An easy vegan jalapeño popper dip that is game day ready in less than 30 minutes.
I may not be passionate about football, but boy oh boy do I LOVE a game day spread. This dairy-free jalapeno popper dip is wildly creamy and can be adjusted to your preferred spice level (see tips and variations below).
I've spent way longer than I would like to admit trying to make jalapeno poppers that are crispy and flavorful. The problem for me, is that there's just too much jalapeno skin involved in jalapeno poppers. If you agree with me, please let me know I'm not alone in the comments below!
Additionally, jalapeño poppers are best fresh out of the oven. They do not taste the same after they have sat for too long, making them a tricky appetizer to serve at gatherings.
I created this dip to solve all of the "problems" mentioned above. It's beyond flavorful, easy to throw together (everything goes in the blender), can easily be left out at parties, and has a deliciously crunchy top! It's the very best parts of jalapeno poppers, without all the fuss. Bonus that it's gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan.
Here are the key ingredients needed to make this creamy vegan jalapeno popper dip:
- Raw cashews
- Sauerkraut brine (the liquid from a jar of sauerkraut, I used Thirty Acre Farm Jalapeño Kraut) - do not substitute. Most jalapeño popper dip recipes call for cream cheese and this is the way we are adding a little bit of tang (and additional creaminess when blended) without using any cream cheese.
- Garlic cloves
- Onion granules
- Vegan Shredded Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese
- Jalapeño slices
- Breadcrumbs + sesame garlic crunch
- Chopped chives (sub with fresh cilantro, dried chives, or other herb of choice)
Tips & Variations
The spiciest part of a jalapeno is the inside; the seeds and the white membrane. How much we include of these parts, will change the intensity of heat in the jalapeno popper dip.
- Mild heat: remove all seeds and the membrane from the slices and do not top with additional jalapeno slices.
- Medium heat: remove the seeds/membrane from half of the jalapeno slices, but not all of them.
- Hot: keep the jalapeno seeds and membrane as is and top with additional slices if desired.
- Extra hot: follow hot method for jalapeños and swap sauerkraut brine for pickled jalapeno brine instead. Top with additional slices of jalapeno and enjoy the heat. 🔥
That being said, it's extremely important to wash your hands thoroughly after handling jalapeños. If you don't, anything you touch will burn (especially your eyes and nostrils). Some people prefer to wear gloves to avoid any mishaps from occurring. Do whatever works best for you!
Ways to serve dairy-free jalapeno popper dip
- Fresh veggies. Cucumbers, peppers, broccoli, carrots, and celery.
- Bread and crackers. Toasted baguette, Simple Mills crackers (gluten-free), tortilla chips, or pretzels.
- Grilled cheese or sandwiches. Use as a spread on this jalapeno popper grilled cheese or on sandwiches and wraps.
Add this jalapeno popper dip to charcuteries board along with other dips and spreads, or enjoy it as the main event! No matter what, it's a great dish to share and is perfect to bring to your next football party or holiday gathering.
Once the dip has cooled, store covered in the fridge for up to a week. I prefer to use Pyrex dishes for easy reheating!
To reheat, warm for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Or, place into an oven-safe dish (like Pyrex) and warm in the oven.
Vegan Jalapeno Popper Dip
- 7x6 or 8x8 baking dish or a 10 inch cast iron skillet
- high-speed blender or food processor
- cutting board + knife
- measuring cups & spoons
- 1 ⅓ cups raw cashews (unsalted and unroasted), soaked in boiling hot water for 10-15 minutes
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup sauerkraut brine, I used Thirty Acre Farms Jalapeño kraut (the liquid from a jar of kraut, see my recommendations below)
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon onion granules or powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup jalapeño slices (about 1 fresh jalapeño)
- ⅓ cup vegan shredded mozzarella cheese (I used Violife)
- ⅓ cup vegan shredded parmesan cheese (I used Follow Your Heart)
- 2 tablespooons GF breadcrumbs**
- 1 tablespoon spicy sesame garlic crunch (Whole Foods) or everything but the bagel seasoning (Trader Joe's)
- ¼ cup fresh chives, diced (sub cilantro or dried chives)
- 2-3 tablespoons additional cheese shreds
- Preheat oven to 375℉ and grease a 7x6 or 8x8 baking dish (or a 10 inch cast iron skillet) with avocado oil.
- Prep: measure cashews and place in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let sit for 10-15 minutes while you prepare the other ingredients. Add water, brine, garlic onion and salt to a blender. Set aside. Wash and dry a jalapeño. Pick your level of heat from below and slice accordingly*: Mild: Cut the jalapeno in half, lengthwise and remove the membrane and seeds. Then roughly chop or dice. Medium: Slice the jalapeno into rounds. Remove the membrane & seeds from about ½ of the slices. (this is how I prefer it!) Hot: do not remove any of the seeds or membranes, slice into rounds. Place slices into a ⅓ measuring cup and set aside.
- Blend: Drain and rinse the cashews. Add to the blender and blend until well combined and smooth (about a minute or so). Add jalapeños as well as both vegan cheeses. Blend again for 10-15 seconds (we want to combine the ingredients but still leave some texture from the cheese and jalapeños).
- Bake: Pour the blended mix into the greased baking dish and top with a few additional pinches of cheese. Stir together breadcrumbs and spicy sesame garlic crunch, then sprinkle it over the dip. Bake for 15 minutes or until the cheese has melted and the breadcrumbs are golden.
- Serve: Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Top with fresh chives or cilantro and enjoy with crackers, toasted baguette, or fresh veggies (carrots, celery, broccoli, peppers or cucumbers).
If you made this vegan jalapeno popper dip I would love to hear your thoughts. Let me know how it went in the comments below!