Healthier Cheddar Jalapeño Poppers

These cheddar jalapeño poppers are a lightened up version of the cheesy appetizer! All you need is a few ingredients including jalapeño cheddar brats and peppers of your choice! Perfect for the super bowl and game day football parties!

cheddar jalapeño poppers

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by ​Teton Waters Ranch. All opinions are my own; I never feature a brand that I don’t love! 

Are these cheddar jalapeño poppers healthy?

Typically jalapeño poppers are fried and filled with full fat cheese and bacon. Instead, for this recipe we are making healthy swaps.

  • Full fat cream cheese → Light cream cheese (⅓ less fat)
  • Lots of bacon → Small amount of grass-fed sausage
  • Deep frying in oil → Air frying with no oil
Ingredients on a white background

Use peppers of your choice

Like all my other recipes, this popper recipe is completely customizable. You can use jalapeños, mini sweet bell peppers, or a mixture of both. Both types of peppers are going to be a great source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants.

Scooped peppers

Are these pepper poppers spicy?

With the combination of the Jalapeño Cheddar Brat and jalapeño it can pack in a bit of a kick. Luckily, scooping out the jalapeño seeds brings down the heat a little bit. If you don’t want any spice, opt for mini sweet bell peppers.

How do you make jalapeño poppers?

1. First, scoop out the seeds

This can take a little bit of time but it’s so worth it for these delicious bites. Use a small spoon to scoop them out. Tap the pepper over a bowl to get any last remaining seeds that are stuck. 

If you’re using jalapeños and have sensitive skin, I recommend using gloves.  Jalapeños have a compound in them called “capsaicin” which can irritate the skin. If you don’t wear gloves, be careful not to touch your eyes afterwards. 

2. Next, make your cheese mixture

Be sure to set out your light cream cheese ahead of time so it’s soft and easy to mix. If you forgot, you can quickly soften it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.

3. Mix in diced sausage

Most peppers call for bacon but here we’re mixing it up by using Teton Waters Ranch Jalapeño Cheddar Brats–only available for a limited time! I love using these sausages because they contain simple ingredients and are 100% grass fed, allowing them to have more omega 3s! 

Use my code “CHEERFUL10” for 10% off your order at Teton Waters Ranch online!

Cream cheese and sausage

4. Then, add cheese mixture to peppers

Use a small spoon to add the mixture into the peppers. Don’t overfill them or the cheese will spill over the side when air frying. 

Peppers with cheese

5. Top with breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs give these poppers a nice crunch at the end. If you’re gluten free, try using crushed potato chips or gluten free crackers.

6. Finally, cook poppers in the air fryer

The air fryer has been the ultimate kitchen tool for me. It’s perfect for making crunchy chickpeas, savory snap peas, and crispy tortilla wraps. You’ll only need to wait a few minutes until these poppers turn into golden perfection.

I haven’t tested making this recipe in oven but you can probably bake it at the same temperature of 375ºF for a bit longer (~20-25 minutes).

Can you make these cheddar jalapeño poppers ahead of time?

Yes! You can add the cream cheese mixture to the peppers and store in your fridge for up to 3 days ahead of time. Then, when it comes time to make them, simply press on the breadcrumbs and air fry! This is a great option to plan ahead for game day parties.

Can you double this recipe?

Feel free to double or quadruple the recipe if you are serving a large crowd. Trust me, they will go fast!

Did you make this recipe? Tag @cheerfulchoices and @twrgrassfedbeef and show us your Cheddar Jalapeño Poppers! And don’t forget to use my code “CHEERFUL10” for 10% off your order at Teton Waters Ranch!

cheddar jalapeño poppers stuffed with grass fed sausage
Healthier Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers

Healthier Cheddar Jalapeno Poppers

Yield: 16-32 poppers
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

These cheddar jalapeno poppers are a lightened up version of the cheesy appetizer! Perfect for the super bowl and game day football parties!



  1. Slice jalapenos and/or mini bell peppers in half and scoop out seeds with a spoon.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, garlic powder, salt, and pepper until smooth. Fold in small diced jalapeño cheddar brats.
  3. Spoon mixture into pepper halves. Then, press a sprinkle of breadcrumbs onto each pepper.
  4. Add peppers to air fryer basket and cook at 375ºF for 8-10 minutes until cheese is melted and top is golden brown. 
  5. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.


**This would be about 8 jalapenos or 16 mini bell peppers. If you are doing a mixture, use a scale to measure out 16 ounces of peppers or you can just eyeball it.

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