These air fryer turkey poppers are a fun twist on your festive feasting

air fryer turkey poppers
(Image credit: Future / Victoria Woollaston)

A large, roasted turkey is the star of the show in many households at Christmas and over the holiday period. Yet it isn't the only way you can cook the traditional bird. 

As part of my job testing the best air fryers, I'm always on the lookout for new takes on traditional meals, and these turkey poppers are not only a quick and easy side dish, but they make great canapes for parties and family gatherings too.

They even go well with fondue and my children love dipping them in melted cheese on movie night. What's more, these poppers use very few ingredients so have a great cost-to-taste ratio. 

Below, I show you how to make crispy and cream turkey poppers in just 20 minutes. 

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Air fryer turkey poppers recipe

The air fryer turkey poppers recipe I have followed is from Wayfinder's Gallery.

Air fryer turkey poppers ingredients

air fryer turkey poppers

(Image credit: Future / Victoria Woollaston)

You can add jalapenos or any veg of your choice in place of the slices of pepper. You can also mix garlic and herbs into the cream cheese to add more depth. 

  • Bacon
  • Turkey breasts
  • Cream cheese
  • Peppers

Air fryer turkey poppers method

To make air fryer mini turkey poppers you will need the following:

air fryer turkey poppers

(Image credit: Future / Victoria Woollaston)

Step 1: Cut the turkey breasts into thin strips then chop the pepper into slices. 

Step 2: Lay the turkey strips on a flat surface, and add a spoonful of cream cheese to one end.   

Step 3: Place the pepper slice on top of the cream cheese. Next, roll the strip to create a sphere. 

Step 4: Cut the slices of bacon in half lengthways, and lay the slices on a flat surface.

air fryer turkey poppers

(Image credit: Future / Victoria Woollaston)

Step 5: Place the ball of turkey and cream cheese at one end then wrap it with the bacon slice. 

air fryer turkey poppers

(Image credit: Future / Victoria Woollaston)

Step 6: Secure the bacon in place using a cocktail stick. You can also slide multiple turkey poppers onto a skewer before putting them in the air fryer.

air fryer turkey poppers

(Image credit: Future / Victoria Woollaston)

Step 9: Set the air fryer to 360F / 180C and cook for 16-18 minutes or until the bacon is crispy and the turkey is cooked through.

Step 10: Remove from the air fryer and serve.

air fryer turkey poppers

(Image credit: Future / Victoria Woollaston)

Air fryer turkey poppers wrap-up

I'm not a huge fan of turkey and only ever tend to eat it at Christmas time. This is because it's difficult to cook well, in my experience, and it dries out quickly. 

These turkey poppers allow me to maintain some sort of tradition without sacrificing any of the taste or flavor. The cream cheese helps stop the turkey from drying out, and the crispy bacon adds a delicious, crispy and salty taste. Plus they're incredibly simple and cost-effective to make for parties or just feeding your family. 

If you're still sitting on the fence and wondering whether to buy an air fryer, you may want to read our article to decide whether air fryers are worth it.

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Victoria Woollaston is a freelance science and technology journalist with more than a decade’s experience writing for Wired UK, Alphr, Expert Reviews, TechRadar, Shortlist and the Sunday Times. She has a keen interest in next-generation technology and its potential to revolutionise how we live and work.