It’s time to party vegan-style. You in?
Origins of Jalapeño Poppers
It’s believed that jalapeño poppers were invented in Texas and may have been inspired by Mexican chiles rellenos. Both are peppers stuffed with cheese. But the difference is that chiles rellenos are made with poblano peppers. The following recipe is not traditional, but is our plant-based take on the concept!
Vegan Jalapeño Poppers
You guys probably know by now that I’ve been having all sorts of fun with cashews and nutritional yeast lately. They’re a vegan baker’s dream ingredients, yielding both sweet and savory treats with ease!
The two together? Unstoppable. This recipe is proof of that fact.
If you’ve ever had a jalapeño popper, you know they make you feel like sinking down into your chair and onto the floor after three. Typically, poppers are stuffed with loads of cream cheese and deep fried. I’m not OK with those two things. In fact, I am protesting those two things right now.
Despite replacing them with vegan cheese and baking instead of frying, the flavor and texture is not compromised one bit! The flavor is spot-on, and the gluten-free tortilla crumb topping brings these babies to the next level.
Like I said, it’s party time.
This recipe is simple in that it requires 10 ingredients total! And a bonus? It comes together in 30 minutes. Easy party favors for the win.
What do they taste like? Kind of amazing. They’re:
Tender with an adequate bite
& Perfect for sharing
Next time I go to a get-together, watch a sports game (probably never), or see my mom (who lives for Sonic Jalapeño Poppers), I’m bringing these babies.
Vegan Jalapeño Poppers
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, (soaked for 4-6 hours or overnight, then drained)
- 1/2 medium white or yellow onion (diced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth (plus more as needed)
- 1 4-ounce can green chilies (optional)
- salt to taste
- 10 medium jalapeños (halved and seeds/stem removed)
- Olive oil
For Garnish (optional)
- 1/2 cup crushed toasted tortilla chips
- Red pepper flake
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C) and prep your jalapeños, splitting in half, removing the tops, and then spritzing or brushing them with a bit of olive oil. Place in rows facing up (see photo).
- If you’re using crushed tortilla chips as a topper (recommended), toast them while prepping your cheese sauce by spritzing them with olive oil and baking them for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown, watching closely as they can burn fast.
- To a small saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic with a bit of olive oil and cook until just softened and fragrant – about 5 minutes. Set aside.
- Add soaked cashews, garlic, onion, nutritional yeast, cumin, vegetable broth and green chilies to a high-speed blender and blend until creamy and smooth, using the “liquify” or “puree” option if you have it. If the sauce is too thick, thin with more vegetable broth. If too thin, add a handful of raw cashews and blend again. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding salt to taste, nutritional yeast for more cheesiness, or cumin for smokiness.
- Spoon or pipe the cheese mixture into the jalapeños, generously filling. You’ll have leftovers, which you can reserve for nachos or just dip. Top with crushed, toasted tortilla chip crumbs and bake for 15 minutes or until the jalapeños are soft and the cheese has deepened in color.
- Place the pan on the top rack and broil for the last minute or two for an even more intense color/flavor.
- Serve immediately, sprinkling with a bit of red pepper flake for garnish (optional). Store leftovers covered in the fridge for up to a few days, reheating in the microwave or a 350-degree F (176 C) oven until warmed through (though best when fresh).