No need to deep fry! These baked jalapeño poppers cook up like a dream in your oven, and they're stuffed with creamy, vegan pimento cheese!
The filling for these baked jalapeño poppers is my popular vegan pimento cheese. It only takes a few minutes to make the cheesy filling, and then you're ready to seed, stuff, and bake those jalapeños!
Table of Contents
To make the filling, you just puree a pimentos and garlic in your blender, then mix that up with softened vegan cream cheese, vegan cheddar, vegan mayo, and seasonings in a large bowl. Easy!
Definitely chill this mixture while you prep the jalapeños for stuffing. The filling will hold up much better to baking if you chill it.
Now, it's time to slice those peppers. You'll see in the photos that I'm using large jalapeños. If you can't find large ones, just use more small ones. Around 24 small peppers should do the trick. For smaller peppers, you'll likely want to go with the low end of baking time.
Slice each pepper in half, lengthwise, to make little jalapeño boats. Remove the seeds to make room for the filling.
If you want milder jalapeño poppers, use your spoon to scrape away the vein inside of the pepper. We tend to focus on the seeds when reducing heat, but the veins of hot peppers actually hold a lot of heat!
Then, you are ready to stuff. Scoop up teaspoons of the filling, and stuff those peppers. You will have the best results if you don't overfill your peppers. The filling softens as these bake, and if you overfill, they'll overflow messily.
Since we are baking instead of battering and deep frying, our jalapeño poppers get their crunchiness from panko. Dip each stuffed pepper half -- cheese side down -- into a bowl of panko. The breadcrumbs will stick to the exposed filling perfectly.
Arrange the pepper halves on a lined baking sheet, and bake them to melty perfection.
How to serve and store
These are definitely best eaten fresh from the oven, but they will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
You can eat leftovers cold, or you can warm them in the oven at 350° F for 10 minutes before serving.
Baked jalapeño poppers with vegan pimento cheese
For the pimento cheese filling
For the baked jalapeno poppers
- 16 large jalapeños
- ½ cup panko breadcrumbs - gluten free is fine, if needed
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
Make the pimento cheese filling
- Transfer the cream cheese into a big bowl, so it can get to room temperature. Meanwhile!
- Put half of the pimentos plus your garlic into your food processor. Puree until as smooth as possible.
- Transfer the pimento puree to the bowl of cream cheese, add the remaining ingredients, and mix everything together until it's well combined. Stick the bowl into the fridge while you prepare the peppers for stuffing.
Make the baked jalapeño poppers
- Slice the jalapeños in half lengthwise, and use a spoon to scrape out the seeds. If you want to reduce the heat, you can also scrape away the vein inside of each pepper. Pour the panko into a shallow bowl.
- Scoop around a teaspoon of the pimento cheese almost filling into a jalapeño half. Do not overfill, because that will create a mess in the oven! Then, press each stuffed jalapeño half -- cheeese side down -- into the panko, to get the coating to stick.
- Arrange the halves, panko side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the filling is melty and the jalapenos soften a bit.