cheese filling.

Photographs: Vicky Wasik

After trying some of the highest-rated jalapeño popper recipes online with disastrous results, we set to work developing a method that won't let you down. These poppers have a crisp golden crust and soft melted cheese interior—all in the perfect bite-size package.

Why this recipe works:

  • A double-layer dredging of milk, then flour, then more milk, and finally bread crumbs, creates a crispy crust that won't slip off the poppers.
  • A seasoned cream cheese filling melts beautifully without expanding and rupturing, as many other cheeses do.

Recipe Facts

Active: 40 mins
Total: 40 mins
Serves: 30 poppers

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  • 1 pound jalapenos

  • 1 pound (16 ounces) cream cheese

  • 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 2 limes

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Kosher salt

  • 2 cups whole milk

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups fine breadcrumbs

  • 1 to 2 quarts vegetable or canola oil, for frying

  • 1 batch roasted tomato salsa or your favorite salsa, for serving


  1. Wearing gloves if you have them, trim off and discard the top and bottom of each jalapeño. Cut each jalapeño crosswise into 1-inch rings. Remove seeds and white inner ribs from each ring (a small melon-baller works well for this).

  2. In a medium mixing bowl, stir cream cheese with lime juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and cumin until thoroughly blended. Season with salt. Using a butter knife, pack cream cheese into each jalapeño ring, filling it completely and smoothing the surface.

  3. Fill 1 bowl with milk, 1 bowl with flour, and 1 bowl with breadcrumbs. Working 1 popper at a time, dip in milk, then transfer to flour.

  4. Coat popper in flour all over. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with remaining poppers. Let floured poppers stand for 5 minutes.

  5. Working 1 popper at a time, return floured popper to milk, turning to coat. Transfer to breadcrumbs.

  6. Pack popper in breadcrumbs, turning to coat, until an even coating has formed. Repeat with remaining poppers.

  7. Heat 2 inches of oil to 350°F. Add poppers and fry, gently turning and stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet and season with salt. Let stand 5 minutes before serving with salsa.


Special equipment

Baking sheet, parchment paper

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
95 Calories
7g Fat
6g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 30
Amount per serving
Calories 95
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 14mg 5%
Sodium 93mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 19mg 93%
Calcium 25mg 2%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 72mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)