These vegetarian jalapeño poppers will be the life of the party! Quick to make and packed with flavor, they’ll be gone as soon as you bring them out.
Sometimes I just want a good hearty plate of appetizers. Some people call it finger foods, some “bar foods”, but no matter what you call it, it’s got to be salty, crispy, and just oozing with cheese.
These baked jalapeño poppers are just that. They are cheesy and crispy, but not fried. They also don’t contain bacon, making them perfect for vegetarians. (But we’ve got a vegan bacon option that makes these perfect for any diet!)
The best part about these is making them as spicy as you want, and baking them to perfection. They are also just as good leftover, eating them straight from the fridge or chopping up into a salad. Obviously best served piping hot, they will still be delicious reheated. Let’s cook!
Ingredients for Baked Jalapeño Poppers
Three types of cheese will add SO much flavor and creaminess to these jalapeño poppers without bacon.
- Jalapeño Peppers: The perfect size for finger foods. Buy them more affordably in bulk at. most Asian or Mexican super markets!
- Cream Cheese: Make sure to let this come to room temp for easy mixing.
- Cheddar Cheese: A classic melting cheese; it’s best to shred your own.
- Feta Cheese: This adds a nice salty bite to the mix. Feel free to sub with goat cheese.
- Chives: Fresh herbs really add to any recipe!
- Garlic Powder: I like powder here so it mixes in well without biting into any chunks of garlic.
- Panko: A popper wouldn’t POP without some crunch! Panko breadcrumbs are a Japanese style breadcrumb that add light crispiness to these poppers.
- Butter: And of course, without fat, we won’t get a beautiful color on top.
Some Like It (Less) Spicy
As far as types of peppers go, jalapeño peppers shouldn’t be too spicy. You can easily control the spiciness level when you are preparing the raw peppers. Scraping out all the seeds and ribs will remove most of the heat. Look for unblemished peppers without wrinkles or veining to ensure they are on the mild end of the heat scale.
How to make Stuffed Jalapeños
It takes a bit of work here, but it’s overall simple and easy to make for a crowd.
Step 1: Prep
Preheat the oven and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Use two if you need room – leaving space around each pepper ensures even browning. Halve washed jalapeños and use a spoon to remove the guts.
Step 2: Stuff
Combine the cheeses and seasoning in a bowl. Spoon this mixture evenly across the peppers and then gently pack it in.
Step 3: Topping
Stir the melted butter into the breadcrumbs and sprinkle evenly over the poppers.
Step 4: Bake
Bake until the peppers are brown and crispy on top and starting to wrinkle around the edges.
Air Fryer Jalapeno Poppers
You can also cook these jalapeno poppers in the air fryer! Just place them in a single layer in your air fryer tray or basket at 375°F (190°C) for 5 to 8 minutes.
Make Ahead: You can mix up the filling and stuff the peppers earlier in the day before party time. Set in the fridge in an airtight container. Let them rest on the prepared baking sheet to warm up some while the oven preheats. Add the panko topping just before baking.
Make It Vegan: You can easily use a cream cheese substitute as well as dairy-free “cheddar” shreds. If you can’t find something to easily replace the feta, just use more cheddar!
Eat ‘Em Up: These are best served piping hot! If you do have any left, store them in the fridge and give them a quick crisp in the toaster oven or air fryer. You can even eat them cold!
Baconize: For some, jalapeno poppers wouldn’t be complete without bacon! If you fall into that camp, be sure to add a healthy serving of our vegan bacon bits after cooking.
I personally love to serve these as party food while everyone mingles! Set out a selection of finger foods, dips, and drinks.
- Vegan Ranch Dressing is the perfect cooling dip.
- Vegan Nachos would be great to pile on a plate next to these poppers.
- Baked Avocado Fries add more layers of creaminess + crunch.
- Frozen Mango Margarita Slush can wash everything down.
- 12 jalapeños
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature, 226 g
- 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese 113 g
- 2 oz crumbled feta cheese 56 g
- 2 Tbsp chopped chives
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs 60 g
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter melted, 28 g
- Prep: Preheat oven the 400°F (204°C). Cut each jalapeño in half, lengthwise. Use a spoon to remove seeds and ribs from each. Place each half on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Stuff: Stir together cream cheese, cheddar cheese, feta, chives, and garlic powder. Spoon the mixture evenly into all of the hollowed jalapeño, gently pressing it in to fill in the gaps.
- Topping: Stir together panko and melted butter. Sprinkle on top of each jalapeño half.
- Bake: Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is golden brown and crispy.