Vegan Jalapeño Poppers
These baked vegan jalapeño poppers are easy to make with simple ingredients and make the perfect party food!
These delicious jalapeño peppers are crispy, creamy, spicy, and make the perfect crowd-pleasing appetizer.
They’re easy to make too and once the cashews are soaked, they come together quickly. You’ll need just a few simple ingredients and they’re completely dairy-free.
Serve these for an appetizer at your next gathering and watch them disappear!
- Dietary Features: Vegan (dairy-free), can be made gluten-free, oil-free.
- Baked, not fried, for a healthier jalapeño popper.
- No cream cheese needed. These are made with cashews!
- Easy to make with simple, everyday ingredients.
- Awesome party food for game day, holidays or any other gathering.
- After soaking the cashews, they’re ready in about 30 minutes.
Complete list of ingredients with amounts and full instructions is located in the printable recipe card below. This section covers ingredient and substitution considerations.
- Jalapeños: You’ll need 10 average-sized jalapeños (so you’ll get a serving of 20 poppers). Depending on size you may need a few more or less.
- Cashews: Use plain, raw cashews with no added oil or salt.
- Lemon Juice: This adds a tangy “cream cheese” flavour.
- Nutritional Yeast: Adds a “cheesy” flavour. Learn more: what is nutritional yeast?
- Garlic Powder: You can use 2-3 cloves if you prefer but I like garlic powder here to make sure there are no garlic bits in the filling.
- Green Onion & Cilantro: These two are versatile. Chives makes a good sub for the green onion. Parsley makes a good sub for the cilantro. If you don’t like cilantro, it’s totally find to leave it out.
- Breadcrumbs: Panko breadcrumbs work best for a crispy result. You can use regular or gluten-free panko crumbs.
Before You Start: You’ll need to plan ahead and soak the cashew for at least 4 hours up to overnight (8-12 hours). If you do not have a high-speed blender, I’d recommend soaking them for at least 8 hours.
When you’re ready to begin, preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Step 1: Prep the jalapeños, green onion and cilantro.
Slice the jalapeños in half and scrape out the seeds and white membrane using a small spoon (you can leave the stems on for a little handle!). Finely chop the green onion and cilantro.
Note: Wear gloves and/or make sure you wash hands a really well wash after handling the peppers. If you forget, and touch your face, you will pay the price. I know this from experience!
Step 2: Prepare the filling.
Add the soaked cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, water and salt to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth and creamy.
Transfer the cashew filling to a mixing bowl and stir in chopped cilantro and green onion.
Step 4: Fill jalapeños and bake.
Prepare a bowl or plate with breadcrumbs. Fill each jalapeño half with the cashew filling then press the filling into the breadcrumbs to coat, placing each on the baking tray.
Step 5: Bake jalapeños.
Finally, bake the jalapeños on the baking sheet for 20-25 minutes until they’re soft and the top is golden-brown.
Let them cool for a few minutes then serve. I like to sprinkle with more green onion, chives or parsley and serve with buffalo sauce.
I think the best substitute for the jalapeños would be white beans or vegan cream cheese.
To use white beans, replace the cashews with 1 cup canned drained and rinsed beans and omit the water (you may need a little water to adjust the thickness). To use dairy-free cream cheese, replace the cashews with 1 cup and omit the the water.
Nutritional yeast adds a cheesy flavour to the poppers. If you’re unfamiliar with it, you can read all about it here: What is Nutritional Yeast and How to Use It.
It’s common in major grocery stores but if you can’t find it in your area, it’s readily available online.
Yes and no. It really depends how sensitive you are to jalapeños. If you thoroughly remove the seeds and membrand, they’re not overly spicy.
You can! Prepare the poppers are directed then preheat your air-fryer and bake the poppers for 12-14 minutes at 325 F.
Making Ahead & Storing
Jalapeño poppers are best served fresh and hot from the oven.
Making in Advance: You can prep the peppers up to 2 days in advance. You can fill them or store the filling and japaneos separately until you’re ready to fill and bake.
If you do have leftovers, they can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and reheated in the oven at 400 F until heated through. You can microwave but the oven is best for reheating so help them crisp up again.
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- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours up to overnight and drained (150 g)
- 10 fresh jalapeños
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice (30 mL)
- 2 tablespoon nutritional yeast (20 g)
- ⅓ cup water (80 mL)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped green onion or chives
- 3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- panko breadcrumbs for topping
- Soak Cashews: Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours up to overnight (8-12 hours). When ready, drain well.
- Preheat Oven: Preheat the oven to 400 F (200 F) degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Prepare Jalapeños: Slice each jalapeño in half lengthwise. Then, using a spoon remove the seeds and the white membrane inside the peppers. Be sure to wear gloves or wash your hands really well after handling the jalapeños.
- Chop: Finely chop the green onion and the cilantro.
- Blend Filling: Add the soaked cashews, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, water and salt to a high-speed blender and blend until completely smooth and thick creamy.
- Mix Filling: Transfer the cashew mixture to a bowl and add the cilantro and green onion. Mix to combine.
- Prepare Breadcrumbs: Add about 1/2 cup of panko crumbs to a shallow plate or bowl. If you run out of breadcrumbs, add more as needed.
- Stuff Jalapeños: Stuff the jalapeño halves with cashew filling then press the filling into the breadcrumbs to coat. Place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake: Bake for 20-25 minutes until the jalapeños are soft and the top is golden. If you like, you can broil them briefly at the end for some extra crunch on top.
- Serve: Let cool for a few minutes before serving. Serve with a sprinkle of green onion, chives or parsley and buffalo sauce on the side, if desired.
If you don’t have time to soak the cashews, pour boiling water over them and let sit for 30 minutes then drain well before using.
Read post above for various substitutions and alternatives.
- Serving Size: 1 popper
- Calories: 55
- Sugar: 2.5 g
- Sodium: 52 mg
- Fat: 4 g
- Carbohydrates: 8 g
- Fiber: 2 g
- Protein: 2 g
Keywords: vegan jalapeno poppers, baked jalapeno poppers