Are jalapeno poppers high in carbs?

Quick Answer

Jalapeno poppers can be high in carbs depending on how they are prepared. The breaded exterior of jalapeno poppers contains carbs from flour or breadcrumbs. However, the interior ingredients like cream cheese tend to be low in carbs. Ultimately, a single jalapeno popper may contain around 5-15 grams of net carbs.

Ingredients in Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers are a popular appetizer consisting of jalapeno peppers that have been halved, hollowed out, filled with a mixture like cream cheese or cheddar, breaded and deep fried. The carb content comes mainly from the breaded exterior.

Here are some of the main ingredients in jalapeno poppers and their carb contents:

Jalapeno Peppers

Fresh jalapeno peppers are very low in carbs, containing around 1 gram of carbs per pepper. Once the seeds and membranes are removed, they are nearly pure capsicum with minimal effects on blood sugar.

The raw jalapeno peppers themselves contain a trace amount of fiber and sugar. This accounts for the 1 gram of total carbs, making them very low-carb friendly.

Cream Cheese

Cream cheese is one of the most popular fillings for stuffed jalapenos. An ounce of regular full-fat cream cheese provides about 1 gram of carbs.

Reduced-fat cream cheese tends to be slightly higher in carbs at around 3 grams per ounce.

In either case, cream cheese is an excellent low-carb option for stuffing jalapeno poppers when you exclude the carb count of the breaded exterior.

Cheddar Cheese

Sharp cheddar is also commonly used as a filling for jalapeno poppers. Though cheddar is slightly higher in carbs than cream cheese, it still remains low at around 1-2 grams of carbs per ounce.

So an entire jalapeno stuffed with cheddar will add minimal carbs before breading.


The biggest source of carbs in jalapeno poppers comes from the breaded outer coating. Traditional bread crumbs add about 15 grams of carbs per 1⁄4 cup.

Panko bread crumbs are a crispier variety that provides about 18 grams of carbs per 1⁄4 cup.

Using flour instead of breadcrumbs adds about 20 grams of carbs per 1⁄4 cup.

Other Fillings

Some other potential fillings for jalapeno peppers include:

– Shredded Chicken – Around 0 carbs
– Cooked Ground Beef – Around 0-3 carbs per 1⁄4 cup
– Bacon – Trace amounts of carbs
– Pepper Jack Cheese – About 1 gram per ounce

All of these are great low-carb stuffing options for jalapeno poppers.

Net Carbs in Jalapeno Poppers

To determine the total net carb counts, you have to look at the complete recipe including filling and coating.

Here is an estimate for jalapeno poppers made with a cream cheese filling and standard breadcrumb coating:

– 1 medium jalapeno: 1 gram carbs
– 1 oz cream cheese: 1 gram carbs
– 1/4 cup breadcrumbs: 15 grams carbs

This gives a total of about 17 grams of carbs per popper.

The fiber content is minimal, so the net carbs would remain around 17 grams per popper.

You can reduce the carbs by using lower-carb filling options like cheddar cheese or chicken. Skipping the breading also decreases the total carb content.

Low-Carb Breading Options

If you want to keep the crispy breaded texture, here are some low-carb breading alternatives:

– Pork rinds – About 1 gram net carbs per 1⁄4 cup when processed into crumbs
– Almond flour – About 2 grams net carbs per 1⁄4 cup
– Coconut flour – Around 5 grams net carbs per 1⁄4 cup
– Crushed cauliflower – Up to 5 grams net carbs per 1⁄4 cup when ground

Carb Counts for Different Serving Sizes

The carb count can also vary based on your serving size. Here are estimates for different portions:

Single Jalapeno Popper

Each popper will range from 5-15 grams of net carbs depending on the fillings and coating used.

Standard Appetizer Serving of 6 Jalapeno Poppers

6 breaded cream cheese jalapeno poppers:

Total carbs: 102 grams
Net carbs: 102 grams

This averages to about 17 grams of net carbs per popper.

Jalapeno Poppers for 10 People Appetizer

10 breaded cream cheese jalapeno poppers:

Total carbs: 170 grams
Net carbs: 170 grams

This also results in around 17 grams of net carbs per jalapeno popper.

