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Vegan Jalapeno Poppers on a baking tray.

Vegan Jalapeño Poppers

  • Author: Liz Madsen
  • Total Time: 34 minutes
  • Yield: 24 pieces 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Vegan Jalapeño Poppers are an easy-to-make vegan appetizer loaded with cream cheese, cheddar, chives, and topped with panko breadcrumbs.


Units Scale
  • 12 Fresh Jalapeños
  • 6 ounces Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 4 ounces Vegan Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Chives (or 1 Tablespoon dried)
  • 1/4 cup Nutritional Yeast
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1/3 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Cooking Spray, Optional


  1. Set Up: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Also, get your vegan cream cheese out of the fridge to let it soften. This is an important step because it's easier to mix when it's closer to room temperature.
  2. Wear gloves: (A little tip: wear gloves! I always wear food-safe gloves when working with hot peppers. Remove them afterward and wash your hands before touching your skin or anything else.)
  3. Prepare the jalapeño peppers: Slice each pepper lengthwise and scoop out the seeds and membranes using a small spoon. I find the best way to do this is to use a grapefruit spoon, it makes this process a lot easier. Discard the seeds and membranes. Remove the long white rib for less spicy vegan jalapeño poppers or leave it in if you like spicy food.
  4. Make the filling: In a medium to large bowl, mix together the vegan cream cheese, vegan shredded cheddar cheese, chopped chives, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, and onion powder. If the mixture is too firm, don't be tempted to add non-dairy milk or anything like that. I highly recommend letting the vegan cheese mixture sit for another 10 minutes or you can slightly warm it in the microwave, testing it at 10 second increments. You want the mixture to be just soft enough to mix, not liquid.
  5. Stuff peppers: Using a gloved hand to hold each jalapeno, fill each pepper half with the cream cheese mixture. Place each stuffed pepper filled side up on your lined baking tray.
  6. Add breadcrumbs:​ Using a light hand, top each stuffed jalapeño with a thin layer of panko bread crumbs. If you like, mist everything with the cooking spray.
  7. Bake: Place the tray in the center rack of the oven and bake for 14-18 minutes until the panko is lightly golden brown. Do not over bake, as it can cause the jalapeño to soften too much and the filling can run out.
  8. Air fryer instructions: To make air fryer jalapeno poppers, place as many stuffed peppers as will comfortably fit in your air fryer basket in a single layer. I do not recommend crowding them too much though, as they can be hard to remove when they're done. Air fry jalapeno poppers for 4-8 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190 degrees Celsius). Again, try not to overcook because the filling can run out if the pepper softens too much.
  9. Serve: Serve immediately (let them cool a few minutes before eating, though!)! If you want a dipping sauce, try my nut-free vegan ranch dressing or some hot sauce if you really like spicy food.


  • Note 1: Wearing gloves while slicing (and filling) the jalapeños will protect your skin. Even if you think it won't bother you, you REALLY don't want to get the jalapeño oil on your fingers and then touch your eyes (ouch). It's much safer to use food handling gloves and avoid issues like that.
  • Note 2: Scooping the seeds is a lot easier with a grapefruit spoon! The spoon is more triangular and the edges are serrated, making it super easy to scrape out the pepper's rib, membrane, and seeds.
  • Note 3: If you cook the poppers too long, the jalapeños will soften and the creamy filling can run out during the cooking process.
  • Note 4: For healthier poppers, replace the vegan cream cheese with my low fat tofu cream cheese and use a bit of my melty stretchy vegan cheddar sauce on top.
  • Note 5: These jalapeño poppers are best the first night. You can find storage and reheating instructions in the article above, but if you don't think you will eat the whole batch (it makes about 24 pieces), you might want to halve the recipe.
  • Note 6: Jalapeños are a little spicy but there are a few things you can do to lower the heat. Remove the seeds, membranes, and center rib. The rib is a long white strip inside the jalapeño when you cut it. Remove this with a grapefruit spoon or a small knife. The vegan cream cheese filling also cuts down on the spice level. If you can't have any spicy food, try stuffing mini bell peppers instead!
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 14 minutes
  • Category: Snack, Appetizer
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American, Tex-Mex

Keywords: Vegan Recipes, Vegan Appetizer Recipes, Dairy-Free Appetizer Recipes