These Jalapeño Popper Pigs in a Blanket are a glorious mash-up of two of our favorite classic appetizers. The savory, smoky cocktail sausages wrapped in buttery crescent roll dough taste amazing with melty cheddar and cream cheese and mildy spicy jalapeño! Perfect for Game Day, parties, and lunches!
Planning a party? Be sure to also check out our Slow Cooker Little Smokies in Honey Garlic BBQ Sauce, Baked Korean BBQ Chicken Wings, and 7 Layer Dip!
Turns out I may be mildly obsessed with jalapeno poppers, which are one of my favorite snack/party/game day foods of all-time. I have already shared Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers (which I cannot resist!), Mummy Jalapeno Poppers (so fun for Halloween!) and Jalapeno Popper Dip with Bacon.
But I'm back with another super easy but tasty snack version, this time using everybody's favorite party food - Lil' Smokies! We do a watch party for the Super Bowl every year (I'm just there for the food and the commercials, let's face it), and these are definitely on the menu for this year's game!
Pigs in a blanket are pretty much a favorite food for every kid ever. And let's face it, for adults too. But adding just a few extra ingredients like cream cheese, some melty cheddar, and a slice of fresh jalapeno to the mix elevates them to a whole new level of deliciousness.
Bonus: You can make these jalapeño popper pigs in a blanket in the air fryer (which is what I did here!) or in the oven. See the recipe notes for instructions how.
Why this Recipe Works
- There are so simple that kids can easily make them provided there's a grown-up to help cut the jalapeño.
- Using store bought crescent roll dough is one of my favorite shortcuts because it's always available and bakes up soft and buttery.
- We're talking FIVE main ingredients. Seven if you want to be technical and include and egg wash and poppy seeds for decoration.
- You can assemble in advance, then bake as needed for your party.
- Crescent roll dough: Did you know you can buy tubes of crescent roll dough that comes in sheets rather than the perforated ones that are precut into triangles? Either will work here, but the sheets are so convenient!
- Lil' smokies: These are also known as cocktail weiners or cocktail sausages and you can use any type you like. You could also just use hot dogs cut into pieces.
- Cheese: A combination of freshly grated sharp cheddar and cream cheese gives that classic jalapeno popper flavor, but you could use monterey jack, pepper jack, or other cheese if you like.
- Jalapeños: I personally much prefer the flavor and texture of fresh jalapeños, but pickled or canned ones will work too. Just be sure to drain well before using them.
How to Make This Recipe
Start by rolling out your crescent roll dough, then cutting it into 4-inch strips. If you are using the kind of dough that comes punched out in triangles already, just press the edges together first before cutting.
Sprinkle each piece of dough with some of the cheddar cheese, then top with a teaspoon of cream cheese and a slice of jalapeño. If you want them spicy, leave a few of the seeds attached to the jalapeño. But if you make sure there are no seeds involved then these are actually quite mild.
Place one cocktail sausage on one end of the crescent roll dough, then roll it up and transfer to a piece of parchment paper with the seam side down to secure.
Beat an egg in a bowl with a little water and brush it on top of each of the pigs in a blanket, then sprinkle with poppy seeds for a lovely little crunch. This step is optional, but it makes a really nice finish.
If you want to change things up, you could also use Everything Bagel Seasoning or just a little coarse salt instead.
Move the pigs in a blanket to an air fryer basket to air fry or transfer them to the oven to bake.
Air Fryer Method: If using the air fryer approach to these jalapeno popper pigs in a blanket, they only need to cook for 8 minutes at 300°F until they are golden brown and the cheese is melted inside. We love this approach for a quick and easy lunch or snack. The downside is that you can usually only fit about 8 of them in the air fryer basket, depending on the size of your model.
Oven Method: If you are making these for a crowd, you can double up and make a bunch in the oven all at once by baking at 375°F for 11-13 minutes until golden brown.
Yes, little smokies are fully cooked, little hot dogs that are best heated up and frequently used for appetizers, lunches, or snacks. You can find them in the cooked meats aisle by other hot dogs or sausages.
