I made jalapeño poppers on my partner’s request for Thanksgiving this year, and they turned out beyond my expectation. All of the spice bakes out of the peppers, leaving just a crunchy bite of rich & creamy flavor. Using Panko for the outside layer makes these jalapeño poppers totally gluten-free, too!
When people ask me the trick to being vegan, my answer is to be easy on yourself. It would be extremely difficult for most people to live as strict health-oriented vegans, and also remain vegan for a lifetime. It’s totally possible, but maybe not for most people.
My advice? Indulge your cravings, at least once in a while. You’re a human person, and you have comfort foods that you want; so just figure out how to make ‘em plant-based.
Personally, jalapeño poppers totally did not make my list of comfort foods, until I made these. To be completely honest, I never even had ‘em animal-based style! However, my husband requested them enough times that I figured I outta give ‘em a try. I’m really, really glad I did.
I’m a big fan of Tofutti products, and I’m really not paid to say that. They’ve been a go-to brand for non-dairy folks forever, and their cream cheese is among my favorite vegan cream cheeses, even to this day. Of course, there are many other brands too, so grab what’s convenient.
A little less flexible, you gotta grab Just Egg. There are no other products on the market like it, and it’s totally fantastic. For this particular recipe, however, I’ll tell you that if you don’t or can’t buy it, you can just use a seasoned flour + water + seasoning mix! Mix that blend until smooth & just a bit liquidy, and you’re all good.
I love spice and spiciness, so I use Old Bay seasoning, which is a creole seasoning blend, to really make the heat pop from the peppers. However, if you want to tone down the heat, you could use an Italian Seasoning blend, Garlic Powder or even just salt & pepper to make ‘em more mild.
Yields: 24 poppers
Jalapeños – 12 indv.
Tofutti Vegan Cream Cheese – 1/2 1 package (5 oz)
Just Egg – 1/2 1 package (4 oz)
Panko – 1c
Salt – to taste
Old Bay (or other favorite seasoning) – to taste
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Slice all of the jalapeños in half, cutting horizontally so you have two long strips. You can also cut off the tops, so that the whole pepper can be eaten at once. If you want to keep the tops on, however, it can give a nice aesthetic.
- Use a spoon to remove all of the core and seeds, and place all your cored pepper halves aside.
- Get out a small mixing bowl, fill with Just Egg (about half of a container) and lightly season with salt. Set aside.
- Grab a second small bowl, and mix one cup of Panko with all your fave seasonings, to taste. I used salt and Old Bay– classic.
- Now, get out the vegan cream cheese and use a small spoon or butter knife to fill the core of each jalapeno half completely. Each jalapeño should have a substantial amount of cream cheese, since it’s probably the best part.
- Take a moment to press the cream cheese lightly into each pepper with your thumb, or the back of the spoon. You want the cream cheese to be stuck onto it, so they don’t fall apart in the next steps.
- When ready, take each pepper and submerge it first into the Just Egg, and then roll in Panko + seasoning blend. Once completely covered, place onto a baking sheet.
Do this with each pepper, and line them on the baking sheet about 1-2” apart from each other. You might need more than one baking sheet, and that’s totally fine.
- Once every pepper is all lined up, simply place the baking sheets into the oven.
- Cook for about 15 minutes, or until GBD (Golden Brown & Delicious).
- Allow to cool, and enjoy!
Thanks for reading!
~ Chef G.