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Platter of vegan jalapeno poppers & dipping sauce.
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5 from 2 votes

Vegan jalapeño poppers

Vegan jalapeño poppers are a sure fire hit for any party or gathering. Serve them alongside other indulgent appetizers. Or have them as a starter to a meal of tacos, burgers, or sandwiches.
Makes 16 to 20 poppers.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: American, Vegan
Keyword: finger food, party food
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 125kcal
Author: Cadry Nelson

Ingredients

  • 8 to 10 jalapeño peppers sliced in half length-wise
  • 8 ounces vegan cream cheese
  • ½ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ to ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ to ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • Pinch salt
  • Organic canola oil or other high heat oil (for frying)

Instructions

  • Fill a medium-sized pot with water. Bring it to a low boil. Add halved peppers to the pot. Boil for about 3 minutes to gently soften them.
  • Drain the peppers in a colander. Run cool water over them to stop the cooking process. Move the halved peppers to a clean kitchen towel and blot them dry.
  • Using your hands and/or a paring knife, remove the seeds & any white parts from inside the peppers. For this part, I highly recommend wearing kitchen gloves, so that the oils & capsaicin from the peppers doesn't burn your skin. Again, blot the inside of the peppers dry with the towel. (Dry peppers hold cream cheese better.)
  • Using a spoon, fill the cavity of each pepper half with vegan cream cheese.
  • Prepare the breading station. Combine non-dairy milk and cornstarch in a shallow bowl.
    Put ¼ cup of all-purpose flour on a separate plate.
    Put ½ cup of panko breadcrumbs on another plate, along with a pinch of salt.
  • Coat a stuffed jalapeno in the flour. Tap it to remove any excess flour. Then dip it into the milk mixture. Tap it to remove any excess liquid. Finally, coat it in panko breadcrumbs. Move it to a clean plate. Repeat with each pepper until they’re all coated.
    Peppers vary in size. So if you start to run low on flour or panko breadcrumbs, add another ¼ cup to their respective plate.
  • TO FRY: Fill a large non-stick pan with about a half inch of organic canola oil (or other high heat oil). Bring to a medium high heat. To test if the oil is ready, drop a breadcrumb into it. If oil immediately bubbles around it, it's ready.
    Put several of the breaded peppers into the oil cut side down, being careful not to overcrowd. (You'll likely need to work in batches.) Fry for about 3 minutes on one side until golden. Then flip the peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes more.
    Move the peppers to a towel-lined plate to drain. Top with a pinch of salt. Continue with the remaining peppers until finished.
  • TO AIR FRY: Put several of the breaded peppers into the air fryer basket in a single layer, being careful not to overcrowd. (You will likely need to work in batches.) Spray them with oil for best browning.
    Air fry at 380 degrees for 6 minutes or until browned. (If desired, give them another spray of oil halfway through cooking.) Continue with the remaining peppers until finished.
  • TO BAKE: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the breaded peppers on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake the peppers for 30 minutes.

Notes

I recommend using a thinner, more spreadable vegan cream cheese for this recipe. Trader Joe's vegan cream cheese, Go Veggie, and Tofutti are all good options. Thicker vegan cream cheeses will work, but they don't go in as easily.
Store any leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 3 days. To reheat, put leftovers in the air fryer basket in a single layer. Air fry at 380 degrees for 5 minutes. The peppers will have softened a little in the refrigerator, but the coating will get nice & crispy again.

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 54mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 1mg