These vegan and gluten-free air fryer jalapeño poppers are crispy, cheesy, spicy, and the best game day snack or appetizer for any get together! They're quick & easy to make and can be cooked in the air fryer or oven baked instead of deep fried, making them a bit healthier.
I never really cared about the Super Bowl until I realized the endless amount of snacks/appetizers that could be consumed. These poppers are always a crowd pleaser! For game day I love pairing them with other appetizers like dips, nachos, and more.
These vegan jalapeño poppers taste exactly the same, if not better than, any regular version. The filling is creamy and cheesy, with just the right amount of flavor. This recipe is allergy-friendly by being made without bacon and are vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
- Jalapeños: obviously, they are star of the show!! We'll be using fresh jalapeños, cutting them in half, and filling them with a dairy-free cream cheese mixture. If you're making these for people who can't handle the spice, you can make this recipe using bell peppers instead, or use a combination of both so you have options!
- Vegan Cream Cheese: this is the base of our filling! You can use any vegan cream cheese brand you prefer. I personally used Tofutti as it's a bit thinner than some others so it spread and softened more easily.
- Vegan Cheddar Cheese: to add that cheesy flavor!
- Garlic: you didn't think I'd leave it out, did you? I could never! If you don't have any fresh garlic cloves, feel free to use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- Horseradish: just for an extra kick! It's totally optional and tastes just as great if you were to leave it out.
- Chives: these just add another layer of flavor and freshness to each bite.
- Salt & Pepper: for flavor!
- Bread Crumbs: to keep this recipe gluten free, I used gluten free panko bread crumbs. If you're not gluten free, feel free to use regular breadcrumbs. The breadcrumbs help us get a nice crispy top to the jalapeño poppers.
- Vegan Butter: to help the breadcrumbs stick together.
- Start by combining vegan shredded cheddar, vegan cream cheese, chives, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl to create your jalapeño popper filling.
- Using kitchen gloves to protect your hands, halve each jalapeño lengthwise, removing the seeds and membranes. You can leave the stems intact, they act as a nice little handle!
- Spoon the cream cheese mixture evenly into each jalapeño half and top with the breadcrumbs.
- Place the jalapeño poppers in a single layer in the air fryer basket and air fry at 375 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. If you'd prefer your jalapeño poppers to be oven baked, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and bake for 18-22 minutes.
Use mini bell peppers instead of jalapeños if you or your guests can't handle the heat!
Make these jalapeño poppers without cream cheese by using vegan ricotta, vegan feta cheese, or a cashew cheese sauce instead.
For additional flavor, add 1-2 tablespoons of horseradish or vegan bacon bits into the cream cheese mixture.
If you don't want to use or don't have an air fryer, these can be oven baked or deep fried.
These jalapeño poppers can be made without cheese or breading simply by leaving them out!
- Make sure you wear gloves when handling the jalapeños in order to avoid jalapeño hands!!!! When you cut peppers open and remove the seeds, you run the risk of burning your hands with the chili oils and capsaicin. It's incredibly hard to wash off and I've forgotten hours later and ended up burning my eyes!
- Try to buy jalapeños that are the same size for even baking.
- Soften the non-dairy cream cheese to room temperature for easy mixing!
- If the vegan cheddar shreds are too long to fit into the jalapeños, cut them shorter. This will not only allow them to fit in the cavity, but will help the cheese melt more easily.
I would recommend dipping them in a blue cheese, ranch, or aioli dipping sauce. Any of these would not only add yummy flavor but also help to counteract the heat from the peppers.
Jalapeño poppers are super fun with an array of other indulgent appetizers on game days like the Super Bowl or just a get together with friends. Serve them alongside: homemade guacamole, nachos, dips, fried pickles. Or you can serve them as starter before a main course such as: quinoa kidney bean burgers, jackfruit lettuce tacos, or one pot taco pasta!
Store them in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. To reheat, I would suggest putting them in the oven for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees F. You could microwave them but they'll be a bit soggy as opposed to crispy.
Yes! Store them in an airtight container for up 3 months. To reheat, you can use the either microwave (which I don't recommend) or the oven and heat until warmed through.
Yes! Cut and fill the jalapeños with the filling and store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. I would just recommend leaving off the breadcrumbs until you're ready to air fry or bake.
I didn't find this recipe too spicy, since we removed all of the seeds from the jalapeños. Also, the creamy, tangy, cheesy filling definitely helps to cut some of that heat, and even more so when paired with a non-spicy dipping sauce.