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  • Writer's pictureSheena Philipose

Jalapeño Beef Poppers

Updated: Aug 14, 2020

This recipe came about by chance when my husband and I were craving something to snack on while enjoying our weekend drinks. Beef, cheese, a few jalapeños for heat... this winning combination screams YUM to me. I am certain it'll taste great with pork mince too.

What you will need:

Air fryer: These cooked perfectly in my air-fryer however they can be made in an oven too.

Beef: Whether you're making poppers, kebabs, or meatballs, it's always best to use mince with high-fat content. As the meat is being cooked, the fat melts and creates more moisture.

Jalapeños: These bring a subtle, earthy heat to this dish you can add more or reduce if making for kids.

Minced Garlic/Garlic powder: I prefer using powder to avoid biting into garlic bits

Sauces: I use BBQ for the sweetness and hickory flavors and Worcestershire for an added kick.

Vegetable: I'm always trying to add vegetables so I used red pepper and onion both optional.

Herbs: Fresh parsley, dried basil, and oregano combine to create a more complex flavor profile


Bread crumbs

Cheese: cheddar cheese but could also use soft cream cheese.

These poppers can be eaten as they are or if you like a spicy/sweet sticky sauce coating, I made a sauce using beef broth and sauces and tossed the poppers in them.


Jalapenos and beef poppers


  • Beef: 1 kg minced beef

  • Eggs: 2

  • Red capsicum: 1 medium-sized, chopped finely

  • Jalapeños: 5, chopped finely

  • Onion: 2 medium-sized or 1 big

  • Bread crumbs: 1 Cup

  • Onion powder: 1 Tsp

  • Garlic powder: 2 Tsp

  • BBQ sauce: 2 Tbsp

  • Worcestershire sauce: 2 Tbsp

  • Dried oregano: 2 Tsp

  • Dried basil: 2 Tsp

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the sauce:

  • Beef stock: 1 Cup

  • BBQ sauce: 1 Tbsp

  • Sriracha: 1 Tbsp

  • Rice vinegar: 2 Tsp

  • Brown sugar: 1 Tbsp

  • Worcestershire sauce: 1 Tbsp

  • Tomato paste: 1 Tbsp

  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. If using a conventional oven, preheat it to 200C (400F) degrees. Lightly spray a 9x13 pan or a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Mix all the ingredients together except for the cheese.

  3. Shape into 35 roughly shaped meatballs.

  4. Cut the cheese into 35 bite-sized pieces and set aside, one for each meatball and if using soft cream cheese, use small spoonfulls of the same.

  5. Working one at a time, take a meatball and flatten it in the palm of your hand. Place a piece of cheese in the center and wrap the meatball around the cheese, sealing it inside the middle.

  6. If using an air fryer, place the balls in at 180 C (350 F) for 20 minutes. If using the oven, cook in the preheated oven for 30-35mins.

7. While the poppers are getting done, in a skillet add the beef broth, Worcestershire, Sriracha sauces and sugar, bring it to a boil.

8. Add the poppers to this once it's done cooking, stir it till well coated.

9. Enjoy on their own, or preferably alongside a cold drink!

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