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Vegan Jalapeno Poppers| Oven Baked or Air Fry

Updated: May 9, 2021

This recipe makes the best party appetizer or snack. Homemade jalapeño poppers are made with fresh jalapeños peppers filled with vegan cheese, breaded, and baked until tender on the inside, crispy on the outside.

It's easy to make and so delicious.

How to Cut a Jalapeno

Please don’t cut jalapenos without wearing gloves (and don’t touch your face). The oils in the peppers can cause burns on your hands.

The spice in jalapeños is found in the seeds and inner membranes. To reduce the heat in this recipe, clean out all of the (light colored) inner membrane and seeds. If you like lots of heat, leave a little bit of membrane.

When I cut the jalapeños for poppers, I cut them lengthwise and try to keep the stem intact on both halves (mainly for appearance).

To cut jalapenos to make jalapeno poppers:

  1. Put on gloves!!

  2. Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise.

  3. Using a small spoon, scoop out seeds and membranes and discard.

Ingredients (12 Servings)

  • 12 jalapeno peppers

  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened (I opted for Vegan Cream Cheese)

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar shredded (opt for Vegan Cheese)

  • 2 tablespoons chives finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast (Optional)

  • ¼ cup Panko bread crumbs (opt for Gluten free bread crumbs)

  • 1 tablespoon butter melted (You can use Flax egg mix instead of butter)


  • Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  • Wearing gloves, slice the jalapenos in half lengthwise. Using a small spoon, scoop out the seeds and membranes.

  • In a bowl mix cream cheese, garlic powder, cheddar cheese and chives (if using).

  • In a separate bowl, combine Panko crumbs and melted butter.

  • Fill jalapenos with the cheese mixture. Top with crumbs.

  • Place on a baking pan and bake 18-22 minutes or until golden.

  • Cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

Once baked, serve these alongside some cool ranch or blue cheese dressing.


Air Fryer Jalapeño Poppers

You can make air fryer jalapeño poppers by preheating the air fryer to 375F. Spray the air fryer tray with vegetable cooking spray.

Once the air fryer is up to temperature, place 4 to 5 breaded poppers in the tray of your air fryer, one layer at a time. Air fry at 375F for 10 to 12 minutes, until crispy. Repeat with remaining poppers.

  • Cheesy Filling: Cream cheese is the base and I add in a sharp cheddar as it has more flavor (I like to buy mine from Costco). I also add a dash of garlic powder and some chives which you can add or skip.

  • Crispy Breading: A traditional deep fried popper has a breaded coating. When making baked poppers, I find it’s not worth the time/effort to try to coat the whole jalapeno in crumbs. Instead, I make a simple Panko topping to sprinkle on top for the perfect crunch! If you’d like to make keto Jalapeno Poppers, simply skip the bread crumbs for your low carb friends!

  • Option for meat lovers: There are lots of amazing things you can add to jalapeno poppers! If you’d like skip the bread crumbs and wrap them in bacon to make Bacon Wrapped Poppers!

Recipe inspired by: namelymarly and Spendwithpennies

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