By definition, jalapeño poppers are where the party’s at. You could be all alone at your apartment around 1pm on a Thursday and BOOM suddenly there’s the party. At where you are. Sure, it’s still just you and your dog but I’ll be damned if you two aren’t high fiving and talking about The Sports or Fast Vehicles or boys. While I always talk to my dog about boys (he’s like the rat-faced sister I never had/got to be compared to as “the pretty one” because I’m not rat-faced), those first two topics are strictly party talk. And I don’t high five any one or thing unless I have a jalapeño popper in my free hand. See how that works?
What I’m trying to say is, if you’re going to make jalapeño poppers, you might want to lock your doors. (Is that what I’m saying? Hold on, I’ll go ask my dog.)
Poppers (enough with the formalities) are the ultimate party food because they combine everything that is good: spicy, crunchy, creamy, portability. As I’ve said time and probably time again somewhere else, nothing is better than food that fits in the palm of your hand except poached eggs and morning sex. They’re all pretty neck and neck. Do it all at the same time and you have a lucky significant other, excellent coordination, and a massive, massive mess. Just massive.
Oh and they’re remarkably easy to make and make vegan. If you’re the kind of person who already has a favorite dairy-free cream cheese alternative, now’s your opportunity to feel useful. Combined with some scallions, some Daiya cheese shreds (this is where I tell you what your favorite meltable cheese-less shredded cheese is), panko bread crumbs, a couple spices, dairy-free milk and flax, you’ve got yourself a platter full of MOVE-OVER-I-NEED-MORE-POPPERS.
Well, that certainly escalated quickly.
- 12 jalapeño peppers
- 6 tablespoons of vegan cream cheese alternative (like Tofutti or Follow Your Heart)
- ½ cup Daiya shredded pepper jack, divided
- 1 to 2 tablespoons diced scallions
- a couple pinches of salt
- ⅓ cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- a shake or two of paprika
- cooking spray
I wish this party had more pinatas
Preheat your oven to 350. I lined a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly misted it with cooking spray.
Cut off the stems of your jalapeños. Slice them in half lengthwise and carefully deseed them. Watch your eyeballs.
In a food processor, combine the cream cheese, ¼ cup of the Daiya cheese shreds, scallions, and a bit of salt to your taste. Scoop this filling into your prepped jalapeños but don’t overfill them. Just fill them so the filling is level with the jalapeño sides. Sprinkle the remaining shreds of pepper jack over the filling. Stick them in the fridge for like 10 minutes, or if you’re impatient like me, 30-40 seconds. You know, to be completely ineffective.
Whisk together your milk and flaxseed in a shallow bowl. Combine the panko, garlic powder, paprika, and a pinch of salt in a shallow dish or plate. Take the prepped peppers out of the fridge. Dip skin side into the milk mixture and then dredge them into the panko mixture. Don’t worry if some of this coating falls off. It’ll all be good. Arrange them on the prepped baking sheet and sprinkle the tops with enough of the panko mixture to completely cover them. Mist the peppers with another coating of cooking spray. Bake for 30 minutes or until the crusts are golden brown.
PARTY TIME USA.
NUTRITION per popper: 36 calories // 5g carbs // 1g fat // 1g protein // 1g fiber // 0g sugar