Yes! They freeze great so it's a good idea to always have a package or two in the freezer for when you need something quick and easy!
A quick jalapeño jelly makes the perfect dipping sauce. The sauce in these pictures was made by mixing one cup of red pepper jelly, one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, some finely diced jalapeño pieces, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. But ranch dressing would also be delicious!
Absolutely! If you want even flakier pastry, then puff pastry is a great option. Just let it thaw out of the freezer for about 30 minutes before unfolding and using. I would increase the air fryer temp to 325°F and cook for 8-10 minutes with puff pastry. Or if using the oven you will want to increase the time to more like 20-25 minutes at 400°F for pigs in a blanket with puff pastry. One sheet of frozen puff pastry will make 16-18 pigs in a blanket.
- Storage: These are best served right away but leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days. Just reheat in the air fryer, microwave, or oven.
- Make-Ahead: You can assemble these up to 1 day in advance and cover well with plastic wrap in the fridge. Then just air fry or bake as directed shortly before serving.
- Jalapenos: You can make your jalapeno slices as thick as you like, depending on personal preference. I kept them small here, but you could so far as as to use ¼ of a jalapeño in each pig in a blanket - just be sure to buy enough at the store.
- Variation: Want to up the ante even more? Add some crumbled crispy bacon to each of these along with the cocktail sausage before rolling them up!
More Appetizer Recipes
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Jalapeño Popper Pigs in a Blanket
- 1 can crescent roll dough
- 1 (14-ounce) package smoked cocktail sausages
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1-2 jalapenos, or more, depending on size and how thick you want your pieces of jalapeno to be, with stems and seeds removed, then sliced
- 1 egg +1 Tablespoon water for an egg wash
- 1 ½ Tablespoons poppy seeds
- Preheat the air fryer to 300°F or oven to 375°F.
- Cut the crescent dough into small 4-inch strips.
- Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of shredded cheese on each strip of dough, then place 1 teaspoon of cream cheese on top. Add 1-2 pieces of sliced jalapeno, then top with one cocktail weiner.
- Roll the crescent roll dough around the cocktail weiner. Repeat until all of the lil' smokies have been wrapped up.
- Line the air fryer basket or a baking sheet with parchment paper, depending on which cooking method you are using. Add each pig in a blanket to the basket, leaving space so they don't touch. You will need to cook them in more than one batch if using an air fryer depending on how big your air fryer is if using that method.
- Make an egg wash by beating the egg and water together in a bowl. Brush the tops and sides of each pig in a blanket with the egg wash, then sprinkle with the poppy seeds.
- Place the basket into the air fryer and cook for 8 minutes in the air fryer or in the oven for 11-13 minutes until golden brown and the cheese is melted. Cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Storage: These are best served right away but, any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheated in the air fryer, microwave, or oven. I don't recommend freezing these.
- Puff Pastry: If you want even flakier pastry, then puff pastry is a great option. Just let it thaw out of the freezer for about 30 minutes before unfolding and using. I would increase the air fryer temp to 325°F and cook for 8-10 minutes with puff pastry. Or if using the oven you will want to increase the time to more like 20-25 minutes at 400°F for pigs in a blanket with puff pastry. One sheet of frozen puff pastry will make 16-18 pigs in a blanket.
- Garnish: The poppy seeds are optional, but they give a nice little crunch and look pretty. They could also be substituted with sesame seeds, coarse salt, or everything bagel seasoning instead.
- Dipping Sauce: A quick jalapeño jelly makes the perfect dipping sauce - the sauce in the picture was made by mixing one cup of red pepper jelly, one tsp of apple cider vinegar, some chopped jalapeño pieces, 1 tsp garlic powder, and about 1 tbsp of brown sugar. Ranch dressing also makes a good dipping sauce.
- Variation: You could also cook and crumble 3-4 slices of bacon, then sprinkle some of that on along with the cheese for an easy upgrade if you love bacon.