Corn Poppers are deep-fried, melted cheese balls stuffed with sweet corn, diced jalapeños, and diced red peppers coated in crispy breadcrumbs.
Our Jalapeno Popper Bites are already delicious, but since corn on the cob is in season, we decided to try adding some sweet corn to them, and they are fantastic! They are spicy and cheesy, creamy and crunchy, all in one bite. These corn poppers are the perfect appetizer to serve friends and family at a party or family gathering.
In This Post
Corn Poppers Recipe Ingredients
The inside of the poppers is a spicy combination of cheeses, corn, and peppers! You can add more or less of the spicy ingredients depending on your family’s preferences. Scroll down for the complete recipe with ingredient measurements.
Cheese Ball Ingredients
- Pepper Jack Cheese: This cheese is made with Monterey Jack blended with chopped peppers. It adds flavor and spice to the corn poppers! You can substitute an equal amount of another shredded cheese but keep in mind that it will alter the flavor of the poppers.
- Cream Cheese: The cream cheese helps hold the ingredients in the poppers together, and it adds that delicious creaminess. You can use lighter cream cheese if you prefer.
- Sweet Corn: We used fresh sweet corn, but canned corn or frozen corn (thawed) would also work in this recipe.
- Peppers: We added diced jalapenos and diced red bell peppers to these cheesy corn bites! The peppers add spiciness, flavor, color, and crunch. If you are looking for more heat, be sure to include some of the jalapeno seeds.
- Hot Sauce: The sriracha sauce adds spice and flavor to the poppers. You can substitute it with your favorite hot sauce or skip adding it if you want milder corn poppers.
The corn popper’s exterior is a combination of bread crumbs and spices that fry to a crispy golden brown in the oil!
- Panko Bread Crumbs: These bread crumbs have larger flakes that are drier and crispier than plain bread crumbs. They add great texture to the poppers and add to the crunchiness.
- Plain Bread Crumbs: We used plain bread crumbs in addition to the panko bread crumbs because they are finer in texture and help to fully coat the corn poppers.
- Spices: The garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt add flavor and color to the coating. You can add more or less of these spices as you see fit or swap them out with your favorites.
- Flour and Eggs: The corn poppers are coated in flour and then beaten eggs to help the bread crumbs coating stick.
How To Make Corn Poppers
Corn poppers are a little messy to make and take a little extra time since they need to be refrigerated, but they are totally worth the effort! Scroll down for the printable recipe card and complete instructions.
- Cheese Balls: Mix the pepper jack cheese, cream cheese, corn, jalapenos, red peppers, and sriracha sauce. Form the mixture into balls and place them in the freezer to harden.
- Coating: Put the flour in one bowl, the beaten eggs in another, and bread crumbs and spices in the third bowl. After removing the cheese balls from the freezer, coat them in flour, then eggs, and then breadcrumbs.
- Cooking: Deep fry the corn poppers until golden brown. Serve while warm and gooey!
Helpful Kitchen Tools
Here are a few kitchen tools that we found very helpful when making these corn poppers. We will also share sources as well as alternatives for these tools, just in case you don’t have them on hand.
- Corn Peeler: A corn peeler looks a little like other vegetable peelers, but it is made specifically for peeling sweet corn! It is a great way to quickly and easily get corn off of the cob. You can get a corn peeler here or use a sharp kitchen knife if you prefer.
- Jalapeno Pepper Corer: This tool makes coring and deseeding jalapenos easier, and don’t forget to wear disposable gloves when working with jalapenos! You can find the jalapeno pepper corer here or use a teaspoon to clean out the peppers.
- Batter Scoop: A batter scoop or dough scoop is the best way to form evenly-sized corn poppers. For this recipe, I used this #40 scoop which is just under two tablespoons and was able to make 18 poppers. If you don’t have a dough scoop, you use a couple of tablespoons as if making drop cookies.
- Fryer: See below for detailed information about the deep fryer.
Deep Frying Food
There are a couple of options when it comes to deep-frying food at home. You can use a large heavy-bottomed pot on the stovetop with a thermometer or use a deep fryer.
We opted to purchase a deep fryer to use when deep frying food. It can hold up to 12 cups of oil and 8 cups of food. You can find our exact deep fryer here. These are a few of the advantages of using a deep fryer:
- Temperature: The deep fryer heats the oil and maintains the temperature. You choose the temperature you would like the oil to be, and a green light comes on when it is ready.
- Thermometer: The thermometer is built into the deep fryer. There is no need for an external one unless you want to double-check the temperature.
- Wire Basket: There is a wire frying basket for lowering and raising food in the fryer.
- Cover: There is a vented, removable cover with a view window.
Our deep fryer does limit the size and shape of the items we are frying. It also has a max temperature of 375˚F, and we had to purchase it rather than use what we already had on hand. Always keep in mind that you need to be cautious when frying food. Keep the oil at a steady temperature and always stay close by.
Corn Poppers FAQs
Yes, these corn poppers can be made ahead of time. After adding the breading to the cheese balls, store the poppers in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 2-3 days, until ready to fry. Or store them in the freezer for up to three months, and thaw them overnight in the refrigerator.
Reheat the corn poppers in the oven at 375˚ for 5-8 minutes or warm them in the microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
Yes, you can cook the corn poppers in batches in an air fryer. Preheat the air fryer to 375˚F, place several poppers in the basket, coat them with olive oil spray, and cook for 5-8 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Want more sweet corn recipes? Try these next:
This Fried Corn recipe with crumbled bacon is a quick, irresistible side dish that your family will ask for again and again!
This Corn Fritter recipe makes tender little fried balls of dough with bits of sweet corn inside. Serve them warm with maple syrup and honey drizzled on top.
Black Bean and Corn Salsa is an easy appetizer when served with tortilla chips or delicious as part of a meal on top of chicken.
This flavorful Corn Dip recipe is the perfect dish to bring to your next party or backyard barbecue. Serve cold or hot with corn chips or tortilla chips.
Want more appetizer recipes? Try these next:
The ultimate Queso Recipe with melted cheeses, spicy peppers, and Mexican seasonings! This popular restaurant cheese dip is a party favorite.
This crispy Chicken Wings recipe is a crowd favorite! So easy to make and full of flavor. Coat them with sauce and watch them disappear.
Crave-Worthy Garlic Knots are a super easy appetizer or side to serve with pizza or pasta. Better make a double batch!
Flavor-packed Mexican Street Corn Nachos bring snack time to the next level! Skip the traditional appetizers and wow them with this recipe instead.
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 eggs beaten
- ½ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- peanut oil or canola oil for frying
- ½ teaspoon parsley optional garnish
- Mix together the shredded pepper jack cheese, cream cheese, corn, diced jalapenos, diced red peppers, and sriracha sauce.
- Scoop the mixture and form it into balls. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Put the flour into one bowl and the beaten eggs in a second bowl. In the third bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, plain bread crumbs, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt.
- Remove cheese balls from the freezer. Coat the balls with flour, then with the beaten eggs, and finally coat with the bread crumbs mixture.
- Heat oil in a deep fryer (or use a large pot with a thermometer) to 350˚F. Fry several bites at once for 1 1/2 -2 minutes, until golden brown.
- Drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Garnish with parsley, if desired, and serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Reheat in the oven at 375˚ for 5-8 minutes or in the microwave on high for 15-20 seconds.
- To prepare ahead of time without frying, store them in the refrigerator overnight and remove them when ready to fry. Or store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight before frying.
- Nutrition facts were calculated using three tablespoons of oil since most of it wasn’t absorbed. Your results may vary depending on your oil temperature, length of cooking time, and the fryer you use.