If you enjoy hot peppers, try these vegan stuffed Jalapeños, and you will have a new go-to appetizer. A little heat, a little sweet, and a little gooey cheesy goodness will have you coming back for another bite over and over.
What is a Jalapeño Popper?
The idea behind this tasty appetizer is to serve a finger food that can be enjoyed in one bite. It's a little hot, so being able to "pop" the whole thing in your mouth all at once is a benefit for courage. Jalapeno Poppers are usually breaded and deep-fried. Our stuffed Jalapeños are baked.
Ingredients for Stuffed Jalapeños
- Yellow Plantain.
- Chili Powder.
- Dairy-Free Cream Cheese. The cream cheese filling is what makes these stuffed peppers amazing!
- Jalapeño Peppers.
- Dairy-Free Mexican Style Shreds. Any common vegan cheese mixture will work.
- Chopped Fresh Cilantro. Optional.
- Sheet Pan.
- Aluminum Foil. This keeps your sheet pan from being ruined by the capsaicin or making other foods you cook in the future spicy.
- Large Mixing Bowl.
- Gloves. Wearing gloves is essential when working with raw peppers.
- Toothpicks. These make serving the jalapeno poppers more guest-friendly since we don't want to have anyone burning their eyes.
Why Wear Gloves to Handle Hot Peppers?
Peppers contain a chemical compound called capsaicin. This compound is responsible for the burning sensation experienced in all of the mucous membranes in our mouth, and sometimes nose when we eat "spicy" foods.
How to Make Stuffed Jalapeños
Our recipe is so easy! First, bake the plantains. While they are baking, put gloves on and cut each pepper in half. Scrape out the seeds and membrane and dispose of those parts.
When the plantains come out of the oven, reduce the oven heat and mix all of the ingredients for the filling together in a large mixing bowl. Spread the mixture on each half of the pepper and spread them out on the sheet pan. Bake until the cheese is hot and bubbly, and the peppers tender enough to eat. That's it!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you make jalapeño poppers ahead of time?
Yes. Make these up to four days ahead of time, and refrigerate the assembled jalapenos poppers without baking them. On the day of your event, just put them in the oven to bake.
How do you cut jalapeno peppers for stuffing?
Wear gloves. Cut each pepper in half. Scrape out the inside seeds and membrane. Remove your gloves carefully. Wash your hands thoroughly. Avoid touching your eyes or face while handling peppers.
Does boiling jalapenos take the heat out?
Boiling peppers will move some of the heat out of the peppers and into the liquid. You will still get heat when you bite directly into a pepper unless it has been boiled for a long time.
What is a good substitute for a jalapeno?
If you can handle the heat, bump it up to habeñeros instead.
What to Serve with Stuffed Jalapeños
Dips! You could offer ranch dressing, honey mustard, spinach, and artichoke dip, or even marinara sauce for dipping.
Add this dish to any appetizer spread to spice up your party, event, or dinner table!
How to Store Stuffed Jalapeños
Keep your leftovers in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to one week. They can be reheated in the microwave, air fryer, skillet, toaster oven, or oven for a few minutes until hot.
More Great Stuffed Jalapeño Flavor Variations
Bacon is a classic addition to Stuffed Jalapenos, so try topping our recipe with this Vegan Tempeh Bacon.
If you can't find vegan Mexican cheese, try sharp cheddar cheese or pepper jack cheese instead.
Many people do not enjoy cilantro. If you are one of those people, consider adding diced green onion to the peppers instead.
Sprinkle panko bread crumbs on the top of the cheese before baking your poppers to add a little crunch.
Non-Dairy Antidotes for Cutting the Heat
Lower the PH. Since capsaicin is an oil-based compound, one way to cut through the heat and soften the edges of that spice is by using acids. A squeeze of lime juice on your stuffed jalapeno will tone it down if you can't take the heat.
Add More Fat. One reason dairy works to cut the heat is the fat content. You can dilute the heat with the addition of a non-dairy fat like neutral vegetable oil or any nut butter.
Try a Little Sweetness. This is one of the reasons plantains work so well in our recipe! They bring the sweetness to the bite.
Try These Other Jalapeño Recipes and Plantain Recipes
The Inspiration for Our Stuffed Jalapeños Recipe
Of all the stories and memories we have from growing up, the funniest ones are probably the ones involving our dad, Papi. He's just one of those people who can make you laugh without trying. He has also mastered the art of driving our mom absolutely crazy, which is actually pretty funny to watch! Every time they visit, it is like watching a sitcom in our living room.
And the one skit we get to watch every single time is the one about the jalapeño peppers. Sounds kind of odd. Well, the thing is, Papi LOVES spicy food. All kinds. But he has this almost obsession with jalapeño peppers. And every time they're here visiting, two things happen:
1) The first thing Papi wants to do as soon as they land is pick up a gigantic bag of jalapeños from the Produce Junction.
2) Before they leave, he wants to stop by the store and buy a gigantic bag to take home.
And both drive our mom totally insane. Every. Single. Time. All we can do, really, is laugh.
The last time Papi was here (by himself), we had so many jalapeños at home that we had to figure out what to do with them. And while he's perfectly content eating them raw with some chopped tomatoes, cilantro, lemon juice, and olive oil, we wanted to switch it up for him a little bit.
Using up those jalepeños.
Looking for some ideas online, we found a lot of recipes for jalapeño poppers, which looked very good. But, since our dad has to watch his diet a little bit (whether he wants to admit it or not), we needed to figure out how to make jalapeño poppers without cholesterol and low in saturated fat. Something a little more "heart-health-friendly."
Our only issue was going to be getting our dad actually to try it. The thing is, when it comes to food, Papi is a purist. Meat is meat. And cheese is cheese. There are no substitutes. The good thing is, however, as stubborn as he can be, he will always agree to try something new at least once. And that's how we got him. And guess what, he tried it more than once... and more than twice! It was a complete success.
This shows you that whether you have to stay away from dairy because you have to watch your cholesterol and saturated fat intake, have dietary sensitivities, or want to eat a little bit healthier, you don't have to give up the good stuff.
Our healthy jalapeno poppers recipe is Papi-approved!
- 15 jalapeños
- 1 - 5.2 ounce garlic and herb gournay cheese (we used Boursin)
- ½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- ¾ cup panko bread crumbs
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and membrane.
- Stuff each jalapeño half with the garlic and herb cheese.
- In a small bowl, mix together the shredded cheese, bread crumbs, garlic powder, and salt. Stir to combine well.
- Top each stuffed jalapeño with the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake for 22 minutes, or until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheese is melted.
- Assemble the stuffed jalapeños ahead of time, store in the fridge, and bake right before serving.
- After removing the seeds and membranes of the jalapeño peppers make sure you wash your hands thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, nose or lips.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 22 mins
- Category: Appetizer
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 2 halves
- Calories: 98
- Sugar: 4.4 g
- Sodium: 166.7 mg
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated Fat: 2.9 g
- Trans Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.6 g
- Fiber: 2.8 g
- Protein: 3.1 g
- Cholesterol: 15.6 mg