Ways to Reduce Carbs in Jalapeno Poppers

Here are some tips to reduce carbs when making and eating jalapeno poppers:

– Use lower-carb fillings like shredded chicken, ground beef, or cheddar cheese rather than higher-carb cream cheese.

– Avoid breading and coat in eggs/parmesan instead.

– Opt for low-carb breading like pork rind crumbs or almond flour instead of regular breadcrumbs.

– Increase fiber content of fillings by adding chopped spinach or ricing cauliflower.

– Bake or pan-fry instead of deep fry to reduce oil and carb absorption.

– Portion out single jalapeno poppers rather than eating multiple.

– Pair with low-carb sides like celery sticks rather than high-carb dippers.

– Add fresh veggies like sliced bell peppers to balance meal nutrition and carbs.

Keto Friendly Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno poppers can fit into a ketogenic diet when following low-carb preparations:

– Use bacon slices as an exterior wrap instead of breading.

– Fill with mixed shredded chicken, cream cheese, and cheddar.

– Coat with crushed pork rinds and pan fry instead of deep frying.

– Serve with sliced avocado or guacamole dip.

This provides the bacon, cheeses, avocado healthy fats the keto diet relies on while avoiding the high carb breading.

Low Carb Jalapeno Popper Recipes

Here are some recipe ideas for low carb jalapeno poppers around 5g net carbs per popper:

Baked Jalapeno Poppers

– 12 fresh jalapenos, halved and seeded
– 8 oz cream cheese
– 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
– 2 eggs
– 1/4 cup pork rind crumbs

1. Mix cream cheese, cheddar and parmesan
2. Fill jalapeno halves with cheese mixture
3. Dip in beaten eggs, coat with pork rinds
4. Bake 15-20 minutes at 400°F

Per Serving (2 poppers):
Total Carbs: 10g / Fiber: 4g / Net Carbs: 6g

Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

– 12 jalapenos, halved and seeded
– 4 oz cream cheese
– 1/2 cup cooked ground beef
– 12 slices bacon

1. Fill jalapenos with cream cheese and ground beef
2. Wrap each stuffed pepper with a slice of bacon
3. Grill or bake until bacon is crispy

Per Serving (2 poppers):
Total Carbs: 4g / Fiber: 1g / Net Carbs: 3g

Crispy Fried Jalapeno Poppers

– 10 jalapenos, halved and seeded
– 1 package cream cheese, softened
– 1 cup shredded cheddar
– 1/2 cup almond flour
– 1 egg
– Avocado oil for frying

1. Mix cream cheese and cheddar
2. Stuff jalapeno halves with filling
3. Dip in egg then almond flour
4. Fry in avocado oil until crispy

Per Serving (2 poppers)
Total Carbs: 7g / Fiber: 2g / Net Carbs: 5g

Healthiest Ways to Eat Jalapeno Poppers

While jalapeno poppers are often served as fatty fried appetizers, there are healthier ways to enjoy them:

– Use lean protein fillings like chicken or shrimp instead of cheese/cream cheese.

– Skip the deep fryer and opt for baking or pan searing instead to reduce calories.

– Use lighter, whole-grain breading rather than heavy breadcrumbs.

– Serve with fresh vegetables like salsa, guacamole or low-fat Greek yogurt dip.

– Eat in moderation as an appetizer rather than main meal.

– Flatten and bake as jalapeno bites instead of frying whole poppers.

– Add veggies like chopped spinach or riced cauliflower to lighten the filling.

– Use avocado oil spray to reduce oils for baking.

– Choose low-fat cheese fillings or reduced fat cream cheese.

– Serve with a side salad for added nutrition.


Jalapeno poppers can range quite a bit in terms of carb content based on the recipe used. On average, a single breaded and fried jalapeno popper made with creamed cheese will contain around 15 grams of net carbs. Reducing the carbs requires swapping the breading for lower carb options like pork rinds or avoiding it completely. Using lower carb fillings like cheddar or chicken rather than cream cheese also decreases carb counts substantially. Preparing jalapeno poppers baked or pan-fried instead of deep fried also makes them a bit healthier. With some adjustments, jalapeno poppers can be worked into a low-carb or ketogenic diet. Just be mindful of portions when enjoying them as an appetizer.

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